Etihad Brings The A380 Back To JFK!

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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:

Etihad A308 First Class Apartment, Abu Dhabi-JFK, March 2017


Etihad A308 First Class Apartment, Abu Dhabi-JFK, March 2017


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?

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15 Comments On "Etihad Brings The A380 Back To JFK!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

El Capitan

OMAAT was writing that they’ve been blocking partner award access for the past while. Hoping that doesn’t continue


You can also book Etihad thru flying blue.


If you upgrade from first to the room, they can also sell that first class seat to someone else, why doesn’t it make sense to charge an additional $1000 for the second person?


Get those aa miles ready


Is there any concern to fly Etihad at this time or connecting through AUH?


Wide open first class available 220k no partners showing


Why is Abu Dhabi – JFK longer if it’s going in the same direction?


Weather, jetstream


Hi Dan

I’m not sure where to put this: we love your blog and use it for Israel travel advice all the time. The topic of Etihad and El Al could use more love. At the moment the landscape of El Al booking via US based points, as it seems to me: Alaska leaving the El Al partnership, Qantas award availability on El Al is extremely hard to find and as such not a reliable option, Delta is the new player but their rates are ridiculous. That leaves Etihad, with rates that are high but fixed and not ridiculous, as the only reliable source of tickets on El Al using US based points. So it seems worth its own post… I’ve had good experiences but as you’ve written it requires 1) calling them and 2) for availability elsewhere, and this is not very reliable as Delta doesn’t show available space as accurately as Alaska. I’ve found many cases where Alaska’s online availability matches what the Etihad agent on the phone sees, but Delta’s does not… what can we do when Alaska drops El Al?