Last week, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways announced that it had revamped and improved its very popular Etihad Guest program. The changes are sure to be well-received among members of the already popular program.

Flyers who have Gold or higher status with Etihad will be able to enjoy free one-way chauffeur service to or from Abu Dhabi International Airport. To qualify, travelers must be flying in Business or First Class on award Business or Fast Class tickets.

Etihad Guest members will also be able to upgrade to Economy Space, purchase insurance and pay taxes and excess baggage fees using their miles, or a combination of miles and cash. Members will be ale to enjoy discounts for in-flight Wi-Fi and seat selection, and they will be able to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi using their miles.

There is more good news. Etihad Guest Miles won't expire anymore, though one eligible transaction must be made every 18 months. This is a huge improvement. Previously, miles would expire after 24 months, regardless of whether the member had any activity in their account.

Top tier Platinum members will also enjoy a dedicated contact number staffed by premium guest service agents where they can quickly get assistance with any issues.

It's easy to sign up for Etihad's loyalty program. You can do so via the airline's website, and after taking your first flight with Etihad, you will earn 500 bonus miles. The more miles you earn with the airline, the higher the status you can reach. And depending on your status, you may enjoy benefits such as priority check-in, lounge access and extra baggage allowances.

Adam Luehrs is a contributing writer at based in California. He likes traveling to new and exciting destinations, preferably on his credit card company's dime. When not on the road, Adam enjoys hiking around the mountains of San Diego, trying out new food and reading history books. Email: