Etihad First Class Apartment has been a dream of mine since literally the day I applied for my very first travel credit card. Words cannot describe how much I obsessed (and still do) over flying in my own suite! I watched YouTube reviews, read blogs, scoured the net for photos of the apartment…(yeah it got a bit unhealthy)
Fast forward a year and a half later and I still hadn’t achieved my dream due to work schedule and the fact that Etihad’s A380 routes didn’t make sense at the time.
Then I had a sudden change of plans due to unforeseen circumstances where I was able to take a long break from work and the first thing that came to mind was flying Etihad. But it was not going to be that easy.
I had a short window of time to take a week off. I started looking into flights out of JFK to Abu Dhabi and as luck would have it there was availability on a convenient date. I called American Airlines customer service center in New Zealand (why NZ? More on that later). Five minutes later I had a confirmed booking in First class.
It didn’t hit me until I hung up the phone. I mean I knew that I had enough miles to book a first class seat but I was overwhelmed realizing that “holy s$it! I just booked a $10,000 flight for $5.60!!”
I booked a positioning flight out of Boston to JFK using Chase ultimate rewards using my Chase Sapphire reserve, which awesome for booking revenue flights thanks to points being worth 1.5 cents for travel purchase.
I still had to book a return flight. I was debating returning on Emirates A380 to try a different first class suite product but I didn’t have enough time to transfer miles from SPG to Japan airlines (that’s currently the cheapest way to book EK when having SPG points) so I decided to book my return flight on Etihad as well. This proved to be stressful as there was zero availability from AUH to JFK.
However my Etihad alert tool came in handy…
I had developed a service to check Etihad award availability and send me email reports showing flight number, available class, aircraft type and other details.
I set an alert for a couple of different dates however I hadn’t received anything for days. I was starting to panic.
Then to my complete surprise a first class seat opened up 12 days before the date of my return home (turned out to be the last seat as the first class cabin was completely booked)
This time I booked directly with Etihad by transferring 117,000 miles from American Express membership rewards.
Did it really cost $5.60? Seems too good to be true
Yes it really cost exactly $5.60 and not a cent more.
I had applied for two Citi AAdvantage cards for a bonus of 70,000 each. After meeting the minimum spend on both cards I had a total of 146,000 American Airline miles.
The annual fee is waived for the first 12 months therefore zero out of pocket to earn the miles.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to travel in luxury!