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:
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.