Best Ways To Book Etihad Business Class [Step-by-Step]

Etihad Business Class Bed

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! With some award bookings, you’ll receive chauffeur service to your departure airport. I don’t know about you, but a complimentary ride in an Audi or a Lexus sounds pretty great to me.

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

Etihad Business Class Award
Book your business class flight online with Etihad Guest miles.

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 First award space (otherwise you will be overpaying)
  5. Review the mileage cost and the taxes/fees
  6. Complete your first class booking

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, Citi ThankYou Points, and SPG Starpoints all 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 and SPG Starpoints can take up to a week to hit your Etihad Guest account once transferred.

Remember: When you transfer chunks of 20,000 SPG points, you will receive a 5,000-mile bonus. SPG limits you to transferring 79,999 SPG points to an airline per 24 hours. To ensure you max out the transfer bonus, don’t transfer more than 60,000 points per 24 hours.

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!

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 First award space
    • To book with American miles, you must find Guest First 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

If you need some American miles to complete your booking, consider transferring SPG Starpoints at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers take about 2 days, so American’s 5-day hold policy can be really helpful!

If possible, you should put the flight on hold before transferring your SPG Starpoints.

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 first class with Korean Air SkyPass, ANA Mileage Club, and Asiana Club.

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 70,000 American AAdvantage miles or 88,391 Etihad Guest miles
  • Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 70,000 American AAdvantage miles or 108,076 Etihad Guest miles
  • London to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 42,500 American AAdvantage miles or 65,964 Etihad Guest miles
  • Sydney to Abu Dhabi one-way in business class for 80,000 American AAdvantage miles or 96,827 Etihad Guest miles

How To Earn Enough Miles for Etihad Business Class

Both American Airlines AAdvantage miles and Etihad Guest miles can be earned through the Starwood Preferred Guest program at a 1:1 ratio.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Not Sure?
> Don't Miss These 7 Valuable Card Benefits
> 45 Best Ways To Redeem SPG Points
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Detailed Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Detailed Review

American Express Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info?
> Don't Miss These 18 Valuable Card Benefits
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Card Review
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
  • Card Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Card Review

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Stacked with Benefits
> 41 Benefits You Need To Know About This Card
  • Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Card Review
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

More Info?
> Don't Miss These 11 Valuable Card Benefits
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Card Review
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Card Review

Finally, Citi ThankYou Points can be transferred to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio as well.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Citi Prestige® Card
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Detailed Review
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
  • 3 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on Travel, including Gas
  • Annual Fee: $95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)
  • Detailed Review

Occasionally, all 3 of these points programs run promotions with Etihad that provide up to a 20% bonus on points transferred to Etihad Guest.

It is really easy to earn Etihad Guest miles in several ways if you want to try their business class product!

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!

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Not Sure?

Don’t miss out on these 7 valuable benefits & perks that you’ll get access to as a cardholder!

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?
If you need to earn American or Etihad miles, you can use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Etihad miles also can be earned through the American Express Membership Rewards Loyalty Program or the Citi ThankYou Rewards Loyalty Program.

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.