Etihad Guest status will now be valid for 1 year only

Etihad Airways has gone about introducing some changes to the Etihad Guest program as of October 8, 2017. Some of these changes are mildly positive, and others not so much.

Etihad Guest

Etihad Guest

First things first, Etihad Guest has changed four things as of October 8, 2017.

October 8, 2017

October 8, 2017

Here is what changed:

  • Tier Validity:  All Etihad Guest Tiers will now have a 1-year validity. Etihad Guest Members who gain Silver, Gold or Platinum Tier status will now have 1 year to enjoy and retain these benefits. This is negative for the Etihad elite members, as they earlier could get status for 2 years instead of one.
  • 500 Welcome Bonus Miles:  Etihad Guest Members whose first flight is with Etihad Airways, Air Serbia or Air Seychelles will continue to receive 500 welcome bonus miles. However, if your first activity is with another partner airline or non-air partner, you will no longer receive the 500 welcome bonus miles. Of course, not a good thing for those who wanted it.
  • Gold Members Lounge Access in Abu Dhabi: Etihad Guest Gold Members flying on Etihad Airways operated flights will be eligible to use the Etihad Airways Business Class Lounge in Terminal 1 and 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Till so far, they could only go to the Al Reem Lounge which is a contract lounge. This is good for EY Golds.
  • Collecting miles on Etihad Airways:  On two Etihad Airways fare classes, EY has increased the number of Etihad Guest Miles being awarded. For fare class “J” in Business will go to 200% and fare class “F” in First will go to 275%. Again, great for paying customers.

There will also be other changes taking effect in January 2018, and I will write a separate post on that later.

What do you make out of the changes that Etihad has effected this week to their frequent flyer program?

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