In early 2015 I wrote a tutorial on how to select seats on Etihad when booking through other airlines (like when redeeming American AAdvantage miles for travel on Etihad). While Etihad will allow you to select seats on their website if you booked your ticket directly through them, they don’t allow you to do so if you booked through another airline or frequent flyer program.
For a long time there was a workaround, though, which involved modifying the URL on Etihad’s website. Unfortunately that trick no longer works, though thanks to reader Mitch for pointing out a new workaround for selecting Etihad seats when you booked your ticket through another airline.
Specifically, Etihad allows you to select seats online on partner tickets, but only if you use their mobile website. As before, if you use Etihad’s website and try to select a seat, you’ll get a message saying “we are sorry but this booking cannot be changed online.”
That’s where the mobile website comes in handy. Visit Etihad’s mobile website on your smartphone, and click on “Manage My Booking.”
Then enter your booking reference and last name.
On the next page you’ll have to click “OK” to agree to the terms of using the Etihad site.
Then on the next page you’ll be presented with the itinerary, and then click on “Additional Services” towards the bottom of the page.
There you’ll see the option to select your seats.
Once you select your seats they should be confirmed — it’s that easy!
If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a smartphone, you can use the mobile version of Etihad’s website on your desktop to select seats instead. So if you have any upcoming reservations on Etihad that are booked through a partner, hopefully you can take advantage of this in order to save a few minutes rather than having to pick up the phone. On the plus side, I find that Etihad’s call center is pretty efficient, and they even have a separate desk for first & business class passengers.