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

Old Jan 14, 2016, 5:43 am
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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 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.)
    • 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 May 19, 2024, 12:02 am
  #2191  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 250
Is it that they're blocking AA altogether from June or is it that EY premium space is now only available 30 days out (compared to 60 days for a brief period a few months ago, and longer before that)? That seems to have been observed through AA and other partners (certainly VA, which I also use) since earlier this year: https://onemileatatime.com/news/etih...-availability/

I saw some EY J space through AA yesterday, for the middle of June (MEL-AUH for example); the actual dates I want are still a few weeks from opening up.

At least it's better than AC, which seems to see only Y space on EY now.
BernardBlack is offline  
Old May 19, 2024, 12:05 am
  #2192  
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by BernardBlack
Is it that they're blocking AA altogether from June or is it that EY premium space is now only available 30 days out (compared to 60 days for a brief period a few months ago, and longer before that)? That seems to have been observed through AA and other partners (certainly VA, which I also use) since earlier this year: https://onemileatatime.com/news/etih...-availability/

I saw some EY J space through AA yesterday, for the middle of June (MEL-AUH for example); the actual dates I want are still a few weeks from opening up.

At least it's better than AC, which seems to see only Y space on EY now.
This is for F not J. No availability on any routes from EOD June 1 onwards - looks pretty conclusive to me.

My guess is they don’t want the proles mixing with the Emiratis during peak Europe season. Protect the F cabin and keep it exclusive, La Premiere style.

J availability showing as normal.
zcd9986 is offline  
Old May 19, 2024, 12:37 am
  #2193  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 250
Originally Posted by zcd9986
This is for F not J. No availability on any routes from EOD June 1 onwards - looks pretty conclusive to me.

My guess is they don’t want the proles mixing with the Emiratis during peak Europe season. Protect the F cabin and keep it exclusive, La Premiere style.

J availability showing as normal.
Sorry, I misread. I haven't been looking for F so it may indeed be blocked.
BernardBlack is offline  
Old May 21, 2024, 3:12 am
  #2194  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 250
Originally Posted by zcd9986
This is for F not J. No availability on any routes from EOD June 1 onwards - looks pretty conclusive to me.

My guess is they don’t want the proles mixing with the Emiratis during peak Europe season. Protect the F cabin and keep it exclusive, La Premiere style.

J availability showing as normal.
I noticed yesterday I could see F space AUH<>LHR on June 2 (through both AA and VA), and now I can see some stuff on June 3 as well.

It might be that they're now releasing F to partners at 14 days and J at 30 days?
zcd9986 likes this.
BernardBlack is offline  
Old May 21, 2024, 3:22 am
  #2195  
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by BernardBlack
I noticed yesterday I could see F space AUH<>LHR on June 2 (through both AA and VA), and now I can see some stuff on June 3 as well.

It might be that they're now releasing F to partners at 14 days and J at 30 days?
I stand corrected... 14 days does make a lot of sense. Good observation!
zcd9986 is offline  
Old May 27, 2024, 3:23 am
  #2196  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 250
Is there a particular time of day to look to see EY premium space appear on AAdvantage (at 30 days out)? Like, 00:00 CT (based on Dallas HQ) or 09:00 ET, or whatever?
BernardBlack is offline  
Old May 27, 2024, 12:52 pm
  #2197  
ffI
 
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Originally Posted by BernardBlack
Is there a particular time of day to look to see EY premium space appear on AAdvantage (at 30 days out)? Like, 00:00 CT (based on Dallas HQ) or 09:00 ET, or whatever?
If anything it is likely to be based on AUH time e.g. 9 AM there = about 1 AM here in EST and 0.00 at ORD
ffI is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2024, 5:28 pm
  #2198  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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I am looking at some award flights in April 2025 in J: JFK-LHR-AUH. JFK-LHR operated by AA, LHR-AUH operated by EY. At 70K, this seems like it should be a J partner award all the way through. But the LHR-AUH leg is in economy, my guess because EY only seems to release J or F award space to AA close to travel date.

If I book this now, and J space for LHR-AUH becomes available through the AA site close-in, will AA be able to upgrade just that leg since technically I already paid the miles for it?
WannaTheater is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2024, 6:07 pm
  #2199  
 
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Originally Posted by WannaTheater
I am looking at some award flights in April 2025 in J: JFK-LHR-AUH. JFK-LHR operated by AA, LHR-AUH operated by EY. At 70K, this seems like it should be a J partner award all the way through. But the LHR-AUH leg is in economy, my guess because EY only seems to release J or F award space to AA close to travel date.

If I book this now, and J space for LHR-AUH becomes available through the AA site close-in, will AA be able to upgrade just that leg since technically I already paid the miles for it?
I've been able to do this in the past with CX and QR so I don't see why it would be any different for EY.
friedablass is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:13 pm
  #2200  
 
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Today, yes, probably after at least 1 HUCA. In April 2025 and how AAdvantage is trending with award changes though, who knows
lrdpenn is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2024, 7:49 am
  #2201  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,175
1) Trying to book BOM-JFK for mid-Sept. Is it still 30 days out for Etihad so perhaps best to start checking mid-Aug?
2) Also is it still worthwhile calling the ANZ/NZ call centers or is availability on the aa.com website (advanced search) reliable now?

As a test, I did see some J awards 10 days out from now but they were 2-stop. Hopefully I can snag a 1-stop J award in Sept

Thanks
sam007 is offline  
Old Jun 8, 2024, 8:56 am
  #2202  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Anybody?
sam007 is offline  
Old Jul 6, 2024, 8:24 am
  #2203  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 804
Originally Posted by zcd9986
I stand corrected... 14 days does make a lot of sense. Good observation!
Thats also my observation, that EY F awards are now only available T14.

Originally Posted by BernardBlack
I noticed yesterday I could see F space AUH<>LHR on June 2 (through both AA and VA), and now I can see some stuff on June 3 as well.

It might be that they're now releasing F to partners at 14 days and J at 30 days?
Yes, seems like J T30 and F T14. However, what I have noticed today is that EY doesn’t have J awards in the next 2-3 weeks, and that space is only available from 21/28 July. (I looked at NRT-AUH and AUH-GVA)
Which would then mean that EY might be blocking (summer holidays?) and only opening up certain periods? Combined with the AA limitation of T30, is becoming very restrictive for Aadvantage bookings.

rosenkavalier is offline  
Old Jul 6, 2024, 8:27 am
  #2204  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,175
Can we keep posting updates like this on a regular basis to help the community
rosenkavalier likes this.
sam007 is offline  
Old Jul 6, 2024, 8:30 am
  #2205  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,175
I often see JFK-AUH using AA miles in business but not JFK-BOM with a stop in AUH. I wouldn’t mind buying a separate revenue ticket on Etihad in coach for AUG-BOM but would Etihad agree to check in my baggage to final destination? It will be 2 separate itinerary numbers obviously and luggage allowance isn’t a big deal as I barely hit 50lb per bag
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