Review 586 hotels and fly First Class to London for £112

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Always on the look out for bargain travel, there’s few things I enjoy more than combining “travel tips and tricks”. While somewhat fanciful, this particular option involves two of my favourites. Plus it culminates in a great value Etihad First Class long haul flight…

etihad first class

While I am not (necessarily) expecting anyone to follow this suggestion to the letter, it does serve to highlight two very interesting ways of earning and burning frequent flyer miles – both of which can add real value to your travel.

Earn miles with Holidaycheck is the Tripadvisor that rewards you for writing reviews. Ok, it doesn’t pay very much (ranging from 70 to 150 air miles) but the reviews take mere seconds and, for those of you that like to review, it is points for nothing.

etihad first class

The full range of Holidaycheck earning options per hotel review are:

  • 70 AAdvantage miles
  • 100 Miles& More miles
  • 150 Etihad Guest miles
  • 150 airberlin topbonus miles
  • 150 PINS (airbaltic miles)

While I am not seriously expecting you to review 586 hotels on Holidaycheck, it can be a very useful way of topping up a frequent flyer account to a “redeemable” level.

By way of example, I recently needed 55,000 Lufthansa miles to take advantage of an upcoming Lufthansa Mileage Bargains flight. The problem was, I had 54,800 miles. Two hotel reviews later and – hey presto! – I am good to go.

Be warned, however, that Holidaycheck (unlike Tripadvisor) is militant in relation to “phantom” reviews: be prepared to have a booking confirmation to send through to them as evidence. In any event the ethics of reviewing a hotel you’ve not stayed at are more than a touch dubious, although many do it by booking at a refundable rate, getting the confirmation and then getting the refund.

Burn miles with the very well-priced Etihad Guest “GuestSeat” redemption

The Etihad GuestSeat redemption option is the supersaver redemption fare on Etihad flights. It can give you really, really good bang for your mile.

One such value option is the route between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow, which is available for a mere 88,022 Etihad Guest miles, plus 640 AED (£112).

etihad first class

That is truly excellent value. The tax/charges are low because the ex-Abu Dhabi flight is not subject to some of the crazy airport taxes you will find in parts of Europe (such as London).

How you get to Abu Dhabi to benefit from this flight is of course down to you. If you want to do the whole thing in First Class with points, you can of course fly out from Heathrow using Etihad Guest miles, but you will also be subject to the departure tax. Expect to pay a slightly reduced mileage of 86,927 each way, but total taxes of around £393.45.

etihad first class

Or, to continue with the title theme, “review 1159 hotels to get an Etihad First Class return for £393.45”...

There is of course nothing to stop you flying out in Economy or even Business Class, both of which require substantially less miles for redemption (Economy is from .

Are there easier ways of earning 88k Etihad miles than reviewing 586 hotels?

A fair question, and of course we are only realistically suggesting Holidaycheck is used for pocketfuls of miles.

Unless you do it on a corporate basis, you cannot buy Etihad Guest miles, so this is not really an option.

You will earn 500 miles just for signing up to Etihad Guest, so there’s a useful starter for those who have not done so already.

One great way for UK travellers to earn a wedge of Etihad Guest miles is to sign up to an American Express charge card: you will get a bonus of 22,000 points for the Gold card and 35,000 points for the Platinum card when you meet the initial spend requirements. Amex Membership Rewards points are then convertible to Etihad Guest miles at a 1:1 rate.

Alternatively, the MBNA Etihad Guest Amex/Visa offers a bonus of 25,000 Etihad Guest miles.

One day I will bore you all with how I got a Business Class return to Boston by reviewing hotels in India, but in the meantime away with you – you have 586 reviews to get through yourself.


  1. Nick Burch says

    Sadly I don’t think it’ll quite work – I believe that HolidayCheck give points for a maximum of 10 reviews a month. As Etihad have a hard 2 year points expiry policy, that means you’d only be just shy of half way to your review target before they started expiring…

    I’d say it takes me 3-4 minutes per hotel review on HolidayCheck, slightly longer than your estimate, but not too bad! One other bonus – HolidayCheck do have competitions and promotions from time to time which can be good, eg I got a nice beach kit from them a few months back

    • Tom Sumner says

      Ha! Definitely got me on a technicality there. Looks like it’ll have to be 200-odd reviews plus some serious manufactured spend 🙂

  2. Lochlann says

    Now I find out about the limit! Ok, I was never going to get close to these numbers, but have submitted 10 or so fairly easily from last 3 months or travelling. It’s an interesting way to get a bit more earnings power behind a secondary account – I have Alasaka and Etihad for those slightly random flights outside my main alliance

    • Tom Sumner says

      Totally agree. Also a useful tool for getting you to a required points threshold when you are agonisingly close to a redemption, as has happened to me with Etihad Guest, for example.

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