How To Book 10.5 Hours In An Etihad First Class ‘Apartment’ For £700…

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The Etihad First Class ‘Apartments’ onboard the airline’s Airbus A380 aircraft remain one of the most jaw-droppingly brilliant ways to fly. The amount of personal space you get is borderline ridiculous, the food and wine are excellent and the service (in my experience at least) is impeccable. Oh, and there are onboard showers too!

As you would expect, tickets are normally very expensive, but using airline miles can bring the price down dramatically. In fact, by combining the current American Airlines AAdvantage Miles sale with one of AA’s best award chart sweet spots, you can enjoy 10.5 hours of Etihad First Class Apartment luxury for ~£700.


As I mentioned a couple of days ago, you can currently buy American Miles for ~1.36p each in the sale. Etihad is a partner of AA, and you can therefore book Etihad flights using AA Miles.

One of the best value redemptions on the AA award chart is 50,000 miles for one way First Class between the Middle East and Asia 1 regions. Asia 1 includes South Korea, and from 1st July 2019, Etihad will be flying A380 aircraft on the Seoul route – and the A380s have First Class ‘Apartments’.

Buying 50,000 miles at 1.36p each means the total cost for the miles would be £680. Taxes will set you back another £20-25, so the cost would be ~£700 altogether.

The scheduled flight time from Abu Dhabi to Seoul is about 8.5 hours, but in the other direction you would get to enjoy a full 10.5 hours in an Etihad First Class Apartment (and the taxes are slightly cheaper at ~£20 too).

What is availability like?

Availability looks pretty good.

If you’re flexible and booking in advance you should definitely be able to find something suitable – the AA site makes it easy too, by allowing you too search a full month at a time. For years, AA didn’t show Etihad availability online, but it does now:

I even saw a few dates with 2 First seats available!

Bottom line

It is also possible to book Etihad First Class ‘Apartments’ between London/Paris and Abu Dhabi for 62,500 AA Miles each way, which is a good deal in itself and probably more convenient for most readers. The flight times are shorter though and it does require 12,500 more miles.

To get the maximum amount of Apartment time per £1, I don’t think the Abu Dhabi-Seoul route can be beaten!

Do you know any better-value ways to fly in an Etihad First Class ‘Apartment’?


  1. Richard says

    Region based awards also mean that you can add on a business class flight from Beruit or Amman for just the tax changes, likely reducing the cost of getting there from the UK.

  2. Antonio says

    I’m not sure I understand… it seems like I’m only going to be able to buy miles at 1.36p per if I spend thousands of pounds on miles. If I try to buy just the 50,000 miles required to do this, it’s going to cost $1318, not $863.

    • Joe Deeney says

      True – the current AA mile sale does require buying a lot of miles in order to get the lowest possible price.

      • Antonio says

        So, it’s more like “Book 10.5 hours in Etihad First from ICN to AUH… but only if you spend enough money on miles that you could buy a return ticket in Etihad First from CDG to ICN in cash (and in doing so, earn enough miles to book that ICN-AUH sector again)”.

        Cool, gotcha.

      • Craig Sowerby says

        Joe beat me to it, but I had been thinking about writing it up as 2 returns to the Maldives in F. 62.5 x 2 x 2 works out to exactly the 250k you get from buying the max…

  3. Bill n DC says

    Ha! I didn’t need to buy AA miles and booked this as part of RTW19 3.0. Getting this redemption was the start of this RTW planning. Since I couldn’t find award tickets cross the Pacific, I’m using 180,000 Alaskan miles (all earned through cc churning) to fly Emirates JFK – DXB – ICN. From AUH, it’s Etihad A380 to LHR. So FOUR Showers in a row! 😁

    • Joe Deeney says

      Oh, that is truly spectacular! I’ve still never flown Emirates First… the Alaska rates are just too high these days for me (compared to the awesome rates on JAL/Cathay/etc). That said, I am flying Singapore Suites (old version, but still!) next week, so I probably shouldn’t grumble. 🙂

      Have fun on your trip!

      • Bill n DC says

        Hey, Joe.
        I understand your point on using AS miles for CX & JAL but alas for my timeframe no availability. I still have some AS miles left, along with Hubby’s, & I use the CX card, but seriously AS much better rate than CX on CX. Same with Etihad Sydney Abu Dhabi less using AA than EY miles. Fun Game we have here.

        I’ve done EK twice but a few years back. I’d showered on EY since. But I also want to enjoy the EK bar as well as the DXB lounges. I’ll have long layover to visit Burj KLifa. And I like the EY 1st Lounge in AUH & the Concorde room since I won’t need a day room or shower.

        Home AUH-LHR-BOS-DCA (Boston only BA1st Avl) using 115,000 AA mile – Balance now 153 miles 🙂 😁

      • Bill n DC says

        Btw on RTW19 2.0 in May, I flew Singapore Sydney to SIN on the new SingaporeAir Suites. So nice! Then after couple days on to Tokyo for a total of 180,000 SQ miles transferred from various cc points That was a lot of miles but YOLO

        I got to SYD via AUH and EY Apartment 4A.

        • Joe Deeney says

          Absolutely, if you’ve got the miles you might as well use them for the flights you want!

          On the other hand, I still can’t decide whether I will upgrade my next Cathay flight from Biz to First (if availability crops up). 70k Alaska Miles (HKG-LHR) is objectively a great deal for an excellent product. But, 42.5k for Business is arguably an even better deal – and that takes me to Manchester which is quite a bit nearer where I live. Also, I’ve flown Cathay First before, so it wouldn’t be a novel experience.

          Miles and points are relatively tough to collect in the UK these days, so maybe I’m better off saving the extra Alaska Miles this time and put them towards trying JAL First in the future… It’s a tough life 😉

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