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60 Day Rule for Etihad Awards

Etihad offers a great in-flight experience, whether in business class or their aspirational first class product known as the Apartments. Booking these awards with Etihad Guest miles is seldom good value. But thankfully, Etihad awards can be booked via partners, mainly through American Airlines, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue. Yet there has been some shenanigans going on with Etihad partner availability, including what appears to be a new 60-day rule for Etihad awards. Let's dig into the details.

Etihad Partner Awards

Etihad awards have been bookable through American's AAdvantage and Air Canada's Aeroplan programs for years now. American's pricing has always been a great sweet spot for AAdvantage miles, but the dearth of transfer partners makes AAdvantage miles harder to accumulate.

In contrast, Aeroplan's pricing wasn't as competitive as American's, but Aeroplan points are a lot easier to earn via Air Canada's multiple transfer partners and regular transfer bonuses.

Most recently, Air France/KLM expanded their partnership with Etihad and Flying Blue members can now redeem their miles for Etihad awards. Flying Blue miles are even easier to earn than Aeroplan points since Flying Blue has even more transfer partners than Air Canada. The main downside to Flying Blue is that they do not have access to Etihad first class awards (though we hope this changes in the future).

60-day rule for Etihad awards

Etihad Availability

Finding availability across American, Aeroplan, and Flying Blue had been pretty straightforward for the most part. But that has not been the case as of late.

Etihad award availability essentially dried up on American and Aeroplan for most of 2023. Thankfully, Etihad awards are back to showing up on American, but it looks like things have changed. OMAAT has done some digging and has noticed that there appears to be a new 60-day rule for Etihad awards on American.

Basically, it appears that American AAdvantage has access to Etihad availability for business class and first class only within 60 days of departure. For example, here is availability from New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) for February (what little availability there is all falls within 60 days of departure):

60-day rule for Etihad awards

This new 60-day rule for Etihad awards is similar to the approach for booking Lufthansa first class, where Lufthansa only releases first class availability to partners within 14 days or less prior to departure. The difference here of course is that this 60-day rule appears to be limited to American thus far.

Also, at first glance, Flying Blue's access to Etihad availability appears to match American's. Meanwhile, Aeroplan continues to not display any Etihad business class or first class availability on its website. It's unclear what is going with Aeroplan's access to Etihad award availability for premium cabin. But the complete lack of premium cabin availability on Aeroplan's website has been frustrating.

60-Day Rule for Etihad Awards: ToP Thoughts

While this 60-day limitation is not really a positive development, it's nice to at least see American having access to Etihad premium cabin availability again. Having some sort of timing limitation is not all that surprising since the A380 Apartments is one of the most niche and exclusive products in commercial aviation. Now if only we could get some answers on the Aeroplan front…

H/T OMAAT

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