Etihad Guest evaporates all value from Jet Airways’ domestic economy redemptions

Good things do come to an end, sometimes very soon. For a year or so, there was an arbitrage available for people who could earn Etihad miles and redeem them on Jet Airways. On all routes, they were offering the same inventory as offered by JetPrivilege, at significantly lower number of miles required. This was true for domestic as well as international routes, and I recently wrote about it again. For instance, I could book BOM-DEL tickets for 5660 Etihad miles as compared to 8500 JP Miles, at similar taxes. The only limitation, you can’t get a refund of your miles if you cancel, and you can’t book inside a 14 day window to travel.

Now, I received a tip from reader Krishna Kumar today, where he said:

AJ,

NOT SO HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN..!

I got trapped with my Etihad Miles.

Spoke to Etihad Guest.. From 25 June they changed 9WIndia redemption Chart. Now Del- Bom in Economy is 8550 one way.Del- Pune 9000 +

The inventory is half of what you see on JP website. So if JP shows 2 seats, Etihad can give you only one.

Ruined my weekend…

I quickly hopped across to the Etihad website, to find the new JP redemption chart which came in effect yesterday. And the changes were drastic. For instance, I remember having helped my fiancée to have booked a ticket between Mumbai and Lucknow (and back) recently, and each sector in Economy costed 5660 EY miles. Now, this went up to 9550 EY miles, about 12% more than Jet Airways’ own JetPrivilege. BOM-GOI, which was about 1800 EY miles sees a sharp increase to 5550 EY miles, as compared to 5000 JP Miles on the same route. There is a minimum floor of 4550 EY miles now, and no sectors are available below this mileage value.

On the other hand, they make 9W business look cheap now. For instance, Mumbai – Delhi on EY for business class is now 10550 miles, which is significantly cheaper than Jet Airways’ own redemptions at 17000 JP Miles.

Inventory limited to 1/2 of JetPrivilege inventory

I’ve not validated this personally, but KK also reports that if JP will offer 2 seats, then EY will only offer 1 seat out of those. This clearly is a redeeming factor to bring JetPrivilege back as the favourite for those who used EY and JP miles both.

Value for international redemptions holds up well

The good part about this, at least for the time being, is that the International redemptions hold close to the earlier levels.

Pulling the rug from under our feet

The worst part of such a devaluation is almost always the lack of notice. The program decided to change to a new chart abruptly, and there is really nothing we can do about it. On the other hand, Etihad prominently displays on their own website a change coming to Etihad Guest on July 4, 2015. This is the kind of stuff that customers don’t appreciate, but also reminds us that we should earn and burn rather than stockpile our miles forever.

What is your reaction to the devaluation by Etihad Guest? I’m certainly heartbroken! It was darn good while it lasted.

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Comments

  1. Etihad Refuses to allow redemptions on any flight that is operated by Jet Connect. They have a mentioned Mumbai – Rajkot and Bangalore – Rajkot in their redemption table. But they refuse to redeem any tickets on that sector because all flights on that sector are operated by Jet Connect. Infact all flights in and out of Rajkot are operated by Jet Connect. So why was the sector mentioned in the redemption table?? They had no reply, other than a sorry. I transferred 20000 Miles from my Credit Card to book this sector. Now I have no option but to use it else where.

    • @Mihir, their T&C clearly state that codeshare flights are not allowed to be booked for redemptions. Unfortunately they can’t do much about it till Jet is able to take this flight on their own metal. I hope you find other sectors to use your miles.

  2. Oh! brother where art Thou?

    Missing your blogs.

    Hope everything is OK, and you are just very busy.

    If not, Remember this to will pass.

  3. Well its not only getting worst on Etihad… today was trying to see if I can book redemption tickets on jet airways website itself and it wasn’t working at all from different browsers…please have a look and let me know how to book the same…. FYI I have already booked more than 50 tickets on jet airways.com in the past…..so I do know how to book ….also I have booked jet airways tickets on Etihad sad to see now it will cost more….I have 120,000 miles on Etihad….

  4. The chart is poorly designed. Most people would look at destinations and then the points needed rather than comb through all the cities to find their trip. Blr Del is still cheaper at 11550 than the 12000 on Jet metal or 14000 on AI . At 13550 for business class its cheaper than AI economy.

  5. I do not mean to sound mean, but Jet has never truly been serious about being loyal to its loyal customers. I am sure Etihad wanted to just boost its Indian FFP base by using these bait and switch tactics. First with Citibank Prestige and now with 9W redemption.

    In the future, IMHO, it would behoove you to be absolutely sure before recommending any EY and 9W product. You should not suffer their fickleness.

  6. And I just got myself a citibank prestige card for the sole reason that I could convert my points to Etihad miles and redeem from there for my jet flights!!

    Hope business class doesn’t become more expensive

  7. Very disappointing as a Frequent Flyer member but as an Airline they cant even give it for a loss.
    The people(thats me) who had to misuse it have already misused the privilege.The overall trip would cost cheaper than a train journey in case you consider a Rupee for a mile.
    Though no one can ever understand how disappointed i am(from within), but yet its fine.
    There will be a NEXT time for sure.

  8. IT SEEMS MORE SENSE TO USE JET & ETIHAD MILES VICEVERSA FOR REDEMPTION .i.e using jet miles for travel on etihad and etihad miles for jet , mainly for business class.

  9. That’s a massive change. PNQ-BOM (and back) where at sweet 601 miles against the whopping 4550. Extremely disappointed.

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