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Booking AA Award travel on Etihad / EY (master thread July 2017 onwards)

Booking AA Award travel on Etihad / EY (master thread July 2017 onwards)

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Old Jun 29, 22, 7:52 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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Booking Award Seats on EY / Etihad Airways Using AA / AAdvantage Miles

Also see: Earning AA Miles EQM / EQD / EQS on EY / Etihad (master thread)

This thread is about how to book Etihad / EY award seats using AA AAdvantage miles, and sharing success stories. This wiki is new, so anyone with 90/90 who wishes to add helpful information is, of course, urged to do so.

NOTE:AA has removed most EY and QR award access from aa.com due to a glitch booking these:

From One Mile at a Time (link)

Bottom Line

For the time being you’ll have to call American if you want to ticket AAdvantage awards on Etihad & Qatar that aren’t for travel to & from the US or Canada. It makes sense that American took these awards “offline,” and now it also makes sense why so many passengers have been having issues with checked bags on awards.
  • You can now search or book awards for travel on EY (Etihad) on www.aa.com.
  • You can search award availability on EY's website. Look only for seats on flights operated by Etihad Airways that are labeled as "GuestSeats". You can also search on ExpertFlyer
    • Note: You may see more availability if you search on EY's website using itineraries that do not originate in the US. In other words, to potentially see more availability on a USA-XYZ segment, search for XYZ-USA-XYZ. Expertflyer does not report this additional availability (if any), and US-based agents probably will not be able to see or book it (but see further below for Fiji).
    • To expand on this point a bit, it seems that even if you only want to fly USA-AUH (or to other foreign destinations, since they route through AUH), due to an EY website quirk you need to search AUH-USA-AUH in order to find available USA-AUH routes.
  • You no longer have to call AA to book them. You may need to request the AA agent to look up the inventory one segment at a time in order to find the inventory in their system. OR:
  • It is often or even typically the case that for first and business class awards US agents cannot see the award space that you see on Etihad's site. Your best bet, then, is to call AA Australia (+61 2-9101-1948 ) then press 3 - or the New Zealand number (+64 09-308-4014) (actually South African contractor Mindpearl in Fiji) or Singapore (+65 6349-8444) as an alternative - what you need is the specific call center which is actually in Suva, Fiji (I believe it's our old South African agency friend Mindpearl) or, according to recent reports, in Trinidad (since there have been some reports that the Fiji center has closed). You can put the EY segments on hold so you can flesh out the award afterward and/or pay the fees in USD through the US call center, or simply buy it through non-US call center if you think you won't be making subsequent routing changes (such as adding AA connecting flights within the USA) that would incur fees. (NOTE: calls may get picked up by the local Brisbane office, or rerouted to Trinidad or the USA. As noted, there are reports that the Fiji call center has closed, but people have still been able to book some of the time, particularly if they reach the Trinidad center since that seems to be the call center that yields the greatest success in late 2017 and 2018 - with the big caveat that there are at least as many failures as successes in calling there, including repeatedly. To increase the chances of success, you may have to call several times, since for some reason a given customer service representative at a given time won't see availability even if it shows at the EY site, but another CSR at the same center may be able to do so even a few minutes later. It's conceivable that this difference is due to some CSRs knowing how to search for award availability better than others do, but that's simply a matter of speculation at this point.)
  • Booking connections via AUH / Abu Dabhi using one award is now allowed.
  • Get both AA and EY reservation codes/numbers: Upon booking with AA, make sure to get the EY reservation number as well as that of AA from the AA CSR, as without the EY number it will be difficult or impossible to deal with EY, such as for checking or managing your reservation online. And of course, if there is another airline involved in the reservation as well (such as BA), get its reservation number.
  • A handy EY route map is here: http://flights.etihad.com/routemap.
  • The applicable AAdvantage miles award chart is the oneworld and partner airlines award chart.
  • Award routing rules are in the wikipost of this thread.
  • If you find EY inventory from your continent but not your city of choice, as usual you can include any other AAdvantage award airlines in order to complete the itinerary. E.g. LHR-xAUH-DEL-xAUH-CDG on EY connecting to CDG-LHR on BA.
  • WARNING: While this trick is great for new bookings (especially if you have patience to get lucky for call to be routed to Fiji office), modifying booking on partner airlines is always risky especially when an overseas center is involved, Your original seats are immediately released and while new reservation is supposedly confirmed, it may actually not the case until ticket desk actually issues ticket after approval of the partner liaison. Weekend/Holidays/Time-Difference can delay issuance of ticket and if something goes wrong, there is always risk of being SOL. (Mistakes by agents are rare but not unheard of).
  • SEAT ASSIGNMENTS: You cannot choose seats until after ticketing. Even then, the regular web site will not allow seat assignments to be made for AAdvantage award bookings. The mobile site (which can be reached with either a mobile or a desktop browser) may work in some cases. Calling EY to make seat assignments always works, as long as you can give them the EY record locator, and as long as AA has issued the ticket (which can take a few days, you will get e-mail). Call 1-877-690-0767, press 1 for English, then 2 for First/Business, then 2 for existing bookings, then they will tell you the call is ending - but it's not: they have added "press 1 to speak to an agent", so finally, press 1 to continue the call. After this, you should have someone on the line quickly to help you. They will ask you a series of questions such as "What class are you traveling in?" and "Where are you going?" Alternatively, you can choose your seats on the Etihad website and app by using the EY record locator to find your award itinerary.
  • Availability: EY award availability using AA miles can be fairly good, including in business and first class - IF you get past the big, aforementioned challenge of actually booking award seats that the EY site shows as available but that AA agents have trouble finding. But it ebbs and flows quite a bit in at least two respects (in addition to the general rule that the further in advance you seek availability, the better, as well as reports that availability is easier to find from one to three weeks before a flight): 1) availability showing at the EY site and 2) even if availability shows at the EY site, the ability of non-US call centers (especially the "least bad" ones for finding availability, which might have been Fiji and might now be Trinidad) to find that availability. So if the EY site is not showing availability for a given day or week, and if you have flexibility, check other dates. And if availability seems to be particularly constrained across many dates, particularly if you are searching many months in advance, check again periodically to see if this has changed (or arrange an alert via ExpertFlyer, if it provides such a service for EY flights).
  • "Baby-sit" your tickets: Though this advice could apply to many award bookings, EY's systems can be glitchy and the airline apparently is going through some financial challenges. So it makes sense to check online or via phone occasionally with EY to make sure everything remains in order, particularly if there have been even minor changes in things like your flight times. And if there seem to be problems, including with checking in online or other procedures, the EY forum here at FT can be a source of useful advice about whether or not those problems are worth worrying about.
  • Itinerary: You can use https://www.virtuallythere.com/new/login.html to enter your EY record locator and last name to 1)display your complete itinerary 2)save a pdf 3)add to outlook/ical 4)view ticket # and different times the ticket has been reissued
  • AA lounge access: If you book a premium cabin itinerary on EY with domestic connections on AA, you will not be able to access the Admiral's Club during your domestic layovers because EY is not a member of OW.

Please see the archived threads for previous experiences: NOTE: From AUH to the USA you will receive full USCBP Pre-Clearance in Abu Dhabi and will arrive in the USA as a domestic flight. However, AA and at least some other airlines (AS) will still demand International to Domestic MCT be met for ticketing purposes.[/left]
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Old Mar 7, 20, 1:55 am
  #1561  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 3,796
Hopefully just a tech error if avail. is still there offline if ex-USA! If things do come to an end, do you think we will be given any notice? I collect AA purely to redeem on EY
pazza2000 is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 4:54 am
  #1562  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: DCA/IAD & BUF
Posts: 841
This is TPG's article from yesterday.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/americ...pointsguy&tw=1

I dug into my routes and sure enough, EF shows Ethiad availability AA is not picking up.

TPG also makes a point I think - (per AA's response noting issues where EY is the governing carrier) - is causing some of the confusion, for example #`1554 above. AA's site does seems to be showing EY availability when it's coupled with another carrier. However it is not showing Ethiad primary routes when they are the solo carrier. At least as of last evening.

Hopefully it's straightened out soon. Either way, I agree it's better to lock in any Ethiad awards for this year sooner rather than later. My new weekend project.

Last edited by cmtlatitudes; Mar 7, 20 at 6:04 am
cmtlatitudes is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 10:31 am
  #1563  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 3,796
Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes View Post
Hopefully it's straightened out soon. Either way, I agree it's better to lock in any Ethiad awards for this year sooner rather than later. My new weekend project.
Ah, you reckon.... if ever a time to have to rush into plans aswell!
pazza2000 is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 8:13 pm
  #1564  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago & AUH
Programs: AA PLT Pro, EY Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by Perdita View Post
This is sort of an EY-related tourism question so posting here.

If we (US citizens on AA award flight in J) arrive EY AMM-AUH on a November Sunday at 6:45pm with short checked bags, would it be reasonable to try to visit the Grand Mosque that closes at 10pm? Even if for an hour or so? We are overnighting at the airport Premier Inn before an onward flight the next morning. Any insight/experience/advice is appreciated! Thanks.
You’d have no problem doing this, the mosque is not far from the airport. Enjoy, it’s beautiful!
Perdita likes this.
Chgo2AD is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 6:30 am
  #1565  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 16
I was able to ticket Etihad flights using AA miles yesterday. I had to call the Singapore office for the reservation, then later call the US based AA number for the final ticketing.
sgodfrey is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 7:17 am
  #1566  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: DCA/IAD & BUF
Posts: 841
Originally Posted by pazza2000 View Post
Ah, you reckon.... if ever a time to have to rush into plans aswell!
Yeah... the timing could be better for sure. While I really don't think AA will liquidate and FF miles to become worthless in the next three months, it sort of feels like anything could happen right now. Above and beyond whether Ethiad remains a partner. But it feels like my remaining miles are slightly more protected on ticketed flights I would want to take sometime anyway, rather than sitting in my account. Worse case, I end up paying a few $150 fees to redeposit.
cmtlatitudes is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 6:11 pm
  #1567  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,240
Tried a bunch of dates with availability on etihad.com with the AAgent and she wasn't seeing anything.
fly2nrt is offline  
Old Mar 11, 20, 12:58 pm
  #1568  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago & AUH
Programs: AA PLT Pro, EY Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 166
Noticed Etihad opened a ton of availability to the US this morning - happened to be at O'hare, they could not see business availability, called Australia and they could not either but Singapore was able to see it immediately and was able to book the 4 of us without issue.
Chgo2AD is offline  
Old Mar 21, 20, 10:13 am
  #1569  
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sacramento
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Amtrak Select
Posts: 1,156
Grounding of A380

Just read this news. Fingers crossed it starts up again by Oct.
joecool1885 is offline  
Old Mar 21, 20, 11:03 am
  #1570  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: HHonors Diamond, Bonvoy Gold. Hold AA, UA, BA, LH, SQ, VX, AF, AMEX, Citi, Chase balances
Posts: 2,130
Originally Posted by joecool1885 View Post
Just read this news. Fingers crossed it starts up again by Oct.
are they canceling routes or subbing the aircraft?

Do not see anything on google
saaveraward is offline  
Old Mar 21, 20, 1:43 pm
  #1571  
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sacramento
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Amtrak Select
Posts: 1,156
Originally Posted by saaveraward View Post
are they canceling routes or subbing the aircraft?

Do not see anything on google
Directly from OMAAT
"
  • London is being flown by a combination of 787-9s and 787-10s (select 787-9s have first class)
  • New York is being flown by a 777-300ER (with first class)
  • Paris is being flown by a combination of 787-10s and 777-300ERs (select 777-300ERs have first class)
  • Seoul Incheon is being flown by a 787-10
  • Sydney is being flown by a 777-300ER (select 777-300ERs have first class)"
joecool1885 is offline  
Old Mar 21, 20, 2:31 pm
  #1572  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: HHonors Diamond, Bonvoy Gold. Hold AA, UA, BA, LH, SQ, VX, AF, AMEX, Citi, Chase balances
Posts: 2,130
ok, so only through 30 June. With EXPO, they'll be back (provided there is an EXPO).
saaveraward is offline  
Old Mar 21, 20, 3:29 pm
  #1573  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: PHL
Programs: ex-US Gold, Accor Silver, AF apologist
Posts: 194
too bad. I am flying 380 LHR-AUH-SYD F on 25 June (at least that is the plan at this point...). Will miss the 30 June by only a few days. AA reservation has disappeared on AA.com, EY website shows that I have been downgraded to J in 781 and 777. No F on either plane. Will see how things play out in the next weeks to see if I keep the routing or even decide to (or can) take the trip
mapboyPHL is offline  
Old Mar 28, 20, 9:25 am
  #1574  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: HNL
Programs: AA PPRO, HH Diamond, National EE
Posts: 525
When I call Singapore CC or New Zealand CC do I only have them search the EY portions I'm looking for and then call the US CC to do the AA portions?
-Meaning call Singapore and have them look for JFK-AUH-MLE on EY, put it on hold, Call the US CC and have them add DCA-JFK on AA metal to my held itinerary?

Also, I'm basing my attempt at getting availability off of the Round-trip trick of searching that instead of one-way. Is that still working as far as everyone knows?
-https://milenomics.com/2019/02/book-...ment-aa-miles/

Thanks
hawkfan7314 is offline  
Old Mar 28, 20, 9:31 am
  #1575  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: HHonors Diamond, Bonvoy Gold. Hold AA, UA, BA, LH, SQ, VX, AF, AMEX, Citi, Chase balances
Posts: 2,130
Originally Posted by hawkfan7314 View Post
When I call Singapore CC or New Zealand CC do I only have them search the EY portions I'm looking for and then call the US CC to do the AA portions?
-Meaning call Singapore and have them look for JFK-AUH-MLE on EY, put it on hold, Call the US CC and have them add DCA-JFK on AA metal to my held itinerary?

Also, I'm basing my attempt at getting availability off of the Round-trip trick of searching that instead of one-way. Is that still working as far as everyone knows?
-https://milenomics.com/2019/02/book-...ment-aa-miles/

Thanks
In my experience, you can have Singapore/NZ add all segments, if available and they price correctly within their system. Otherwise, yes, you can call the US to add a segment from XXX-JFK.
saaveraward is offline  

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