Wide Open Etihad First Apartment Award Space From New York Using Credit Card Points

Etihad has scheduled its Airbus A380 back onto the New York JFK – Abu Dhabi route starting April 22. They also fly the plane London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. It has one of the most spectacular first classes in the sky. In my opinion the hard product is third best behind the new Emirates first class and Singapore Suites.

They call it the First Apartment. It’s a tremendous amount of space, really a room, with separate seat and bed. The cabin offers a shower on board.

  • Award space on these Airbus A380 flights is wide open for two passengers on many flights
  • But it’s currently available only to members spending Etihad Guest points and not partner miles (like American AAdvantage and Air Canada Aeroplan)
  • However Etihad’s miles are very accessible. Points from American Express, Citibank and Capital One transfer to Etihad.

The problem is that Etihad charges a lot for their saver awards. Here’s the price per-passenger:

  • Abu Dhabi – London is 140,006 miles + $342
  • New York JFK – Abu Dhabi is 220,009 miles + $543

Note that both New York and London routes feature both Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s, and the 787 first class is materially different from what’s offered on the A380.

If I were seeing 3 seats New York JFK to Abu Dhabi I’d be tempted even at 660,000 total miles each way. I just flew London to Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi to London in the First Apartment using American AAdvantage miles for far less, and it was an amazing experience. I also got to experience Etihad’s new first class lounge in Abu Dhabi. I’ve flown the product around a dozen times and have loved it every time.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Hey Gary, there seems to be availability on a date in late April that I want, but Etihad’s website is showing both AUH-JFK services are operated by a 787. Is that an error or are they perhaps not quite bringing on the A380 as early as advertised?

Comments are closed.