Etihad has been pulling back from the U.S., just as they’ve been pulling back from investments in foreign airlines. They decided to stem their losses in air berlin and Alitalia. They’ve cut routes around the world as their appetite for growth at the expense of their balance sheet has subsided.
They eliminated their Dallas Fort-Worth flight after American severed its codesharing relationship. They eliminated their San Francisco flight after Air India starting San Francisco – Delhi.
Etihad still flies to Los Angeles, New York JFK, Washington Dulles, and Chicago (as well as Toronto). Their New York JFK flight has been double daily Airbus A380 service.
Etihad Airbus A380 in Abu Dhabi
However they’re eliminating one of the New York JFK flights effective October 1. The flight will be operated by an A380 six times a week and by a Boeing 777 on Tuesdays. (HT: One Mile at a Time)
- New York JFK – Abu Dhabi, 10:55 pm – 8:05 pm+1, Etihad EY100
Abu Dhabi – New York JFK, 9:55 am – 4:10 pm, Etihad EY101
I’ve got a roundtrip planned to the Maldives flying Austin – New York JFK – Abu Dhabi – Male and return. Right now the schedules line up so I fly straight through. There’s no overnight along the way in either direction.
Etihad First Apartments
My outbound will continue to operate as-scheduled, but my return no longer will. To keep my itinerary I’ll need to overnight in Abu Dhabi. That’s not the end of the world, but a late arrival into Abu Dhabi and a morning departure means a wasted night. And I’m not even sure it’s worth leaving the airport grounds, I’d probably stay in the clean but dorm-like Premier Inn at the airport.
That’s fine as far as it goes, but then I started to consider options, ideally sticking with first class award availability but being open to business for flights not over 8 hours.
- There’s Etihad A380 award space Abu Dhabi – London. If I’m going to overnight somewhere perhaps I’d rather London? But if I go to London maybe I want to do more than just one night, but that means (1) a separate award [more miles] back from Europe, and (2) flying British Airways home [fuel surcharges].
- I could fly Emirates home, spending the night in Colombo. I might prefer a couple of nights. I’d fly back to Houston to get their Airbus A380, and I’d need to either book a car service or a United flight home. And since Alaska charges too many miles I’d be looking at fuel surcharges there, too.
- There’s Etihad A380 first class award space to Paris. And a couple of nights there are always worth doing. However getting space home from Paris to Austin without double connecting looks ugly at the moment.
- I considered flying Qatar through Doha but there’s no Male – Doha space, and no connecting anymore Abu Dhabi – Doha.
Emirates A380 First Class
This trip isn’t until the fall. I may change my mind a dozen times between now and then. But I’m just not sure what I want to book for now. I had planned to just do a straight trip to the Maldives and back but that’s appealing less and less due to this schedule change.