Etihad Changing Itineraries for $0 Mistake Fares! – Canceling Connecting Partner Flights

During Etihad’s $0 mistake fare “xmas sale” several purchasers opted for connecting flights so that they could take advantage of a free stopover in a European city via one of EY’s partner carriers. Over the last week, Etihad has begun informing these customers that they are changing their itineraries to direct flights operated by Etihad. While this would normally be considered an upgrade compared to say a connection on AA, customers are upset that they are losing their European stopover and are being forced to book an extra night in the UAE.  Etihad is informing customers that they cannot even select an earlier or later EY operated flight, they must take the one being assigned or have the option to cancel their itinerary for a full refund. This is not a case of the partner flights disappearing either, they are still scheduled but EY will not put passengers back on those originally selected flights. I’ve reached out for comment and will report their response here when I hear back.

 We refer to the recent booking you made online to travel on our services. The flights that were selected require travel on our code share partner American Airlines for a part of your journey and then a transfer on to a connecting Etihad Airways flight. As we operate a non-stop service on the same date, we have accommodated you on the direct Etihad Airways flight at no additional cost to yourself. Please find attached the new travel itinerary and e-ticket for your journey.

Here’s a copy of the email being sent out:

EY Original2

…and here was one of the original itineraries:

EY Original

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  1. You should remind your readers to sign up for the double etihad miles promotion, sign up by March 3, double miles for all etihad operated flights flown until December!

  2. This happened to me yesterday! My stop over in Paris was changed and now all my times are awful. When I called etihad they stated that I could not change back, change my times to the other direct JFK to auh flights or refund me the difference in taxes. Only choice was refund or what they gave. What are my options?

  3. It makes sense that they’re doing this. The error sale on Christmas Day looks like it not only messed up Etihad’s pricing but their partners too. American Airlines probably strong armed Etihad to make these changes and rebook their passengers only on Etihad flights as American lost revenue. American Airlines isn’t honoring the error, Etihad is. Everyone who was able to get layovers with American via Paris, Manchester and other places will be rebooked.

  4. they changed my return flight home from South Afrida to a nonstop from abu dhabi to JFK (with no stop at CDG). The flight from NYC to So Africa still has the 10 hour CDG layover.

    this change of the codeshare fights is very similar to what El Al did a few years ago, except they basically charged $150 more to switch to a non-stop.

    Honestly, I’ve been having second thoughts about this trip anyway, so I presume Etihad would gladly cancel and refund if I wanted?

  5. The reason I booked with AA is so I could get the miles. I could have paid less money for the non-stop. Passengers cannot receive AA miles when flying to Abu Dhabi from the United States and vice versa on Etihad. Should I file a DOT complaint?

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