Tips & Tricks: Workaround to book Etihad Premium Class with American Airline Miles
These past couple of days I’ve been trying to find award availability going from Abu Dhabi to London. I really wanted to fly on Etihad’s A380 aircraft. This is the same aircraft that houses the new first class, The Residence. To my dismay there was absolutely no first class available. However, on the bright side they did have some business class available. Looks like I’m still able to try that lobby bar in the sky since it is available to First and Business class.
So, according to Etihad’s website there should be at least 2 available seats that are bookable.
Now when I called up American Airlines’ USA Reservation center. It seems the representative couldn’t find any premium class availability. She was only able to find economy flights. I hanged up and called again (HUCA), numerous times to confirm that it was not a representative issue but a system issue.
All of them couldn’t find the availability. Thus, it meant that this was indeed a system issue. I decided to browse the Flyertalk forums in hopes of finding a solution. I came across the “Booking AAdvantage Award travel on Etihad / EY – 2016” thread. It seemed I was not alone in booking premium flights on Eithad.
Now there is a workaround. Apparently, US system is not as reliable as other countries’ systems. Go figure…
The workaround is to call AA’s Australia or New Zealand reservation hotline. As mentioned in the wiki of the thread:
Your best bet is to call AA Australia (+61 2-9101-1948 ) then press 4 – although the call center is actually in Suva, Fiji -as they can see the inventory reliably, and you can book (or 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).
I gave this a go and called up New Zealand’s hotline. The representative was instantly was able to see the availability. Just as the wiki suggested I ended up putting the route on hold. Then called up US call center and paid the fees in USD.
As you can see those two seats that I originally was searching for are currently now gone.
Too Long Didn’t Read:
Don’t be disheartened if you’re not able to book Eithad premium flights with AA miles. Instead of calling through the US call center try calling through either New Zealand or Australia’s call center. As they have a more reliable inventory of award availability.