After a string of negative changes over the years, Etihad Airways‘ Etihad Guest programme, earlier this week upgraded the programme to make some real enhancements for their elite members. In 2017, Etihad Guest decided that they would honour status for one year only, after making it available for a couple of years for a very long time. In 2018, their redemptions went variable.
Free Wifi for Platinum, Discounted for Gold
One of the first changes for Etihad’s elite members is inflight wifi. Wifi is free for Etihad Guest Platinum members, and a 75% discount will be offered to Gold Members. Unfortunately with Etihad’s packages being data-limited than time-limited, the whole exercise is still not free unless you are planning to use only some social media or email during the flights.
Chauffeur Service for Platinum/Gold Members on Premium Redemptions
Back in 2018, Etihad had withdrawn the chauffeur service for their Gold and Platinum members, who had booked Business or First Class flights using miles. Now, this privilege is back, albeit only at Abu Dhabi (Etihad had discontinued the comprehensive chauffeur service, apart from The Residence passengers). However, this facility is only available for a one-way ride to/from Abu Dhabi Airport.
Miles expiry removed on eligible transactions
Just like their associate programme InterMiles, Etihad has now removed expiry of miles, as long as there is a qualified transaction made every 18 months.
Free Seat Selection in Economy
Etihad Guest Platinum and Gold members flying in Economy class will now enjoy complimentary seat selection. Platinum members will get extra-legroom seats as well for free going forward.
Etihad’s FFP has lacked muscle as compared to other programmes in the region for a long time. With these upgrades, Etihad is signalling that they are ready to get back in the game. I hope this is just the beginning and more benefits are brought back in the coming times.
What do you make of the enhancements to Etihad Guest rolled out?