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Etihad 2 Night Free Stopover Abu Dhabi

Flyinfish

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I'm currently looking at Etihad as a cheap way to fly Sydney to London and Dublin to Sydney in April. The 2 nights free hotel accommodation seems attractive as I'd like to break the trip and haven't seen Abu Dhabi before. My question is, do you need to book the flights on Etihad website to qualify? Or will a third party provider do? Also, any comments, tips, warnings on my proposed flights? I flew Etihad to Paris a couple of years ago, it was a bit cramped but OK.
 

Must...Fly!

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Third party is ok. I booked with AMEX travel and had no problem booking the two night stopover via the Etihad website.

As for tips/warnings, none really. People say that EY has had a bit of a downgrade lately but I haven't been on board for over a year. If you're out of Sydney, the A380 is a more comfortable journey than the 777 if you are flexible in departure times (assuming A380 is still operating when you intend to fly). Do you have any Velocity status?

Seat selection costs money regardless unless you are an Etihad Gold/Platinum, unfortunately partner airline premium FFs do not qualify. The cost is very steep as well, so just make sure to check in online if you have a dislike of a particular seat and don't wish to part with money (i.e. I prefer an aisle, I very much don't want a window!), though obviously there is a risk with that strategy. You can also bid for a neighour-free seat (aka 2 seats to yourself), but again, I personally don't avail of such offers even though I'm very tall. Just take it as it comes...
 

Flyinfish

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Third party is ok. I booked with AMEX travel and had no problem booking the two night stopover via the Etihad website.
Seat selection costs money regardless unless you are an Etihad Gold/Platinum, unfortunately partner airline premium FFs do not qualify.
Thanks that makes life easier. Thanks also for the tip on seat selection, that’s new :(
I’m Velocity Gold not that that gets you much these days with Etihad.
Will probably get the A380 with my evening flight I found it cramped last time and took an age to board.
 
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Must...Fly!

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Thanks that makes life easier. Thanks also for the tip on seat selection, that’s new :(
I’m Velocity Gold not that that gets you much these days with Etihad.
Will probably get the A380 with my evening flight I found it cramped last time and took an age to board.
At least you get the lounge in AUH.

A380 is better than the 777 which I know isn't saying much, but still. At least it's not the 787...I've got that coming up in a couple of weeks. Horrid aircraft in Y.
 

klm597

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I've flown Etihad's A380, 787 and A330 in economy - the 787's seats do feel significantly narrower than on the A380 and A330. The A380 also has a tail-cam in the IFE, definitely go for the A380 if it's priced similarly to the 777 flight. I usually wait until on-line check-in opens and selected seats then - always managed to get an aisle or window so far.

Don't get too excited for the lounge in AUH. The food and drinks are a little above average but the space isn't huge and it can get very crowded at peak times.

I used the two-night free stop-over in Abu Dhabi last year. It worked as advertised and there were a plethora of hotels to choose from so I was very happy with it. If this is your first time visiting Abu Dhabi I recommend visiting the Louvre and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Another factor is the new mid-field terminal in AUH. It was supposed to open Q4 2019 but there has been no news recently. I'd say odds are it won't be open by April (judging by other large airport constructions recently) but if it does open by then and all the lounges are open you might be in for a much nicer experience than the old terminal.
 

Flyinfish

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Thanks all. Pulled the trigger, not a bad price including the 2 night free stay in Abu Dhabi. I realise it's the Al Reem lounge in AUH, but I assume as Velocity Gold I get entry to the nice lounges in SYD, DUB and LHR?
 

Must...Fly!

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Thanks all. Pulled the trigger, not a bad price including the 2 night free stay in Abu Dhabi. I realise it's the Al Reem lounge in AUH, but I assume as Velocity Gold I get entry to the nice lounges in SYD, DUB and LHR?
Yep that's correct.
 

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