Don’t Transfer Marriott Points to Etihad Guest

Have you also been Bonvoyed? Thanks to reader Vince, who shared in a comment below the site www.bonvoyed.com. It was created by people like us so we can share our grievances in the hopes that perhaps someone from Marriott may decide to give a $h1t.

Warning: If you're considering a points transfer to utilize one of the various mileage sweetspots of the Etihad Guest loyalty program, don't pick Marriott Rewards for the job.

Confessions of Delinquent Miles & Points Collectors: Part II

Welcome to Part II of a three part series about why and how Amy M. Gardner and Keith R. Sbiral planned a heavily subsidized 10 week round-the-world trip to 15 countries, thanks to the power of miles and points. We hope you take this story as inspiration to travel more! Check out Amy and Keith's content and beautiful photography featured on their blog Red Dot Blue Dot, which you'll learn was of central importance on this journey.

This post focuses on the planning and execution of flights.

Part II: Luxurious Ways to Burn 237,000 American Airlines Miles

Right now it’s easy to earn a boatload of American Airlines miles quickly.

The Trigger Happy Advice I Thankfully Thought to Retract

At the end of February I traveled to Rio de Janeiro and Buzios, Brazil. I'm a huge fan of Brazil and have traveled it more than any other country. The image above is from Buzios.

Using a sweetspot on the Etihad award chart, I flew roundtrip between Buenos Aires and Rio on Brazilian airline GOL for 18,000 Membership Rewards + taxes. Cash tickets are notoriously expensive between the two cities, so the value per point I got was over three cents.

Aussie AAdvantage Office No Longer Seeing Etihad Award Space

It looks as though the longstanding workaround to booking American Airlines awards flying Etihad--calling the Australia/New Zealand reservations office--is no longer a workaround. I hope this isn't the case, as redeeming AAdvantage miles to book premium Etihad cabins to the Middle East and on to the Indian Sub-continent region is/was one of the best uses of AAdvantage miles.
Background
Booking Etihad premium cabin award space with American Airlines miles has always been a bit tricky.

Award Space on 20k Flights to Europe and South America, 25k to Asia

Recently I updated "You Can Still Book on the Old American Airlines with Alaska or Etihad Miles" with the amazing news that 16 months after American Airlines devalued its award chart, Etihad and Alaska still let you book American Airlines flights at the old rates.

The best rates on the old American Airlines chart were off peak awards.

You Can Still Book on Old American Airlines Chart with Alaska or Etihad Miles

Still alive 16 months later. How long will it last?

On March 22, 2016, the American Airlines devaluation struck.

However, you can still book American Airlines flight at the old prices if you use Alaska or Etihad miles.

Etihad Ends San Francisco Route as of October 29

Etihad currently flies to six cities in the United States from its hub Abu Dhabi:

Chicago
Dallas
Los Angeles
New York City (JFK)
San Francisco
Washington, D.C. (IAD)

October 28, 2017 is the last day Etihad will fly between Abu Dhabi and San Francisco. The new route network between Abu Dhabi and the US as of October 29 is pictured above.

This is not great news for those living on the west coast that want to fly Etihad as it decreases the overall amount of award space available.

10% Transfer Bonus from ThankYou Points to Etihad

Citi is offering a 10% transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou Points to Eithad Guest through July 5, 2017.

If you have ThankYou Points earned by a Citi Prestige, Citi ThankYou Premier, or Citi Chairman card, then you can transfer ThankYou points to Citi's airline partners and are therefore eligible for the transfer bonus.
Using Etihad Miles for Etihad Flights
Etihad Guest Miles aren’t very good for booking First Class on the Etihad A380.

For instance, Etihad would charge 88,048 Etihad miles + $183 to book Abu Dhabi to London in First Class on the Etihad A380. 

During the transfer

Anatomy of an Award: Buenos Aires to São Paulo for 9k Points

A few months ago I booked Iberia Business Class from São Paulo to Madrid with 42,500 Avios because of the great mileage price tag and the lack of fuel surcharges departing from Brazil where fuel surcharges are illegal. This left a hole in my itinerary between Buenos Aires and São Paulo.

Here’s an index to give my whole travel experience from Argentina to Spain some cohesion.