Etihad Guest program changes from June 2024

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Etihad Guest is making a bunch of loyalty program changes, expected to take effect from June.

Some of the changes include:

  • New award chart pricing (according to the airline, 70-80% of redemptions will become cheaper... we'll see)
  • A new Diamond status tier above Platinum
  • New personalised elite status benefits - custom benefits that members can choose upon reaching Silver, Gold and Platinum status (this seems to be becoming a bit of a trend)
  • Removal of segments as a way to qualify for status
  • Platinum and Diamond members will be able to choose their own membership number (I don't know of any other program that offers this - it's kinda cool, albeit of no actual practical benefit)

 
Losing lounge access as a Gold/Platinum and making you 'choose' lounge access as a benefit sounds odd (?).
 
Yeah, the cancellation penalties are madness.

I'm also concerned whether they will cascade the optional lounge access to partners. Fingers crossed Velocity Plat keeps AUH First Lounge access at least until I plan to use it in July.
 
So, it also turns out that one of the changes is to the expiration policy. From June, Etihad Guest miles will expire if you don't take at least one flight with Etihad or a partner airline every 18 months.

That's really poor and is possibly a deal-breaker for me. I'll likely look to redeem my remaining miles balance and then just transfer points into my account as needed, rather than maintaining a balance with Etihad if that's the case. Terrible policy.
 
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