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During the pandemic, we saw a ton of true First Class seats get put on hiatus or go away altogether.
Then we got the gut wrenching news that due to reduced travel demands, the Etihad A380, home of the famous “First Class Apartments” (and the exclusive Residence) were n’er to fly again.
Apparently, there are two main news items:
- Etihad sold 4 of its 10 A380s and plans to put the remaining 6 back into service, and
- Etihad’s A320 narrowbody planes will actually leave Etihad and go to Air Arabia Abu Dhabi which is a joint venture between Etihad Airways and Air Arabia
- We will *probably* have an opportunity to fly the First Class Apartment again. I don’t see routes names, but JFK-AUH as well as LHR-AUH and SYD-AUH seem likely.
- We don’t know which routes from AUH will go narrowbody. Those flights would no longer be bookable with AA miles nor Aeroplan miles (my new favorite way to book Etihad). So, for instance, if MLE became a narrow body route, that would really screw up a JFK-AUH-MLE routing. You’d be able to book using Etihad’s own miles (via Citi or Amex) with a HUGE caveat which is that you can’t mix cabins. So, using Etihad Guest miles, you’d need F availability all the way through and a if the narrowbody has only J, you’d need two completely separate awards (= pricey!!)
For those that aren’t familiar with the First Class Apartment, it’s literally an apartment in the sky (ok, a huge suite).
If you have two that are connected, the bed (partially) combines as well.
You have a recliner and a bed, separate, for maximum space and comfort.
The food is amazing and you’re permitted a 5 minute “shower in the sky”.
Once availability is loaded, your best booking methods are AA Advantage miles and Air Canada Aeroplan miles – as long as the routes stay on the widebody jets.
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.