Best Ways To Book Etihad First Class Using Points [Step-by-Step]

Etihad First Class Apartment
31

We may be compensated when you click on links from one or more of our advertising partners. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone. Terms apply to offers below. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details.

When Etihad released The Apartments, it took first class flying to the next level. Considered by many to be the best first class experience in the world, The Apartments have come to define luxury flying.

Even on Etihad flights without The Apartments, you’ll still have a great first class suite and stellar first class lounge access.

Etihad first class is one flight experience you won’t want to miss!

A Look Inside Etihad First Class

Update: Due to reduced travel caused by the spread of COVID-19, Etihad has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s indefinitely.

Whether you fly in an Etihad first class suite or The Apartments, you’re going to have an amazing journey starting from the moment you set foot in the airport.

You can fly in the first class suite on several different aircraft, including the Airbus A330 and A340, and the Boeing 777 and 787 (also known as the Dreamliner).

The Apartments are exclusive to the Airbus A380, which is currently grounded. So if you’re booking Etihad first class, chances are you’ll be flying in the “regular” first class product.

The first class product is a spacious suite with motorized doors, lie-flat leather seats, an ottoman, an oversized inflight monitor, and a personal minibar.

etihad guest first class suites
Enjoy a luxury experience in an Etihad first class suite. Image Credit: Etihad

Before boarding your flight, though, you can savor a luxury lounge experience with white tablecloth dining services, a full cocktail bar, and showers.

Etihad Airways First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Signature Bar
Enjoy a drink or a bite to eat at the bar in the Etihad First Class Lounge. Image Credit: Greg Stone

If you happen to be flying on Etihad’s prestigious A380 First Class Apartments, you’ll be savoring a totally unique experience. Your comfortable, lie-flat seat has direct aisle access, and it is contained in your own suite, complete with a refreshment cabinet, wardrobe, and privacy door.

Etihad First Class Apartment - Seat 3K
The Apartments on Etihad’s A380 are perhaps the best first class product in the world. Image Credit: Alex Miller

This is Etihad’s premier first class product. Each Apartment comes with a wide, comfortable seat and a separate couch that converts into your bed.

Etihad First Class Apartment - Lie Flat Beds Made
Lie-flat beds are turned down with care by the Etihad cabin crew. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Your Apartment is definitely more of a room than a seat!

You will also have access to an inflight shower so you can feel refreshed upon arrival. Additionally, there’s an inflight lounge where you can relax, have a bite to eat, and grab a drink with other first class and business class passengers.

Etihad Airways Airbus A380 Lobby Lounge
Relax and enjoy the company of your fellow premium cabin passengers at the inflight lounge. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Before you board, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the highly-rated Etihad First Class Lounge when flying out of Etihad’s home airport in Abu Dhabi.

Additionally, you’ll have access to its premium lounges when departing from the U.S. and other cities around the world. Last but not least, Abu Dhabi also has a welcome lounge for you to enjoy upon arrival.

How To Book Etihad First Class

We’ve only just begun to look at why the Etihad first class experience is one of the most sought-after flights in the world.

Before we dig in some more, let’s talk about how you can book this awesome flight!

Etihad Guest

Book Etihad First Class Online
One of the easiest ways to fly Etihad First Class is online on its website. Image Credit: Etihad Guest

Etihad’s own award program Etihad Guest is the most straightforward way to book Etihad award tickets, and it is one of 2 ways you can book this flight online.

To complete a booking online, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Etihad’s website.
  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.

Earning Etihad Guest Miles

Etihad Guest is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

You can transfer Amex and Citi points, as well as Capital One miles at a 1:1 ratio. Amex and Citi are both almost instant, while Capital One takes around 36 hours.

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

Hot Tip: Check out our Transfer Partner Calculator to quickly determine the required number of points for your award!

If you’re looking for some more redemption ideas, check out our best ways to use Etihad miles!

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

Credit CardKey Benefits & Info
New 100k Welcome Offer

The Platinum Card® from American Express


Learn More
(at Amex's secure site)
  • Earn 60,000 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $695
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

$2,200

Must Reads: For more info on the Amex Platinum, see our thoughts on the cards incredible benefits and perks, which includes travel insurance coverage, car rental insurance and so much more. Check out our full review to see why it’s one of the best travel credit cards.
New Welcome Offer

American Express® Gold Card


Learn More
(at Amex's secure site)
  • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
  • Earn 35,000 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
$1,320

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

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Award Chart
Image Credit: Air Canada

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

Better yet, the rates are quite reasonable and Etihad does not pass on carrier-imposed surcharges on Aeroplan bookings.

Another characteristic of Aeroplan is that you can pay an additional 5,000 points to add a stopover!

Just bear in mind that adding a stopover requires a call to Aeroplan to book, as well as the consideration that the new flight distance is the sum of each segment’s flight distance.

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 First award availability, visit Air Canada’s website.
  6. Log into your Aeroplan account.
  7. On the redirected page after logging in, toggle the slider that says Points.
  8. Enter the flight details from step 4.
  9. Re-confirm the flight is available on Aeroplan’s website.
  10. Complete the booking by redeeming your Aeroplan points and using a credit card for taxes and fees.
    • You can also call Aeroplan at 866-689-8080 to book your award if you are adding a stopover.

Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points

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

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

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

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

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

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

Although using Asiana miles is not quite as straightforward as Etihad Guest, putting in the extra effort to call Asiana Club can definitely be worth it because it is the cheapest way to fly Etihad first class.

So if you want to save your precious points and have a bunch of Asiana miles or Marriott Bonvoy points, this is a great way to do so.

Overall, it will cost you 160,000 miles round-trip or 80,000 miles one-way plus taxes and fees to travel from the U.S. to the Middle East.

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

  1. Navigate to Etihad Guest.
  2. Choose the route, first class, and your travel dates.
  3. Log into Etihad Guest. You may be prompted to enter a one-time password that is sent to your e-mail for verification purposes.
  4. Select the flight you want to take or click around the weekly calendar to look for availability around your best travel dates.
    • You want to find Guest First award space (otherwise you will be overpaying).
  5. Confirm the mileage cost and the taxes/fees.
    • When Guest First award space is not available, then you will see a ridiculous miles cost (900,000 to 1,000,000), which means this flight is unavailable for First Class award redemptions.
  6. Call Asiana Club at 800-227-4262, which is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST Monday to Friday, and ask to hold the award reservation for up to 72 hours before transferring your Marriott Bonvoy points.
    • Sometimes, the agent won’t be willing to hold your flights. If that happens, politely hang up and call again and you should be able to get a representative to hold your flights.
  7. Transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana Club.
  8. Confirm and reserve the tickets by calling Asiana Club back. Pay any applicable taxes and fees using a credit card.

Earning Asiana Club Miles

Asiana miles, unfortunately, are difficult to earn. That’s because it has just 1 transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy.

Transfers happen at a 3:1 ratio, and you’ll get a bonus of 5,000 Asiana miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at 1 time to Asiana Club. Transfers take around 4 business days to process.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Limited Time Offer

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn up to 14x total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • Earn 2x Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $0
Limited Time Offer

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • For a Limited Time Only! Earn 125,000 Bonus Points and 1 Free Night Award (value up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17x total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • Earn 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $95
​​
Limited Time Offer

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


Learn More
(at Amex's secure site)
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.

$1,400
​​
Limited Time Offer

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card


Learn More
(at Amex's secure site)
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Each bonus Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50K points. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/3/2021.
  • Earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Annual fee: $125
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

$875

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines Partner Award Chart
American Airlines miles can also be a great way to book first class on Etihad. Image Credit: American Airlines

The American Airlines AAdvantage program is a favorite for many who are looking to enjoy superb redemption value on Etihad first class award tickets.

Unlike the Etihad Guest and Aeroplan programs, American requires you to book Etihad flights over the phone.

Here’s what you need to know:

  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 (+61-2-91011948) with Skype or Google Voice.
  6. Ask them to search for first class award space on Etihad (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.

You have many different options for redeeming AAdvantage miles, so don’t think using Etihad is your only choice!

Earning American Airlines Miles

American Airlines AAdvantage also has 1 transfer partner in Marriott Bonvoy.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers to American Airlines at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 AAdvantage miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points all at once to AAdvantage.

These transfers take around 2 business days to complete.

Also, you can earn American Airlines miles directly from the series of co-branded credit cards offered by Citi and Barclays.

Great Etihad First Class Redemptions

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class Middle Seats
Try first class aboard an Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Generally, American Airlines will have better redemption rates than Etihad Guest. However, there are more ways to earn Etihad Guest miles, so that could be a good option for you as well.

2 other options include Air Canada Aeroplan and Asiana Club, both of which have their pros and cons.

One other important factor to consider is the fuel surcharges which can significantly increase the taxes and fees on an award ticket.

Etihad and Asiana will require you to pay these surcharges while American Airlines and Aeroplan will not, so your out-of-pocket costs will be lower.

Here are the total costs for a one-way Etihad first class booking on a handful of its routes with each frequent flyer program:

Route (One-Way)Etihad Miles CostAeroplan Points CostAsiana Miles CostAmerican Airlines Miles Cost
Casablanca (CMN) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)96,500 miles + ~$185-$22365,000 points + ~$5040,000 miles + ~$185-$22380,000 miles + ~$62
Geneva (GVA) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)85,000 miles + ~$18565,000 points + ~$5040,000 miles + ~$18562,500 miles + ~$62
London (LHR) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)87,750 miles + ~$234-$51765,000 points + ~$64-$34640,000 miles + ~$185-$452 62,500 miles + ~$62-$346
New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)136,250 miles + ~$331-$371120,000 points + ~$5080,000 miles + ~$331-$371115,000 miles + ~$62
Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)136,250 miles + ~$331-$371120,000 points + ~$5080,000 miles + ~$331-$371115,000 miles + ~$62
Zurich (ZRH) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)85,000 miles + ~$18565,000 points + ~$5040,000 miles + ~$18562,500 miles + ~$62

Here are some incredible Etihad first class redemptions you can make:

  • Abu Dhabi (AUH) – London (LHR) one-way in Etihad first class for 65,000 Aeroplan points + ~$64 in taxes and fees
  • Casablanca (CMN) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad first class for 65,000 Aeroplan points +~$50 in taxes and fees
  • Geneva (GVA) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad first class for 62,500 American Airlines miles +~$62 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad first class for 80,000 Asiana miles +~$371 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad first class for 80,000 Asiana miles +~$371 in taxes and fees
  • Zurich (ZRH) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) one-way in Etihad first class for 85,000 Etihad Guest miles +~$62 in taxes and fees

How To Earn Enough Miles for Etihad First Class

As long as you find a route that is actually equipped with Etihad first class seats and is reasonably flexible, you should have a good shot at booking Etihad first class.

Before doing so, however, you need to amass enough points to book these flights!

Asiana Club offers the lowest points cost, but you’ll have a hard time earning enough miles unless you have a bunch of Marriott Bonvoy points. Also, all fuel surcharges are passed on.

American Airlines AAdvantage has a bunch of co-branded cards that earn miles directly, but besides that, you need to rely on transferring points from Marriott Bonvoy to AAdvantage.

Aeroplan and Etihad Guest are probably the most realistic frequent flyer programs to use, thanks to transfer partnerships from major programs like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

To summarize, here is the bulleted list of transferable currencies that can be used for Etihad first class bookings:

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

Unfortunately, there’s no current way to book Etihad first class using Brex Rewards points.

Miles Plus Cash

One last method to consider can actually reduce the number of Etihad Guest miles required for award redemptions.

When you’ve found award space on Etihad Guest and are ready to confirm your reservation, you can actually utilize the Miles Plus Cash option that allows you to use a sliding scale to customize your points and cash payments.

This effectively allows you to purchase points to use fewer Etihad Guest miles/top off your mileage balance for only 0.9 cents per point!

You can do this for up to 25% of the ticket price, which is an absolute no-brainer.

This is a phenomenal value, and it should be considered heavily when making award redemptions using Etihad Guest miles.

When Should You Search for Award Space?

Etihad does not consistently release first class award space at a specific time.

The sooner you have your travel dates narrowed down, the more luck you’ll have booking.

While you might not find award space immediately, check back regularly.

What Makes Etihad First Class a Great Redemption

Let’s talk a bit more about what you get during the Etihad first class experience.

First Class Lounge

Etihad First Class Apartment - Sydney Lounge
The Etihad First and Business Class Lounge at Sydney Airport. Image Credit: Alex Miller

In Abu Dhabi, you will have access to the exclusive Etihad First Class Lounge that includes a fully-staffed bar with a wide selection of wine and spirits. You can also order food from the bar menu or head to the dining room for a sit-down meal.

If that weren’t enough, you can also utilize the Six Senses Spa and Style & Shave. As a first class passenger, you will have your choice of a complimentary massage, facial, wet shave, nail, or blow-dry service.

You can also enjoy a nice cigar at the cigar lounge. If you’re a cigar lover, grab a beer or your favorite whiskey, sit back, relax, and enjoy a smoke.

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)/ It also partners with other lounges at airports across the globe.

First Class Dining

Etihad First Class Apartment - Dining Appetizer Duck
Enjoy a fine-dining experience at 30,000 feet. Image Credit: Alex Miller

From fine dining in the Etihad First Class Lounge to your inflight meals, you won’t be disappointed with any of the food during your first class experience.

Your first class flight includes on-demand dining so you can choose what to eat and when you want to have it. The dining experience in first class is definitely built around your enjoyment!

First Class Shower

Etihad Residence Shower room
Can you imagine having your bathroom plus shower to yourself? Flying on the Etihad Residence will afford you this much and so much more. Image Credit: Etihad

Finally, don’t forget to schedule your inflight shower when flying The Apartment, exclusively on the Airbus A380 (currently grounded).

The only other way to experience an inflight shower is when flying Emirates first class, so don’t pass up this rare and exclusive opportunity!

Your shower includes 5 minutes of water with an easy pause control so you can wash without wasting water (or time). Once you are ready to rinse, you can turn the water back on.

It might not sound like much time, but you can easily end up with 2 minutes to just relax in the water before your time is up.

If you’re connecting and didn’t get time to visit the first class lounge, maybe you’d like to shower early in the flight before getting settled in to sleep. Or perhaps this is your first flight of the day, and you’d rather shower toward the end of your flight so you’re refreshed upon arrival.

Either way, Etihad has you covered! Make sure to schedule your shower as soon as you board to ensure the time slot you want is available.

Hot Tip: Unfortunately, Etihad cut its chauffeur service for all award flights, including those booked with its own miles.

Final Thoughts

It’s no wonder Etihad first class is a highly sought-after ticket! When the A380s are in operation, The Apartments might just be the best first class product in the sky.

Whether you’re in an apartment or suite, Etihad’s first class is a luxury experience all the way through.

Take advantage of fine dining, amazing service, and more space than imaginable in The Apartments. You’ll have more fun flying than ever before!

Now, go find Etihad award space and book your next adventure!


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 first class?

The easiest way to book Etihad award flights is through either the Etihad Guest program or Air Canada Aeroplan. These are the only programs that allow you to book online.

However, you may be able to use fewer miles through the American Airlines AAdvantage or Asiana Club programs.

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

If you earn Amex Membership Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Points, or Capital One miles, you can transfer them to Air Canada Aeroplan or Etihad Guest.

If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to Air Canada Aeroplan.

If you have Marriott Bonvoy points, you can transfer them to American Airlines AAdvantage or Asiana Club.

Lastly, American Airlines has a collection of co-branded credit cards issued by both Citi and Barclays that earn miles directly.

What do I get when flying Etihad first class?

When you fly Etihad First Class Apartments on the Airbus A380, you’ll enjoy one of the most lavish first class suites in the sky.

You can also take an inflight shower and have a drink or a snack at the inflight lounge, both of which are exclusive perks aboard the A380.

Before your flight, you can relax with a drink or a cigar at the first class lounge. Don’t forget to get a shave, haircut, or massage!

If you’re not flying on the A380, you’ll still enjoy an enclosed first class suite, except there aren’t any double beds or separate lounging chairs.

Is Etihad Residence still available?

Unfortunately, the Etihad A380 aircraft that offer The Residence and First Class Apartments are currently grounded. It’s unclear when or if these aircraft will be reinstated again.

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).

Travel prices are about to surge from pent-up demand.

Use this points strategy to lock in pennies-on-the-dollar pricing in 2021, all without being a frequent flyer...

How do I only pay $30 to go to Hawaii, $200 for business class to Asia or just $150 to Europe?

Discover the real-life strategies that anyone can use to enjoy limitless travel (even on a limited budget!)

Just sign up below and I’ll send you the Limitless Travel Playbook instantly:

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

31 comments

  1. How far in advance do you need to book etihad 1st class?

    Reply

  2. I was wondering if it’s possible to add a lap infant to an Asiana airlines award ticket for travel on Etihad First? I just had a ton of trouble trying to do this through Asiana miles, and Etihad refused to add our son to the ticket as it was not issued by them. Wouldn’t they have the same problem with a ticket issued by Asiana too? Or is their problem only with Asiana-issued award tickets? Any ideas?

    Reply

    • Hello Nash. Although you are traveling on an Etihad-operated flight, Asiana is the carrier that issued the award ticket so they would be the airline to add the infant and reissue the ticket, if necessary. Your best bet is to contact Asiana. Expect to pay 10% of adult mileage cost plus taxes/fees.

      Reply

  3. Hi, Do you know how the routing works for connecting flights?
    Like say if I wanted to go from SYD –> AUH –> MLE. Would that be considered 100k AA miles? Or would I have to break it up to 2 segments? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Hey Jackson,

      As long as you are not making a stopover, it will be priced at 100,000 AA miles. If you want to stop over in Abu Dhabi, you will need to pay for two separate segments, which is 100,000 + 40,000 for a total of 140,000 AA miles.

      Reply

      • Awesome, Thanks!

        Do you know if there has been any success calling the American line +1-(800)-882-8880 ?

        Reply

        • Hey Jackson,

          That’s the AAdvantage hotline. I find it convenient to call them, feed in some automated information about routes, number of passengers, etc. Thanks for reading!

          Reply

  4. MillionMilerMan March 4, 2019

    It seems the trick of calling the AA Australian Call Center is dead. They were apparently the only call center that regularly showed EY F (from AUH to the US) availability when the US, UK and other AA Call Centers showed no availability. I’ve been trying to contact the AA Australian Call Center for 3 days at all times of the day. Every time, I get forwarded to the Call Center in the Caribbean (usually Trinidad)–and they do not show availability. This morning I was told by an agent in the Caribbean that they now get 100% of the calls to the Australian Call Center. So, anyone that finds a new trick for unlocking EY F via AA, do let us know.

    Reply

    • Hi Jeff – I was able to call just the other evening and had no issues getting through to the Australian call center. It is my understanding that the Australian call center is still up and running and fully functional.

      Reply

      • maxraxstax June 18, 2019

        It didn’t work with Australia. I called New Zealand instead and they had no issue, found availability and were able to book. Worked great. It seems some Aus agents can’t see it anymore, but all NZ can.

        Reply

        • maxraxstax – what is the New Zealand call center number? Thanks!

          Reply

          • DP:

            Called the New Zealand call center via Skype at +64 09-308-4014 and they were able to easily and quickly find the availability and put it on hold for me. Booking the flight now!

          • Great! I myself held an Etihad First Class flight yesterday via the NZ call center on Skype (WeChat Out). Thanks for reading!

  5. I heard booking etihad Apartment JFK to AUH with AA miles is no longer available. NO?

    Reply

    • Hey Rion – that’s incorrect, you can still use AA miles for EY Apartment. Finding availability is very tough from JFK > AUH, but the other way around is a lot easier!

      Reply

  6. I’m planning on visiting the following cities in the the middle east and Africa (Amman, Tel Aviv, El Cairo) and I want to fly back to NY on Etihad’s apartment AUH-JFK with a final destination being Miami.
    I would like to know how could I book with miles the route, starting on either of the three cities, then AUH-JFK, miami. I know it’s ambitious but I want to know if it’s possible with miles. Or what could be the closest to my wish. I appreciate the help.

    Reply

    • Hey Juan, of course it’s possible. It just depends on what miles and points you have!

      If you book using AA miles, you’ll be able to book Etihad apartments. Availability is very tough, but it’s possible.

      If flying out of Tel Aviv, look to Star Alliance carriers such as Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles.

      Keep searching and you’ll be able to find something that works!

      Reply

  7. Once you have booked a F flight (via AA Advantage) how do you choose your seat – the Ethiad website appears to only give you an option to choose economy seats

    Reply

    • Tania,

      You’ll need your Etihad Guest record locator or confirmation number. You can either refer to your ticket receipt or look at your AA reservation to get it.

      After that, you can either go to Etihad website or call them to choose seats. Keep in mind sometimes they’ll block seats off so you can’t select them in advance. Thanks for reading.

      Reply

  8. Richard Winters May 15, 2019

    I have not been able to find this out ANYWHERE. Is it possible to book two first class flights? If not, and one person gets first class and the other gets business or something can they join up and experience some of this together? I have no idea how this is so hard to find. Of course, many of us travel with spouses! And for a trip like this where we want to fly first class we want to be able to do so together! Any thoughts?

    Reply

    • Richard,

      It’s possible, but as is the case with any top of the line first class product, you’ll have to be tremendously flexible and willing to sit down for hours to look for flights that cost $30,000+ otherwise.. Just keep looking!

      Reply

  9. Christopher Ardalan January 16, 2020

    Is it possible to use Asiana mileage to fly from Seoul to Jfk flying Etihad for 80000 miles? It allows flying the apartment to Abu Dhabi and then again to jfk. And if so will it allow a stop over in Abu Dhabi?

    Reply

    • Hi Christopher,

      Yes, it is possible to book that ticket for 80k Asiana miles and you would have a stopover in Abu Dhabi.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  10. I keep asking how to find availability as you stated when there isn’t a Guest First seat showing on EY with only the regular massive price does Asiana use a different inventory finding availability or availability is any open seat for them?

    Reply

    • MMA,

      You need to find Guest First seat availability. Etihad also has been restricting much of their inventory to Etihad Guest members.

      Reply

  11. Nithin Chakravarthy May 17, 2020

    There are many routes where 1st class is not offered. Is there a way to fly business+first on EY using AA miles?

    Reply

    • Hi Nithin,

      You can book mixed cabin awards, but you’ll pay the first class award price. For example, if you fly from JFK-AUH-JNB in Etihad First Class Apartments and then in Etihad business class, you’ll pay the first class price from the U.S. to Africa, which is 120,000 AA miles.

      Reply

  12. Ian Weaver May 22, 2021

    Has anyone pointed out to you that the Air Canada Award Chart that you have published in this article was replaced on November 8, 2020?

    Reply

  13. TheBigEasy June 15, 2021

    Sadly it appears the EY has retired the A380 post pandemic.

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.