This morning I received an email from an Aeroplan contact that Aeroplan is now partnered with one of the world’s premier airlines, Etihad (EY)!
I was lucky enough to fly Etihad’s First Class Apartments as well as their Business Class cabin during my trip to Australia and the Middle East. Both were an amazing experience with the Apartments being heads and shoulders, the best flight experience I have ever had.
Now, as an Aeroplan member, you have access to these flights as well, and best of all, they can be combined with other Star Alliance flights. This seems to indicate that there is the potential that Etihad (EY) may join Star Alliance at some point but today’s news is strictly affecting Aeroplan.
Award flights with Etihad are subject to the standard Aeroplan Fixed Mileage Flight Reward Chart. For convenience, I have posted the relevant mileage to the Middle East and North Africa, the location of Etihad’s hub, Abu Dhabi (AUH). If you can’t see the image well, the redemptions are 80K/135K/165K/230K for Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class (prices are for a round-trip).
The other HUGE news in this announcement is that there is NO FUEL SURCHARGE on Etihad flights!!!!
First Class Apartments
Etihad’s world-famous First Class Apartments look to be bookable on Aeroplan, which is absolutely amazing! First Class Apartments are specific to the A380 and not the 777 so if you are looking to book a First Class Apartments, you first need to figure out where the A380 flies.
Etihad currently flies the A380 to 5 destinations from Abu Dhabi (AUH). Those destinations are London (LHR), New York (JFK), Paris (CDG), Seoul (ICN), and Sydney (SYD). For those looking for the most up to date information on where Etihad’s A380 flies, you can check out the iFlyA380 website.
The First Class Apartments feature a communal bar area that is shared with the Business Class cabin but the star of the show is certainly the onboard shower and the Apartment itself.
Etihad has always been a bit stingy with North American outbound flights and my initial cursory look seems to indicate the same thing so if you want to fly Etihad, I would try starting at another destination that Etihad flies from/to.
In the example above, I was able to find First Class Apartment availability from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) but it was difficult to find it on the reverse routing.
This is AMAZING news for Aeroplan and great news for members like you and me. Etihad was a very exclusive airline that was difficult to fly on award for Canadians and now it is infinitely easier! The fact that there is no fuel surcharge on Etihad flights makes it unbelievable!
Start playing around with your routing and good luck! I hope all of you can experience showering at 40,000 feet!