Decisions, Decisions: Review Oman Air or Etihad With A Chauffeur?

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A week ago, I wrote a follow-up post about an intriguing promotion that Etihad Airways ran this summer called “Your Special Guest.

During this promotion Etihad asked for members to nominate a special friend or family member that has shown “thoughtfulness” to them. Sounds simple, right?

Well, thousands of heartwarming nominations were submitted from around the world and the winning recipients received gifts such as 125,000 (redeemable) Etihad Guest Miles, Manchester City Soccer Team memorabilia, luxury chocolates, etc.

Take a peak at the 1 minute video below and you’ll see how amazing this promotion was:

CLICK HERE to see additional additional videos but I’m warning you…you’re going to need some tissues.

Well, fast forward several months, Etihad sends an email to the individuals that submitted nominations and says:

Thank you for your nomination.

Dear Jamal,

A few months ago, we asked you, our Guest, to nominate someone in your life who has gone above and beyond in the last few months. Someone whose thoughtfulness made you think the world of them. We were thrilled by the number of truly moving nominations that were sent in, including yours. 

We had so many wonderful nominations and yours stood out. We wanted to say a big thank you for sharing your story by giving you 2,500 Etihad Guest Miles and a Tier Upgrade straight into your Etihad Guest account.

GUEST MILES AND TIER UPGRADE

If you’re not familiar with Etihad, they are the second-largest airline (after Emirates), flag carrier of the UAE and based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Many US-based members don’t pay much attention to Etihad’s loyalty program because they neither fly to or through Abu Dhabi often enough to accrue a significant amount of miles.

As I’ve said in several other posts, discounting or not paying attention to a partner program just because you “don’t fly on (insert airline)” is a rookie mistake.

In this case, Etihad loyalty program offers A LOT of value including the opportunity to fly on American Airlines for cheaper rates than even American Airlines charges to fly on their own planes.

Etihad has four levels to the loyalty program. Members will start out at Etihad Guest Bronze status before moving up to Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

This past year, I secured Silver Status with Etihad.

To be completely candid, there isn’t much value there and only took 2 flights to get it. But I checked my account today and Etihad had indeed deposited the 2500 miles and upgraded my account to Gold Status.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Let me first say that I was really excited about the additional 2500 bonus miles. Etihad is a partner with Oman Air and reviewing Oman Air has been high on my list for a long time.

With the additional 2500, I now have enough miles for a specific redemption that I’ve been eyeing (more on this in a future post).

I wasn’t necessarily excited about the Gold status because…well, I had no idea what it meant so I quickly searched Etihad Guest and found my answers.

The differences between Silver and Gold include basic benefits like excess baggage allowance, and onboard wifi discount (borrrriinnnnggg), but there were some other interesting benefits like:

Etihad Guest BenefitsEtihad Guest SilverEtihad Guest Gold
Dedicated Call centern/aYes
Bonus Guest Miles25%50%
Bonus Guest miles on selected
partner airlines
25%50%
Guaranteed Economy SeatBooked in
advance 48hrs
Booked in
advance 24hrs
Chauffeur Service –
Business & First Redemption Seats
n/aYes
Instant Upgrades with
Miles at the Airport
25% discount50% discount
Reserve an Economy Standard
(select seats only)
One free seatTwo free seats
Use of Partner airlines’ premium
check-in desks
n/aYes
Lounge Access within Abu Dhabi
International Airport
Self – Al Reem
Lounge
Self + Guest – Business
Class Lounge
Lounge Access – World WideSelf – Premium LoungeSelf + Guest – Premium Lounge

You probably saw a chart and skipped over it because there were too many words (another rookie mistake) but you may want to look at again.

Did you any of the Gold benefits jump off the page? Like…the Chauffeur service!

ETIHAD CHAUFFEUR SERVICE

Several years ago, many premium airlines had chauffeur service, including Etihad. Over the years, many of the airlines eliminated the program because the ROI wasn’t high and bottom lines are thin with airlines.

I was not aware of this but apparently Etihad revived the program as it says on their website:

Our complimentary Etihad Chauffeur service is still available to and from Abu Dhabi Airport for guests flying in The Residence and First, as well as select Business guests.

We’ve added a protective screen between you and our chauffeur, and our drivers will wear face masks and disposable gloves. All of our vehicles will be deep-cleaned and sanitised after every trip too.

Correct me if you think I’m making an invalid assumption, but that sounds like a reference to the current pandemic which means this website is very much up-to-date.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Among other terms and conditions, the following policies are applicable to all Residence, First and Business tickets for the Etihad Chauffeur service:

  • Guests of The Residence can enjoy the Chauffeur Service in New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Sydney and Seoul.
  • This service is only available on Etihad Airways operated flights.

In other words, I can only use this benefit if I fly on Etihad (not Oman Air).

FINAL STAMP

I am so excited about this new gem that I found, but now I’m at a fork in the road…

Should I redeem my miles and review Oman Air, one of the best (under the radar) products in the world? Or should I redeem my miles and review the Residence, First or Business class and the chauffeur service on Etihad?

Cover Photo Courtesy: 50SkyShades

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