With a return ticket price of $87,000 between Sydney and London, The Residence on Etihad’s Airbus A380s is generally off-limits to travellers redeeming their frequent flyer points rather than spending their cold hard cash.
However, if you’ve notched up millions of Etihad Guest miles – 3,719,101 miles to be precise – you’re in with a fighting chance, at least for a one-way fare:
For the full return journey, prepare to part with 7,438,202 Etihad Guest miles and just under $500 in taxes and fees, delivering around 1.16c of value from each mile redeemed.
From flying alone, you’d need to take a whopping 263 return business class trips to London on mid-priced fares to accrue as many miles, or a still-high 137 return trips in first class on the most common ticket types.
However they’re earned, those seven-odd million miles could instead deliver 17 return first class jaunts under the new Etihad Guest award rates.
As one final hurdle, each individual Etihad Guest mile in your account expires roughly two years after it was originally earned for base-level members, meaning you’d need to be pulling in almost two million miles per year to book even a one-way fare before those points vanish.
The expiry window is extended by an additional six months for Silver cardholders and an extra year for Gold and Platinum members, but for all but the highest of high flyers, a sojourn in The Residence will remain but a dream.
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