Etihad currently flies 2 daily flights between JFK and Abu Dhabi on the 787 and A350 with economy and business class seating.
The UAE has full relations with Israel and condemned Hamas for their atrocities. Etihad is one of a tiny number of foreign carriers that still flies to Tel Aviv.
On 4/22/24, Etihad will bring back first class to the JFK route, which hasn’t operated since before COVID. One daily flight will be operated by their flagship A380, which until a few months ago had been grounded since before COVID, before restarting flights between London and Abu Dhabi. That plane features 415 economy seats, 70 business class studios, 9 first class apartments with a seat, a separate bed, and a shower onboard, and 1 Residence, featuring 2 seats, a private bedroom, and private bathroom with a shower.
I enjoyed flying Etihad first class apartments back in 2017 from the Maldives to JFK via Abu Dhabi using AA miles:
The other daily flight between JFK-Abu Dhabi will be on a 787 equipped with first class starting on 4/22 as well. The Washington DC-Abu Dhabi route will lose the first class equipped 787 on that date, and switch to a 787 without first class.
That’s a whole lot of extra first class capacity for the NYC route, so hopefully we’ll eventually see some award seats open up, though I don’t see anything available as of now.
Etihad is allowing upgrades to the Residence suite on the route for $2,990 for 1 person or $3,990 for 2 people each way.
I don’t quite understand the pricing logic. If they get 2 people to upgrade to one Residence Suite, they free up a first class apartment to resell to someone else. You’d think they would give a discount for that, not upcharge it!
I also wonder if a couple who only upgraded one first class apartment to the Residence could just move between the other first class apartment and the Residence without being stopped by the crew?
If the Residence Suite is on your bucket list, the sad news is that the upgrade option is only available on paid Etihad tickets. However, you can always use your AMEX or Chase hybrid points for a paid Etihad first class ticket and then upgrade to the Residence. Fares from Abu Dhabi to JFK are cheaper than fares originating from JFK and the Abu Dhabi to JFK flight is longer than JFK to Abu Dhabi, so if you do that, you’ll want to do it in that direction.
Have you flown on Etihad? Will you try to fly on the A380 when it returns to JFK next year?