It is nothing new that Etihad seems to have some problems with the perception of reality. Now it has announced major cutbacks in its Etihad Guest program, justifying them with the need to remain competitive. It would have been more correct to state that it has decided to make its best customers pay for its failed strategy resulting in tremendous losses… In a nutshell, award prices on Etihad will increase and decrease as of January 15 – without any further details beyond this vague statement. As upgrade awards will be unilaterally increased as well, it needs to be feared though that the increases will primarily concern awards in premium cabins – although they cost already today more than double compared to competitors (e.g. 236,264 miles for a Business Class roundtrip from Frankfurt to Bangkok). The second major downgrade concerns the validity of Gold and Platinum membership, which will be cut back from two years to one year for anybody attaining or renewing the status after October 08. The downhill spiral at Etihad is accelerating dangerously fast.