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Update: We’ve heard reports that some readers are unable to book these awards through AA’s US call center. However, you should have luck by calling American’s Australian reservations line at +61 02-9101-1948, instead. Hopefully AA gets this bug fixed soon!

There’s no question that Etihad’s A380 first-class Apartment is the best overall product you can redeem miles to fly, but award availability has been very hit or miss on the airline’s new flagship flight from JFK. (Read TPG’s review of The Residence on Etihad’s inaugural A380 flight from New York.) Fortunately, the opposite is currently true — for many dates through 2016, you can book three first-class A380 award seats from Abu Dhabi to JFK (the JFK departure is much more difficult to find, however).

One-way award seats can be booked for just 90,000 AA miles (note that AA is increasing that redemption if you book on or after March 22, but you can book travel throughout 2016 at the lower rate now).

3 first-class award seats from AUH in April.
3 first-class award seats from AUH in April.

To find availability, search on Etihad’s site and keep an eye out for “Guest First.” (See this post for detailed instructions on how to book using AA miles.) For example, here are three first-class award seats on the A380 in April.

3 first-class award seats from AUH in November.
3 first-class award seats from AUH in November.

And here are three seats in November. Note that you’re specifically looking for flights operated by the A380 if you want to fly The Apartment.

There are a few seats from JFK.
There are a few seats from JFK.

Of course, you’ll need to get to Abu Dhabi before you can fly back to JFK. There are a few dates with availability in The Apartment, but I was only able to find award seats on flights departing within the next few days. Instead, you can fly another product to the UAE, such as first class on Emirates’ A380 (which is also very nice), then return home on Etihad.

Since Etihad availability tends to disappear as quickly as it pops up, I recommend finding dates that you may want to travel, then calling AA to put the award seats on hold while you firm up your plans. This incredible availability may only last for a few days, or even less time than that.

H/T: View from the Wing

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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