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

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

Million Mile SecretsThe Ultimate Guide to Etihad Miles: Part 1 – Where You Can Fly on EtihadMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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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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!!

@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.

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?

@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!

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.

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