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28/09/2011 / loyaltymarketingnews

Etihad Airways revamps loyalty program

Etihad Airways has made significant changes to its Etihad Guest loyalty scheme, the majority of which will come into effect on October 9.

The revamp – which has been communicated to members via an email from the carrier’s vice president customer relationship management and loyalty, Dr Barry Green – includes changes to the number of miles needed for award ticket redemptions on certain routes.

UK-based travellers will be pleased to hear that redemptions on flights between London and Abu Dhabi will be reduced from 120,000 miles to 110,452 for a Diamond First Class ticket, but some routes will see a significant increase in miles needed.

For instance a Coral Economy Class redemption between Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg will increase from 45,000 miles to 71,144, and a Diamond First Class redemption between Abu Dhabi and Sydney will rise from 195,000 miles to 242,741.

Etihad says that the changes have been made “to optimise the value of miles used for redemptions across our rapidly expanding network; which has more than doubled since the time we launched Etihad Guest [in 2006]”.

The carrier is also making changes to its terms and conditions for upgrading using miles, and says that “upgrades on most routes will now be cheaper”. In addition from September 21 all Coral Economy tickets issued after August 1 will be eligible for upgrade to Peral Business Class, regardless of the fare class purchased.

As an example this means that economy passengers travelling on fare code L between London and Abu Dhabi will now be able to upgrade to business class for 30,681 miles.

All members of the Etihad Guest scheme, regardless of tier status, will also be eligible to upgrade from Pearl Business Class to Diamond First going forward.

Other significant changes to the programme include:

  • The introduction of fees for dates changes on reward flights, over and above permitted free changes depending on tier status. For example Etihad Guest Silver members will be allowed two free changes, with subsequent changes charged at AED 100 or 2,000 miles.
  • Members will be able to have their reward tickets refunded where necessary, subject to a fee of 15 per cent of the miles redeemed for the ticket. This fee will not apply to Etihad Guest Gold Elite members.
  • From December 31 miles validity periods will be reduced from three years to two years for entry level Etihad Guest members, and from three years to 2.5 years for Silver members. The validity period for Gold and Gold Elite members will remain at three years.
  • From October 9, Etihad Guest members will be allowed up to 5kg of excess luggage over their ticketed allowance, without charge. Silver members will continue to benefit from a 10kg excess luggage allowance, with 15kg for Gold members, and 20kg for Gold Elite members.

For more information visit etihadairways.com

 

(via Business Traveller)

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