If seats are available on the Etihad Guest Site, can I just call Velocity to redeem flights from Sydney to New York?

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I am new to the frequent flyer booking game but have been gaining Velocity ward points from various sources and now wish to look at booking some flights. Research on here and elsewhere has shown that I can book J in Etihad a Virgin partner from Sydney to New York via Doha for 125,000 pts.

I looked a while back on the Velocity site and saw some partner availability but the Velocity site does not show this anymore (problems with the site ?).

I have looked on the Etihad guest site for availability and it shows some availability in April next year for Syd-Doha and Doha- New York. It also shows tax of $365 Syd-Doha and 930 Qatah Rials for Doha-NY.

If those flights are available on Etihad can I just call Velocity and book them? Will those taxes apply?

 

  • Sorry. I told you I was new to this. The connection is through Abu Dhabi and the tax for Abu Dhabi to NY is 1200 AED

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Yes, you can. The taxes should be quite similar although it will be in AUD as VA doesn’t impose fuel surcharge.

VA’s online search engine to New York will default to SYD-LAX-JFK on VA and DL rather than route you through Europe and middle east. For EY flights,  you need to search for availability on EY’s website and look for “Etihad Guest Seat”. If it’s available as guest seat it should be bookable with VA.

Sometimes you need to search segment by segment, ie. SYD-AUH and then AUH-JFK instead of SYD-JFK. Once you have found your flight number and dates, feed it to VA agent and this should expedite their search.

Good luck!

 

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Thanks. The flights are now showing up on the Velocity site again as long as I do two separate searches.

Another question. If we book business reward seats with points do we get lounge access for the long layover in Abu Dhabi. If we were able to take a trip into the city would we then only be able to get back into the lounge for the 3 hours after the check in counter opens.

 

  • Yes, you can use the lounge even after you go out to the city and come back. As long as you have a boarding pass that departs the same day, it doesn’t matter if it’s award ticket. In fact, you get chauffeur as well (from your departing city and arrival city, not the transit city) even on award ticket redeemed with VA points.

    I wouldn’t get too excited about the lounge in AUH. It’s way too crowded and the worst thing is, not enough cubicles for loo. I think in total about 3 loos (+ 5 urinals) for a lounge that caters for at least 200-300 pax. So if you have the big one, I suggest you finish it somewhere else as the loo is constantly occupied.

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