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The Definitive Guide to Etihad’s Direct Routes From the U.S. [Plane Types and Seats]

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Ehsan Haque

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Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and mile...
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Etihad Airways gets a lot of attention for its outstanding premium cabin products and friendly onboard service.

As one of the few carriers that flies directly from the U.S. to the Middle East, Etihad Airways has plenty to offer to American travelers.

Although Etihad Airways is not a member of any major airline alliances, it does partner with several airlines and operates a frequent flyer program known as Etihad Guest.

Etihad’s home airport is in Abu Dhabi (AUH), the capital of the United Arab Emirates. As you’ll see in this guide, all of its U.S. routes are to Abu Dhabi.

The United Arab Emirates is a fantastic tourist and business destination. Dubai is the financial hub of the Middle East, and Abu Dhabi is known for its mosques and Emirati culture.

With many travelers interested in visiting the Middle East and getting there in a premium luxury travel cabin, this guide covers all the routes and different products that Etihad Airways can offer for your trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Etihad Seats by Aircraft Type

Etihad operates 2 aircraft on flights to and from the U.S.:

  • Boeing 787-9 (3-class)
  • Airbus A350-1000 (2-class)

There are huge variations between the seats on the 2 aircraft. That’s why it’s so important to know which plane to fly! That way, you have access to the best product available.

Etihad Airways also plans to bring back the A380 on 1 of the 2 routes between Abu Dhabi and New York (JFK). Etihad has announced that this will begin on April 22, 2024.

Below is a summary of all the Etihad Airways routes to the U.S., along with the aircraft and cabin class.

The last column describes the frequency of each route, which is always subject to change — especially since Etihad frequently cuts routes to minimize costs.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Etihad RouteFlight NumberAircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
Boston (BOS) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)EY148787-9Business, economy4x weekly
Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)EY150A350-1000Business, economyDaily
New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)EY100787-9Business, economyDaily
New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)EY102A380First, business, economyDaily

Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)

EY130787-9First, business, economyDaily

As of February 2024, Etihad only operates nonstop flights to 4 U.S. airports. New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the only airport with multiple daily flights. As mentioned, 1 of the 2 routes (EY 102) will be on the A380, beginning in late April.

Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of flexibility if you want to fly on Etihad. However, it may be worth going out of your way to try to fly Etihad, as you will see below.

Best Points To Earn To Fly Etihad

Etihad is not a member of any major airline alliances. Instead, Etihad has several codeshare partner airlines that aren’t part of any alliance. Some of these airlines include Air France, All Nippon Airways (ANA), American Airlines, and Air Canada.

Thanks to the partnerships, you can use a partner airline loyalty program to book Etihad awards.

For most, using Air Canada Aeroplan points is the best bet. That’s because Aeroplan is a transfer partner of several rewards programs, including Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. All of these programs transfer to Aeroplan at a 1:1 rate.

Another excellent option is American AAdvantage miles. Thanks to its partner award charts, you know exactly how many AA miles you need for an award flight between the U.S. and Abu Dhabi. Flights on Etihad between the U.S. and Abu Dhabi can be booked at the following rates:

  • 40,000 miles one-way in economy class
  • 70,000 miles one-way in business class
  • 115,000 miles one-way in first class

American Airlines AAdvantage is a transfer partner of Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles after transferring 60,000 points in a single transaction. Bilt Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

Of course, you can also book Etihad flights using Etihad’s own frequent flyer program, Etihad Guest. Booking with Etihad Guest costs more miles and points, but the program is a transfer partner with American Express, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Etihad First Class Seats

Etihad 787-9 First Class

Etihad Boeing 787 9 First Class
Enjoy a lovely luxury experience in Etihad first class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Etihad first class is widely regarded as one of the best ways to fly. However, the exact seat varies by the aircraft you fly on. Generally, when flying Etihad first class, you can expect to have a luxurious, large seat and sliding doors that enclose your suite. The seat is also your bed.

Etihad’s first class product depends on the aircraft flown, and some of the Etihad 787-9 Dreamliners don’t offer a first class product.

The 787 Dreamliner is generally desired, as it utilizes better composite materials in its aircraft construction, resulting in a more comfortable aircraft with a much friendlier carbon footprint than many other aircraft.

Let’s see how the seating is arranged in the 787 first class suites:

Etihad 787 9 first class Aerolopa
Etihad 787-9 first class layout. Image credit: Aerolopa

Etihad has 8 first class seats on the Boeing 787 spread across 2 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. Seats alternate, with some facing toward the front of the planes while others face the back.

These 787 first class suites are each 26 inches wide, while the pitch and bed length measure 80 inches.

Bottom Line:

Although not as luxurious or spacious as Etihad’s first class The Apartment on the A380, the 787-9s also feature an incredible first class product.

Etihad Business Class Seats

Etihad offers 2 different business class products: the Business Studio and business class. The Business Studio is the inferior product, as the new business class product features greater privacy thanks in part to its sliding doors.

Etihad A350-1000 Business Class

Etihad A350-1000 business class
Etihad A350-1000 business class. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

The Etihad A350-1000 business class is Etihad’s newest business class product. It consists of Collins Aerospace Super Diamond business class seats in a reverse-herringbone, 1-2-1 configuration.

These business class seats feature sliding doors for extra privacy, which is huge. However, they also provide extra technology, such as Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging pads.

The business class seat map is fairly simple:

Etihad A350-1000 business class seat map
Etihad A350-1000 business class seat map. Image Credit: Aerolopa

On the A350-1000, all business class seats are in a single, large cabin. There’s a total of 44 seats across 11 rows.

The seats are quite spacious and feature a width of 22 inches. When in fully flat bed mode, the seats recline to 79 inches. The sliding doors are 44 inches long.

There are lavatories in the front and directly behind the business class cabin. Although the seats are identical, we recommend sitting in the middle of the cabin to isolate yourself from the cabin noise and foot traffic as much as possible.

Currently, Etihad’s only North American route on the A350-1000 is between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

Etihad 787-9 Business Studio

Etihad business class
Etihad’s 787-9 Business Studio. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

The Etihad Business Studio is found on Etihad’s 787 Dreamliners. The Business Studios feature tableware, soft furnishings, and bedding designed in collaboration with Giorgio Armani.

Let’s examine the seating arrangement on the 787 Dreamliner:

Etihad 787 business class Aerolopa
Etihad 787 Business Class Studio seat map. Image Credit: Aerolopa

The Etihad Business Studio is divided into 2 separate cabins, with the front cabin being the most private, as it features fewer seats.

The front minicabin has a total of 8 seats spread across 2 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, while the rear minicabin features 5 rows in the same 1-2-1 configuration. There’s a total Business Studio cabin capacity of 28 seats on the 787. 

The 787 Business Studio seat is 22 inches wide and 73 inches long. Unfortunately, these seats aren’t as private as the business class product on the A350-1000, as they do not feature sliding doors.

Hot Tip:

Need help booking your Etihad business class flights? Check out our in-depth guide to the best ways to book Etihad business class.

Etihad Premium Economy Seats

Etihad doesn’t offer premium economy seats on its flights between Abu Dhabi and the U.S.

Etihad Economy Seats

The last category to explore is economy class seats. Unfortunately, Etihad doesn’t have a particularly palatable economy configuration on these flights, thanks to a series of 3-3-3 arrangements with basically no notable seats.

Etihad A350-1000 Economy Class

Etihad A350-1000 economy class
Image Credit: Etihad Airways

We prefer Etihad’s new A350-1000 economy class product, thanks to the thoughtfully designed seat shell. There are headrest wings on each seat, and you’ll have a quieter overall experience, thanks to the high-tech construction of the aircraft.

The standard seat is around 17.5 inches wide and 31 inches in pitch.

Here’s what the seat map looks like:

Etihad A350-1000 economy class seat map
Etihad A350-1000 economy class seat map. Image Credit: Aerolopa

If you’re looking for the best seats possible, seats 39B/39C, 38D/E/G, and 39H/J have extra legroom, as these are exit-row seats.

Etihad 787-9 Economy Class

Etihad’s 787-9 economy class seats feature the same 3-3-3 layout. Each of these seats is around 17 inches wide with 31 to 32 inches in pitch.

Here’s what the 787 economy class seat map looks like:

Etihad 787 9 economy seat map Aerolopa
Etihad 787-9 economy seat map. Image Credit: Aerolopa

If you’re looking for the most legroom, seats in row 15 are the roomiest. You can also choose 24B/C, 23D/E/G, and 24H/J for additional legroom.

Final Thoughts

Etihad has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best luxury airlines for first and business class flights. The premium cabin experience is largely the result of the spacious seats and stunning cabins, and Etihad remains one of the best airlines in the world. Hopefully, you now have a good idea of the Etihad Airways routes between Abu Dhabi and the U.S., along with the different seat options for every flight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What points programs transfer to Etihad Guest?

Etihad Guest is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

What airline alliance is Etihad part of?

Etihad Airways is not a member of any of the 3 major airline alliances. However, Etihad does have nonalliance partnerships. You can learn more about Etihad’s codeshare partner airlines here.

Do all Etihad planes feature Etihad Apartments?

Unfortunately, no. Etihad first class Apartments are only on Etihad Airbus A380s.

What is the best way to book Etihad business class?

The best programs to use to book Etihad business class awards are Air Canada Aeroplan, American Airlines AAdvantage, and Etihad Guest.

 

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About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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