Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has some attractive business class fares from Stockholm – and recently added a sexy first class offer. Flights with two layovers on each trip, but up to four flight segments in Etihad’s first class suite start as low as €2,526. Finding these fares is a bit tricky, though. It seems that at this price, they are exclusively available through online travel agencies.
The first part of your journey is a business class flight from Stockholm to London operated by SAS. Onwards, an Etihad Airbus A380 takes you to Abu Dhabi and further to Seoul-Incheon airport. All four A380 flights are first class journeys. Airplanes on other routings might not even be equipped with a first class cabin.
Search & Book
According to fare rules, these tickets are sold until December 31, 2019 and valid for flights leaving Stockholm before June 25, 2020. A minimum stay of three days applies as well as a maximum stay of four months. One stopover in Abu Dhabi is free in each direction.
While this fare is valid for connections all over Europe, it is important that you select a layover in London-Heathrow both ways to get four first class segments. A different city might see you downgraded to at least one business class segment between Europe and Abu Dhabi at the same price.
Activate the advanced search and enter ” C:EY+ LHR AUH ” for your outbound and ” C:EY+ AUH LHR ” for your inbound trip. Selecting the calender option shows you when the lowest fare is available. Copy your dates to book tickets. Here you have two options:
Booking via etihad.com
You can enter your flight dates on etihad.com. Sadly, most of the time Etihad will sell you a routing via Munich or Athens that doesn’t include a first class flight between Europe and Abu Dhabi. If both legs have a layover in London and therefore first class cabins, prices increase to €2,900.
You can check if a first class flight is available by having a look at the seat map, which should look like this:
Booking via our Flight Search
Enter the dates the Matrix delivered in our flight search. In most cases, an OTA will sell you tickets via London on both legs at the lowest fare of €2,526. This is the most realiable way to get four first class segments at the lowest fare.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Etihad First Class
First Class passengers on Etihad’s Airbus A380-800 can the world’s largest commercial plane like never before. Onboard amenities include a dedicated suite for each passenger, that can be turned into a bedroom by flight attendants. If you’re feeling like company would be nice, join the first class onboard-lounge.
Ground amenities include visits to a dedicated first class at your departure airport as well as access to Eithad’s arrival lounge in Abu Dhabi. When flying from Abu Dhabi, you can select to enjoy spa treatment as well. Get a full overview here.
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Information & Tips for South Korea
South Korea, officially Republic of Korea, is a country located on the Southern part of the Korean peninsula. It is one of Asia’s fastest developing countries and features stand alone traits such as language, culture and cuisine. Especially Korean food (Teriyaki) and music (K-Pop) get more and more popular in Europe and North America.
Visa & Immigration
Citizens of the European Union, Canada, America and Australia get 90 days of visa free stay upon arrival. If you’re not from one of these countries or planning on a longer stay, this official website for foreigners travelling to Korea might be of help.
Korea’s currency is the Korean Won (KRW). €1 equals roughly KRW 1,300. You can exchange currency in cash or withdraw it by using your credit card at various ATMs. The most used banknotes are KRW 1,000; 5,000; 10,000 & 50,000. Paying with credit card is possible is many hotels, stores and restaurants, not unlike in Europe.
→ All Dealz for South Korea
Information & Tips for Seoul
Seoul is the capital of South Korea and with 11.8 million inhabitants and a metropolitan region of around 25.6 million also the largest. The city is an important cultural and economic center in the Asian region.
Flights to Seoul
Flights to Korea are unfortunately not as cheap as to China or Southeast Asia, but there are – especially if you are flexible – some bargains that are definitely worth it.
For flights to Seoul, one should usually be prepared to pay between 400€ and 500€ for a good deal. Often there are also bargains in Business Class, especially from LOT.
You should avoid the school holidays, especially the summer holidays. During this period, airfares quickly rise to more than 700€ and partly reach heights of up to 1.000€ for a direct flight in economy. Good deals are not to be expected during this period.
Best Time to Travel
The best time to visit Seoul is from March to May or from September to November. Thanks to comparatively mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, these months are best suited for tourism.
From the Airport to the City Center
International long-haul flights usually arrive at Seoul-Incheon Airport. The express train to the city centre departs every 30 minutes and takes 40-45 minutes and costs approx. 6,50€. For a taxi you pay between 47€ and 70€.
→ All Dealz for Seoul
Information & Tips for United Arab Emirates
Visa & Entry
Most European citizens may enter the United Arab Emirates without a visa and with their passports only to stay there as tourists as well as for business(without work) or visiting purposes for a maximum period of 90 days within 180 days.
Best Time to Visit
In April and May, the temperatures in the UAE are around 30 °C and can even climb to just close to 40 °C. You usually don’t have to expect less than 25 °C, so you can always bring your bathing suit. In June, July and August, 40 °C are standard. The most pleasant travel months are December, January, and February when temperatures rarely climb above 25 °C.
You should know that the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country. This means that Ramadan, the month of fasting, is strictly celebrated. There are usually no drinks and no food during the day, at least not in public. When booking offers during this period, you should keep that in mind.
→ All Dealz for United Arab Emirates
Information & Tips for Abu Dhabi
Although overshadowed by much more famous Dubai, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Like its northern neighbour (the cities are roughly 70 minutes apart by car), the Emirati government didn’t hesitate toi invest billions in petrol dollars to make Abu Dhabi an attractive city, for tourists in citizens alike. Among it sights is the huge and splendid Sheikh Zayed mosque and the luxurious Emirates Palace hotel. The Ferrari World theme park is famous for its breath taking high speed roller coasters.
Best time to visit
Abu Dhabu reaches temperatures of up to 45° in summer, and even in winter, the weather is hot. The best time to travel is from November to March when temperatures are comparatively low.
From the airport to the city
Abu Dhabi Int’l airport is home to Etihad Airlines and offers numerous international nonstop services as a result. Five bus lines connect the airport to different parts of the city center, costing 4 AED (roughly €1) while taking up to 45 minutes. Since a lot of flights depart late in the evening, these buses run 24 hours, seven days a week. Further, Etihad Airways offers shuttle bus services to Dubai and Al Ain. A Taxi downtown is much more expensive, as you can expect to pay up to AED 80 (approx. €20) for a trip to the city center.
→ All Dealz for Abu Dhabi
Cover Picture: © Etihad Media