When will Coles Flybuys and Etihad Guest get back together?

By Chris C., February 12 2018
When will Coles Flybuys and Etihad Guest get back together?

The ability to convert Coles Flybuys points into Etihad Guest miles has been suspended since December 2017, so what's happening?

The glitch was initially due to a “small technical issue”, an Etihad Guest spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller in December, adding that the issue was expected be resolved by December 23 2017.

But over a month later, the problem still wasn’t fixed – and on January 24 2018, Etihad’s spokesperson elaborated that the Flybuys portal had been “temporarily shut down” to allow for “upgrades to improve the service / user experience”.

Those upgrades were due for completion by January 29, by which time the Flybuys portal would be back in place, but that deadline has also passed, and neither Etihad Airways nor Coles Flybuys have since responded to follow-up enquiries placed by Australian Business Traveller.

While the outage continues, Flybuys members remain unable to convert their Flybuys points into Etihad Guest miles (at a 10,000 = 4,000 rate), and can’t earn Flybuys points on Etihad Airways flight bookings made via the Flybuys portal (previously given as one Flybuys point per $1 spent).

When attempting to visit the usual Etihad mileage conversion page on the Flybuys website, an error is displayed…

… while a separate Etihad Airways page on the same site describes the current issues.

Members who had already ‘linked’ their Flybuys and Etihad Guest accounts prior to the outage will continue earning Etihad Guest tier miles at Coles, Coles Express, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor at the rate of one tier mile per $1 spent up to 2,500 tier miles per month, although these aren’t redeemable miles: instead, the Etihad version of ‘status credits’.

However, Flybuys members who haven’t already attached their Etihad Guest account aren’t able to do so during this ongoing outage – which means if you’re not already earning Etihad Guest tier miles on your groceries, you can’t start doing so until these issues are resolved.

The option to convert Flybuys points into Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points remains available, with these transfers even attracting a 15% bonus until February 22 2018.

Velocity Frequent Flyer members can also earn one Velocity status credit per $100 spent at Coles, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor (although not Coles Express petrol stations), up to 10 status credits per month.

Read more: Virgin Australia's Velocity partnership with Coles Flybuys

Chris C.

A Brisbane-based contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.


23 May 2014

Total posts 129

The impression at the moment is that Etihad is cutting too much, it's too random and all very poorly communicated. This may or may not be another cut... but you'd think selling points would be revenue positive - so who knows what's actually happening. They just seem a little directionless at the moment, which is a shame as they were awesome.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Dec 2016

Total posts 45

As is par for the course with Etihad they drop benefits , dont tell anyone, refuse to answer enquiries and trash whats left of their reputation as a premium airline. I don't fly with them anymore , I got tired of the cheapskate behaviour

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 211

Would be better if the ties to Etihad were cut permanently. Being an international airline operating international routes it's a gigantic hill to climb to rack up points for the cheapest fare. Maybe Flybuys could take Qantas as a replacement partner.


24 Feb 2018

Total posts 1

From my perspective, this was a very good program for everybody for Etihad, for flybuys (Coles) and for customers, like me who travel every year to Europe. It is clear that problems started with Etihad and it seems to me that they are currently preoccupied with bigger issues to care too much about the flybuys. But if they don't fix their problems pretty soon they are going to lose lots of customers for the Europian summer and once when they are gone, they are gone for many years to come.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Aug 2016

Total posts 2

A shame because the redemption rates with Etihad Guest miles can be about half that of some domestic routes with Velocity points


03 May 2017

Total posts 24

Any update on this Chris? Would be nice to hear something from Etihad.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2585

When there's something to report, we'll report it.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on When will Coles Flybuys and Etihad Guest get back together?