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

Merry Christmas folks. Sorry, Santa had a lot of places to be last night and he just woke up a while ago. The sales are back in full force, and while I don’t write about each and every sale on my blog, this one looks like it makes the cut.

Jet Airways is back with the first sale for the 2015 season. They are offering domestic Economy tickets at INR 2015 onwards, for travel between 01 February 2015 to September 30, 2015. For Business Class seats, tickets are going at INR 7,999 onwards. Ticket classes on sale are B, O & W for Economy and P for Business, and these are non-refundable tickets. Tickets need to be booked by December 31, 2014. All these tickets earn miles.

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Tickets, of course are being sold for rock bottom prices for long dated inventory. For example, a Mumbai Delhi flight for July next year, is going at INR 2,715 all inclusive, for a flight that will sell at over INR 9,000 as the date of travel closes in.

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For International flights, tickets are available on Jet Airways as well as Etihad network, with an upto 25% discount for travel in First, Business as well as Economy class. Tickets for travel after February 1, 2015 will get this discount, and while the Economy tickets are non-refundable, the Business Class and First Class tickets are refundable at INR 10,000 each. Date changes are permitted at INR 5,000 each.

The promotion is also available on portals such as Makemytrip, Musafir and Yatra.com.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

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, but never had any sectors to try it out on, since revenue tickets are usually cheap enough. Recently, however, I was in a situation where I needed to book up family for an up coming trip, and revenue tickets were expensive, and this was the perfect time to try out this method.

I call the Etihad award chart sweet, because it has some real gems in terms of redemption values. For instance, a Lucknow-Mumbai one way economy class redemption, which costs 8,500 JPMiles or 9,500 Air India miles for travel on the respective airlines (apart from taxes on both airlines), comes out at 5660 Etihad Guest Miles for a one way economy ticket, and only taxes need to be paid, so you come out ahead in terms of the number of miles required.

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How do you look up for tickets?

The easiest way to look for award inventory is to look up on the JetPrivilege site to see if award inventory exists on your particular route, and you will be able to find out the flights there itself. In my limited experience so far, availability for Etihad Guest members matches the availability for JP’s own members.

Call up Etihad Guest to book your tickets

With Etihad, you can’t book tickets online for your Jet Airways redemption seats, hence you need to call them in. In my case, I asked the agent for available flights on the sector required, and it turned out to be the same as the one I had checked on the JP website earlier. So, I gave them the name of the passengers, which enabled them to create the PNR. I was subsequently informed about the mileage requirements and the amount of taxes I had to pay, which again matched the Jet amount, or was rather slightly lesser than that.

Etihad duly sent me a copy of the PNR, and informed me that I would receive a callback to collect the taxes on my credit card and issue the tickets. While the call did not come in the 1 hour period promised, it did come a few hours later and I gave them all the details for my credit card and they were able to charge it and issue the tickets for me.

Watch out for these

You can only book tickets 14 days or more out for flights on Jet Airways. Yesterday, I tried booking a redemption for next week, and Etihad declined my request. Also, tickets booked are non-refundable, so you forfeit your miles in case you can’t travel on those tickets. You can change dates of course, subject to availability. For the first date change, it is free. For the second date change onwards, you need to pay 100 UAE Dirhams per passenger to get it executed.

So, only try this as long as you have a great amount of certainty that your plans won’t change, and you would be able to land a great deal on some award tickets for yourself.

Do remember, Etihad Guest is a transfer partner with Citibank (Prestige & PremierMiles) and American Express in India, and if you complete a transfer by 30 Nov 2014 to Etihad Guest, you get a bonus from Etihad.

I fid this to be a great way to use Etihad Guest miles. Have you booked any tickets on 9W with your EY miles yet? Do share your experiences here.

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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

Etihad has been undergoing a secret makeover for months, but they don’t make a secret of it when they are ready. As a 11-year young airline, I really love their luxury product in the First Class, however, they’ve been upping the game with their new cabin products, including the Residence which they will launch on […]

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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 has been silent for the longest time on a cabin refresh, and yesterday, they shared details of what could be the most luxurious products in the air. Stay with me, they are creating, Apartments and full Residences in the air. Also Studios. The Suites class product is a few year old, and Etihad has […]

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Not so long ago in January 2014, the US Customs & Border Patrol Pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi was established. Now, Etihad put up a new short and sweet video on their website to show how it works (no wonders here). The details are however more interesting. Etihad now operates multiple flights to the USA. […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 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

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