Using VA points to fly EY in J

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liamsal

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I'm trying to get to the USA in December/January using points and have had no luck finding anything on VA so looking at other options to get there. Have around 590k VA points to burn and looking to try out an Etihad redemption for the first time (AUS - AUH - JFK) so have a few questions (I'm WP if it matters):

- What's better in terms of J - the A380 or 787? It's easier to fly out of BNE but happy to fly to SYD if the A380 is better.

- Looking at the points redemption table on VA's website ( https://www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/content/Redeem/Airlines/PointsTables/ ) F is 64k more points than J each way, plus higher taxes. Surely this isn't worth the difference in product?

- What's the stopover in AUH like time wise? Enough time to go out and explore?

Any other tips or info is appreciated, had a decent search through a number of topics but couldn't find answers to these questions. Thanks in advance!
 

bwhouse

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I can't comment on the 787 J, but A380 is a pretty good hard product. Service can be a little hit and miss. If you want to go J your other option is to check if SQ has availability and if it does transfer points over to Krisflyer and book directly, it is basically the same amount of points but much lower taxes.

- Looking at the points redemption table on VA's website ( https://www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/content/Redeem/Airlines/PointsTables/ ) F is 64k more points than J each way, plus higher taxes. Surely this isn't worth the difference in product?

Personally, I think it is worth it, EY Apartments are amazing and a massive step up from any J product. But it comes down to personal preferences. I have done SYD-AUH-JFK in apartments and it was an amazing trip.

- What's the stopover in AUH like time wise? Enough time to go out and explore?
Not really, from memory the max layover is about 4 hours so you don't have much time.
 

liamsal

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Personally, I think it is worth it, EY Apartments are amazing and a massive step up from any J product. But it comes down to personal preferences. I have done SYD-AUH-JFK in apartments and it was an amazing trip.
I've been looking at reviews, videos etc since posting this and agree F looks pretty awesome. Much difference between F product on A380 or 787? Been wanting to try out Etihad for ages so thought this was a good opportunity, plus the First lounge in AUH looks mint.
 

bwhouse

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I've been looking at reviews, videos etc since posting this and agree F looks pretty awesome. Much difference between F product on A380 or 787? Been wanting to try out Etihad for ages so thought this was a good opportunity, plus the First lounge in AUH looks mint.

Yup EY F is awesome, I have just booked it again coming back from Paris. Big difference between A380 and 787 in F. A380 has Apartments whereas the 787 is a more traditional large F seat, soft product will be the same though. If you are going to shell out the points and taxes/booking fee for F I would make sure at least one segment is on the A380.
 

brown891

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I would just be careful of the taxes involved? From memory they are quite hefty and in USD. 800USD rings a bell for a return J class trip to Europe...
 

Pleb Status

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I have flown on both the EY 380 and 789 in J. It is effectively the same business studio seat in both but the 380 has the upper deck bins (which gives the window seats a better feeling of space due to the bins), generally lower noise, proper window shades etc which makes the 380 the pick of the two.
 

ozjuice

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I had flown EY 787 J before Xmas and it was actually a fantastic flight. Loved both hard and soft products. Preferred over VA & SQ. AUH is the worst part of it all.
 

liamsal

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Thanks for all the replies.

So far the only availability I’ve found is in F both ways so I’m leaning towards that. Roughly I’ve been quoted 420k points and $1700AUD in taxes (that’s OOL - NYC return in F, OOL - SYD in J). I know the taxes aren’t ridiculously high but I feel like this’ll be the one and only time I try F. I was hoping to fly F there and J return but with no availability in J I’m leaning towards F return.
 

clipped_wings

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Thanks for all the replies.

So far the only availability I’ve found is in F both ways so I’m leaning towards that. Roughly I’ve been quoted 420k points and $1700AUD in taxes (that’s OOL - NYC return in F, OOL - SYD in J). I know the taxes aren’t ridiculously high but I feel like this’ll be the one and only time I try F. I was hoping to fly F there and J return but with no availability in J I’m leaning towards F return.

Lucky you - what a delightful conundrum! EY F on the A380 is a Bucket List for me.
 

bwhouse

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Thanks for all the replies.

So far the only availability I’ve found is in F both ways so I’m leaning towards that. Roughly I’ve been quoted 420k points and $1700AUD in taxes (that’s OOL - NYC return in F, OOL - SYD in J). I know the taxes aren’t ridiculously high but I feel like this’ll be the one and only time I try F. I was hoping to fly F there and J return but with no availability in J I’m leaning towards F return.

If you are happy to pay the taxes, I would say do it. EY F is a a true experience you will love it.
 

liamsal

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Triple checked and there's no J availability around the dates I wanted so I lashed out and went F return. Let the wait begin!

Any recommendations on seating would be appreciated :) Also thanks for all the replies, appreciate it.
 

bwhouse

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Congrats, you won't regret it!!

Row 3 and row 4 are my picks as you get the true window seats that are closer to the window. Lots of people don't like facing backwards which limits your choice down to 4A and 4K otherwise if you don't mind facing the wrong way 3A and 3K are just as good. In fact, I prefer them as the plane tends to have a slight incline whilst flying so with seats 3A and 3K you roll into the bed rather than off the bed if that makes sense. But really all seats are great :D
 

Denali

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When I booked our EY rewards in J, I mentioned F to hubby and he said no. Now I really wished we did but oh well, maybe next time (which I hope to book in a few months) ;)

Enjoy!
 

mmchow

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EY F on A380 is an experience on its own. As per bwhouse, you can't go wrong with any of the seats. If window is your preference, 3A/K or 4A/K would be your pick. I had seat 3A and I find it perfectly fine. Enjoy...
 
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