What Happened To Etihad’s U.S. Award Charts?

Several weeks ago, Etihad stopped displaying many of their partner airline award charts on their U.S. website. If you click on many of the individual partner award pages in the “spend miles” section, you’ll see the following message:

Unfortunately, due to US DOT requirements we are unable to present this page to the United States of America. Apologies for any inconvenience, if you require further help please contact us guest@etihadguest.com.

Etihad-Award-Chart-Error

So, did Etihad pull a Delta and decide that there’s no need to be transparent with customers and publish award rates? Nope. Instead this is an innocent mistake, though it could quite easily be solved.

I believe what this comes down to is that the U.S. Department of Transportation requires airlines to publish the maximum amount of taxes and fees that can come along with award tickets. Given the number of random partners Etihad has, I guess they haven’t gotten around to that. So they’ve just deactivated many of their partner award charts in the U.S.

The good news is that they haven’t used this as an opportunity to make a quiet devaluation, or anything. All of Etihad’s award values remain intact:

Brussels-Airlines-Business-Class-1
Redeem 36,620 Etihad miles for roundtrip Brussels business class between New York and Brussels

In my opinion, those are the three most valuable Etihad Guest airline partners.

In terms of other airlines with downloadable award charts, here are the charts for Alitalia, Bangkok Airways, Czech Airlines, Jet Airways, Oman Air, SriLankan, UIA, and Virgin Australia.

If you do want to access all the other partner pages, using a VPN for a different country and then changing the country at the top of the Etihad site should do the trick.

Etihad-Partners

Bottom line

While I’d like to see Etihad resolve this issue ASAP, I don’t think there’s any bad intent here. No award prices have changed, so there’s nothing to worry about.

Comments

  1. Instead of being lazy they could have instead updated their website to show the details as required by DOT. While this may be an ‘innocent’ mistake, it obviously makes the whole thing even more opaque and adds another hoop for the people in US to jump over.

  2. Can we please dispose of the fantasy that the Brussels space is actually bookable? Until we get some direct proof of success…

  3. @ C — I’ve received plenty of reports from readers who have successfully booked this space (and I’ve seen some e-tickets).

  4. Lucky wrote: “I believe what this comes down to is that the U.S. Department of Transportation requires airlines to publish the maximum amount of taxes and fees that can come along with award tickets.”

    Sorry, but that’s not true. Etihad’s Airlines also claims the DOT won’t allow a page so that you can “print your Etihad Guest Rewards Card” with your number on it when becoming a new member, if your IP is inside the USA. But you can print your new card on the previous page without using the print software. Obviously, this has nothing to do with taxes. I found this out from the #FakeNews moron, Gary Leff, who claimed one could earn 500 Etihad FF Miles by joining and doing nothing, which wasn’t the case, from which he re-edited his “blog” without stating the correction. Ironic he’s posting here rather than using his own blog as well.

    In fact, a foreign airline’s website is outside the jurisdiction of the DOT. It must be a leftover national security issue thanks to the creature Barack Obama who is no longer in office. Thanks.

  5. Am I reading the American Airlines table correctly? Between Europe and Australia is just 60,000 points in Business?

  6. I have the required number of miles for an SN flight to JFK in business, and have tried to book multiple times via EY, but the agent always insists there is no availability.
    This is despite availability on expertflyer, UA, AC, or ANA online booking portals.
    Any suggestions?

  7. I tweeted at Etihad about this in mid-December. Must be a long process to fix.

    Regarding the Brussels award space issue… in early August 2016, I booked a J seat for early May 2017. Changing the flight dates so I can attend a wedding has been the challenge. Not sure how consistent award space is.

  8. @PW: Despite what some of the lazier bloggers will tell you in their step by step tutorials, Etihad’s availability for SN does NOT match 100% to what is being displayed on UA, NH, etc. Those sites are a good general place to start, but what EY can see and book is totally independent to what SN inventory is accessible to *A partners. This is something i personally encountered in a successful booking of 2 bix tix JFK-BRU, and also what i’ve seen in comments and on flyertalk. Also, many of their phone agents are incompetent. You have to keep calling back until you find someone who knows how to do a partner booking correctly. The Manchester call center is typically the best at this.

  9. A few months ago, I booked 3 J tickets JFK-BRU-JFK for the end of next summer. Award space was wide open at that time for most of the schedule, but from the reports of others trying to recapitulate this feat, the availability dried up not long after it opened up.

  10. PS: What Matt said above is accurate. There is simply no correlation between what EY sees as available on SN and what United et al see.

  11. I have successfully booked Roundtrip business class on Brussels Airlines JFK-BRU-JFK. I can prove this to some of you (or Lucky to post) that are skeptical.

    I am going in mid October 2017, I booked About 11 months out, so you do have to be very flexible. I just asked the agent to search for first available date in business class and to start in October. She was able to find space, and most of what was found had a return date of a least a week out. A week earlier I had different agents search the whole calendar but there wasn’t anything available. The agents don’t typically like searching more than a month so I would call again and have a different agent search a different month.

    I always just called the US number, but based on the agents accent, I could tell if they were from Manchester. The Manchester agents seemed to be a lot more knowledgeable.

    I did have to try and call several times to find space. For example, don’t call when a blogger has just recently posted a blog post, as too many people reading will take up all award space. Instead I waited about a week since Lucky’s last post about this and was able to find space.

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