Book Etihad Apartment with miles
If you read the articles about the amazing Etihad First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi, and what it’s like to fly in the First Class Etihad Apartment, you’ll know you want to try it. Here’s how to get the miles and book it with miles.
Etihad Guest miles transfer partners
You can transfer into Etihad Guest from the following programs at these rates:
- Amex 1 to 1
- Bonvoy 3 to 1
- Hilton 10 to 1
- Hyatt 25 to 1
- Accor 2 to 1
- IHG 5 to 1
- Shangri La 1 to 1
With Bonvoy, if you transfer 60000 points you get an extra 5000 miles, making it more like 2.4 to 1.
Amex MR points could be obtained quite easily by taking out an Amex credit card if you haven’t had one before. Email info [at] toseethe.world if you’d like a referral code to get bonuses on the Platinum card (35k MR points, substantial fee), Gold card (12k MR points, free card), Rewards card (6k bonus, free card), or Bonvoy (33k Bonvoy points, £75 fee).
You could buy some miles if you need to top up your account to reach the target.
You can buy 50000 Bonvoy points each year, which would cost you £625 at the full price.
Buy when there is a bonus offer and it would be less. However, even with a 30% bonus you’d be paying over £580 for 60000 Bonvoy points, exchangeable for 25000 Etihad Guest miles. It would only cost you about £390 ($500) to buy 25000 miles direct from Etihad.
It’s only a good move if you just need a few extra points to reach 60000 and do the transfer.
The £75 fee for the Amex Bonvoy card would get you enough Bonvoy points for 10000 Etihad miles, and the free (in the first year) Amex Gold would get you 12000 Etihad miles.
Buying miles directly at Etihad is still not cheap but ends up cheaper than buying a cash ticket. You can buy 100000 Etihad miles per year. Buying the 88000 miles you would need for a one way from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow would cost you £1365.
You’d need £1179 if you took the Amex Gold to get the first 12000 miles. Of course, it is better to save up Bonvoy or MR points earned from your daily credit card spending.
You’d be spending IHG points worth at least £225 of hotel stays to get 10000 Etihad miles. More like £350 of Hilton points. €200 of Accor points.
As with all things points & miles, watch for bonuses and promos and special offers, let your points and miles build, and suddenly you’ve got enough.
Etihad partner airlines
If you’re ever flying on any of these airlines then you could credit the miles earned to Etihad:
- Air New Zealand
- Air Serbia
- Air Seycheles
- American Airlines
- Asiana Airlines
- Bangkok Airways
- Brussels Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Gulf Air
- Korean Air
- Malaysia Airlines
- Oman Air
- Royal Air Maroc
- SirLankan Airlines
- Virgin Australia
The Etihad chauffeur
The chauffeur is no longer available for award tickets unless you have Gold or higher in the Etihad Guest program.
How to book Etihad Apartment with miles
You book online at Etihad Guest. Enter your origin and destination, choose first class, select dates, and search. It’s likely you’ll want to book one way so remember to pick that option too.
You’re looking for a “GuestSeat“. The “OpenSeat” tickets have much more availability but also a much higher cost.
One way from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Heathrow (LHR) in the Apartment will be just under half a million miles for an OpenSeat.
By the way, if you fancy the residence, you’ll need 2.2 million miles….
Cash prices for the Apartment are typically about £5000. It’s £15000 for the Residence. The Apartment was £9000 on my chosen dates when I booked.
A GuestSeat ticket for the Apartment from AUH to LHR is 88048 miles and about £180 of tax, so that’s what you’re looking for.
You will need to be a little flexible but as long as you’re not trying to book last minute then it is quite easy to find availability.
Flying from LHR to AUH will cost the same miles but £370 in tax, and you won’t get to try Etihad’s excellent first class lounge at AUH.
Some other destinations (approx):
- Paris 85k
- Sydney 136k
- Singapore 99k
- JFK 136k
You will need to be a bit more flexible if you’re picky about seats, but it’s usually not too hard to find availability for the seats you want. I think the best seats are 4A and 4K – forward facing, seats by the window, 3 windows instead of 1 – and as long as you can adjust your dates by a few days you’ll find it.
Is it worth it? See the smile on my face? The smug satisfaction? It lasted for weeks.