Is Etihad's first class from Sydney to New York via Abu Dhabi worth the extra points over business class?


I have booked a business class flight Sydney to New York via Abu Dhabi through velocity.

It looks like there is an option to fly first class instead if I move my flights back one day. It’s only a 2.5 hour layover in Abu Dhabi and the car to & from the airport is of little use to me.

Is first worth it for the extra points & fees on Etihad?


Hi Cassie,

Define worth; It’s a very personal and subjective thing, as some people will tell you to save them and some would rather spend it and enjoy the first class experience. It’s all about what you personally value, and also the opportunity cost of what you could have done instead with the points and money.

Few would argue that Etihad’s first apartments on the A380 are one of the most comfortable ways to travel, and I’m sure you’d have an amazing trip, but what are you looking at in terms of dollars and points, and what else could you do with them if you choose not to do it is the question you need to ask yourself. To me personally the lie flat bed and direct aisle access is all I need to be comfortable on the flight, so business is fine and I’d save the points/money for another trip, however depending on your circumstances, how many points you have, and what you value, you may disagree.

I think it is definitely worth it on their 380’s.  Be warned they regularly swap the 380 for a 777 JFK ABU and sometimes out of SYD. Two sectors in a second rate plane does take the gloss off. I have had 5 change of aircraft on the last couple of years.

The other problem, getting a good chef. The food they have to work with is limited and it requires a chef who wants to try. There are quite a few that do.

The bed is very hard, be warned


I thought I would chime in too.

I agree with Jimmy that worth/value is very subjective.

Let’s check out the costs difference. 64000 Velocity points +US 190 (for the 2 legs). For 29 hours flight.

What could 64000 Velocity points get you? I know off the top of my head it costs 65000 pts to get from AU east coast to Singapore in business class (Singapore Air).

Personally, if I do not have any better plans with the Velocity points and don’t mind paying the minimal cash component, I would definitely go for the apartment.

First class is getting rarer and rarer. Hence, I would definitely try it if its available. However, I have heard the experience is very inconsistent and heavily dependent on the crew you get. There has also been very aggressive cost cutting and ‘cheapening’ of the experience.

Whatever your choice, hope you enjoy your flight. It is a very long flight.


Thanks for the advice everyone.

I decided to stick with business class and save the points for future trips.