The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® 60,000 mile offer has expired. Check out the current best credit card offers here.
Etihad First Class Apartment on the A380 currently has tons of availability between London and Abu Dhabi in April and May of 2017.
This post is aimed at all the readers out there based in the United Kingdom. However, that is not to say this award space isn’t useful for those of you based in the United States as a part of an extended or around the world trip.
You can fly Etihad First Class from London to Abu Dhabi for 62,500 American Airlines miles. As long as you pick award space on an A380, your First Class seat will be enclosed in a suite with its own couch, flat screen TV, vanity unit, and access to a shower, onboard lounge, and bar. The Etihad First Class Apartment on the A380 is the fanciest commercial First Class in the world, which you get to fly for seven and a half hours from London to Abu Dhabi.
Etihad has nine First Class Apartments on its A380s spread across four-and-a-half rows in the front of the upper deck.
I’m going to show you the current picture of award space during two popular months to travel to the United Arab Emirates, when the weather is agreeable: April and May of 2016.
If you want to fly in an A380 First Class Apartment, the key is finding a flight on an A380 specifically. Check in the aircraft column on the search results of etihad.com.
Let’s look at London to Abu Dhabi first.
Every day on the calendar that is around 88,000 (that’s the price in Etihad Guest miles, not American Airlines miles) has award space in First Class. The Guest First column is the award space that American Airlines miles has access too.
Beginning April 16 and lasting through May, there is First Class award space every day from London Abu Dhabi. There are anywhere from two to three flights a day, some days with two flights on the A380 and some days all three flights are on the A380. Some flights have one seat available and even more flights have two seats available.
There is almost as much First Class space in the opposite direction from Abu Dhabi to London, although it’s not every day like London to Abu Dhabi.
Tips for Award Searches
Find the award space on etihad.com, and call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 to book it, and pay the government taxes on the flights (highlighted above). You won’t pay anything to book over the phone.
Ignore the miles price listed on etihad.com. You will pay 62,500 American Airlines miles instead.
Ignore the cash component listed next to the mileage price. That includes a small fuel surcharge that you will not pay when booking an American Airlines award. You’ll pay the taxes listed above.
American Airlines only has access to award space in the “GuestSeat” column. You’ll notice this space prices around 88,000 Etihad miles. That’s convenient to scan the dates at the top of your award search to see which dates have award space for that price. (Again, you won’t pay that price, but knowing it makes award searching quicker.)
Out of Pocket Costs
American Airlines doesn’t collect fuel surcharges on Etihad award flights, but departing from London will incur expensive departure taxes, making for a total out of pocket cost of 192.75 GBP (roughly 253 USD) for that segment.
To avoid departure taxes and to expand the scope of your trip, you could always use Avios (or transfer your Membership Rewards to Avios with the current 50% transfer bonus) to hop over to a low departure tax city, just choose one that Etihad flies to from Abu Dhabi, and then continue the trip from there. But you won’t be able to fly the A380 First Class Apartment this way, just normal Etihad First Class (which is still a fantastic product, just with a smaller enclosed suite that doesn’t have a couch or vanity).
Luckily the out of pocket cost on the return to London from Abu Dhabi is much lower (24.30 GBP or 32 USD).
There is tons of award space available flying the most luxurious commercial First Class in the world, the Etihad Apartments on the A380, between London and Abu Dhabi during April and May of 2017.
Read Scott’s trip report on his journey in an A380 First Class Suite between Abu Dhabi and New York to learn about all the luxurious details.
If you’re based in the United States and want to take advantage of this award space, here are two ways to earn a lot of American Airlines miles quickly:
- The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® currently comes with 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles and Admirals Club lounge membership after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening the card
- The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select card normally comes with 30,000 American Airlines miles after spending $1,000 in three months, but it’s common to find links for the 50,000 AA mile bonus for spending $3,000 in three months (hat tip Doctor of Credit).