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If you’re sitting on American AAdvantage miles, and are hoping to use them for a big long haul international trip, you know how frustrating it can be, especially if you’re trying to go to Europe.
But if India or the Middle East is in your plans, there are some great opportunities with Etihad Airways flights. And if you have the right points, Africa is a great deal too.
Etihad serves the U.S. from New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, with flights to its hub in Abu Dhabi, and connections to dozens of destinations from there.
And while finding award space on its flagship A380 routes from New York is tough, and Los Angeles is also difficult, Dallas and San Francisco have some consistently great availability next year in Business and First Class on Etihad’s standard 777 aircraft, which have all aisle access seats in Business Class.
Here’s space from Dallas to Abu Dhabi in March, as shown on ExpertFlyer…
Most days have at least 9 award seats in Business Class, and some in First Class…
June looks good…
And so does August
San Francisco also has surprising availability on one of the longest routes Etihad flies. While it’s not daily service, you’ll find good space in July…
Using AA miles you can fly to the Middle East or India for a reasonable 70,000 miles one way in Business Class, or an eye popping 115,000 miles one way in First Class. The downside is AA doesn’t let you use Etihad to get to Africa unless you pay for two separate awards (one from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi, and another from Abu Dhabi to Africa).
You don’t want to use Etihad’s own miles for this, even though Etihad is a transfer partner of both Amex and Citi. The San Francisco – Abu Dhabi flight costs 110,000 miles one way just for Business Class.
But if you have Amex points, the way to play this is to transfer to ANA Mileage Club.
With ANA, you can fly to Africa or the Middle East / India for just 104,000 miles roundtrip in Business Class.
With Africa such a hard to reach destination with miles at reasonable prices, this is a great deal worth planning for.
Searching for Etihad space is easiest with an ExpertFlyer subscription, but you can also interpret the results from the Etihad Guest website without logging in. What’s available as ‘Guest’ award space should be bookable by partners like American AAdvantage and ANA Mileage Club.
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