Some good news on the American Airlines front today is that it is now possible to book Etihad awards online, directly with American Airlines. In the past, you needed to call in and, occasionally, call foreign call centers to get award tickets on Etihad booked.
Oh, Yes! Now You Can Book Etihad Awards Online with American Airlines
Now, you can do it online, though the availability for business and first class on certain routes is not great. To get started, simply start your search for where you want to go and then see if Etihad is one of those travel providers available!
If your goal is to try out Etihad’s fantastic First Apartment, then it gets even easier. Toggle the little drop box to “non-stop” for search results and then search for the cities that Etihad flies their Airbus A380 too. These would include cities like JFK, Sydney, Paris, and London.
How Many Miles Does It Cost to Fly Etihad’s First Apartment?
If you want to fly that First Apartment between the US and the Middle East, it will cost you 115,000 American Airline miles – one way. If you want to hop to Australia in style like that, it will cost you 100,000 miles one-way. Finally, if you want to give it is a shot on a “short” haul of like 7 hours, you can do that for 62,500 American Airline miles one way.
Want to Try the First Apartment?
But, be ready to find a lot of empty dates for this plane on the route of JFK-AUH! If you really want to try it out, try the Abu Dhabi to London route (but, start in Abu Dhabi so you don’t pay the ridiculously high fees out of London).
Why the “Oh, No!”
While it was a pain, having to search on Etihad’s website for award availability and then call in to an AA call center to book Etihad awards made it easier to get access to the 9-seat First Apartment class. A lot of people would love to fly that but often don’t want to go through the trouble.
Now, it is easy to book online with American Airlines so that removes a couple of steps of difficulty. Great news for everyone who doesn’t like calling in but bad news for anyone that enjoyed the extra layers of trouble as a way to get rewarded for their perseverance (and not having to fight for those seats against thousands of others).
Still, I don’t think it is “bad” news since the people that wouldn’t call in are probably not also sitting on half a million American Airline miles and wanting to take a roundtrip for two in the First Apartment. And, if they are, good for them that they can make that dream come true! It is still a lot of miles and not everyone will be jumping at it just because it is bookable online.
Just remember that you can put awards on hold for 5 days if you don’t have enough miles and buy some to top off, if you really want that First Apartment award.