Etihad is Going to Honor $178 Fares to Abu Dhabi and Cheap Fares to Asia and Africa

Etihad’s amazing fare starting at $178 roundtip to Abu Dhabi, India, Africa or Asia are going to be honored.

To be clear, I hadn’t really speculated that they wouldn’t be but folks will be glad to know that Etihad has confirmed that they’re not going to be trying to unwind the tickets.

“A system filing issue caused ticket prices for a promotion in the USA to be temporarily listed incorrectly,” said Etihad spokeswoman Katie Connell on Sunday. “The issue has since been rectified. Etihad Airways will honor these fares.”

Connell said she could not immediately say how many tickets were issued at the sharply reduced levels.

It seemed that Etihad didn’t have many options here, under Department of Transportation rules against ‘post-purchase price increases’ that even apply to sales that turn out to be mistake fares.

Cancelling tickets which would then require passengers who want to travel to buy at new prevailing prices constitute, in DOT parlance, a post-purchase price increase which is prohibited.

The DOT wants to change that. It’s rules that they adopted in the past few years that they now seem to regret.

And in particular they resent that the consumer protections they’ve put in place mean that mistakes which spread on blogs have to be honored although they haven’t said how they can thread the needle of maintaining consumer protections in some cases but not in others, or define which sorts of fares would be exceptions to the rule.

Here’s how to learn about the next mistake fare while it’s still live.

And here’s where to credit the miles if you’re flying on one of these Etihad fares.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Gary, there was a pending charge on my chase ink that no longer shows up as of this morning. Although the ticket nos. were issued, can Etihad now legally void the tickets stating that they never charged my credit card? Someone on FT posted that the airline does not necessarily have to honor the ticket given that they have not collected the ticket fee yet. Your thoughts?

  2. @Paul I don’t think that theory is correct. There was offer and acceptance, they took your card and issued tickets. If your card charge didn’t process (as opposed to the airline rejecting the charge after the fact) that would be a different matter. Although it’s a bit of a murky area, and I am not a lawyer (certainly not a lawyer specializing in DOT regulations) who can speak authoritatively on what constitutes a purchase.

    Since Etihad has proactively spoken and said they’re honoring this, I don’t think they’re cancelling things out and perhaps there’s just a lag where you’ll see the converted pending charge turn up as a real charge tomorrow at some point….?

  3. @Paul

    Charges “disappear” off Chase Ink cards all the time. Wait a week or two and they’ll be back. It’s a weird glitch in Chase’s system that only happens on business cards. As long as you have a valid e-ticket and confirmation, you’re fine.

  4. I had booked this ticket (USA-AUH-Asia-AUH-Europe-USA) with a stop in Europe on the way back.

    I planned to drop the last leg (Europe-USA), spend some time in Europe and then just book a separate one-way ticket when I need to return.

    I’ve been notified by Etihad and Expedia now that I had been rebooked on a direct AUH-JFK with no stopover. Do I have any recourse to be put back on AUH-CDG-JFK for example?

  5. They’ve done that to others, and I’ve heard folks have been able to get their original itineraries restored though it has taken a few calls in some cases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.