Etihad are currently running a worldwide sale with massive discounts on economy and business class fares until the 31st of July. Sales like this aren’t uncommon for Etihad but this one is particularly solid for three reasons:
- Many of the fares are lower than we usually see.
- They have some excellent bargains from a larger number of the departure points they service.
- From many of the departure points on sale, the stopover rules are less restrictive than we often see on Etihad sale fares.
There are some pretty awesome fares on offer and if you know how to utilise the generous routing and stopover rules in these fares, the value is simply incredible.
Depending on which part of the world you are travelling to, there are different possibilities for stopovers, which not only allow you to visit extra destinations but also get you extra flown miles which you can credit to Etihad Guest, Velocity or American Airlines Aadvantage.
Here are some examples of the sale fares and what you can do with them:
Sydney to New York return in economy: AU$1247
Sydney to New York return in business class: AU$5467
If you are travelling to North America from Australia with Etihad, beyond the obvious Abu Dhabi stopover option you can also visit Europe for free !
There are only certain cities in Europe this will work for and it will always depend on availability and seasonality but it’s still pretty awesome considering that the fares to North America are only slightly more expensive than to Europe.
I checked some dates in October and November and if you add a stopover in Paris, it only increases the cost of an economy ticket by less than a dollar and in business class the stop in Paris actually drops the price by about AU$40!
The below screen shots are from Skyscanner and they are even cheaper than on the Etihad website. All the prices shown are in Australian dollars.
In these examples, the trans-Atlantic flights are operated by American airlines. Certain city pairs will use other partner airlines such as Air Berlin or Alitalia to get you between Europe and the USA.
Sydney to Johannesburg return in economy: AU$1303
Sydney to Johannesburg return in business class: AU$4823
Etihad own a stake in Air Seychelles and usually allow stopovers in Mahe on fares between Australia and South Africa. They also allow stops in Nairobi or Dar es Salaam on the way to Johannesburg if either of those are appealing. Here’s an example from Skyscanner with a stopover in Seychelles on the way back to Sydney from South Africa in March 2017:
The options on the way to Europe are pretty good as well. Maybe not quite as dramatic as the North American fares but you can fly from Sydney to Jakarta with Garuda, have a stopover there and continue on to Europe, all on the Etihad fare. You can also get some intra-Europe flights on the ticket without any additional cost.
Here’s an example flying Sydney to Jakarta to Munich to Rome and back to Sydney in November in economy class:
Starting your itinerary in Asia
As I’ve written about previously here, you can often get even better prices by starting your itinerary in Asia, going on to Europe or Africa and then returning to Australia as this avoids using ex-Australia fares which are often more expensive than those beginning in other parts of the world. At the moment I’m seeing some fantastic bargains constructed this way, for example: Colombo to Johannesburg and back to Sydney all in business class for about AU$1850!
Etihad “Fare Choices”
Make sure you keep an eye on the booking class you are booking into. T and E classes are the most restrictive economy class fares and Z and W are the most restrictive in business class. These are invariably the booking classes that are used for sale fares so just keep and eye on the change and cancellation rules. Also, it is worth noting that Z class does not include chauffeur service whereas W class does. So, if the marginal cost of going up to W from Z isn’t too much it may well be worth it.