First Class for a Fraction of the Price

Etihad Airways A380 First Class
Etihad Airways A380 First Class. Photo: Etihad.

First Class provides the ultimate in luxury in the air. It’s also usually prohibitively expensive… but thanks to frequent flyer points, it doesn’t have to be!

One member recently flew First class on Etihad’s Airbus A380 from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, and they absolutely loved the experience. This member said they felt like they were in their own private room on board. They were especially impressed with the on-board bar, dedicated chef and sky-high showers offered to First class passengers.

Etihad normally charges $12,000 one-way for a First class ticket from Sydney or Melbourne to Abu Dhabi. But it’s possible to secure a seat for less than a quarter of the retail price!

As Etihad is (somewhat ironically) a partner of American Airlines, our member was able to redeem their American Airlines AAdvantage miles for this flight. For each passenger they paid 100,000 AAdvantage miles and just $87 in taxes.

A particularly useful feature of Etihad’s partnership with American Airlines is that American sells its AAdvantage miles – often at a generous discount. American Airlines currently has a promotion on AAdvantage mile purchases which runs until the end of May. If you were to buy 100,000 miles during American’s current promotion, you’d pay only USD2,065 (AU$2,784).

American AAdvantage miles can also be used to fly First class on Qatar Airways, from both Sydney or Melbourne to Doha. But the real sweet spot is to fly Qatar First to London or Paris. This costs just 115,000 AAdvantage miles. If you were to buy 115,000 miles during American’s current promotion, you’d pay just USD2,205 (~$2,973).

There’s good news too if you’re a Velocity Frequent Flyer member. Velocity points also can be redeemed to fly First class on Etihad Airways.

Etihad currently offers daily A380 services from both Sydney and Melbourne, and many flights have First class reward seats available.

Join the discussion HERE.


Related Articles

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

Earn Cash from everyday purchases Get paid up to 25% in real cash from your everyday purchases from leading companies such as Virgin Australia,, Coles, Apple, Microsoft and much more. Free to join and no catches!
Buy Wine Online | Vinomofo Australia Vinomofo is the best wine deals site on the planet. Good wines, real people and epic deals, without all the bowties and bs.

AFF Supporters can Login Now to remove all advertisements

Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]