Updated January 27th, 2020
Etihad Guest provides a reliable, if otherwise mediocre-value award program. We found award availability on 82.61% of our hypothetical city-pairs/classes. This is actually quite good for a non-US Domestic carrier. The average being only 41.99%. That said, we didn’t find any high-value redemptions, which does place a damper on this award currency’s value.
After all calcs were complete, we ended up with an ACRV of 0.43¢ per Etihad Guest Mile. This represents a 87% increase in value over last year. Attributable primarily to better award availability.
Whenever presenting low’ish valuations, I always like to remind readers what this number means. It’s a discounted average, not a hypothetical best-case. Exact calculation steps are documented on our valuation methodology page.
|Current||Previous Period||$ Change||% Change|
|International Non-Zero Average||0.70¢||0.84¢||-0.14¢||-17%|
The above is likely to be considered the best airline seat in the world. It’s The Residence by Etihad. A multi-room suite with private bathroom facilities. It’s also bookable with points.
For those looking to spend a decade’s worth of points and miles, a $30,000 redemption is entirely possible. Take a look above. For just 3,433,333 Etihad Guest miles, one can fly The Residence New York(JFK) to Sydney(SYD). Of course, this results in a redemption value of only 0.9¢ per mile, but still, it’s The Residence.
Don’t Let the Mileage Calculator Get Your Hopes Up
When logged into Etihad’s award booking portal, you might be temped to use their mileage calculator for a little quick and dirty action. Don’t be tempted. It only returns the minimum number of miles required for a hypothetical award booking. The actual number is likely to be much, much higher.
In addition to flying on Etihad metal, one also has the opportunity to book travel one of their codeshare partners. There’s actually quite a few, with a full list here. But for a minute, let’s just look at the published award chart for flights departing North America on American Airlines.
We’ll admit, it does look promising. However, one must first find award space on an American operated flight(at aa.com or via Experflyer), then call Etihad to book. Also keep in mind, these numbers are hiding potential fees(fuel/taxes/surcharges/etc.).
Back to Reality
As evidenced by the table above, and the chart below, what’s theoretically possible and what’s likely to happen are quite different. This month, our best redemption came from a business class seat between Washington and Beijing offered for 192,556 miles + $339.90. The lowest price cash alternative was $4,922.00, providing a redemption value of 2.38¢ per Etihad Guest mile.
As of publication, Etihad Guest is a partner of Amex, Citi and Capital One. Our advice is to really, really do your homework before transferring one’s valuable Membership Rewards or ThankYou Points. As everyone should know by now, points transfers are one-way. One has the possibility of an amazing redemption on Etihad. However, they’re more likely to end up in the unenviable position of planning a vacation around an award balance.