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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 Sep 17, 19, 5:18 am   -   Wikipost
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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.
  • 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 Jan 20, 18, 7:57 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
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Originally Posted by vivrant View Post
Really excited I was able to secure two seats for the wife and I in the First Apartments, all the way through from JFK-AUH on the 380 and then AUH-SIN on the 787..
We do have a ~11 hr layover while in AUH which we don't really mind since I'm reading that there is a gym, food is great, showers are nice and there is a spa. But not sure if we want to stay in the lounge the entire time...
My question is - how should we best make use of our time during the layover? We've never been to Abu Dhabi and I think we get chauffeur service right to/from so could we theoretically take advantage of the car service to get us into town for some sight-seeing and then back to the airport? If so, any left luggage facilities we can leave our carry ons? Thanks!

Edit: Forgot to mention that I booked this using AA miles, called the Aussie # but I'm not sure if I was routed somewhere else. Cost us 115k JFK-AUH and then 50k AUH-SIN for each of us. Will get back 10% of those miles with the AAviator Credit Card.
I think the Grand Mosque is a must-see in Abu Dhabi. My husband had a day to kill in AUH and we hired a driver for the day and he took us to the Mosque and then up to Dubai for sightseeing. Luggage storage: Baggage Services | Airport Services | Airport Information | Abu Dhabi International Airport
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Old Jan 21, 18, 4:04 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by vivrant View Post
Really excited I was able to secure two seats for the wife and I in the First Apartments, all the way through from JFK-AUH on the 380 and then AUH-SIN on the 787..
We do have a ~11 hr layover while in AUH which we don't really mind since I'm reading that there is a gym, food is great, showers are nice and there is a spa. But not sure if we want to stay in the lounge the entire time...
I agree with the others who have answered your question. You definitely have time to get out of the airport. Hiring a taxi, car & driver or simply renting a car are all good options. We rented a car from Budget for $30 for the day that allowed us to go anywhere we wanted without having to wait for the next cab or Uber driver to show up. Driving there is very easy, despite what you'll read if you Google.

Your mid day arrival is perfect for spending the afternoon around town and still leaving enough time to go enjoy the lounge. For storing your luggage, you have a couple of options. We had 21 hours, so we had also grabbed a room at the Premier Inn at the airport and left our bags there. If you rent a car, just throw them in the trunk. Otherwise, you could just go through security after arrival and head to the lounge (rather than going straight through immigration & customs). Just after the reception desk is a locker room with large individual lockers. They're meant for leaving your bags while you're in the lounge, but I don't think you'd have a problem leaving them there for a few hours while you're out exploring.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must. There's a tour at 2:00pm if you're there on a Sat, otherwise 4:45pm would work for your schedule. If you're adventurous, head to the Mina fish market for lunch first. It's not fancy, or a sit-down restaurant, but you'll get a good taste of the real Abu Dhabi and some great fresh seafood! There's a few photos and a brief description here: A Day in Abu Dhabi Necessary Indulgences
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Old Jan 21, 18, 2:42 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Originally Posted by FlyerTalkUserName View Post
I would recommend using a tool like ExpertFlyer or AwardNexus that might return some more creative routings for JFK-DCA. Did you try searching JFK-DCA yourself? While the EY segments need to be booked over the phone agents are rarely helpful at that kind of thing.

There's a bit of debate on the topic but I would recommend booking a one-way in each direction so that both can be modified without fear of "messing up" the other. Same amount of points either way.
Just thinking more about your comment from last week.... What exactly is the debate around booking a one-way award. You mentioned one upside about not messing up one leg while changing the other, but what are the other upsides or downsides?
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Old Jan 21, 18, 2:55 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by foxtrotlima1 View Post
Just thinking more about your comment from last week.... What exactly is the debate around booking a one-way award. You mentioned one upside about not messing up one leg while changing the other, but what are the other upsides or downsides?
If you have to cancel the whole trip, you might end up paying the $150 reinstatement fee twice if it is two one-ways. The rules say that if the miles were from the same account, it's only $25 extra; but the computer will want to charge $150 per reservation record. Whether you can persuade the agent to do a manual waiver is a YMMV situation.

Since they will only hold an award for 5 days, in cases where one is booking 330 days in advance there is generally no alternative to booking one-ways.

Topic not specific to EY, of course, and discussed in other threads.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 3:00 pm
  #95  
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Originally Posted by vivrant View Post
Really excited I was able to secure two seats for the wife and I in the First Apartments, all the way through from JFK-AUH on the 380 and then AUH-SIN on the 787..
We do have a ~11 hr layover while in AUH which we don't really mind since I'm reading that there is a gym, food is great, showers are nice and there is a spa. But not sure if we want to stay in the lounge the entire time...
My question is - how should we best make use of our time during the layover? We've never been to Abu Dhabi and I think we get chauffeur service right to/from so could we theoretically take advantage of the car service to get us into town for some sight-seeing and then back to the airport? If so, any left luggage facilities we can leave our carry ons? Thanks!
Good for you! I agree that the Grand Mosque is beautiful, though be aware it can get kind of crowded. My wife and I did it on our last overnight transit through AUH and liked it. For the next time through, later this year, we plan on checking out the Falcon Hospital, apparently close to the airport: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...Abu_Dhabi.html. I believe its two-hour tours are at 10 am and 2 pm, but you can find out for sure online.

One thing about getting around: From the number of posts, it seems like you're an experienced traveler. Still, I'll just flag the issue of jet-lag in your weighing whether you should drive around or not.

Anyway, happy trails!
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Old Jan 21, 18, 3:03 pm
  #96  
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Just booked two F seats on JFK-AUH for July using NZ number. No idea where the call went but agent sounded NZ.
Agent confirmed that both EY100 and EY102 had F availability exactly as shown on EY.com.
FlyerTalkUserName likes this.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 4:36 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
EY no longer provides chauffeur service on AA award tickets.
Any idea if they do if one is using EY miles?
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Old Jan 21, 18, 4:39 pm
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Any idea if they do if one is using EY miles?
Good question. I know that EK still does for EK awards. Not sure about EY.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 8:37 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Any idea if they do if one is using EY miles?
they do for EY miles redemption, but arrival and departure at AUH only. Other cities qualifies only for residence booking.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 9:30 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
EY no longer provides chauffeur service on AA award tickets.
Many thanks for pointing that out. Seems like it isn't that of a big deal given ukinny2000 mentioning that taxi's are only $20usd each way to Grand Mosque.

Originally Posted by ukinny2000 View Post
You will only get 10% of those miles back up to 100K, i.e. max of 10K miles back.
Each ticket is coming out of a separate Advantage account and each Advantage account holder has a qualifying AA card. Given that, I hope we get the full 10% rebate allowable.

Originally Posted by fedechat View Post
When is your trip? is not easy to find JFK-AUH a couple of months in advance.
Since you are paying the price of 2 awards, I will recommend you to stay 1 or 2 extra days in AUH if your itinerary allows it, or at least a full day, Grand Mosque in the morning and city tour after that.
We booked for late March on the outbound. I called back and the AA agent said stopovers are not allowed, otherwise we wouldn't mind overnights in AUH. Was the AA agent misinformed? If so, I can HUCA, and see if there is any availability on F AUH-SIN the following day.

Thank you for this, very helpful!

Originally Posted by NecessaryIndulgences View Post
Uber driver to show up.
If Uber is out there, this would be perfect - we much prefer Uber to driving.

Originally Posted by NecessaryIndulgences View Post
Just after the reception desk is a locker room with large individual lockers. They're meant for leaving your bags while you're in the lounge, but I don't think you'd have a problem leaving them there for a few hours while you're out exploring.
great suggestion!

Originally Posted by NecessaryIndulgences View Post
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must. There's a tour at 2:00pm if you're there on a Sat, otherwise 4:45pm would work for your schedule. If you're adventurous, head to the Mina fish market for lunch first. It's not fancy, or a sit-down restaurant, but you'll get a good taste of the real Abu Dhabi and some great fresh seafood! There's a few photos and a brief description here: A Day in Abu Dhabi Necessary Indulgences
amazing, thanks for this!

Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
One thing about getting around: From the number of posts, it seems like you're an experienced traveler. Still, I'll just flag the issue of jet-lag in your weighing whether you should drive around or not.
Anyway, happy trails!
Thank you - I will definitely have to calibrate our consumption of spirits and impending jetlag against our desire to see AUH when we land.

Great suggestions all. This is why I love the Flyertalk community =)
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Old Jan 22, 18, 10:06 am
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by vivrant View Post
We booked for late March on the outbound. I called back and the AA agent said stopovers are not allowed, otherwise we wouldn't mind overnights in AUH. Was the AA agent misinformed? If so, I can HUCA, and see if there is any availability on F AUH-SIN the following day.
This is a basic question about the AAdvantage program that has nothing to do with EY bookings specifically. AA awards do not allow stopovers. You can stay overnight only if there are no earlier flights; but you never stay for more than 24 hours on one award even if there are no flights. However, you can stop for any length of time by booking separate award tickets for the two segments of your trip.

Last edited by SeeBuyFly; Jan 22, 18 at 10:19 am
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Old Jan 22, 18, 12:41 pm
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by vivrant View Post
We booked for late March on the outbound. I called back and the AA agent said stopovers are not allowed, otherwise we wouldn't mind overnights in AUH. Was the AA agent misinformed? If so, I can HUCA, and see if there is any availability on F AUH-SIN the following day.
But how much is your JFK-AUH-SIN trip? because AFAIK from US to Asia 2 connecting in AUH is not allowed, so the price should be 2 awards. If they are charging you the price of 2 awards, then you can stopover on AUH as many days you want, after all the price should remain the same.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 12:52 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by fedechat View Post
But how much is your JFK-AUH-SIN trip? because AFAIK from US to Asia 2 connecting in AUH is not allowed, so the price should be 2 awards. If they are charging you the price of 2 awards, then you can stopover on AUH as many days you want, after all the price should remain the same.
That is exactly right - I am being charged 165k.
115k for JFK/AUH
50k for AUH/SIN
Appears the US based representative I spoke with may have misinformed me. Moot point anyway right now as there is no F availability for AUH/SIN the following day, but I'll keep checking every few days before we depart. Who knows, lighting might strike twice for us =)
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Old Jan 22, 18, 12:58 pm
  #104  
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Originally Posted by vivrant View Post
That is exactly right - I am being charged 165k.
115k for JFK/AUH
50k for AUH/SIN
Appears the US based representative I spoke with may have misinformed me. Moot point anyway right now as there is no F availability for AUH/SIN the following day, but I'll keep checking every few days before we depart. Who knows, lighting might strike twice for us =)
That pricng is completely correct

To book travel from North America to Asia 2 as a single award at 110k points 1st class, travel has to either be directly from North America to Asia 2 or via Asia 1

It is not permitted to travel via Middle East

As such, you need a 115k award for North America to Middle East plus 50k for Middle East to Asia 2

To save 55k, have a look at travel on airlines such as CX or JL

Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
This is a basic question about the AAdvantage program that has nothing to do with EY bookings specifically. AA awards do not allow stopovers. You can stay overnight only if there are no earlier flights; but you never stay for more than 24 hours on one award even if there are no flights. However, you can stop for any length of time by booking separate award tickets for the two segments of your trip.
There is no such stopover restriction for travel outside North America. As long as it is a transit ( < 24 hours ) it is ok. There is no requirement to travel same day,
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Old Jan 22, 18, 9:44 pm
  #105  
 
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Just booked two F seats on JFK-AUH for July using NZ number. No idea where the call went but agent sounded NZ.
Agent confirmed that both EY100 and EY102 had F availability exactly as shown on EY.com.
Did you have to use the AUH R/T trick? thank you
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