For some time I’ve considered Etihad’s 44,000 mile one way business class award on Royal Air Maroc to be one of the 10 best deals in all of travel.
- Etihad Guest miles are easy to come by since you can transfer American Express, Citibank, and Capital One miles to Etihad.
- They charge just 44,000 miles each way for trips over 2000 miles.
- Based in Casablanca, and joining oneworld, Royal Air Maroc flies from New York JFK, Washington Dulles, Boston, and Miami.
Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo
Historically you’ve been able to book any one way trip at this price. So you could fly New York to Casablanca and beyond for 44,000 miles in business class. Some people have claimed to even get free stopovers in Casablanca though I have never managed to do this successfully. It always broke the trip and Etihad wanted to charge separately for each segment at that point, even though the terms say “Stopovers are permitted.”
I’ve seen several reports over the past week that Etihad agents are now charging separately for each segment even without a stopover – that instead of charging 44,000 miles for a one way journey over 2000 miles, they are charging each flight based on the distance of the flight.
|DISTANCE TRAVELLED||ECONOMY CLASS||BUSINESS CLASS|
|0 – 1000||6000||12000|
|1001 – 1500||10000||20000|
|1501 – 2000||15000||30000|
|2001 and above||22000||44000|
The award chart clearly says these prices are “for one-way journeys only” and not per segment but people are being charged separately for each segment. That means it’ll be possible for some Royal Air Maroc business class awards to have gone from 44,000 miles one way to 88,000 miles one way.
Ryan S. writes about being quoted a higher price than expected, but in one case convincing the agent to charge the old price based on website verbiage. Meanwhile he was told,
- That pricing per segment is based on a recent email from the Etihad Guest program to agents
- The website will be updated to reflect this soon
If this is correct it’s troubling, but nothing new for Etihad Guest. This isn’t just a devaluation without notice it’s a devaluation contrary to notice considering they’re charging more than what their website says to expect.
When Etihad devalued partner awards on Brussels Airlines there was no advance notice for the change either.
Etihad Guest offers some fantastic award values, they’re a useful transfer partner, but they’re not a place where I’d park points because I believe they’ve demonstrated themselves to be untrustworthy as a store of value.