Etihad Award Space is Bookable with American Airlines Miles Again


American Airlines’ non-oneworld partner, Etihad, has fantastic award space to the Middle East, India, and the Maldives. Etihad also features one of the world’s nicest First Class suites and world-class flat beds in business class.

(Since Etihad is not a oneworld airlines, and it is not a US Airways partner, US Airways miles cannot be used to book Etihad flights.)

Etihad award space is not bookable on, so you always have to call American Airlines to book the space. Unfortunately since late May 2014, American Airlines phone agents couldn’t see or book Etihad award space on any routes.

This problem has been resolved. American Airlines agents can now see and book all the award space that Etihad releases to partners.

In general, that’s quite a lot of space since American Airlines is the only American partner of Etihad and Etihad’s space isn’t bookable online, which protects it from non-expert award searchers.

  • How do you search for Etihad award space?
  • Is Etihad reliable about releasing premium cabin award seats?
  • Once you find Etihad seats, how do you book them?

Finding Award Space

The best way to verify bookable Etihad space using AAdvantage miles is on Etihad’s own site.

Start on the Etihad award redemption page.

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As usual, partner airlines only have access to each other’s Saver award space. For American Airlines to have access to Etihad space, a price needs to be displayed in the GuestSeat column, Etihad’s equivalent of Saver space. It doesn’t matter what that price is! Award space in the OpenSeat column is not bookable with American Airlines miles. OpenSeat space is the equivalent of Standard award space.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.06.11 AM

In my experience, Etihad frequently loads two business and two first class seats on their daily flight from Washington-Dulles to Abu Dhabi.

If the date you searched doesn’t have award space, the calendar above the search results can let you know which dates have GuestSeat (Saver) award space.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.06.22 AM

For Washington-Dulles to Abu Dhabi, the GuestSeat price is 114,444 miles. This is not the price American will charge, and its only usefulness is knowing that if that price is displayed on the calendar on, then that date has award space American Airlines can book.

Booking the Award

To book Etihad flights, write down the date, flight number, and cabin of each segment you find with GuestSeat award availability on and call the AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880.

Feed the agent your segments.

The award will price out at 45k/67.5k/90k miles each way between the United States and the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, or the Maldives in economy/business/first. American Airlines will collect government taxes plus a $35 phone booking fee.

For a cheaper award on Etihad, consider First Class between Europe and India for only 40,000 American Airlines miles.


Etihad is an awesome non-oneworld partner and great use of AAdvantage miles. Award space is frequently wide open, and searching its online tool is relatively simple.

American Airlines wasn’t able to book Etihad award space for about one month, but the problem is now resolved. If you want to book Etihad award space but don’t want to handle the details, hire the MileValue Award Booking Service to book your award.

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  1. Can I book from Perth, Australia to USA and back thru Abu Dhabi?
    Or is that against AA routing rules?
    Is the restriction lifted on Qatar flights thru Doha (so can I book Perth-DOH-USA)?
    If both of these restrictions are still in place, do you have any ideas on when they will fall?

    • Both of those would price at USA to Middle East plus Middle East to Australia. Not sure if these restrictions will be lifted in early 2015 when AA/US combine.

  2. Thanks for the info! Do you happen to know if Etihad opens up much last minute award availability in First? I’m currently booked flying Qatar Busines out to MLE, but would love to fly Etihad First – unfortunately not much is available.

  3. Hi Scott,
    We are booked from IAD to AUH on Jan 24, 2016 in First, but for the continuation AUH to MEL only in Business. Is there hope that something in First will open up later before our departure.
    The same goes for our return flights March 12, 2016 SYD to AUH and AUH to IAD, only business class was available, even so I booked as soon as it became available. Apparently no First class seats were opened up on the A380 flight, only business for 2 seats and I got them. Is there any chance Ethiad might open 2 First class seats on the A380 later on?
    Love your posts and your advice – great site with lots of helpful info – thank you.

  4. I have booked a trip for my parents from mumbai to jfk in the Etihad apartments. I would like to know how can I plan the trip, so as to maximize the benefits from the flight. Could you please reply with the details as to how can you maximize the trip? Does Etihad have good vegetarian food selection? how many courses of meal can they get during both the legs of flight?

    hard & soft product- noise-cancelling headphones, pajamas, amenity kit, chauffeur service. what other privileges can they avail etc.?

    how about the food – amuse bouche- (nuts, vegetable chips, olives and mocktail), Champagne Bollinger La Grande Annle andChampagne Duval Leroy Rosé, palate cleanser, Veggie Ala Carte main course, dessert.


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