How to book Etihad First Class awards with AAdvantage Miles

Last week at this time I was boarding a flight aboard an Etihad A380 in the First Class Apartments.  It was an incredible flight and the trip report will be coming soon, but I wanted to give you some information about how you can book these flights yourself.

As you hopefully have heard, the American AAdvantage award chart will be destroyed (under the guise of “innovation”) for bookings made starting March 22, 2016.  One of the big sweet spots in the award chart right now is the 40k First Class award between Europe and the Middle East and another sweet spot is the 60k First Class award between the Middle East and Australia/Oceania (vice versa as well).

Many of you who have some miles to spare might want to take a look at traveling these routes in Etihad First Class on the A380 while you still can!  Under the new award chart the Europe-Middle East will jump over 50% to 62,500 miles and Middle East-Australia/Oceania will skyrocket to 100,000 miles!

Etihad A380 at London Heathrow

Etihad A380 at London Heathrow

I’ve put together a short (3-minute) video on how to search for Etihad award space.  Once you find the award space you simply will need to call American to book it.  As a reminder, if they try to charge you a phone reservation fee ask them if you still have to pay the fee since you can’t book it online, they should waive the fee.

If there are any questions please leave them below in the comments!


  1. I’m not sure if this problem still exists, but US AAdvantage was not able to see premium cabin award space. I (and many others) called AAdvantage Australia to book the awards.

    Use Google Voice/Hangouts or Skype to call, its pretty cheap. Also, the taxes are also ~$34 but Australian Dollars so it becomes a few dollars cheaper when converted to USD!

    • I read about that too but I booked my trip a little over a week ago and the agent didn’t have any issues at the US number.

  2. Hey Andy, I know you probably get a lot of ridiculous questions and this may be one. I am married with 3 kids and my travel time is limited. I would like to set a goal of trying to save enough travel awards over the next 5 years to be able to gain a couple of first class tickets to Europe or somewhere else for a 15 year anniversary trip. Do you have a place you would start that would help achieve this goal? Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Jake, not a ridiculous question at all. It’s an ambitious goal and is entirely achievable. What I would recommend is start focusing your spending on a credit card that can transfer its points to a variety of programs, to hedge against devaluations like just happened with American.

      I do not often talk about credit cards on the blog, but I feel that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the all-around best cards for long-term earning capability and flexibility. Happy to answer any other questions here or also feel free to reach out to me via email at andystravelblog [at] gmail [dot] com



  1. Etihad First Class, Discover Deals, Iran, Remote Places, Haiti - […] How to search Etihad First Class awards availability and book with American Airlines AAdvantage mile…at Andy’s Travel Blog. Hurry!…

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