Etihad first class award space is fairly open for two passengers on the Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi route from April through November, 2023. The easiest way to book these seats is through Air Canada Aeroplan. The opportunity was first spotted by Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service.
The DC route isn’t an Airbus A380 (‘first apartment’), but it’s the one where first class awards have been the most prevalent, and the airline does offer a true first class suite.
Aeroplan’s awards are distance-based. DC – Abu Dhabi runs 130,000 miles each way in first class. You can add stopovers for additional miles, which is an option I love – spend some time in the Mideast and continue on to India, the Maldives, or elsewhere.
- Aeroplan is a transfer partner with American Express, Chase, Capital One and Bilt
- There are no fuel surcharges, and you can combine with other partners (such as United to fly to and from Washington Dulles domestically, Air India or Asian carriers, or even other Aeroplan partners in the Gulf).
Booking Etihad awards has long been a pain through AAdvantage. AAdvantage charges 115,000 miles each way whether flying to the Mideast or Indian Subcontinent, but I haven’t tried ringing their foreign call centers to see whether the space is bookable for them.