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 it also offers.

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 inflight lounge to enjoy when flying one of its 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 it takes it a step further.

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

Etihad Airways Airbus A380 Business Studio Seat
Relax in your lie-flat business class seat with Etihad. Image Credit: Greg Stone

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 take a short walk or use the restroom!

Etihad A380 Lobby
Have a drink or snack in the inflight lounge and meet your fellow premium cabin passengers. Image Credit: Etihad

If you’re on one of Etihad’s A380s, you can wander up to the inflight 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, the flight attendants will 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 its 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 miles calculator
On Etihad’s website, you can estimate how many miles would be required to fly in business class. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

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.

Earning Etihad Guest Miles

Etihad Guest has transfer partnerships with American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

You can transfer points from Amex, Citi, or Capital One at a 1:1 ratio, as well as Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio. You’ll get a bonus of 5,000 Etihad Guest miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Transfers from Amex and Citi are almost instant, while Capital One and Marriott Bonvoy take 36 hours and 3 business days, respectively.

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!

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Asiana Airlines Mileage Club

Asiana award chart
You can fly to the Middle East on Etihad Airways using Asiana Miles for some great prices! Image Credit: Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines’ Asiana Club provides an exceptionally cheap way to book Etihad business class.

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

Unfortunately, Asiana Airlines only has 2 ways to earn miles:

  1. Transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana.
  2. Earn Asiana miles directly from the Bank of America co-branded credit card offering (now discontinued).

If you have plenty of Marriott Bonvoy 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 (you may 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. Find your desired flight.
    • You need to find Guest Business award space to redeem Asiana miles.
  5. Review the mileage cost and the taxes/fees.
  6. Call Asiana Club at 800-227-4262 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST Monday to Friday and ask to hold the award reservation before transferring your Marriott Bonvoy 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.
  7. Transfer the points and call Asiana Club to confirm your booking and pay for taxes and fees using a credit card.

Earning Asiana Club Miles

Asiana Airlines is transfer partners with 1 currency: Marriott Bonvoy.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers to Asiana at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 Asiana miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana at once.

It takes approximately 4 business days for Marriott Bonvoy points to transfer to Asiana.

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Bottom Line: Asiana Club often offers the best redemption prices; unfortunately, these miles are difficult to earn with just 1 transfer partner. Still, it might be worth it to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to book an Etihad business class flight.

American Airlines AAdvantage

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

American Airlines’ AAdvantage program is one of the go-to programs to use for booking Etihad business class. AAdvantage miles are also pretty 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 at +61-2-91011948 with Skype or Google Voice.
  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 at 800-882-8880 to complete your booking.

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

Earning American Airlines Miles

Just like Asiana Club, American Airlines AAdvantage’s sole transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy.

Transfers take 2 business days, and Marriott Bonvoy transfers to AAdvantage at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 AAdvantage miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once.

The other way you can easily earn American Airlines miles is through Citi’s or Barclays’ array of co-branded cards.

Hot Tip: Don’t forget to request an award hold for 5 days when redeeming American Airlines miles! This buys you a bit more time if you’re still finalizing your travel plans.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canda Award Chart
Image Credit: Air Canada

Thanks to the neat partnership between Etihad and Air Canada, you can now use your Aeroplan points to fly Etihad business class!

Air Canada also does not pass on carrier-imposed surcharges on any Etihad bookings, making using your Aeroplan points an attractive option.

Aeroplan also allows you to redeem an extra 5,000 points to add a stopover to your booking, which also requires a phone call to book.

Here’s what you need to know to make a booking:

  1. Visit Etihad’s website.
  2. Select your route, travel dates, and class of service.
  3. Find Guest First award space.
  4. Note the flight number, date, and time.
  5. Once you’ve confirmed “Guest” award availability, call Air Canada at 866-689-8080 to book your award if you are also adding a stopover (otherwise, skip to step 6).
  6. Go to the Air Canada website and log into your Aeroplan account.
  7. On the homepage, choose Points in the search box.
  8. Fill in the search box with the information from step 4.
  9. Perform the search, redeem your Aeroplan points, and pay for the taxes and fees using a credit card.

Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points

Air Canada Aeroplan has transfer partnerships with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase, Amex, and Capital One all transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers in around 5 business days at a 3:1 ratio. There’s also a transfer bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan points when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Bottom Line: To book Etihad business class award flights using Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Air Canada Aeroplan gives you the best shot!

Great Etihad Business Class Redemptions

Etihad Airways AIrbus A380 Business Class Cabin Mood Lighting
Try flying business class on Etihad’s Airbus A380. Image Credit: Greg Stone

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.

The best frequent flyer program will also depend on what exact route you’re flying, which is why we’ve built this table that walks you through how much each of the 4 frequent flyer programs charge for some of the most popular Etihad flights:

Route (One-Way)Etihad Miles CostAeroplan Points CostAsiana Miles CostAmerican Airlines Miles Cost
Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)100,000 miles + ~$331-$37185,000 points + ~$5060,000 miles + ~$331-$37170,000 miles + ~$62
Johannesburg (JNB) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)66,250 miles + ~$185-$22345,000 points + ~$5060,000 miles + ~$185-$22355,000 miles + ~$62
London (LHR) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)62,500 miles + ~$234-$51745,000 points + ~$64-$34630,000 miles + ~$185-$452 42,500 miles + ~$62-$346
New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)100,000 miles + ~$331-$37185,000 points + ~$5060,000 miles + ~$331-$37170,000 miles + ~$62
Paris (CDG) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)62,500 miles + ~$18545,000 points + ~$5030,000 miles + ~$185 42,500 miles + ~$62
Seoul (ICN) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)72,500 miles + ~$175-$18360,000 points + ~$5060,000 + miles + ~$175-$18340,000 miles + ~$62
Sydney (SYD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)100,000 miles + ~$68-$356100,000 points + ~$5082,500 miles + ~$68-$35680,000 miles + ~$62
Tokyo (NRT) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)86,250 miles + ~$18580,000 points + ~$5060,000 + miles + ~$18540,000 miles + ~$62
Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)120,000 miles + ~$331-$37185,000 points + ~$5060,000 miles + ~$331-$37170,000 miles + ~$62
Zurich (ZRH) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)62,500 miles + ~$18545,000 points + ~$5030,000 miles + ~$185 42,500 miles + ~$62

Here are some impressive redemptions you can book to try Etihad business class:

  • Abu Dhabi (AUH) – London (LHR) one-way in Etihad business class for 30,000 Asiana miles + ~$185 in taxes and fees
  • Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 85,000 Aeroplan points + ~$50 in taxes and fees
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 45,000 Aeroplan points + ~$50 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 100,000 Etihad Guest miles + ~$50 in taxes and fees
  • Paris (CDG) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 30,000 Asiana miles + ~$185 in taxes and fees
  • Seoul (ICN) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 40,000 American Airlines miles + ~$62 in taxes and fees
  • Sydney (SYD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 100,000 Aeroplan points + ~$50 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo (NRT) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 40,000 American Airlines miles + ~$62 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 60,000 Asiana miles + ~$371 in taxes and fees
  • Zurich (ZRH) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad business class for 30,000 Asiana miles + ~$185 in taxes and fees

How To Earn Enough Miles for Etihad Business Class

Etihad business class inventory is very easy to find. Although the edge goes to those booking far in advance, it’s generally pretty easy to find availability close to departure.

Overall, Asiana and American offer the lowest mileage costs for flights between the U.S. and Abu Dhabi, which is probably what most travelers are interested in.

If you happen to be flying between Europe and the Middle East, it’s a fantastic deal to redeem Asiana miles.

For flights between Africa and the Middle East, we recommend redeeming Aeroplan points.

Lastly, for flights between Asia and the Middle East, it’s the best deal to redeem American Airlines miles.

If you have transferable points, the best programs are Air Canada Aeroplan and Etihad Guest.

If you have a bunch of Marriott Bonvoy points, you can transfer your points to Asiana Club or American Airlines AAdvantage.

Here are the transferable currencies you can use for Etihad business class:

  • Amex Membership Rewards transfer almost instantly to Air Canada Aeroplan and Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer almost instantly to Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer almost instantly to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Capital One miles transfer in around 36 hours to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio and Air Canada Aeroplan almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Asiana Club (4 days), American Airlines AAdvantage (2 days), Air Canada Aeroplan (5 days), and Etihad Guest (3 days) at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles whenever you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points all at once.

Currently, there’s no way to redeem Brex Rewards points for Etihad business class.

Miles Plus Cash

If you’re short on miles and points or value them more than 0.9 cents per point, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can purchase Etihad Guest miles for 0.9 cents per point, up to 25% of your award ticket.

This is a phenomenal deal, as most anybody would consider its points more valuable than 0.9 cents per point!

This is called Miles Plus Cash. Once you’re ready to book your flight, simply use the slider to customized your exact points and miles cost.

Even if you do have enough points to transfer to Etihad Guest, it might be wise to simply purchase 25% of the award cost at 0.9 cents per point to preserve your points and miles.

Opportunities to purchase miles at less than 1 cent per point are very rare, and this is one of them.

Give this lots of consideration before you book your Etihad Guest redemptions.

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 of 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 cities around the world, you can enjoy terrific lounge access. Image Credit: Etihad

In Abu Dhabi, you will have access to the Etihad Premium Lounge, which includes an international buffet so that 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 (DUB), London (LHR), Los Angeles (LAX), Manchester (MAN), Melbourne (MEL), New York (JFK), Paris (CDG), Sydney (SYD), and Washington, D.C. (IAD).

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 Inflight 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 Etihad’s Airbus A380, you’ll have access to an inflight lounge.

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

Hot Tip: Check out our detailed and picture-rich reviews of Etihad business class aboard an A380 and a 787-9.

Final Thoughts

Etihad always earns high praise, and its 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!


The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to book Etihad business class?

The Etihad Guest and Air Canada Aeroplan programs provide the easiest ways to book Etihad award flights. Unlike other award programs, you can book online with either of these programs.

If you’re open to picking up the phone and calling the airlines, consider redeeming Asiana miles or American Airlines miles. You’re likely to find better deals via Asiana or American, too.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly Etihad business class?

Currently, those with Amex points, Citi points, or Capital One miles can transfer points to Aeroplan and Etihad Guest.

Those with Chase points can transfer to Aeroplan.

And if you have Marriott Bonvoy points, you can transfer them to American Airlines, Asiana, Aeroplan, and Etihad Guest.

Another great way to earn American Airlines miles is via the co-branded cards from Citi or Barclays.

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 its 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 inflight lounge when you fly business class on Etihad’s Airbus A380.

Is Etihad business class any good?

Absolutely! Etihad business class is especially good on the 787-9 and A380 aircraft, thanks to the Business Studio product. The seats on the 777 are great, as well.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

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9 comments

  1. On etihad website guest business only shows up if you book round trip AUH to JFK, it will never show up booking JFK to AUH. I called the Australian advantage desk and they also can’t book it. I am not sure what the trick is, but its not working.

    Reply

    • Brandon,

      Keep in mind that award availability is subject to the rules of the governing airline. JFK to AUH is a very hot route, and your best bet is either when the schedule is released or close-in award availability. Keep trying and don’t give up!

      Reply

  2. Hi,
    This is the first time I am planning to travel in Business Class on Emirates or Qatar or Eithad Airlines depending upon the price I get. I’m looking into several third party sites, listed below, offering me a very reasonable price compared to the prices listed on respective airlines web site. Are these sites legitimate and are there any issues if I get a ticket from these sites? Any comments and valuable suggestions on this are very helpful for me.

    businessflightdirect.com
    FLYDEALFARE.com
    flybackindia.com
    businesstravel365.com
    business-class.com

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    • Hi Kumar,

      Those sites appear legitimate. It is not uncommon for people to purchase airline tickets from 3rd part retailers, and I do not foresee there being any issue with you doing so.

      Reply

      • Hi Jarrod West,

        Thank you for your reply. Are there any precautions with respect to payments I have to take care of if I get a ticket from these sites? and do I really get a confirmation number so that I can validate that on the Airline’s website?

        So sorry if my questions are stupid I don’t want to get scammed as I worked hard to get some money to afford my parents a business class.

        Reply

        • Hi Kumar,

          No worries! There shouldn’t be any extra precautions you need to take for the payment, and yes you should receive a confirmation number that you can validate with the airline.

          Reply

  3. Don’t forget the JFK-MIL Business class flex for 62500 Ethiad points $540 in taxes. It can be upgraded with availability to first class with an additional 30000 pts. I’m watching it every day with expertflyer.

    Reply

  4. Sadiya Safdar August 3, 2020

    I’m wondering if you can guide me on this. Can we book for parents with our credit cards while we are not traveling with them? I’ve heard the cardholder has to be one of the travelers. I seem to get different answers when I call Etihad.

    Reply

    • Hi Sadiya,

      If you’re just booking a flight for your parents on your credit card you do not not have to be traveling with them. Usually, the only time that is necessary is when checking into a hotel, as sometimes the front desk will check to make sure the guest names match the credit card on file.

      Reply

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