American AAdvantage seems to be able to ‘see’ Etihad business and economy award space, but first class awards that are offered to Etihad Guest’s members do not appear to American agents.
Will M. asked today about a flight he was trying to book, his first class had American not seeing the space even though he could see the first class awards open on Etihad’s site.
I’ve checked this out myself, across a variety of routes and dates. And the problem appears limited to first class awards.
Historically American AAdvantage has had access to Etihad awards space on the same terms as the Etihad program offered saver space to its own members. First class awards book into the “O” bucket, business “I” and economy “X”.
You can search for Etihad awards via Etihad Guest, and anything showing “Guest First” means availability in “O” or saver first class.
American AAdvantage has almost always seen the exact same inventory when booking these awards. Two exceptions:
- When American has had systems issues talking to Etihad, but when that has occurred it has been across the board for Etihad flights and not limited to a single cabin.
- Occasional flights, representing less than one half of one percent of the times I’ve inquired. For instance, I once wanted an Abu Dhabi – London flight where Etihad showed first class available and American never did. That’s one of only two flights I’ve ever run into where American couldn’t see the space Etihad was offering (outside of the IT errors mentioned above).
I can come up with three explanations. No matter what has changed, it’s happened within the past few days, and I’ve had no difficulty with American’s access to Etihad first class availability up until today (though had not searched over the weekend).
- Etihad is no longer making its first class awards available to American out of the same ‘O’ bucket as before, or has imposed point of sale restrictions on the availability so that American doesn’t have as much award space as is given to Etihad’s own members. That’s not something they’ve ever done before.
- American is now blocking the space, although their liason to Etihad doesn’t appear to be aware of this (they seem as in the dark as to the issue as anyone else).
- There’s a new IT glitch, different from ones in the past in that it only appears to effect one booking class.
Definitely developing, I’ll be watching this closely as Etihad first class is one of my two favorite uses for American AAdvantage miles. I have four trips currently reserved (in their A380 First Apartment).