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

Old Jan 14, 2016, 6:43 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: medellinfein
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 youll have to call American if you want to ticket AAdvantage awards on Etihad & Qatar that arent 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.)
    • Note: EY award holds only last 72 hours...irrespective of what AA reservation hold email states
  • 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.
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Booking AA Award travel on Etihad / EY (master thread July 2017 onwards)

Old Dec 27, 2023, 5:43 pm
  #2131  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by El Puerco Volante
A competent AAgent confirmed to me on the phone that AA doesn't have any access to EY F inventory anymore for mileage bookings.

According to him this has been the case for some time and they have no idea if it will be ever back.

This sucks and if not solved pronto I will avoid using AAdvantage in future.

Now you can expext a post on the usual blogs with this very same info, saying that their sources confirmed it, while they simply stole (as usual) the info from this forum

Regards,

El Puerco Volante
I see many days over the next two weeks of EY F available right now from IAD-AUH on the AA website. Is that phantom availability?

mharlan100 is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2023, 9:00 am
  #2132  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Programs: A3 Gold, AA Platinum, Marriott & Discovery Platinum, IGH Diamond
Posts: 878
Originally Posted by mharlan100
I see many days over the next two weeks of EY F available right now from IAD-AUH on the AA website. Is that phantom availability?

Ha! That's bookable indeed. Not sure anymore who to believe here. I've checked few other dates/routes with EY GuestSeat availability and none are bookable on AA.

It's a mess, really
Regards,

El Puerco Volante
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El Puerco Volante is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:37 am
  #2133  
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Originally Posted by El Puerco Volante
Ha! That's bookable indeed. Not sure anymore who to believe here. I've checked few other dates/routes with EY GuestSeat availability and none are bookable on AA.

It's a mess, really
Regards,

El Puerco Volante
EY GuestSaver availability is meaningless now that the window os only 60 days in advance, and what's bookable actually shows up on AA.
APFanboy likes this.
Smiley90 is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2024, 3:05 pm
  #2134  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago & AUH
Programs: AA PLT Pro, EY Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 172
Originally Posted by El Puerco Volante
Ha! That's bookable indeed. Not sure anymore who to believe here. I've checked few other dates/routes with EY GuestSeat availability and none are bookable on AA.

It's a mess, really
Regards,

El Puerco Volante
I was able to book 4 F tickets from AUH-IAD using AA miles without issue. Booked on Nov 17th and flew on Nov 26th.
Chgo2AD is offline  
Old Jan 5, 2024, 5:04 pm
  #2135  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 5
Trying to hold AUH to LHR (F) and I get an error "Our system is having trouble"

Also, does anyone know if there is a $150 miles reinstatement fee if award ticket is cancelled? The website seems to indicate this but the blogs do not.
APFanboy is offline  
Old Jan 5, 2024, 5:11 pm
  #2136  
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Originally Posted by APFanboy
Trying to hold AUH to LHR (F) and I get an error "Our system is having trouble"

Also, does anyone know if there is a $150 miles reinstatement fee if award ticket is cancelled? The website seems to indicate this but the blogs do not.
A) STRONG recommendation against holding partner tickets. They can easily get cancelled and you have no recourse. I'd only ever hold AA tickets.

B) Cancellation is free.
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Smiley90 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 2024, 9:11 am
  #2137  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Makanmata
After seeing a ton of phantom space at the end of July, and then no space at all, today I was able to book KHI-AUD-JFK in J on the AA site. I then called up American and had them downgrade the KHI-AUD sector to Y to avoid US$900 in taxes, and then had the agent issue the ticket. If space opens up on Qatar I'll probably cancel and switch to that - although the connection isn't quite as good as this - but glad to have this now as an option.

With the Asian partners offering almost no availability, EY and QR are about the only ways I have to suck some value out of AAdvantage these days (and rather good value it is) so good to have EY now bookable online (and a 3rd daily JFK-DOH starting in November). I just wish AA offered an award from North America to Asia through the Gulf without booking two separate awards.
Hi. Did you end up taking the KHI-AUD-JFK flight?

I'm very curious how this went, as you know the new taxes in KHI for business class are a huge PITA.

What was your baggage allowance going from KHI to AUD?
APFanboy is offline  
Old Jan 6, 2024, 9:22 am
  #2138  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Smiley90
A) STRONG recommendation against holding partner tickets. They can easily get cancelled and you have no recourse. I'd only ever hold AA tickets.

B) Cancellation is free.
Thank you. I had to use chat to do the booking as the website kept erroring out.. Now I'm waiting for it to be ticketed (which I hear can take a few days).

Hopefully I won't face the baggage issue as we actually need the full 50kgs allocated by EY on that route.
APFanboy is offline  
Old Jan 8, 2024, 5:02 pm
  #2139  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by APFanboy
Thank you. I had to use chat to do the booking as the website kept erroring out.. Now I'm waiting for it to be ticketed (which I hear can take a few days).

Hopefully I won't face the baggage issue as we actually need the full 50kgs allocated by EY on that route.
Update: Having major issues trying to book EY F between AUH and LON (currently 3 seats available) less than 2 weeks out.
  • Despite showing plenty of availability, I see an error when I try to finalize the purchase online. Holds don't work either.
  • I got on chat and an agent was able to create the booking no problem. An hour later, my points were deducted and the status of the PNR was "pending".
    • 24h later, the PNR was cancelled after I manually checked. There was no email.
  • I got on chat again and this time requested a supervisor, who created the same booking again, and assured me that this time it would be fine.
    • Once again, 24h, automatic cancellation with no email.
  • For both cancellations, points were not automatically credited until I contacted an agent.
I'm going to try the contact center next, possibly a foreign center like Australia.
APFanboy is offline  
Old Jan 19, 2024, 3:21 pm
  #2140  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London / Los Angeles
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond Ambassador, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Globalist, BA Silver
Posts: 1,618
Originally Posted by APFanboy
Update: Having major issues trying to book EY F between AUH and LON (currently 3 seats available) less than 2 weeks out.
  • Despite showing plenty of availability, I see an error when I try to finalize the purchase online. Holds don't work either.
  • I got on chat and an agent was able to create the booking no problem. An hour later, my points were deducted and the status of the PNR was "pending".
    • 24h later, the PNR was cancelled after I manually checked. There was no email.
  • I got on chat again and this time requested a supervisor, who created the same booking again, and assured me that this time it would be fine.
    • Once again, 24h, automatic cancellation with no email.
  • For both cancellations, points were not automatically credited until I contacted an agent.
I'm going to try the contact center next, possibly a foreign center like Australia.
Did you resolve this?

I wanted to book a First class award showing on AA.com with miles but it kept erroring out. Flight was for next day so I gave up and booked something else.
Enigma368 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2024, 10:21 am
  #2141  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, AF Platinum,TK and A3 Gold
Posts: 228
Award ticket with ethiad -luggage allowance

Hi
If I get an economy award ticket from AA to fly with Ethiad . Do I have any checked bags allowance ?
Thanks
john1987 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2024, 10:53 am
  #2142  
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What does the email confirmation say?
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:39 am
  #2143  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by APFanboy
Update: Having major issues trying to book EY F between AUH and LON (currently 3 seats available) less than 2 weeks out.
  • Despite showing plenty of availability, I see an error when I try to finalize the purchase online. Holds don't work either.
  • I got on chat and an agent was able to create the booking no problem. An hour later, my points were deducted and the status of the PNR was "pending".
    • 24h later, the PNR was cancelled after I manually checked. There was no email.
  • I got on chat again and this time requested a supervisor, who created the same booking again, and assured me that this time it would be fine.
    • Once again, 24h, automatic cancellation with no email.
  • For both cancellations, points were not automatically credited until I contacted an agent.
I'm going to try the contact center next, possibly a foreign center like Australia.
Any updates? I'm in the same boat. Keeps erroring "our system is having trouble please try again or come back later". Haven't tried chat yet but I imagine it won't work either.
donalduckn is offline  
Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:56 pm
  #2144  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,666
Originally Posted by donalduckn
Any updates? I'm in the same boat. Keeps erroring "our system is having trouble please try again or come back later". Haven't tried chat yet but I imagine it won't work either.
call AA and see if they can see and book it. There have been reported problem with some partner awards
777lover is offline  

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