Yesterday, I wrote a guide on how to book Etihad’s First Apartment using AA miles. If you have never done it before (or at least have not book Etihad premium award tickets in the last few months), make sure you read that post as it will give you information you will need to book your own. Now, how about flying Etihad’s First Apartment for over 10 hours on 2 different flights – and it only costing you 40,000 AA miles?!
Fly Etihad’s First Apartment For Over 10 Hours On 2 Flights For 40K AA Miles
There is no doubt that one of the sweet spots on the current AA award chart is the Europe to Middle East/Indian Subcontinent route. AA charges 20,000 miles for coach, 30,000 miles for business, and 40,000 miles for first class. While I have taken advantage of each of those awards at different times, the real beauty is the first class redemption for 40,000 miles.
Enjoying 2 Etihad A380 Flights For Over 10 Hours
Even though Etihad only flies their A380s on select routes (unlike Emirates who flies it everywhere), there is a way you can enjoy over 10 hours of their First Apartment on 2 different flights for just the 40,000 miles. If you like the journey as much (or more!) than the destination, this should be an award you redeem for before March 22!
Already, you can take advantage of any of the 3 Etihad flights on the London <-> Abu Dhabi route to try out Etihad’s First Apartment (make sure you check as there is a A340 on one of the schedules at times). That is right around a 7.5 hour flight (shorter going to Abu Dhabi than coming from) and a decent amount of time to really enjoy what the cabin has to offer. It was my first ride (Abu Dhabi – London) in Etihad’s First Apartment was it was fantastic – but over a bit too soon for my liking. 🙂
Abu Dhabi – Mumbai
But, starting May 1, Etihad will be adding one of their A380 planes on the Abu Dhabi to Mumbai route. This route takes just over 3 hours on the schedule and gives yet another opportunity to enjoy the First Apartment. Whatever you do, do not redeem AA miles just for that route as it costs 35,000 miles for those 3 hours – only 5,000 fewer miles than adding London into the mix!
Putting Your Trip Together
So, you can book a flight from London (actually, you could start anywhere in Europe and use a oneworld flight to get to London as part of your award) to Abu Dhabi before connecting on to Mumbai – for only 40,000 AA miles in first class! That is over 10 hours on 2 different flights in Etihad’s First Apartment for less than a credit card bonus!
Spending Time In Abu Dhabi
Not only that, but during your layover you will have the opportunity to use Etihad’s Premium Lounge (and Etihad’s First Class lounge when it finally opens). I have used their Premium Lounge several times and it is a fantastic place to relax, do some work, and eat some great food.
As long as your layover/connection in Abu Dhabi is under 24 hours, you can book it as one award. Make sure when you are searching for award availability (see this post about booking Etihad tickets) on Etihad that you look segment-by-segment to make sure you get what you are looking for (otherwise it will lump the flights together instead of letting you choose).
Selecting Your Flights
Here are the scheduled times for flights from London:[table “” not found /]
The A380 flight (EY204) departs Abu Dhabi at 14:10 and arrives in Mumbai at 19:20. That means any of the London to Abu Dhabi flights would provide a legal connection to this flight.
So, you could take the EY12 flight from London (arriving in Abu Dhabi at 20:10), spend the night in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, and then fly out the next day at 14:10 for Mumbai – all on the A380! The only downside of this is that, as a connecting passenger, you would not have access to the complimentary chauffeur service offered by Etihad. You would, however, have it in London (if that is the beginning of your journey) and Mumbai. Still, transportation in the UAE is pretty reasonable so should not be difficult to get around.
Of course, with all of this, it also means you get to visit India! I have not yet but it is on the list of places I want to go to. So you not only get to fly the best commercial first class – twice – for the 40,000 miles, but you can also travel from Europe to India.
Adding The US For 20K
I know this might sound strange, but if you wanted to travel from the US and wanted to do this as inexpensively as possible (mileage-wise), consider using AA miles during their (current) off-peak calendar for only 20,000 miles. You could use that to get to Europe and then start your journey from there whenever you wish. This way, your total mileage cost would be 60,000 AA miles for the following:
- Economy from the US – Europe
- First Apartment from Europe – Abu Dhabi
- First Apartment from Abu Dhabi – Mumbai
That is not bad at all! If you like the airplane experience and want to see what the fuss is about with Etihad’s First Apartment, consider this itinerary before March 22 (you do not have to fly before then, just book).