Thanks to my Etihad Guest Gold status and a Double Miles offer, my Air Berlin & Etihad Business Class trip to Jakarta earned me an amazing 46,050 Etihad Guest miles! This included 34.402 Guest Tier Miles which is only 5598 miles short of requalification for the Eithad Guest Gold tier!
Excited by the high number of miles earned, I started browsing Etihad’s award availability for their newest product, the A380, which will start serving the Abu Dhabi – London route as of December 27, 2014. As expected, astronomical amounts of miles were required to book The Residence. For the first half of 2015, First Class Apartments were only available at First Suite Saver level requiring more than four hundred thousand miles. Yes, 400000! And then this happened…
For whatever reason, it was possible to book the new Etihad A380 First Class Apartments at Guest First award level for flights on Saturday October 10, 2015. Other days in 2015 required more than 400,000 miles to book the same seat! With 13,453 miles from my Etihad Business Class flight back in 2012, my total Etihad Guest balance was 59,503 miles. Enough for this amazing award redemption. I didn’t hesitate and booked immediately. There was Guest First availability in both directions, but I selected the AUH-LHR flight as its air time is 50 minutes longer. Taxes were also lower for departures from Abu Dhabi, 80 AED (€17) compared to 190 GBP (€240) from London. The revenue fare for my flight was €4813 ($5955).
As Etihad Guest miles seemed to be quite valuable, I opted for the Miles + Cash option which allowed me to buy an extra 13,935 miles for 460,69 AED (€102) during the booking process. Afterwards, I also noticed there was a promotion for Etihad Guest redemptions until Dec 10, 2014 which would refund 25% of the redeemed miles after the actual flight! What a deal! Let’s hope Etihad doesn’t delay its A380 services any longer, fingers crossed!
Pic: The Lobby, Upper Deck, Etihad Airways A380
Key success factors for amazing redemptions:
- If you have an opportunity to status match, do so. This is how I got Etihad Guest Gold
- Make sure to check loyalty program promotions before you travel
- Keep your miles for valuable redemptions, don’t waste them on this!
Pictures & Video: Etihad Airways