Etihad Airways is one of the few airlines that doesn’t seem to be selling their Guest miles left and right (Topbonus & JetPrivilege both do that are controlled by Etihad).
There is a way, however, to purchase Etihad Guest miles when you redeem them for award flights as I experienced back in August.
You can access Etihad Guest program here.
When you are redeeming your Etihad Guest miles, you will be given an option to pay partly in cash in lieu of miles.
The award ticket on A380 was 128,874 Guest miles + 283.57 AUD in taxes & fees (including the fuel surcharge).
I could “purchase” 32,288 Guest miles for 381.32 AUD and that’s what I did. The purchased miles represented exactly 25% of the miles needed for this award.
The price of a Guest mile ended up being 1.18 Aussie cents each that is exactly 1 US cent on today’s exchange rates.
Etihad Airways charges more for its awards that if I had redeeming American Airlines AAdvantage miles. I had some Guest miles about to expire so this was a nice way to put them into a good use and this allows me to have one more of these EY A380 F awards in the not so distant future.
Other frequent flier programs that are majority owned or controlled by Etihad do sell miles. Wonder when Etihad will start following this path?
It is quite interesting that it doesn’t show anywhere the exact number of miles purchased. You have to do the calculation by yourself.