Airlines, hotels and travel brands have come out recently with their introductory “please care about travel again” offers, and Etihad just upped the ante. Airlines have been offering flexible change and cancellation policies, including Qatar Airways offering a voucher + 10% of the ticket value, even if you book and cancel immediately.
Etihad has raised the stakes to a whopping 50% bonus, if you purchase a voucher in the next week, which you can then book for future travel in the next two years, starting in August. It’s not without risks, but for many, it may be an offer you cannot refuse…
Etihad 50% Voucher Offer
Eithad is clearly trying to raise cash while planes are on the ground, and in a way – that’s great news for travelers. Money now for discounts later has always been a fair deal, and assuming the Abu Dhabi Government won’t let their airline fail, one can believe fairly strongly that these vouchers won’t become worthless.
Even in the worst case, one could fairly assume that chargeback protections in the US, UK and beyond would protect your purchase against a business gone bust, provided you pay by credit card. Never buy travel with a debit card, ever..
Here’s the offer Etihad is making to travelers…
- If you buy an Etihad Travel Voucher between June 10-24th, you’ll get a 50% bonus.
- You can buy vouchers up to $65,000. A $1000 voucher would get you $1500, etc.
- Vouchers can be used to book travel from August 1st, 2020 for up to two years.
- Other people can use the vouchers, but it gets added to your Etihad account.
- Yes, that means you must create a (free) Etihad Guest loyalty account.
- You must purchase your voucher over the phone by calling Etihad.
- The voucher is available globally, so it shouldn’t matter where you are.
Should You Jump In?
Etihad and Aeroplan just renewed a strong partnership, and the airline continues to offer earning potential with lots of other loyalty programs. If you’re an Etihad regular, this is a no brainer, if you factor in natural risks here. If you’re not, and Etihad doesn’t easily serve a market where you could benefit, it’s tough to part ways with cash today for the chance at savings tomorrow.
So long as restrictions remain few and far between, as they appear to be, this is potentially tremendous value, where someone could take advantage of frequent sales in all cabins, including the many $1500 business class sales Etihad launches from Europe to Asia, with many circa $1800 from Europe to Australia.
Being able to save by purchase these flights for an effective $1000-$1200 is meaningful, but only if you can comfortably part ways with cash now, while you wait it out in hopes of the right deal to cash in on.
How does it work if you would normally buy in another currency?
The voucher is in USD so are you buying at current exchange rates or future rates?
Sounds great at first sight Gilbert, however beware.
When looking into business flight ticketprices at google flights, from Europe to say…Middle-, Far East and Oceania, one will find some 50% higher prices with Etihad compared to competitor airlines. So the benefit evaporates.
Thanks Marc. Given however that one cannot book now, but could book later when prices change by the day, this leaves some room for discussion.
@Bryan – Etihad get you to buy the vouchers in USD then convert to your currency.
@Marc although Etihad are on average about 20% more expensive than the likes of Turkish Airlines, Finnair etc the inflight experience coupled with the voucher offer can off set this. Also being clever with your departure city can save you hundreds. For example I have found fare leaving GOT and OSL via LHR to BKK for £1500 when choosing the same flights out of LHR initially come in around £2200 due to exorbitant taxes from the UK. With the voucher offer this can mean you are spending close to £1000 for rtn Business class flights to Asia. A deal in anyone’s books as long as EY do not price hike come August 1st.
Only as long as Etihad does not go bankrupt! Nothing stops them from going “restructured” during these tough times and god knows whether they honor the travel bank voucher they are giving now.
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