Hey, somebody has to pay for all the crazy stuff that Etihad has been up to. Without having flown the airline, I'm a fan of Etihad for pushing the bubble and raising the status quo across coach, business and first. Competition is good and they are offering a life in the sky far nicer than mine on the ground. Kudos. Unfortunately Etihad is also a business which needs to turn a profit and being able to fly in ridiculous style for so few miles could only last for so long. Changes are coming and they are generally unfriendly for us, the fliers.
Fortunately the airline isn't trying to shame economy passengers quite as heavily as British Airways changes when it comes to earning. Only the lowest economy fare class and lowest business fare class earn less miles than they did before the changes leaving everything else in tact or better. Nice. It's the redemption side that is getting hammered. If you plan on flying coach taking one of the longest flights in the world, otherwise known as anything over 6,000 miles you are fine. Sadly for all other flights the rates are getting jacked up. All business and first class award flights under 6,000 miles will now require more miles, a lot more. Yesterday a reader was able to snag the First Class Apartment from Abu Dhabi to London for only 55,000 miles one way. Post devaluation the same flight would require 88,000 miles. So yes, sorry for the late notice but you have one day to book one of the coolest products in the sky before it joins the long list of flights that simply require too many miles. At least I told you....!
Sadly that's not all. The cost in miles for upgrades is increasing on virtually every fare you'd ever be interested in purchasing, not that it was ever a great way to use miles anyway. Additionally, to the detriment of most, Etihad are adding surcharges (bullshit) to their awards on a per sector basis. A round trip flight from London to to Abu Dhabi would run $100 round trip surcharges (two sectors) for coach and $200 for business. SO yes, to answer your question it's $50 per sector for coach and $100 per sector in business class.
Stories like this keep me in business and sadly they happen all the time. Having too many miles floating around with too many great ways to redeem them is like writing checks you can't cash. Etihad took a look at their check book and realized that it was time to up the game. It happens, it sucks and we just deal with it. Cash in your miles before July 8th if you want to get the best value for your current stash.
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