One of the USPs for Etihad is to have Abu Dhabi airport as their home airport. Actually, they go hand in hand. Back in 2013, they managed to get approval for a Customs & Border Protection outpost from the USA, commonly known as preclearance. What this means is that the immigration & passport control formalities for arriving into the USA are completed at Abu Dhabi itself, and you don’t have to wait in a queue for a few hours after you arrive in the USA. I did, and it was a total buzzkill for my Abu Dhabi – JFK First Class flight experience.

Ever since EY acquired a stake in Jet Airways, they’ve been offering a second flight to the USA using Jet’s 77W planes and crew. However, these flights were not offered the pre-clearance service due to the limited working hours of the CBP outpost initially.

Also, as per Lucky at One Mile At A Time, the CBP Pre-clearance experience was not so great initially, however they now seem to have sorted out the kinks.

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However, the good news also is that all Etihad flights to the USA will now be eligible for the CBP clearance. Which means the SFO and JFK departures in the middle of the night as well.

Etihad operates the following flights to the USA from AUH:

  • New York (EY101 & EY103)
  • Chicago (EY151)
  • Washington (EY131)
  • Los Angeles (EY171)
  • Dallas (EY161)
  • San Francisco (EY183)

As Jet Airways’ fast friends, of course, all of the passengers who interline with EY at Abu Dhabi will also get to benefit from the pre-clearance service with effect from January 15, 2015.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

The year started on a not so great note, with Citibank announcing the devaluation of the PremierMiles transfer options. Over the next few days I am hoping to write posts evaluating in brief the options for transferring your PremierMiles, in case you are not happy with the new redemption rates of (2:1).

Let us go straight off the bat with evaluating Etihad Guest. Since Jet Airways pulled out from the redemption options of PremierMiles in 2012, the only option for PremierMiles transfer for flying around India on award tickets was Air India or Kingfisher (since defunct). But Etihad joined the PremierMiles transfer options a while ago, and this seems like a great option to be able to fly in India, considering they own 50.1% of the JetPrivilege program.

I did a post a few weeks ago, where you can see that it makes great sense if you want to redeem tickets for travel around India on Jet Airways. The Etihad redemption chart is much sweeter than the JetPrivilege redemption chart, and as long as you can book 14 days out, you get almost all the sectors on the cheap. For instance, just last week, I made a Lucknow-Mumbai trip for all of about 5600 miles and INR 563 in taxes, while my parents travelled to Delhi from Lucknow for all of about 2000 miles and INR 700 or so in taxes. This gave me an average redemption value of INR 1 or so per mile.

While if I would have booked the same tickets using JetPrivilege, I would have had to spend 8500 miles for LKO-BOM and 5000 miles for LKO-DEL.

Also, on international segments, Etihad’s chart has a much lower redemption rate than Jet Airways. I’m not sure if they charge a fuel surcharge on booking international segments on Jet Airways, but even if they do, it is just like the old days of booking up with Jet Airways where you paid a fuel surcharge. Consider this, while it costs 15000 JPMiles for an AUH-BOM one way on JetPrivilege, it only costs 9500 Etihad Guest miles to redeem on Jet Airways using EY.

Update: A few readers have pointed to me that you cannot redeem for flights which are operating as S2 codeshare still (flights with 4 digit flight numbers such as 9W xxxx). You should be aware of this as well.

And do not forget, with EY, you can book on various other airlines using EY miles as well, such as Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and others. The full list is up on www.etihadguest.com.

My rating is 4.5/5 for Etihad Guest as a transfer partner. The 0.5 I am taking away is for the 14-day limit to be able to book a JP ticket.

What are your thoughts on Etihad Guest as a transfer partner for PremierMiles?

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 19 Comments

Etihad is quickly turning into one of my favourite airline and mileage program as well. Not just a great airline First Class product, they are also part owner of Jet Airways’ frequent flyer program in India, and have some great domestic redemptions on offer. Apart from that, they are partners with Citi PremierMiles and Prestige, which ensures you can get Gold Status as well as miles on tap. Of course, there are bonus offers as well off and on.

And one more generous promotion just came our way. Etihad has announced that if you book your mileage tickets before December 10, 2014, for redemptions on Etihad metal, you get 25% of your mileage back into your account, after the completion of your trip. One of the pre-conditions, is that the member from whose account the mileage is deducted should be one of the members of the travelling party. The maximum number of miles that would be refunded would be 50,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

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Here are the salient Terms & Conditions:

    • This offer is eligible for redemptions on Etihad GuestSeats, OpenSeats, and the Miles portion of the Miles + Cash redemption option.
    • 
This offer is applicable on one way or return flights with Etihad Airways.
    • This offer is valid on all destinations with Etihad Airways irrespective of flight origin.
    • The 25% bonus miles will only be awarded against the value of the miles redeemed. To receive the bonus miles, Etihad Guest members must book their redemption
 flight(s) between November 28th 2014 to December 10th 2014.
    • The Etihad Guest member making the redemption booking must be a passenger 
on this travel itinerary.
    • The bonus miles will only be awarded once the entire journey has been completed by the Etihad Guest member who 
booked the redemption flight.
    • If there is any ticket refund, full or partial, the complete value of the bonus miles will be deducted from the member’s account (taking into 
account the refund amount).
    • All travel must be completed by December 31st, 2015.
    • The maximum number of bonus miles awarded per redemption 
for this promotion is 50,000 Etihad Guest Miles.
    • No black-out dates apply.
    • Etihad Guest reserves the right to change this promotion at any time.

I’ll get back to planning where all I can head out with Etihad now, but you guys need to give this promotion a serious thought. Etihad Guest is not a fully automated program I suspect and it takes time to get things done, for instance aeons to get me 300 miles from a partner. However, this offer has a lot of value in it, and I’ll sure be hoping to use it.

(H.T. euflyer)

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

One of the most attractive award charts out there for travel around India, is that of Etihad Airways, which offers some sweet redemptions on Jet Airways. Check out this PDF here which lists the routes and mileage requirements per sector. I have had the intention to use this chart to book tickets on Jet Airways, […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 18 Comments

One of the key reasons for me to have signed up with the Citi Prestige Credit Card which was launched in India earlier this year, was the plethora of status it comes with in terms of travel. Some of it I need, some of it I don’t. One of the first requests I filed in […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

Etihad Guest is the loyalty program of Etihad Airways, and I am trying to get a hang of it ever since they have been associated with Jet Airways. The thing is, Etihad is not such a great program on its own for mileage earning and burning, because the burn on Etihad’s own flights is dynamic […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 16 Comments

A few days ago, JetPrivilege and Etihad Guest announced that they were going to offer double miles for flights taken across the Etihad Airways network, for flights till December 15, 2014. Now, Jet Airways has initiated a new promotion, where you can get double JP Miles or double Etihad Guest miles for flying on the […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

Etihad is trying to be a prominent player in India, and in this regard, they are working out as hard as they can to get an uptick on traffic from India. Considering they now majorly own the JetPrivilege program, they in a way, JP Miles are also a sort of Etihad currency. Etihad is offering […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

Last year, Etihad completed the purchase of 24% equity stake in Jet Airways, as a part of building its own equity alliance. As a part of the alliance, usually most other airlines enter into a reciprocity with Etihad’s own loyalty program whereby the guests of both programs are granted privileges on each other’s metal. With […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

Etihad offers a Gold Guest status match every now and then, and they are now inviting frequent travellers to sign up for the next round. For those of you who are interested, this round of the status match will be valid for applications received till February 22, 2014. Of course, the requirements are that you […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 4 Comments

Etihad had introduced an opportunity to status match to their Gold tier last year, which I availed of. And they return this year with another opportunity to Status Match Gold tier for Gold tier this year, valid for applications received till June 18, 2013. Existing members of other airlines’ loyalty programmes at a Gold level […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

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