The ability to convert Coles Flybuys points into Etihad Guest miles has been suspended since December 2017, so what's happening?
The glitch was initially due to a “small technical issue”, an Etihad Guest spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller in December, adding that the issue was expected be resolved by December 23 2017.
But over a month later, the problem still wasn’t fixed – and on January 24 2018, Etihad’s spokesperson elaborated that the Flybuys portal had been “temporarily shut down” to allow for “upgrades to improve the service / user experience”.
Those upgrades were due for completion by January 29, by which time the Flybuys portal would be back in place, but that deadline has also passed, and neither Etihad Airways nor Coles Flybuys have since responded to follow-up enquiries placed by Australian Business Traveller.
While the outage continues, Flybuys members remain unable to convert their Flybuys points into Etihad Guest miles (at a 10,000 = 4,000 rate), and can’t earn Flybuys points on Etihad Airways flight bookings made via the Flybuys portal (previously given as one Flybuys point per $1 spent).
When attempting to visit the usual Etihad mileage conversion page on the Flybuys website, an error is displayed…
… while a separate Etihad Airways page on the same site describes the current issues.
Members who had already ‘linked’ their Flybuys and Etihad Guest accounts prior to the outage will continue earning Etihad Guest tier miles at Coles, Coles Express, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor at the rate of one tier mile per $1 spent up to 2,500 tier miles per month, although these aren’t redeemable miles: instead, the Etihad version of ‘status credits’.
However, Flybuys members who haven’t already attached their Etihad Guest account aren’t able to do so during this ongoing outage – which means if you’re not already earning Etihad Guest tier miles on your groceries, you can’t start doing so until these issues are resolved.
The option to convert Flybuys points into Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points remains available, with these transfers even attracting a 15% bonus until February 22 2018.
Velocity Frequent Flyer members can also earn one Velocity status credit per $100 spent at Coles, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor (although not Coles Express petrol stations), up to 10 status credits per month.