Edited by: Chris Dong
& Juan Ruiz
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While Etihad is famous for its first class product, 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, gourmet food, and terrific service.
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 points and miles.
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.
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!
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.
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.
If you’re looking for the easiest possible way to book Eithad business class, look no further than Etihad’s own frequent flyer program, Etihad Guest. It is the most straightforward award program to use if you want to book Etihad award flights completely online.
Here’s how much you can expect to redeem for an Etihad business class flight, depending on the distance you travel:
|Distance Band||Etihad Guest Pricing for Etihad Business Class|
|0 to 500||20,000|
|501 to 1,000||25,000|
|1,001 to 1,500||30,000|
|1,501 to 2,000||45,000|
|2,001 to 2,500||50,000|
|2,501 to 3,000||60,000|
|3,001 to 4,000||70,000|
|4,001 to 5,000||75,000|
|5,001 to 6,000||100,000|
Most business class flights from the U.S. will be 110,000 miles one-way.
Follow these steps to book your flight:
You can transfer points from Amex, Capital One, or Citi 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!
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards points.
Asiana Airlines’ Asiana Club provides an exceptionally cheap way to book Etihad business class.
Unfortunately, Asiana Airlines only has 1 way to earn miles with credit cards: transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana.
For a business class ticket from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi (AUH), you are going to be paying 60,000 miles (150,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) one-way or 120,000 miles (300,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which gets you 125,000 Asiana miles) round-trip.
If you have plenty of Marriott Bonvoy points, follow these steps to book your Etihad Business class flights:
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.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
Awards from the U.S. to the Middle East will cost 70,000 AAdvantage miles one-way or 140,000 miles round-trip.
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.
American AAdvantage offers many options for award flights, so be sure to look around for ideas.
American Airlines AAdvantage has 2 transfer partners: Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards.
Marriott Bonvoy transfers to AAdvantage at a 3:1 ratio within 2 days. Bilt Rewards transfers at a 1:1 ratio.
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.
Thanks to the relatively new 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.
You can redeem 85,000 Aeroplan points to fly one-way from cities on the U.S. East Coast, such as New York (JFK) and Washington, D.C. (IAD), to Abu Dhabi (AUH).
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:
Air Canada Aeroplan has transfer partnerships with Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, and Chase 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)
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.
American Airlines often has better redemption rates than Etihad Guest.
But depending on the transferable points you have, Etihad Guest can still be a great option for booking business class.
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 charges for some of the most popular Etihad flights:
|Route (One-way)||Etihad Miles Cost||Aeroplan Points Cost||Asiana Miles Cost||American AAdvantage Miles Cost|
|Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||110,000 miles + ~$331 to $371||85,000 points + ~$50||60,000 miles + ~$331 to $371||70,000 miles + ~$62|
|Johannesburg (JNB) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||70,000 miles + ~$185 to $223||45,000 points + ~$50||60,000 miles + ~$185 to $223||55,000 miles + ~$62|
|London (LHR) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||70,000 miles + ~$234 to $517||45,000 points + ~$64 to $346||30,000 miles + ~$185 to $452||42,500 miles + ~$62 to $346|
|New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||110,000 miles + ~$331 to $371||85,000 points + ~$50||60,000 miles + ~$331 to $371||70,000 miles + ~$62|
|Paris (CDG) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||70,000 miles + ~$185||45,000 points + ~$50||30,000 miles + ~$185||42,500 miles + ~$62|
|Seoul (ICN) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||75,000 miles + ~$175 to $183||60,000 points + ~$50||60,000 + miles + ~$175 to $183||40,000 miles + ~$62|
|Sydney (SYD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||110,000 miles + ~$68 to $356||100,000 points + ~$50||82,500 miles + ~$68 to $356||80,000 miles + ~$62|
|Tokyo (NRT) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||100,000 miles + ~$185||80,000 points + ~$50||60,000 + miles + ~$185||40,000 miles + ~$62|
|Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||110,000 miles + ~$331 to $371||85,000 points + ~$50||60,000 miles + ~$331 to $371||70,000 miles + ~$62|
|Zurich (ZRH) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)||60,000 miles + ~$185||45,000 points + ~$50||30,000 miles + ~$185||42,500 miles + ~$62|
Here are some impressive redemptions you can book to try 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 miles.
If you have transferable points, the best programs are Air Canada Aeroplan and Etihad Guest. And 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:
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 would consider Etihad points more valuable than 0.9 cents per point. The program is called Miles Plus Cash. Once you’re ready to book your flight, simply use the slider to customize 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.
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.
We already went over some of the great aspects of Etihad business class, but let’s go a little deeper.
In Abu Dhabi (AUH), 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 in London (LHR) and has partnerships with lounges all over the world to make your trip more enjoyable.
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 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 Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ 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 Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
Etihad Guest and Air Canada Aeroplan 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 miles. You’re likely to find better deals via Asiana or American, too.
Here are the transferable currencies you can use for Etihad business class:
Another great way to earn American Airlines miles is via co-branded cards from Citi or Barclays.
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.
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.
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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). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.