I wrote a few days ago about the very good Etihad First Class Colombo fare to Dallas (now gone). If you managed to book it, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Points to note with the Etihad First Class Colombo Fare
- Don’t book non-refundable travel around this fare
While it’s likely that this fare will be honoured since US Department of Transportation (DoT) rules apply, specifically 399.88(a), Etihad can always choose to pay a large fine (that theoretically should be more than the cost of transporting all the tickets issued) instead of allowing us to fly. Here is the full text of section 399.88a which contain the applicable clauses:
(a) It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.
I personally do think that they’ll be honoured as these Etihad First Class Colombo tickets were issued similar to a manner to the Round 1 RGN fares which did touch the US. But in the event they do cancel the tickets you don’t want to be stuck with non-refundable positioning fares and other hotel rates.
- Make sure you document your tickets
As I mentioned earlier, it is VERY important to either print out or screenshot the confirmation of your tickets with the record locator and the e-ticket numbers which should start with 607 if plated on Etihad ticket stock. I hope this doesn’t happen to any of you but if any of you ran into credit card troubles while booking you want to make sure that you did get ticketed with e-ticket numbers, or otherwise then your ticket will not be considered as booked and it is unlikely that DoT regulations will apply.
I booked on priceline, so for me I can my access Etihad First Class Colombo ticket numbers through their website (as well as on Etihad.com)
- Hold off on changes with your Etihad First Class Colombo fare
I would wait for an official response from Etihad before making any changes. I’d say likely that a change or addition of stopover NOW in AUH, JFK or other city will incur a reprice to the $10,000 USD ticket since the exact fare code has already been pulled. The Etihad First Class Colombo fare rules DID say that stopovers were permitted without a HIP check and any fees (from what I remember) but at this moment we can only guess.
I personally think that it’s likely that we’ll be able to fly only as ticketed, unfortunately. One of my friends who booked on etihad.com tried modifying his tickets online and any changes with a stopover in Abu Dhabi causes the ticket to reprice very expensively (he didn’t end up changing flights).
If there are any other questions, I’ll try my best to answer them in the comments.