Etihad WorldPass opens a new level of flexible flying
The Gulf airline says a benefit of its ‘Buy now, fly later’ subscription plan is that fares are locked in and will never go up.
Discounted and highly-flexible fares are two hallmarks in a new corporate “travel subscription” known as the Etihad WorldPass, now available from Etihad Airways.
Like many airlines, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is looking to give travel a jumpstart at the corporate and frequent flyer level with the innovative product which allows travellers to “subscribe” to one destination or a cluster in one region.
Etihad WorldPass is currently available only for travellers beginning their trips in Abu Dhabi, with destinations open from the get-go including the GCC nations, India, Pakistan, the UK and Ireland.
Similar to Singapore Airlines’ recently-launched Flight Pass, the Etihad WorldPass works as a system of prepaid ‘vouchers’ available in economy or business class.
But while the SQ system adopts a dynamic pricing structure based on the number of flights booked, travel period and booking lead time, Etihad WorldPass fares are fixed, and never increase for new vouchers purchased.
“Etihad launched the WorldPass to meet the frequent travellers’ demands on flexibility, ease of booking and cost-efficient travel management," explains Etihad Airways Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo, Martin Drew.
“The preferential rates make the subscription offer worthwhile for those flying as a group or taking multiple trips to and from the same destination.”
Each flight taken earns Etihad Guest miles for the individual travelling, although not the account holder unless the two are one and the same. Vouchers are for pre-determined cabin classes, so if you buy and redeem an economy class voucher, you can’t bid, buy or use points to upgrade to business class.
The carrier says that if one person takes all the flights pre-purchased, they should then have enough Etihad Guest miles to book another one for free.
Mix and match
Up to six flights can be pre-booked, with a maximum of 40 scheduled per pass at any one time over a 12-month period. Travellers enjoy unlimited free cancellation and rebooking either online or through a dedicated 24/7 call centre up to one hour before departure.
Currently, you can book a subscription to one destination visited frequently or if your clients are in several major cities across one of the three pre-defined regions, you can include all of them.
For example, if you’re a regular traveller between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, that might be the only city on your Etihad WorldPass. But if your company or business covers Dublin, London and Manchester, include all three.
Likewise for Saudi Arabia, where you can not only include the three Saudi cities Etihad services on its network – Riyadh, Jeddah and Medina – but as the country is classified as the ‘Middle East and Africa’ zone, you can include cities in Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt and many others.
The third region currently active under Etihad’s WorldPass route structure are its 12 Indian destinations, which are also grouped together as one region.
An Etihad Worldpass can be purchased and managed by one traveller, or a business can manage it and have up to 40 registered travellers using the pass.
Once a sector is confirmed through the WorldPass website and a booking number or code is provided, the traveller can then access their booking through the regular Etihad website or mobile app to check-in and pre-select their seat and inflight meal.
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