For Those Of You Who Are Booking The Etihad $178 Fares…

If you’re going to travel on this amazing fare to Abu Dhabi, India, Africa or Asia you may wonder whom to credit the flight miles to?

The key thing to know is that this deal has been booking into E class. Knowing the fare basis of your ticket will tell you what kind of miles you’ll earn with each of the possible programs you’d credit miles to.

American AAdvantage

Etihad is a frequent flyer partner of American AAdvantage. However, Etihad’s flights between the US and Abu Dhabi do not earn miles with American. (They do if it’s an American Airlines codeshare, but that’s not available with this deal.)

Flights beyond Abu Dhabi — say, Abu Dhabi – Johannesburg that some folks booked — do earn miles with American. For those flights you’ll earn 100% flown miles.

My recommendation is to credit miles for travel between Abu Dhabi and other destinations to American, but of course you don’t want to credit US – Abu Dhabi flights to American because those won’t earn miles.

ANA Mileage Club

E class tickets will earn 50% of flown mileage. This is an option for your US-Abu Dhabi flights. In fact for many people that are just flying to the UAE and back it will be my suggestion.

That’s because they have a fantastic program and a functional website for booking awards on Star Alliance partners.

ANA is also a great American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner. So you won’t strand your miles, if you have Amex points you can add to your stash and use them for an award.

ANA miles expire after three years, however.

Korean Air Skypass

Some will want to credit their Etihad flights to Korean Air Skypass because points transfers from Chase to Korean should return next month.

That way they can top off a Korean account with miles from this trip and from available Chase points.

The problem is that the ‘E’ booking class on Etihad no longer earns miles in the Skypass program.

Etihad Guest

Etihad will award 50% flown miles on these fares. A simple New York JFK – Abu Dhabi roundtrip will earn 6867 miles with Etihad Guest.

Etihad is a Citi Thank You Points transfer partner so you can use points in that program to top off, if you wish. These points can be used, for instance, for Philippine Airlines business class between the US and Southeast Asia.

Enough miles and you could even book The Residence onboard Etihad’s A380.

Etihad also has one of the most extensive miles-for-merchandise programs in the world. Less than 5000 miles can get you a wallet.

The Rest of Etihad’s Partners

Etihad also partners with:

  • airberlin
  • Alitalia
  • Air New Zealand
  • Asiana
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Flybe
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Gol
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Oman Air
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • South African Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Ukraine International Airlines
  • Virgin Australia

Accrual rules will vary with each carrier.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary,
    How do you put one FFN on two of the flights and another on the other two. Will they let you do that.
    I got the JFK-AUH-JNB flight!


  2. Gary, How would you credit miles if you had Etihad Gold status? I read the somewhat bullish review of the Etihad economy product, and am hoping that my Etihad Gold status will help bump me to an upgrade. However, I don’t regularly credit miles to Etihad and would prefer to put the miles of my IAD-AUH flight into ANA.

  3. @Erica – I really would not expect a status-based upgrade on this fare or with Etihad Gold generally. I’d use the Gold card for lounge access and credit the miles elsewhere personally.

  4. Gary- am booked ORD-DUB, DUB-AUH, same routing heading home. First leg on AA metal, 2nd on EY, with flights ticketed by Etihad in fare class E. Am I interpreting it correctly that I should earn 100% mileage on all segments if crediting to American since it isn’t direct to Abu Dhabi?

  5. @Dave W – yes, it’s only the US – Abu Dhabi flights on Etihad that do not earn in AAdvantage. Remember, no elite credit. But full mileage.

  6. Hi Gary: How would I credit my LAX – Abu Dhabi flight to ANA? I purchased my ticket from Orbitz (and I did not enter any frequent flier program at the time of purchase). Is there a way I can present my ANA number at the airport? Thanks!

  7. Won’t make much difference I think, but my outbound booked in E and the return on U. To find the fare class look up your record locator on the Etihad site, then click for the E-Ticket receipt. That will show fare class.

    @Gary: I fly to Italy at least once a year, so Al Italia might be interesting, but do I remember correctly that they reboot the whole program every few years with loss of accrued miles?

  8. Thanks Gary! I’m really excited about going to Abu Dhabi for the first time, but was disappointed thinking there were no miles. This is much better to get at least 50% on ANA! Merry Christmas! 🙂

  9. Guess I’m slow, still not sure of the answer to Dave W’s situation:

    -DUB-AUH-ORD EY metal, EY operated – Will both segments earn me AA miles because it AUH is just a stop? Or will I only earn AA miles for the DUB-AUH segment and have to credit the AUH-ORD segment to another program?

  10. In regards to your reply to Dave W – for the flights that are US-MAN/CDG-AUH, with the US-MAN/CDG segments on AA metal with a Etihad flight number (or even with an AA flight number), you’ll get EQM & EQP on the AA metal segments (at 50% at this fare), correct? It’s only the EU-AUH flights that you’d receive miles, but no Q points, right?

  11. Hey Gary. I’d appreciate an advice very much…
    I booked JFK-CDG on AA continuing CDG-AUH on Etihad. Returning the same way/same airlines.
    I’m chairmans preferred with US air but no status with AA. Would the best course of action be to credit JFK-CDG to US air and CDG-AUH to American? Won’t there be a conflict since Etihad is not US air partner and its ticketed by them?

  12. I managed to take advantage of this deal. I bought an Etihad ticket with a JFK/CDG/AUH routing. I am on AA metal from JFK/CDG. Is there any way to use miles or status to get an upgrade or preferred seating on the AA portions?


  13. Gary, you overcomplicate it! Credit to EY and then use PointsPay to cash out for, well, cash via a virtual Visa number. You get over 0.6c per mile and it is cash.

    I have done this a couple of times. I even credited a Korean sector to EY last year, as I have no Skyteam account, and cashed out $5!

  14. @Samir on the AA metal flight you can earn as though it was a pure AA flight, so 100% miles and eqm’s. For Europe-Abu Dhabi you receive 100% miles and no qualifying miles

  15. @Brian – dublin – abu dhabi earns american miles. it is only Abu Dhabi – US non-stops that do not. so you need to credit abu dhabi – chicago to another program.

  16. @LarryInNYC – the current program expires December 31, 2015! “Unless extended” which may mean a brand new program and an opportunity to extend existing miles, probably requiring flights credited to the program.

  17. I’ve flown Etihad before through Abu Dhabi and liked it well. In the case of this promotion, though, it only would benefit me by applying the mileage credit to B6 (jetBlue). How would the credit apply for that airline?

  18. My pending CC charges to my SPG card are not there anymore… looks like EY is trying to backpedal. I do, however, have the ticket numbers and confirmation email.

  19. So… if I understand this correctly…
    My JFK-CDG earns AA PQM?
    CDG-AUH-JNB earns AA RDM (and on the return)
    And then CDG-JFK will earn PQM?

  20. My FFP is Asiana and although I see Asiana as a choice for crediting Etihad miles to, I do not see the percentage, if any, of miles credited to the Asian FFP when flying E class with Etihad. If I credit my miles to Asiana, what will be credited to my Asian account?

  21. Finally found the right page on the Asiana website. (Obvious once you know where it is.) 50% for E as you said. Any reason not to credit to Asiana on this one?

  22. I may have the strangest combination. ORD-CDG on AA in O class. CDG-AUH and AUH-JFK in E class. Then JetBlue JFK-ORD class unknown.

  23. I have a flight that continues from AUH to JNB. If I use ANA for the JFK-AUH can I switch to my Aadvantage number for the AUH-JNB section and still expect the miles to credit properly?

  24. Thank you, Gary!

    Booked nonstop DFW-AUH & AUH-DFW flights but given the length seriously considering bidding for Y-to-J upgrades (if EY will allow it on these tickets). I read somewhere that these upgrades (unlike upgrading at the airport) actually increase your mileage accrual level.

    Does anyone have any idea what fare class is on those tickets? Korean gives you 150% on J, C, D, W and ANA gives 125% on J, C, D, W, Z.

  25. I am a noob, could you please tell me how and where I specify my frequent mile number to earn miles? I bought couple of tickets at Orbitz and did not specify my AA membership number. How can I make sure to earn all possible miles.

  26. @Norm from what I’ve seen on here and FlyerTalk you should get 50% FF mileage credit on AA. No EQM’s though. You can give them your FF# at check in. Good luck seems like a lot of confusion all over because Etihad isn’t a member of any Alliance just partners with some airlines.

  27. My wife and I have Z class bookings (business saver) SFO-AUH-BOM late January. Wanted to get your opinion on where we should bank the miles for this journey.

    Looks like AA is not the best option, since we would get nothing for the SFO-AUH segment. Would Etihad Guest be of much use (they reward Z at 130% apparently). It would be 2 tickets, and the miles would be combinable as part of Etihad’s family accounts deal.

    We also have a bunch of Ultimate Rewards points – I read online that Korean Air offers 140k on Emirates in Business Class RT – is that still the best option to fly Emirates business class, or is Alaska still the best option now? JAL used to be the best, not sure if that is still recent.

    In any case, bank to Etihad Guest or Korean or somewhere else? Did not know ANA was an option, and they seem to credit Z at 125%, which is great!


  28. How do I credit JFK – AUH to ANA
    and then credit AUH – JNB on AA? I called Etihad and they said I can only add 1 FF #.

    Thanks for your help!

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