Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Using Etihad miles, you can book award flights on American Airlines at a big discount! And remember, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points, Citi ThankYou points, and Starwood points to Etihad!
But you’ll have to be flexible, because award seats can be tricky to find.
Folks were disappointed when American Airlines changed their award chart and started charging more for certain award flights.
Via View From The Wing, there’s a way to book award flights on American Airlines using the old award pricing. This could help folks who were disappointed when American Airlines changed their award chart.
I’ll explain how to book award flights on American Airlines using Etihad miles!
Book American Airlines Award Flights for Less!
The new award chart for flights on American Airlines and its airline partners took effect in March 2016. Depending on the route, coach award prices stayed the same or changed very slightly. But Business Class and First Class awards increased significantly!
American Airlines also shortened their timeframes for off-peak travel. For example, off-peak awards to Europe used to be available 7 months of the year, but it’s now only 4 months.
But Etihad still allows you to book award flights on American Airlines using the old American Airlines award chart and off-peak travel dates.
So by booking with Etihad miles, you can save on award flights to certain destinations, especially in Business and First Class! For example:
One-Way Within the Continental US in First Class:
- 50,000 American Airlines miles, or
- 32,500 Etihad miles
One-Way From the US to Australia in Coach:
- 40,000 American Airlines miles, or
- 37,500 Etihad miles
One-Way From the US to Europe in First Class
- 85,000 American Airlines miles, or
- 62,500 Etihad miles
These are just a few examples. You can also save miles on certain flights to Asia, South America, and Canada!
That said, using Etihad miles instead of American Airlines miles is not always easy. There aren’t as many award seats available!
Finding Available Award Seats
It might be cheaper to book award seats using Etihad miles, but it takes patience. Available award seats are extremely limited. There are more available award seats if you use American Airlines miles.
To find available award seats you can either search American Airlines website or call Etihad at 877-690-0767.
The trick to finding available award seats on American Airlines you can book with Etihad miles is to know the correct booking codes.
Sample Coach Award Flight – Los Angeles to London
I searched American Airlines to find one-way coach award tickets from Los Angeles to London in July.
Because the flight details show seats are available under booking code “T,” you can call Etihad to book this flight using Etihad miles. According to the Etihad representative I spoke to, other coach booking codes are NOT eligible for using Etihad miles.
In this example it will cost 30,000 Etihad miles to fly coach from Los Angeles to London. This is the same number of American Airlines miles required, but it’s an alternative if you don’t have American Airlines miles.
Sample Business Class Award Flight – New York (JFK) to London
I checked for Business Class award seats on a one-way August flight from New York (JFK) to London.
Because the flight details show seats are available under booking code “U,” you can call Etihad to book this flight using Etihad miles. Other Business Class booking codes do NOT qualify for using Etihad miles.
In this example it will cost 50,000 Etihad miles to fly Business Class from New York to London. This means you’ll save 7,500 miles instead of using American Airlines miles.
Earn Etihad Miles With Transferable Points Programs
Etihad is an AMEX Membership Rewards airline transfer partner. So you can instantly transfer your AMEX Membership Rewards points to Etihad at a 1:1 ratio. And through June 15, 2016, you’ll receive a 30% bonus when you transfer AMEX Membership Reward points to Etihad.
Or you can use Citi ThankYou points. But remember, Citi ThankYou points transfers can take a few days to appear in your account. If you’re in a rush to book a flight, this might not be the best option.
You can also transfer Starwood points to Etihad. And you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus for every transfer of 20,000 Starwood points! However, Starwood points can take up to 4 weeks to transfer.
If you need more points in these flexible points programs, there are currently some nice sign-up bonuses available including:
- 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points from the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
- 50,000 Citi ThankYou points from the Citi Prestige (my review of the card)
- 25,000 Starwood points from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express cards
If you already have the AMEX Starwood Preferred guest or small business card, you can take advantage of the limited time referral bonus to earn extra Starwood points!
You can save thousands of miles by booking American Airlines award flights using Etihad miles! But available award seats can be hard to find.
To find award seats eligible for using Etihad miles, you can search available award seats on the American Airlines website or call Etihad. To book, call Etihad at 877-690-0767.
Let me know if you’ve booked an American Airlines flight using Etihad miles!