No Business Class Space? Guess I HAVE To Fly Etihad’s Apartment!

Running Round the World With Miles
Written by Charlie

If you are going to travel from Abu Dhabi to London, there is no better way to do than on Etihad’s Airbus A380. There are now two of the three flights (on many dates) on that route on the A380 so you have a good shot at getting a flight that works for you.

Etihad’s Apartment Space vs. Business Class Space

Review: Etihad Airways First Apartment Class On The A380

Of course, the great part about flying on that bird is the new First Apartment, Etihad’s A380 First Class cabin. At the same time, the business class seat on the A380 is nothing to sneeze at. I had a chance to tour the business class cabin on my flight and was really impressed with the amount of space and the level of comfort in business class. So, either the First Apartment or Business will be a great way to fly to/from London on Etihad.

Etihad A380

The seat map on the Etihad A380 in business class / Expert Flyer

I need to get back to Europe from Abu Dhabi this summer so have been looking for award space to London. I do not need to get to London, but I am more than willing to add more time to the trip to fly on the A380 again. But, I also wanted to fly business class on Etihad’s A380 because the Apartment has been getting most of the attention (and why not?!). I really want to fly and review the business class cabin, plus it is a fantastic value at only 30,000 AA miles one way (that is the cost from/to Europe to Middle East/Indian Subcontinent).

Very Little Business Class Space

The problem is that I cannot find business class award space at the partner level. This was really surprising as there are 70 seats available in business class versus the 9 seats available in the Apartment class. I have searched a wide range of dates and there has been nothing available on any of the 3 flights to London (which includes a 777 aircraft and even a A340-600).

I have found a lot of business class availability in business to other cities in Europe, but not on the A380. It is interesting that they release more partner award space in their first class cabin than in business across so many dates on the A380 route.

Etihad A380

Not a whole lot of business class award space on Etihad’s A380 on the Abu Dhabi-London route!

It is really a great thing that there is the first class space available since it only costs 10,000 more miles to fly in Apartment Class versus business class (40,000 miles for first class). I will certainly not complain that I will have to fly in the Apartment class again instead of business class but I am a little disappointed as I really would like to fly, experience, and review the business class seat. Maybe a business seat will open up as we get closer!

Booking Etihad’s A380 Apartment With Miles

To find award space, head over to the Etihad rewards page – here – and enter Abu Dhabi to London (or reverse). Then choose First.

Etihad Apartment

Next, you need to look for Guest First space. That is what will be bookable with partner miles. In our example here, it does show it as available so you can simply call American Airlines (800-882-8880) to book it! Apartment Class costs 40,000 AA miles one way while Business Class costs 30,000 AA miles one way (for Europe <-> Middle East/Indian Subcontinent).

Etihad Apartments


What has your experience been finding partner award space on Etihad’s A380 business class? The good news is that there is a fair amount of business space to/from New York!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I am in Abu Dhabi now after flying down here from London in the “Apartment”. Really fun! Off to Bangkok tomorrow morning in Business on Etihad. Great use of American Airline miles!!

  • I really wanted to fly the A380 from London to Abu Dhabi to take advantage of the First Class availability on that route, but there is no reasonable way to get from JFK to LHR with AAdvantage miles. I settled with a direct JFK-AUH First Class itinerary, but it is on their Jet Airways wet-leased 777. (There was no award availability for the A380 out of JFK).

    How do you plan to get to London and back?

    • If there is not availability on the flight I need to Athens, I will just grab a flight with Aegean to Athens. I am flying from Greece to Egypt to Abu Dhabi. I am taking this flight from Abu Dhabi to London.
      When are you going? The A380 starts in December and I have been seeing availability come and go so you still may be able to find it!

      • I am somewhat limited as to when I can travel but I don’t believe that there is any JFK-AUH or AUH-JFK A380 availability whatsoever right now. At least I will be in First on the New 787 after I connect in AUH and continue to BOM.

        It’s upsetting the AA removed all First Class saver availability between the USA and LHR, except on BA, which has $1,000+ tax surchages!