Etihad are currently running promotion with a 30% discount off the price of their ex-Australia fares for departures until the end of November. This deal is only valid for itineraries that have all travel completed by the 10th of December 2016. The code that needs to be entered when booking is MYTRAVEL30 and this code is valid for bookings made until 10 October 2016 (Australia time).
It’s valid on both economy and business class tickets and when combined with some of the fares they have on offer at the moment, there are some pretty epic deals available.
Australia to Maldives and India
Sydney to the Maldives return in economy sneaks in under AU$650 which is just ridiculous and in business class it’s AU$2366.
Similar fares are also available to India, Sri Lanka and other destinations in the subcontinent. There are also some great fares on sale to other parts of the world but from the poking around I’ve done, I think these are the standouts.
There’s heaps of availability knocking about as well, particularly around the middle of November. The only issue with flights to the Maldives is that the return flights don’t really match up in Abu Dhabi and Etihad’s website won’t construct the booking with an overnight stop. If you try and manually enter the stop by using the multi-stop search function, the promotion code can’t be used. For whatever reason, they’ve restricted it so that it can’t be applied to itineraries with a stopover.
Not to worry though as there are a few different ways to get from the Maldives to Sydney on an Etihad ticket. The options that come up are usually via Colombo, with a codeshare flight operated by Sri Lankan Airways between Male and Colombo and then back via Abu Dhabi with Etihad or Male to Jakarta with Etihad via Abu Dhabi and then back to Sydney on an Etihad flight number operated by Garuda.
Gold status with Velocity
Out of these two options, if you’re chasing status with Velocity, I would go via Sri Lanka as you’ll get the same number of status credits as you would were the flights just straight back from Male. Also, on the outbound journey, look for an option that goes via Melbourne rather than straight to Abu Dhabi from Sydney. This extra leg and the extra 40 status credits it earns takes the whole trip from 480 status credits to 520, enough to go from zero to gold status in one trip! You do still of course need to meet the minimum 4 sectors with Virgin Australia to qualify for gold status.
If you’d rather go to Sri Lanka, the cost is basically the same and you’ll still get enough Velocity status credits to get to gold as long as you route via Melbourne in at least one direction. If you’re starting your trip in Melbourne or Brisbane, just make sure one direction has a domestic connection and it all works the same in terms of earning status credits.
Etihad business class product
For the longer flights, between Australia and Abu Dhabi, just make sure you try and book flights operated by a 787 or A380 as they have the newer business class product, which is a big step up from the older seats on the 777 aircraft. There’s not a huge difference on the aircraft that Etihad operate on their flights into the subcontinent, with the exception of one daily service in each direction between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai. If you are looking at flying into India, you should definitely look for an itinerary that uses this flight. It won’t usually come up as an option though, as it doesn’t connect well with the flights to and from the east coast of Australia.
Fares to Europe
There are also some really sharp fares on sale to Europe with Etihad around November and with the 30% discount, they become very attractive, for example Sydney to Paris return in business class for about AU$4600. There are also some great fares in economy class such as Sydney to Paris return for about AU$1100.
Booking these fares
While it’s definitely a shame you can’t use this code when constructing multi-stop itineraries, there are still some awesome bargains to be had and many of them can get you from nothing to gold with Velocity in one trip.
All the prices I’ve mentioned are based on the lowest booking classes but the 30% promo code works on a few different booking classes. This is good news because it means you can upgrade either the entire ticket or even just one direction from Z class (the cheapest business class fare bucket) to W class. This obviously increases the cost of the ticket a little but means that you get chauffeur service at both ends and if you upgrade the whole ticket to W class, it becomes more flexible. On the Etihad website, you just need to select the Business Classic price instead of the Business Saver price if you want to upgrade to W class.
This promotion code is only valid for tickets issued directly on the Etihad website until the 10th of October, Australia time so if you’re keen to take advantage, you’ll need to act pretty quickly!