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EL AL and Etihad first established a codeshare agreement back in 2021. However, mileage earning rates (for paid flights) and redemption rates (for award flights) are now live in both programs. And the ability to book these award tickets is available as of March 9, 2023.
With a recent overhaul to Etihad Guest redemption rates, it's worth looking at this partnership with fresh perspective.
Earning Etihad Guest Miles on EL AL Flights
Etihad clearly outlines its earning table for flights on EL AL metal. At the high-end, Etihad Guest members earn an impressive 175% of miles flown for business class C and I fare classes. Meanwhile, members only earn 25% of miles flown for economy N, G, O, and U fare buckets.
|Cabin||Booking Class||Miles Earned|
|Economy||S, L, H||50%|
|Economy||N, G, O, U||25%|
Redeeming Etihad Miles on EL AL
Effective March 9, 2023, EL AL award flights are now bookable through Etihad Guest. Here's the full Etihad Guest award chart for EL AL flights:
|Distance||Tel Aviv to...||Economy||Premium economy||Business||First|
|1,001–1,500 miles||Dubai, Rome||15,000||19,000||30,000||40,000|
|1,501–2,000 miles||Berlin, Moscow||23,000||25,000||40,000||54,000|
|2,001–2,500 miles||Paris, London, Madrid||28,000||31,000||50,000||67,000|
|2,501–3,000 miles||Dublin, New Delhi||34,000||37,000||60,000||80,000|
|4,001–5,000 miles||Johannesburg, Bangkok, Phuket||60,000||62,000||100,000||134,000|
|5,001–6,000 miles||Boston, New York, Tokyo||67,000||74,000||120,000||160,000|
|6,001+ miles||Miami, Los Angeles||75,000||90,000||140,000||200,000|
A couple of aspects jump out in this award chart:
- Flights up to 500 miles are quite reasonable — but quickly become unreasonable from there.
- Premium economy awards are priced at a very reasonable premium (pun intended) to economy awards. For flights between Tel Aviv and London or Paris, you'll pay just 3,000 miles more to upgrade from economy (28k) to premium economy (31k).
Note that Alaska Mileage Plan recently added mileage redemptions on EL AL with award rates that are cheaper than these new Etihad Guest redemptions. Consider booking through Alaska instead if you have the miles.
Earning EL AL Matmid Points for Flights on Etihad Metal
EL AL has published its earning and redemption table for flights on Etihad metal. At the higher end of the earning scale, First Class P fare buckets between 2,000 and 3,500 miles will earn you 140 Matmid points. While the lowest end of the spectrum, short hop economy T fare buckets earn a tiny 5 Matmid points. The following fare classes are ineligible for points earning: S, X, O, N, and I.
|Booking Class||Up to 500 Miles Flight Distance||501–2,000 Miles Flight Distance||2,001–3,500 Miles Flight Distance|
|First Class (P)||60 points||100 points||140 points|
|First Class (F)||40 points||70 points||100 points|
|Business Class (J)||30 points||50 points||70 points|
|Business Class (C, D)||25 points||45 points||60 points|
|Business Class (W, Z)||20 points||35 points||45 points|
|Economy (Y, B)||15 points||25 points||35 points|
|Economy (H, K, M, Q)||10 points||20 points||25 points|
|Economy (L, V, U, E, G)||8 points||15 points||20 points|
|Economy (T)||5 points||8 points||10 points|
Interestingly the earning table only covers flights with a distance of up to 3,500 miles. There is no clarification of what happens if you take a longer flight. For instance, flying from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Singapore (SIN) on Etihad comes in at 3,657 miles. Therefore, it's over the earnings threshold.
Do you earn points for this flight or not? Clearly, EL AL needs to clarify this point since it eliminates mileage earning on a host of Etihad’s long-haul routes.
Redeeming EL AL Matmid Points for Flights on Etihad
EL AL has a distance-based award chart for flights on Etihad Airways. The cheapest awards are economy fares for round-trip flights between 0-799 miles, which will set you back 450 points. In contrast, the most expensive awards are business-class round-trip awards over 6,000 miles, requiring 7,000 points.
|One-Way Flight Distance||Abu Dhabi to...||Round-Trip Economy Price||Round-Trip Business Class Price|
|0–799 Miles||Kuwait City, Muscat, Karachi||450||1,000|
|800-1,599 Miles||Tel Aviv, Cairo, New Delhi||800||1,500|
|1,600–1,999 Miles||Chennai, Malé, Istanbul||850||1,800|
|2,000–2,999 Miles||Kolkata, Moscow, Rome||1,000||2,300|
|3,000–4,999 Miles||Bangkok, Manila, London||1,900||4,300|
|6,000+ Miles||Melbourne, New York City, Toronto||2,800||7,000|
Redemption Terms Overview
- The chart is for roundtrip fares; one-way fares are based on 50% of the round-trip value.
- Prices exclude taxes, fees, and surcharges.
- First-class redemptions are not permitted. Points can be redeemed only for economy and business class awards.
- Tickets must be booked via the call center at *2550 or +972-3-9771111.
- There are no child discounts on award tickets.
Aside from the political implications of a developing commercial relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, this new relationship is exciting news. While some of these prices aren't great (and the ability to accrue EL AL Matmid points in the U.S. isn't particularly easy), there are still some decent earning opportunities — particularly if you are flying long haul in a premium cabin.
In contrast, the EL AL award pricing on Etihad is on the expensive side, though it still offers its members multiple new options for using their points. Who will benefit most most from this new partnership is hard to tell. At first glance, it looks like a win-win for both programs.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this new partnership? Let us know in the comments below.
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