Redeeming for Business/First class awards to India is one of the best uses of the AA miles. Etihad Airways is your best bet for redeeming your AA miles to India, due to no fuel surcharges and decent availability.
You might be aware that AA devaluation is about 1 month away. Starting Mar 22, 2016, you will need a lot more miles when redeeming AA miles for premium cabins to India.
If you are scrambling to lock in awards at old rates, you might be having trouble finding Etihad business/first class award seats even though Etihad shows availability.
As discussed in this flyertalk thread, AA call centers in USA are having trouble finding business/first class awards on Etihad. The trick here is to call the AA call center in Australia to book these awards.
You can call +61-2-9101-1948 (AA Australia phone number) and book the business class/first class awards. This call center is based in Fiji and can speak English, taxes and fees will be quoted in AUD. However, you can hold the awards as per the AA policy and then call back AA call center in USA to confirm the booking.
AA award chart devaluation is going to be effective from Mar 22, 2016. If you want to make bookings per the old rates, you must confirm the bookings on or before Mar 21, 2016.
AA-USA call center is unable to access premium award cabin space on Etihad airways. You can call AA-Australia call center at +61-2-9101-1948 and hold/book awards as you see on Etihad website.
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