- 'Demand-based' pricing for Etihad Airways business class, economy awards
- No change to upgrade rates, first class awards
- New tiered reward rates take effect June 30
The Etihad Guest program is set for a shake-up which will see travellers pay more frequent flyer miles to book a seat during peak periods.
Starting June 30, 2018, Etihad Guest redemption rates in business class and economy will move to a demand-based pricing scheme instead of the current year-round flat rate for reward bookings.
Business class bookings made with Guest Miles will be set at a lower rate during off-peak and lower-demand periods, and a higher rate on flights in stronger demand or when booking closer to departure.
In economy class there’ll also be two reward rates: the lowest rate for bookings made well in advance, and the highest again for those who book last-minute or on flights with higher demand.
First class flights will remain under a single reward booking rate.
Etihad Airways has not yet revealed the new mileage rates on a route-by-route basis, although describes the overheal as helping "to ensure that the program remains attractive, competitive and sustainable to members."
The program's new rates on each route are expected to be made known in the last week of June, before taking effect from June 30.
Australian Business Traveller has confirmed with Etihad Airways that there are no changes to the number of Etihad Guest miles needed to book reward flights with partner airlines, such as using Etihad Guest miles to book Virgin Australia flights.
The number of Virgin Australia Velocity points needed to book Etihad Airways flights also remains unchanged.
This will be the second time that Etihad has changed its frequent flyer redemption rates this year, with earlier modifications in February 2018 affecting the program’s reward booking and upgrade rates, in many cases requiring members to part with more miles to book the same flight.
Etihad is the third Middle Eastern airline to make changes to its frequent flyer program this week, following Qatar Airways hiking reward rates overnight without any prior notice to members, and Emirates launching a new family pooling feature in its own Skywards program.