Emirates vs Etihad + 1st class suite booking for R250.

As promised during yesterdays live interview I will share the LOYALTY aspects in terms of value from the worlds 2 best airliners as well as a booking proof for another 1st class suite award with only R250 in tax ( AED 80) being paid.

In a future newsletter I will share the contrasting bling trip and service reviews.

Utilising loyalty programmes is as simple as your transition from snail mail stamp licked envelopes into sending email.


Emirate’s loyalty is called SKYWARDS. Etihad’s loyalty is called ETIHAD GUEST. 

Regarding the benefits:

Emirates Skywards benefits HERE. Etihad Guest benefits HERE.

Emirates is a giant compared to Etihad in terms of the number of planes as well as flag ship A380’s in the sky.

Emirates hub in Dubai is established with a excellent First and Business class lounge. Etihad’s new hub in Abu Dhabi is currently under renovation as well as their premium lounge facilities.

The last part of the lounge with direct boarding gates in the background.

Read my transit report on Emirates 1st class lounge, Dubai HERE.

Read my transit report of Abu Dhabi HERE.

Utilising loyalty points on both airlines from Johannesburg to the respective hub’s in UAE return.


The above: Emirates charges 47,500 Skywards Miles + R3714 in taxes in ECONOMY.

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The above: Etihad charges 31201 Guest Miles +  R4395 in taxes in ECONOMY.

Secret  TIP: If you book the 2 legs SEPERATELY you will pay lower taxes = R2500. The taxes will stay the same amount for business class bookings. Certain airlines do not load expensive surcharges when the second leg booking is done offshore. This works on SAA and other airlines as well read more HERE.

Utilising loyalty points on both airlines from respective hub’s to Muscat, Oman.


The above: Emirates charges 15000 Skywards Miles +  AED 465 in taxes in ECONOMY. 1 Way.


The above: Etihad charges ONLY 6657 Guest Miles +  AED 80 in taxes in BUSINESS CLASS. 1 Way.

Utilising cash on both airlines to London Heathrow, United Kingdom.


The above: Emirates charges AED 21,380 for FIRST CLASS. One way.


The above: Etihad charges AED 21,800 for FIRST CLASS SUITE. One way. (ZAR 72,100)


Utilising miles on both airlines to London Heathrow, United Kingdom.


The above: Emirates charges 152,500 Skywards Miles +  AED3,995 in tax for FIRST CLASS. 1 Way. (ZAR 13,200)


The above: Etihad charges ONLY 55,371 Guest Miles +  AED 80 in taxes in FIRST CLASS . 1 Way. (ZAR 250).


The superior product above is no brainer. Etihad has a sofa on both sides of the suite.

Below: Etihad also exclusively allows one to book awards using a slider to stipulate how much miles or how much taxes you would want to leverage on an award ticket. This is unique to Etihad and the taxes earns Guest Miles for your account. Win Win.

etihadsliderAnother unique feature Etihad has is THE RESIDENCE. A unreal 3 room apartment on board… one day…one day.

The Residence, a 3 room suite on Etihad’s flagship the A380 runs at a cool R250,000 oneway. Read more on the Residence HERE.

How to search and book using miles with Etihad.

Search and book with Etihad miles: HERE.

Confirmation, e-ticket and itinerary proof.

itenarery payment summary

There are only 9 first class seats. I booked seat 01H today as the size looks a bit bigger below.

seating2 seating1

Above: First class on the seat map makes business class look like kettle class but I assure you business class is almost as awesome on the A380.

FULL Disclosure on how I (or anyone) can stack Etihad miles.

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Above: My Etihad account for this year spans 8 pages and very few are from flights.

I wrote a newsletter on this find in February’ 15. What ever TraveLoyalty writes in theory TraveLoyalty will follow it in practical with screenshot proof. Read it HERE.

How to get Etihad Guest miles fast.

1) Fly Etihad or credit code-share flights to Etihad Guest ( Above I credited my SAA flights to Etihad).

2) Always register ( its free ) to book the double points / triple points offer. ( They have this unreal offer often).

3) Book using Etihad Gold membership. You earn 50% bonus miles. Etihad offers this instantly and currently have the promotion to match any other Gold airline loyalty programme.( offer has ended, stay tuned to my newsletter for the next one) Read more HERE.

4) Sign up a family membership in your account. You nominate up to 8 members that will give you, the head, 100% of their miles into your account + all the bonuses above. ( Emirates only donates 20% to head in their family memberships).

5) All the Partner Etihad Bonus Miles Offers above netting 5000 points are from car rental promotions with 3x miles. I rent per day at a time x the amount of days I need. It pays off handsomely.

Secret TIP: Want unlimited mileage? search Hertz / Avis on my website.

6) Hotel points can be transferred to airline miles. Hotels often have a 100% bonus buy points promo. Some even offer a further 25% conversion bonus on top. Some times this offer is lucrative enough to buy in to.

Would you like to know how I use Etihad to visit the expensive islands of Seychelles for FREE:


Remember the foolish travels at a loss . The wise travels as an investment.

The next time you spend hard earned money on hotels, airlines and car rental make sure you getting rebates in the form of elite loyalty miles and points for future free travel.

This article is a work in progress, Qatar will be added soon into this mix.

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