Etihad Airways has come up with a creative way to allocate fresh money. Until June 24, 2020 you have the option to buy an Etihad Travel Voucher with a whopping 50% bonus added to your initial payment. This means a $1,000 purchase would result in receiving a $1,500 voucher. You can redeem it for any flight within the next two years.
You can buy this voucher only via telephone. Further, you need an Etihad Guest account, Etihad’s frequent traveler program. You can create an account for free. The voucher will be credited to directly to your account. You may redeem it for yourself or buy flights for other people as well.
You can purchase vouchers between $250 and $65,000 + bonus, which can be redeemed after August 1, 2020. These vouchers are not refundable!
This offer sounds very appealing and seems to be a top-notch deal. Nonetheless, this is a high-risk-high-reward situation in which the risks need to be mentioned. The Covid-19 crisis has hit Etihad as hard as any other airline. While the airline enjoys the financial backing of Abu Dhabi’s governing family, the carrier has made catastrophic investments in European airlines in the past (Air Berlin, Alitalia). Therefore, its financial well-being is not limitless.
A bankruptcy is not probable, but not impossible. In this case, your voucher would be basically worthless. A chargeback might save your money, but we cannot say if it would work in case of a travel-voucher.
Another point of concern is that it is impossible to say how the Covid-19 crisis will affect Etihad’s route network. Maybe the destination or travel class you’re speculating on will disappear from their schedule. If you buy a flight with your voucher and it’s cancelled, you’ll just get another voucher.
If you’re travelling Etihad regularly or a visit to the United Arab Emirates (their safest destination) is on your bucket list, this is a marvelous opportunity. If that is not the case, you should refrain from buying an Etihad Travel Voucher.