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Etihad Airways review

This Abu Dhabi-based airline has decent prices but hit-or-miss service.

Updated

Fact checked

You’ll get from point A to point B with Etihad Airways, but it’s not known for going above and beyond to meet passengers’ needs.

What is Etihad Airways?

Based in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways is the second-largest airline in the UAE. It offers economy, business and first-class seating on most of its planes. On the A380, you can book a super-luxe residence compartment.

Who owns Etihad Airways?

Etihad Airways is a subsidiary of Etihad Aviation Group, which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

Where does Etihad Airways fly to?

Etihad Airways flies to Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, in the US. It also flies to Toronto in Canada.

As of December 2019, Etihad Airways flies to the worldwide countries that include:

  • North America
    • Canada
    • United States
  • Europe
    • Belarus
    • England
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Holland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Serbia
    • Spain
    • Switzerland
    • Turkey
  • Africa
    • Chad
    • Egypt
    • Kenya
    • Nigeria
    • Seychelles
    • South Africa
    • Sudan
  • The Middle East
    • Egypt
    • Jordan
    • Kingdom of Bahrain
    • Kuwait
    • Lebanon
    • Oman
    • Saudi Arabia
    • United Arab Emirates
  • Asia and the South Pacific
    • Australia
    • Bangladesh
    • Cambodia
    • China
    • Guam
    • Hong Kong
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Japan
    • Kazakhstan
    • Laos
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Myanmar
    • Nepal
    • Pakistan
    • Philippines
    • Republic of Singapore
    • Russia
    • South Korea
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand
    • Vietnam

How do I get my confirmation and tickets?

You’ll receive an email with your confirmation details after booking a flight with Etihad Airways.

Check in to your Etihad Airways flight within 30 hours of departure to receive an e-ticket by email. You can also check in at the airport for a physical copy of your ticket.

How do I pay with Etihad Airways?

    • American Express
    • Diners Club
    • Mastercard
    • JCB
    • UATP
    • Visa

You can also pay for your tickets through MasterPass or Visa Checkout.

What is the baggage allowance on Etihad Airways?

You’re always allowed one personal item for free on Etihad Airways.

When it comes to carry-ons and checked luggage, how much you’re allowed to bring — and the permitted weight of each — depends on the class you’ve booked and where you’re flying to and from.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect on Etihad Airways flights to or from the US and Canada:


ClassCarry-onsChecked baggage
EconomyOne bag free, up to 7kg (about 15 lbs)Two bags free, up to 23 kg each (about 50 lbs)
BusinessTwo bags free, with a

combined weight of 12 kg (about 26 lbs)

Two bags free, up to 23 kg each

(about 50 lbs)

FirstTwo bags free, with a

combined weight of 12 kg (about 26 lbs)

Two bags free, up to 32 kg each (about 70 lbs)

You must pay a fee to bring along extra baggage — which can get pricey. For example, if you’re flying from the US to Africa, you’ll pay $256 per suitcase for excess luggage.

Etihad Airways’ baggage fees get so complicated that it doesn’t offer a straightforward chart on its website. To avoid unpleasant surprises, use its baggage calculator to understand exactly what you can bring along before booking your flight.

Special offers from Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways Etihad Airways

Explore Abu Dhabi with a free two-night stopover

Explore Abu Dhabi with a free two-night stopover. Simply book a multi-city flight via Abu Dhabi.

Last verified

What sets this brand apart?

Etihad Airways is based in the UAE, most flights from the US require booking a flight to Abu Dhabi first before continuing to your destination. So even though it offers routes to numerous cities in India, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, you can’t book anything direct.

Etihad is notable for its regular schedule of flights from the US to Abu Dhabi. But otherwise, it’s a typical midtier airline whose fares aren’t known for being cheap or even inordinately expensive. A flight with Etihad Airways may not be super comfortable — you won’t get the five-star treatment delivered by Delta — but it’ll take you where you need to go.

Pros and cons

Before booking your Etihad Airways flight, weigh its benefits against potential drawbacks and your traveling needs.

Pros

  • Choose from gluten free, kosher, vegetarian and other dietary options.
  • Most planes offer USB charging and universal power ports.
  • In-flight entertainment can keep you occupied over a long haul, though Wi-Fi is extra.

Cons

  • Extra baggage fees can run you $256 or more per piece.
  • Prices aren’t in USD — instead, they’re in the currency of your selected destination.
  • Customer reviews are hit-or-miss, with the airline earning an F rating from the BBB and 1.5 stars on Trustpilot.
  • The loyalty program doesn’t offer any perks until you’ve reached the second tier

Bottom line

Etihad Airways can transport you to Abu Dhabi and to dynamic metropolitan cities around the world from there. If that’s not your cup of tea — or if its routes don’t satisfy your traveling needs — compare a key competitor like Qatar Airways.

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