Etihad has advised members that it will be moving to a variable award pricing mechanism as of June 30, 2018. By variable, they mean that that there won’t be a fixed redemption rate for award seats as of that date.
Instead, they will move to a mechanism that takes into account factors such as when you book and fly. According to the email that they have sent, “You might notice price changes closer to departure date or during peak periods.” How variable the new rates will be remain to be seen. We can expect that there may be a seasonal component, such as happens with cash fares now.
Not much detail
Unfortunately, even though the changes are only a month away, they have only provided a small amount of detail. So, what we know now is taken from their email, and the FAQ that they have provided.
They have said that the changes will affect redemptions in the Economy and Business cabins. We can infer from this, that the changes are unlikely to affect First redemptions at this point in time. So, it seems that First, at least, will remain with its single award price structure.
The changes will only affect the GuestSeats redemptions. OpenSeats and Upgrade awards are not affected by this particular change.
For now, we know that the change is coming. We will have to wait until the new mileage calculator is published – and then at least we will know the changes on a route by route basis.