The Ultimate Guide to Etihad Miles: Part 1 – Where You Can Fly on Etihad

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Etihad is known for its exceptional service and comfort.  But Etihad is also great for flying in coach to the Indian subcontinent because they have more award seats available than many other airlines.

Etihad flies from North America to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Maldives.

Using Etihad Miles

You Can Use Miles to Fly Etihad to Mumbai, India!

Etihad is not part of the oneworld alliance (a group of 13 airlines) or the Star Alliance (a group of 28 airlines).  But they are codeshare partners with 36 airlines.  And you can redeem Etihad miles on those partners!

However, American Airlines miles are better than using Etihad miles because you can:

  • Book 1-way award tickets with American Airlines miles
  • Avoid fuel surcharges and pay very minimal fees & taxes
  • Get access to up to 2 First Class, 2 Business Class, and 5 coach award seats available on almost every flight
  • Add domestic American Airlines flights to the Etihad gateway city for no additional mile cost and generally less than $5 in taxes

Emily and I used American Airlines miles to fly First Class on Etihad to India.

The Ultimate Guide to Etihad Miles Index:

Where You Can Fly on Etihad

Etihad is an airline based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

From North America, they can be a great option for getting to the:

  • Middle East
  • Indian subcontinent
  • Maldives

You can fly on Etihad to the US in:

If you fly in First Class or Business Class, you get a chauffeur to and from 25 airports, which can be a great way to begin or end a trip!

Where Does Etihad Fly in North America?

Etihad flies the following routes between Abu Dhabi and North America:

Using Etihad Miles

You Can Fly to Abu Dhabi & Beyond From 6 Cities in the US & Canada

  • New York (JFK)
  • Washington, DC (IAD)
  • Chicago (ORD) – (There aren’t First Class flights from Chicago.)
  • Toronto (YYZ) – (There aren’t First Class flights from Toronto.)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – (Begins June 1, 2014)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – (Begins December 3, 2014)

Where You Can Go From Abu Dhabi

You can fly on Etihad from Abu Dhabi to several destinations in the:

  • Middle East
  • Indian subcontinent
  • Maldives

1.   Middle East

You can fly from Abu Dhabi to:

Using Etihad Miles

Etihad Can Help You Experience Egyptian History & Lebanese Cuisine

  • Al Manama
  • Amman
  • Baghdad
  • Basrah
  • Beirut
  • Cairo
  • Damascus
  • Doha
  • Erbil
  • Jeddah
  • Kuwait City
  • Muscat
  • Riyadh
  • Sana’a
  • Tehran

2.   Indian Subcontinent

You can fly on Etihad from Abu Dhabi to:

Using Etihad Miles

Etihad’s Indian Subcontinent and Central Asian Destinations

  • Ahmedabad
  • Almaty
  • Astana
  • Bangalore
  • Calicut
  • Chennai (Madras)
  • Chittagong
  • Dhaka
  • Hyderabad
  • Islamabad
  • Karachi
  • Kathmandu
  • Kochi
  • Lahore
  • Male
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi
  • Peshawar
  • Trivandrum

Etihad also flys to Colombo and Sri Lanka.  But Sri Lanka is not considered a part of India and the Middle East region by American Airlines, which is the main way for folks in the US to fly on Etihad without paying high fuel surcharges.

It’s relatively easy to book award tickets with points on Etihad.  I’ll explain how to book Etihad awards in future posts.

I found 2 First Class seats (on routes with First Class), 2 Business Class seats, and 5 coach seats available on almost every single flight!  That said, Etihad doesn’t seem to release award seats as the day of departure approaches and there are unsold seats.

Using Etihad Miles

Many Days Have 2 First Class Seats Available to Abu Dhabi From New York

You can fly nonstop in Business Class on Etihad from Washington, DC to Abu Dhabi.

Using Etihad Miles

Business Class Seats Are Available on Etihad

If you need more than 2 award seats, you could fly in coach from, say, Chicago to Abu Dhabi.

Using Etihad Miles

Plenty of Coach Seats If You Fly From Chicago

Which Miles Can I Use for Etihad Flights?

Etihad is a mileage partner of American Airlines.  So you can use American Airlines miles to fly on Etihad.

American Airlines does not charge fuel surcharges on Etihad, so the taxes and fees are very reasonable, ~$30 per person.

Between North America and India and the Middle East you will pay:

  • 45,000 miles 1-way coach
  • 67,500 miles 1-way in Business Class
  • 90,000 miles 1-way between in First Class

If you fly solely within India and the Middle East region, you’ll pay the following American Airlines miles:

  • 17,500 miles 1-way within India and the Middle East region in coach
  • 25,000 miles 1-way within India and the Middle East region in Business Class
  • 35,000 miles 1-way within India and the Middle East region in First Class

Which Countries Are Considered India & the Middle East?

American Airlines considers the following countries to be a part of India and the Middle East:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan

Why American Airlines Miles Are Better Than Etihad Miles

Using American Airlines miles is better than using Etihad miles because you don’t pay fuel surcharges.  You can transfer Starwood hotel points to Etihad.  But you shouldn’t, because you’ll pay fuel surcharges when you use Etihad miles for flights on Ethad.

To fly 1-way in coach from Washington, DC using Etihad miles you would pay 64,333 Etihad miles and ~$26.  

If you used American Airlines miles, the same 1-way coach from Washington, DC to Abu Dhabi would cost 45,000 American Airlines miles and $5.  Using American Airlines miles you would save 19,333 miles and ~$21!

Using Etihad Miles

You Pay Fuel Surcharges Using Etihad Miles

You could transfer your Starwood points to American Airlines and then redeem those miles on Etihad.  However, transfers are not instant can can take up to 4 weeks.

Bottom Line

Etihad doesn’t belong to an airline alliance but they partner with 36 airlines.

You can use Etihad miles to fly on partner airlines.  Or you can use partner miles, like American Airlines miles, to fly on Etihad.

It’s easier to book award tickets on Etihad than on many other airlines.  There are at least 2 seats on every flight from North America.

American Airlines miles are the best miles to use on Etihad because you pay less miles and no fuel surcharges.

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31 responses to “The Ultimate Guide to Etihad Miles: Part 1 – Where You Can Fly on Etihad

  1. I will soon be flying Etihad JFK-AUH, then AUH-Moscow and later on, AUH-Istanbul. These are 2 great routes.

  2. Perfect timing. Ive been raking up AA miles for a trip to UAE and i can never find good routing on AA. looking forward to the next few posts on how to get those direct flights from the US!

  3. Does Etihad release more space or any last minute space to its own members which is not available to partners?

  4. I usually need 3 seats so having only 2 in business class isn’t very encouraging. A 13 hour flight from Chicago in coach would not be fun. 🙁

  5. I looked around just for information purposes and I have a hard time finding anything that isn’t “sold out” and the few times I do find that, even from LA it doesn’t have anything listed in GuestSeats but instead all the open seats are Openseat, will AA not book a seat on a plane if there isn’t a “guest business” isn’t open?

  6. Is there a way to travel to Asia from US on Etihad using AA miles?

  7. Does Etihad award availability appear automatically on AA when searching for a route or is this something we have to search elsewhere and then call AA to book?

    • @pssteve – Not in my previous experience.

      @Mike – AA will book only the “GuestSeats”

      @ Adam – Depends on where in Asia.

      @ cyclops – You have to search on the Etihad website and then call American Airlines to book the award.

  8. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Etihad Airways - Part 3: How to Find Etihad Award Seats | Million Mile Secrets

  9. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Etihad Airways: Part 2 - Using American Airlines Miles on Etihad | Million Mile Secrets

  10. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Etihad Airways: Part 4 - Using KVS to Find Award Seats | Million Mile Secrets

  11. D-

    I am trying to book Etihad first class to India for 2 adults in Feb-June 2015 range. Can’t find any award availability. Is there anything that I am missing? Could use some help. Thx.

  12. If I book an Etihad airlines flight via American Airlines (a paying non-award flight), can I accrue Alaska Airlines points as they are a partner with American? Thanks.

  13. Since AA allows only transatlantic routing from North America to India Subcontinent, does that mean Etihad awards can’t be used to travel to India from USA? Any suggestions on how we can get around it. Thanks

  14. So is it possible to book an Etihad award from Colombo, Sri Lanka to DC?

  15. So does that mean i can’t book 4 award business class tickets for my family when i have the miles?

  16. So does that mean i can’t book 4 award business class tickets for my family when i have the miles?

  17. If I understand correctly, if you fly on Etihad, you should still put your AA number?

  18. I’ve got 2 sets of Etihad flights booked from the 12/24 “sale”… is there a way to use miles to upgrade them???

  19. Hi! I have a Chase Saphire, which has a 1-to-1 points transfer with BA. Since BA and AA are code-share, is it reasonable to assume that I could transfer my Chase UR points to BA and then book a flight on Etihad through AA, as you’ve described? Are there any other options for this scenario that I’m not considering?

    Thanks!
    D

  20. Hi! Can I alternatively book Etihad’s First class using AA miles from India to the USA?

  21. Hi! I’m trying to book a flight from the US(Chicago) to Thailand(Phuket) business/first on American Airlines using Etihad. Is this possible? If so, how can I book this?

  22. You said “And you can redeem Etihad miles on those partners!” near the top. I am thinking about transferring MR points into miles to Etihad. In this scenario, how would I use these Etihad points on say an AA flight? It looks like Etihad only flies from US-Middle East, not Europe

  23. @Stephen – Thank you for reading and commenting! Here’s a recent post that might help answer your question: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/04/19/etihad-is-the-newest-amex-membership-rewards-transfer-partner-save-miles-on-flights-in-the-us-to-europe-and-asia/

    Hope that helps you find the information you’re looking for!

  24. Million Mile,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have read that article a few times now. My confusion comes in that I don’t see the question addressed in that page really. I am wanting to fly US to Europe roundtrip. I see that Etihad doesn’t do that, but if I have Etihad miles, can I use a “partner” – AA, to use the Etihad miles to go from the US – Europe. It is addressed many times that you can use AA miles to fly Etihad. I’m just trying to find somewhere that I can fly US – Europe with minimal fuel surcharges for award flights.

  25. @Stephen – Yes, you can use Etihad miles to book award flights on American Airlines.

    Here is the award chart: http://www.etihadguest.com/Documents/Etihad%20Guest/member%20benefits/American-Airlines-redemption.pdf

    The prices from North America to Europe are in the first box after you click the link.

    You can transfer your AMEX Membership Rewards points directly to Etihad at a 1:1 ratio, but you must call Etihad at 888-838-8443 to book an award seat on a partner airline.

    Let us know if you end up booking a ticket!

  26. Million Mile,

    Thank you again for the reply. Etihad has a bonus through mid-June for 30% extra miles for AMEX points transfers. Is there a listing for what Etihad surcharges are anywhere? And so once I transfer these miles to Etihad, I would just have to call Etihad to book?

  27. @Stephen – Not that I know of. Your best bet is to call Etihad and ask.

    Yes, you must call Etihad to book a partner award ticket.

  28. Thanks for your article! I’m really curious about when flying on AA Etihad codeshare, can you use AA miles to upgrade on an Etihad plane if it’s ticketed as AA? Where can I find more info on this? Thanks!!