Etihad Masterclass In How To Destroy Your Loyalty Program In 3 Easy Steps

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  1. Change the expiration policy from any activity extending your points validity for 18 months, to needing an Etihad or partner flight to extend your mileage validity for 18 months.
    • When other airlines have been trending towards no expiration policy or more generous expiration policies, just try flipping the script!
  2. Change your award cancellation policy from a 10% penalty to 25% if you cancel more than 21 days in advance, 50% between 8-21 days, 75% between 1-7 days, and 100% within 24 hours.
    • When other airlines have been trending towards removing or lowering cancelation fees on award tickets, making for a valuable perk even in an era of lower point values, just try flipping the script by adding usurious fees if you need to cancel! Because why not punish your most loyal customers should they need to make any changes to a loyalty award?
  3. Block partner airlines from booking any premium cabins more than 30 days in advance (such as American), or from booking premium travel at all (such as Air Canada).
    • Because when you make onerous changes to your own program, be sure to stop people from going around your program!

Bravo, Etihad. Mission accomplished.

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22 Comments On "Etihad Masterclass In How To Destroy Your Loyalty Program In 3 Easy Steps"

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El Capitan

Dan, you missed a key detail. Have you tried calling lately? They used to have normal reps. Now a bunch of Indian call center idiots!


Wonderful so what airlines can I fly that will extend my Etihad miles?


Beside Etihad, the flag carrier of the first GCC country visited by Netanyahu: Omanair.

I assume Air Serbia works too, along with El Al and American and a mix of others from this list:


Conditionally, Air Canada, KLM, ANA, Saudis, Royal Air Maroc, American, El Al, Virgin Australia, SAS, Air Serbia, OmanAir and some others.

Check out the partners for earning here:


Fully agree with points 1 and 2, but I think point 3 is kind of paradoxical. If they make changes that make it more difficult to redeem partner miles on EY metal, that’s going to cause more people to engage with Etihad guest, not less.


Satire 101…
I love it! 🙂


I thought Etihad was a nice luxury airline! I’m extremely surprised that they are changing the tide from good to bad, instead of going from good to excellent!


When u have enough highroller sheikhs paying full price you don’t need to keep the award program very competitive.


“The sheikhs” tend to be extremely cheap on people whom they don’t respect, and you can take this devaluation as yet another example of:

1. what they and their management picks think of Etihad FFP using customers flying on their flights; and

2. how much they think they need FFP-sensitive users to make money (or stop the bleed) for their businesses.

Unfortunately, the general trend with most major airline programs is to devalue and devalue and think of the FFP customers as replaceable hamsters for the hamster wheels with their diminishing returns and rewards for the hamsters.


Now it make sense for elal to be partners☺


Haven’t seen such a stingy (to the point actually) post from Dan in years


The hits keep coming for Citi TY and Cap1


at least they didn’t change the award charts like all the other airlines (i fly economy so premium cabin doesn’t affect me)


they already gutted the partner award chart last March (part 1). these recent changes represent part 2 of their loyalty program devaluation.


i actually just called in and they said there based in serbia (drop better than indian)


depends on the time of day you call. also call during business hours in Europe.


With an agent for over an hour just for a shuttle booking


To their credit, they continued to provide service to Ben Gurion when all other international carriers ceased

Miles Expiring

My miles are scheduled to expire Nov 24. I just called them and they said the update is not live yet and any transaction right now will extend for 18 Months.