Book now: Etihad First Apartments for two from Abu Dhabi to New York in 2020

Oct 24, 2019

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There are many phenomenal first-class products out there, but many of the best are hard to book using points and miles. There are, however, some notable exceptions, and Etihad’s renowned First Apartment is one of them. And if your 2020 travel plans involve a return flight from the Middle East to the U.S., you’ll want to listen up. We’re seeing an incredible number of dates with two premium-class award seats from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York-JFK for next year — plus an array of first- and business-class availability on other routes.

Etihad has cut back on its service to JFK over the years, and it now offers just a single, daily flight on this route. However, since the flight is operated by the carrier’s A380, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the massive First Apartment if you can snag an award ticket.

Your caviar service in Etihad’s A380 first class could be an award booking away. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

At the time of writing, here are the dates with two first-class awards on this route:

  • June 24 and 29
  • July 2, 8-9, 20-23 and 27-29
  • August 5, 10-12, 16-20, 22-25, 29 and 31
  • September 1-2

When you consider the fact that Etihad’s A380 has just nine first-class seats in total, this means that over 20% of the cabin is available for awards on the above dates. In addition, there are several other dates with a single seat for awards, so if you’re traveling solo, you have an even greater variety of options from which to choose.

You also may be in luck if you’re looking for flights to Washington-Dulles (IAD) or are content flying in the carrier’s solid business class to either JFK or IAD. Here’s a quick rundown of award availability in these alternate options (all dates have two seats available):

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York-JFK in business class on the A380

  • June 16, 18, 20, 22-24, 27 and 29-30
  • July 1-2, 4-9, 11-14, 16-23 and 25-30
  • August 2-6, 8-13, 15-16, 18-22 and 24-31
  • September 1-12 and 14-19

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Washington-Dulles (IAD) in first class on the 787-9

  • April 8-10, 13-15, 21-22 and 26-30
  • May 2-4, 8-10, 12-15, 17-21, 23-24 and 26-31
  • June 1-12, 14-15, 17, 19, 21-22 and 24-25
  • July 1, 8-9, 14-16, 19, 21-24 and 27-31
  • August 2-7, 9-16 and 18-31
  • September 1-7

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Washington-Dulles (IAD) in business class on the 787-9

  • April 4-11, 13-16 and 21-30
  • May 2-10, 12-21 and 23-30
  • June 1-4, 7-11, 14-19, 21-24 and 27-30
  • July 1-9, 12-31
  • August 2-16, 18-26 and 28-31
  • September 1-6, 8-19

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Los Angeles (LAX) in first class on the 777-300ER

  • August 2, 6, 8-9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22-23, 25, 27 and 29-30
  • September 1, 3, 5-6

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Los Angeles (LAX) in business class on the 777-300ER

  • July 18, 23, 25-26, 28 and 30
  • August 1, 6, 8-9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 22-23, 25, 27 and 29-30
  • September 5-6, 8, 10, 12-13, 15, 17, 19

The carrier’s other U.S. city — Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) — has a couple of dates with business-class award availability next year, but it’s nowhere near as widespread as the others noted above. And sadly, I wasn’t seeing any availability leaving the U.S.

The best way to book these awards is likely through the American AAdvantage program, which just added the ability to search for Etihad award flights online earlier this year. A one-way, first-class award ticket from the Middle East to the U.S. will set you back 115,000 miles, while a business-class award will require just 70,000 miles.

Either ticket will incur ~$50 in taxes and fees.

However, you could also add in a connecting flight from another city served by Etihad — like this example from the Maldives back to New York-JFK with a connection in Abu Dhabi.

Note that the flight from Male (MLE) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) only offers business class, and the morning departure time of the flight to JFK means an overnight in Abu Dhabi. Nevertheless, that’s a terrific deal to fly back to the U.S. from one of the most sought-after destinations around.

Update: If you run into issues booking these flights online, you may want to try calling American’s Australia customer service number, as Senior Writer JT Genter details in this guide.

You could also book these flights through the Etihad Guest program, which partners with both American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One. However, a one-way, first-class flight from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York-JFK would set you back 136,460 miles.

Note that if you’re short on American miles, you can currently purchase them with tiered bonuses through Nov. 1, which could drop your price as low as 2.25 cents per mile. If you bought exactly 85,000 miles, you’d enjoy a 30,000-mile bonus, getting you just enough for this one-way, first-class award ticket. Your total out-of-pocket cost? $2,733.19. That’s (obviously) a lot of money to spend, but considering that these flights typically cost $9,500, that still could make for a great booking option.

Bottom line

Etihad’s First Apartment is one of the best first-class products out there, and we’re currently seeing an array of dates in the summer of 2020 with two award seats from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York-JFK. There’s also an incredible amount of first- and business-class awards available to New York and other U.S. gateways, so if you’ve been looking at a trip to (or through) the Middle East for next summer, you may want to lock in your return flights now. This award space likely won’t last.

For more information on what Etihad’s premium cabins are like, be sure to check out the following articles:


Note: This article has been updated since publication to include the suggestion to call AA’s Australia customer service line if you’re unable to ticket these awards online.

Featured photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy

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