Best Ways To Book Etihad Business Class with Points and Miles [Step-by-Step]

Etihad Business Class Bed

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While Etihad is famous for The Apartments, we shouldn’t forget the excellent business class product they also offer.

Business class is a great way to experience Etihad’s amazing service. You’ll get a lie-flat seat with direct aisle access, and you’ll even have an in-flight lounge to enjoy when flying one of their Airbus A380s.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes Etihad one of the world’s best airlines, and learn how to book this fantastic business class product using miles.

A Look Inside Etihad Business Class

One of the most important aspects of business class is a comfortable lie-flat seat. Etihad business class definitely comes through on that front, but they take it a step further.

All business class seats on their wide-body aircraft provide direct aisle access.

Etihad Business Class
Relax in your lie-flat business class seat with Etihad. Image courtesy of airlinereporter.com.

You might be wondering why this is so important. A lie-flat seat is great so you can sleep more comfortably on those long-haul flights. However, without direct aisle access, there are some possible downsides.

Either the person sitting next to you will have to climb over you, or you will have to climb over them if one of you is sleeping. Not exactly convenient if one of you wants to talk a short walk or use the restroom!

Etihad A380 Lobby
Have a drink or snack in the in-flight lounge and meet your fellow premium cabin passengers.

If you’re on one of Etihad’s A380s, you can wander up to the in-flight lounge. If you want a snack, a drink, or just to chat with your fellow business class (and first class) passengers, this is the place to be.

With Etihad’s on-demand dining, you’ll also be able to choose whatever you want from the menu and when you want to have your meal. If you’re hungry at the beginning of the flight, go ahead and order. If you’d prefer to get settled or take nap first, they’ll be happy to serve you a bit later.

Of course, the fun doesn’t just start on the plane – it starts long before that!

Once at the airport, you’ll have lounge access where you can enjoy Etihad’s excellent catering and your choice of beer, wine, or liquor. When flying business class, you’ll want to get to the airport early so you have the chance to relax in the lounge for a bit.

If you aren’t departing from Etihad’s hub in Abu Dhabi, you’ll still have access to their partner lounges at airports around the world.

How To Book Etihad Business Class

Okay, enough about what you’ll get on this amazing flight. Let’s talk about how you can book this experience with your miles and points.

Etihad Guest

On Etihad’s website, you can estimate how many miles would be required to fly in business class. Image courtesy of etihadguest.com

If you’re looking for the easiest possible way to book this flight, look no further than Etihad’s own frequent flyer program, Etihad Guest. It is the only award program that allows you to book Etihad award flights online.

Follow these steps to book your flight:

  1. Go to Etihad
  2. Select your route, travel dates, and class of service
  3. You will be prompted to log in
  4. Select your desired flight
    • You want to find Guest Business award space (otherwise you will be overpaying)
  5. Review the mileage cost and the taxes/fees
  6. Complete your business class booking

Here are some great example routes:

  1. New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop one-way for 100,002 Etihad miles + ~$30 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s A380 Business Studio (best Etihad business class product) 
  2. Los Angeles (LAX) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop round-trip for 227,497 Etihad miles + ~$97 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s 777 Business Class
  3. Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop round-trip for 199,997 Etihad miles + ~$30 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s 777 Business Class
  4. Washington D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop round-trip for 240,000 Etihad miles + ~$97 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s 777 Business Class

Etihad has partnerships with several transferable credit card points programs if you need more miles in your Etihad Guest account. American Express Membership Rewards points and Citi ThankYou Points both transfer to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.

Transfers from Membership Rewards are the quickest, as they usually occur almost instantly. Citi ThankYou Points can take up to a week to hit your Etihad Guest account once transferred.

Hot Tip: Check out our Transfer Partner Calculator. It’s an easy way to determine how many points you’ll need for your next flight award!

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great options for redeeming your Etihad Guest miles!

Asiana Airlines Mileage Club

You can fly to the Middle East on Etihad Airways using Asiana Miles for some great prices! Image courtesy of flyasiana.com

Asiana Airlines provides the cheapest way to book Etihad Business Class, especially with ANA award flights on Etihad being suspended indefinitely.

For a one-way ticket to Abu Dhabi, you are going to be paying 60,000 miles (150,000 Marriott points) in business class or 120,000 miles (300,000 Marriott points, which gets you 125,000 Asiana miles) round-trip.

Unfortunately, Asiana Airlines only has two ways to earn miles:

  1. Transfer Marriott points to Asiana at a ratio of 60,000 Marriott points:25,000 Asiana miles. This includes the bonus 5,000 Asiana miles you will receive for transferring 60,000 Marriott points
  2. Earn Asiana miles directly from the Bank of America co-branded credit card offering

Also, keep in mind that transferring Marriott points to Asiana can take anywhere from 24 hours to a week. Be prepared for a time delay in transferring points!

If you have plenty of Marriott points or Asiana miles, follow these steps to book your Etihad Business class flights:

  1. Go to Etihad Guest’s website
  2. Select your route, travel dates, and business class
  3. Log in using your e-mail and password. For security purposes, you may also receive a one-time password when attempting to log in, so check your e-mail and enter the one-time password to finish logging in.
  4. Select your desired flight
    • You want to find Guest Business award space (otherwise you will be overpaying)
  5. Review the mileage cost and the taxes/fees
  6. Call Asiana Club at 1-800-227-4262 which is open 08:30-17:30 PT Monday to Friday and ask to hold the award reservation for up to 72 hours before transferring your Marriott points.
    • If the representative is not willing to do so, hang up and call again. You should be able to reach a representative that can hold it for you.

Here are some great example routes:

  1. New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop one-way for 60,000 Asiana miles + ~$30 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s A380 Business Studio (best Etihad business class product) 
  2. Los Angeles (LAX) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop round-trip for 120,000 Asiana miles + ~$97 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s 777 Business Class
  3. Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop one-way for 60,000 Asiana miles + ~$30 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s 777 Business Class
  4. Washington D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) non-stop round-trip for 120,000 Asiana miles + ~$97 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s 777 Business Class

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines Partner Award Chart
American AAdvantage miles are one of the most popular wasy to book flights on Etihad Airways.

Once the go-to program for booking Etihad awards, the American Airlines AAdvantage program devalued their award chart and raised award prices in early 2016.

American’s AAdvantage program is still one of the easiest to use for booking Etihad business class. American miles are also quite easy to acquire.

Unlike the Etihad Guest program, American requires you to book Etihad flights over the phone.

If you follow the steps below, this should still be an easy booking process for you.

  1. Visit Etihad’s website
  2. Select your route, travel dates, and class of service
  3. Find Guest Business award space
    • To book with American miles, you must find Guest Business availability on Etihad’s site
  4. Note the flight number, date, and time
  5. Call American Airlines’ Australian call center
  6. Ask them to search for Etihad business class award space
    • You might have to provide the flight number
  7. Once they find the space, ask them to put the award on hold
    • Holds last 5 days
  8. Call the U.S.-based American Airlines call center to complete your booking

American AAdvantage offers many options for award flights, so be sure to look around for ideas.

Other Options For Booking Etihad

You can also book Etihad business class with Korean Air SkyPass, ANA Mileage Club, and Asiana Club.

Note: on December 8, 2017, ANA suspended some awards on Etihad. Supposedly, codeshare routes can currently be booked. Unfortunately, these codeshare routes are few and few between; they are typically just regional flights within Europe and Middle East. There has been no subsequent updated on if/when full awards will resume.

Great Etihad Business Class Redemptions

Etihad A380
Try flying business class on Etihad’s Airbus A380. Image courtesy of traveller.com.au.

American Airlines often has better redemption rates than Etihad Guest. But depending on the transferable points you have, Etihad Guest can be a great option for booking business class as well.

Give these routes a look if you want to try Etihad business class:

  • New York City (JFK) to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 60,000 Asiana miles, 70,000 American AAdvantage miles, or 100,002 Etihad Guest miles
  • Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 60,000 Asiana miles, 70,000 American AAdvantage miles, or 113,749 Etihad Guest miles
  • London to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 30,000 Asiana miles, 42,500 American AAdvantage miles, or 62,501 Etihad Guest miles
  • Sydney to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 82,500 Asiana miles, 80,000 American AAdvantage miles, or 99,999 Etihad Guest miles

How To Earn Enough Miles for Etihad Business Class

Etihad Guest miles can be transferred American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You Rewards (both at a rate of 1:1) or from Marriott at a transfer rate of 3:1.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

Recommended Citi Cards

Recommended Marriott-SPG Cards

When Should You Search For Award Space?

Start looking for business class award space as soon as you know the routes you want to fly and what days you are free to fly them.

Award space can open up more than 300 days prior to departure, or come available in the last couple weeks before departure. For this reason, it’s best to check Etihad’s site regularly if you don’t see space during your first search.

What Do You Get With Etihad Business Class?

We already went over some of the great aspects of Etihad business class, but let’s go a little deeper.

Etihad Premium Lounge

Etihad Premier Lounge Melbourne
When flying out of Melbourne, you can enjoy Etihad’s Premier Lounge. Image courtesy of etihad.com.

In Abu Dhabi, you will have access to the Etihad Premium Lounge, which includes an international buffet so you can enjoy a nice meal while you wait for your business class flight.

Etihad also provides a first and business class lounge at 9 other airports: Dublin, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, New York (JFK), Paris, Sydney, and Washington, D.C.

If you’re using another airport, Etihad has partnered with business class lounges all over the world to make your trip more enjoyable.

Business Class Catering

From the meals in the business class lounge to the meals you’ll enjoy on your flight, you will always be well-fed when flying business class.

Like Etihad first class, business class also provides an on-demand dining service. Just check out the menu, decide what you want to eat, and let your flight attendant know what you’d like and when you’d like to have it.

Etihad In-Flight Lounge

Sometimes you just wish you could do more than walk up and down the aisle during a long flight. Well, Etihad has you covered. When you fly business class on their Airbus A380, you’ll have access to an in-flight lounge.

Between the first and business class cabins, you can have a snack and a drink (or perhaps some a nice wine) while you mingle with your fellow premium cabin passengers.

Final Thoughts

Etihad always earns high praise, and their business class experience is one of the reasons why. If you’re looking for an awesome business class product, Etihad provides just that.

There are several ways to earn the necessary points to book this ticket, making the experience accessible to just about anyone. The next time you’re flying through the Middle East, give Etihad a look. You won’t regret it!

FAQ

What is the best way to book Etihad business class?
The Etihad Guest program provides the easiest way to book Etihad award flights. Unlike other award programs, you can book online.

While you can’t book online with American miles, they also offer a valuable way to book Etihad business class.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly Etihad business class?
Etihad miles can be earned through the American Express Membership Rewards or the Citi ThankYou Rewards.

What do I get when flying Etihad business class?
Etihad’s business class product provides a great lie-flat seat with direct aisle access. You can also enjoy their dine-on-demand service so you can eat when you are hungry.

Don’t forget to meet some of your fellow premium cabin passengers at the in-flight lounge when you fly business class on Etihad’s Airbus A380.

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