Best Ways To Book Emirates Business Class Using Points [Step-by-Step]

Emirates Business Class Seat

Emirates has cultivated a reputation as one of the best airlines in the world, and it is well-deserved. Let’s be honest…you’re probably here right now because of the amazing things you’ve heard!

If you’d like to see what it’s all about, the Emirates business class cabin is a great way to go. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the experience on Emirates’ Airbus A380.

With lie-flat seats, direct aisle access, and an in-flight bar, your business class experience will be the trip of a lifetime!

A Look Inside The Emirates Business Class

From the moment you step into the Emirates business class cabin, you’ll be excited to fly. For solo travelers, the window seats provide great privacy, while couples, friends, and families can enjoy each other’s company by selecting 2 seats in the middle section.

Emirates Business Class Bed
Enjoy a lie-flat bed in business class on Emirates’ Airbus A380.

Regardless of your seat choice, you are guaranteed direct aisle access, so you don’t have to climb over anyone to visit the in-flight bar (we’ll get to that later). Additionally, all business class seats on Emirates’ A380 are lie-flat so you can sleep comfortably.

While you’re relaxing in your seat, you will enjoy great meals throughout your flight as well as your choice of beer, wine, and spirits. In fact, your flight attendant will even offer you a glass of champagne when settled in your seat before takeoff.

How To Fly Emirates Business Class

If you’re ready to have some fun trying the business class cabin on Emirates, let’s dive into how you can book this flight.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Chart
Check out Japan Airlines’ distance-based award chart for some fun redemption ideas!

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is usually the best place to book Emirates business class. They use a distance-based chart, which means the longer the flight, the more Mileage Bank miles your flight will cost.

When booking, make sure you remember to calculate the distance of each segment of your itinerary and add them together. Once you have done that, you can check Japan Airlines’ partner award chart to see how many Mileage Bank miles are required.

There are some amazing sweet spot award redemptions to be found in this chart, so play around with it and see what you can find. We’ll discuss a few options in a minute, but first, let’s review the booking process.

  1. Visit Qantas or Alaska Airlines
  2. Note the dates and times of the flights you want, as well as the flight numbers
  3. Call Japan Airlines (1-800-525-3663) to confirm availability and book your award ticket
    • Office hours are 6:00am-6:00pm PST (Monday-Friday) and 7:00am-3:00pm PST (Saturday and Sunday)

If you need more miles in your Mileage Bank account, transfer SPG Starpoints. Keep in mind, transfers are not instant and often take 7 days. For every transfer of 20,000 SPG Starpoints, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles in your Japan Airline Mileage Bank account!

You can transfer up to 60,000 SPG Starpoints per day and receive 3 5,000-mile bonuses.

A couple key points to remember when booking with Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles:

  • You are allowed up to 6 segments, 2 stopovers (stays exceeding 24 hours), and 1 open jaw per itinerary
  • One-way bookings are allowed
  • Use Qantas to search for flights that are not to or from the U.S.

Using Japan Airline Mileage Bank miles is generally your best bet to book Emirates business class for the fewest miles.

Don’t forget to check out other amazing redemptions with Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program was the go-to way to book Emirates award tickets before Alaska Air devalued the award chart in early 2016. Emirates business class didn’t take as much of a hit as first class, but it was still a blow.

Check out the current cost in Alaska miles in the chart below:

To/From North AmericaOne-Way Award Cost
Middle East/India82,500 Alaska miles
Europe105,000 Alaska miles
Asia105,000 Alaska miles
Africa120,000 Alaska miles
Oceania120,000 Alaska miles

Not only are these award prices much more expensive than Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program, but your point of origin or destination must be in the U.S.

If you have a ton of Alaska miles sitting around, here’s how you can book Emirates business class:

  1. Visit Alaska Airlines
  2. Select “Use Miles” and search for your desired route
  3. Select your flights and “Add To Cart”
  4. Login to your Alaska Mileage Plan account
  5. Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your booking

Transfer SPG Starpoints prior to booking if you need more Alaska miles. Transfers of SPG points can take up to 2 days.

While Alaska Airlines might not be the go-to program for Emirates anymore, Mileage Plan still provides some other amazing redemption options.

Other Options For Booking Emirates

We didn’t include the Emirates Skywards program as an option for 2 reasons: the number of Skywards miles required is quite high, and they pass on carrier-imposed surcharges (which can exceed $1,000!).

You could also book with Korean Air or Qantas Frequent Flyer miles, but they too include high taxes and fees.

If possible, avoid using these programs and book with Japan Airlines miles instead.

Great Emirates Business Class Redemptions

Emirates Airbus A380
Find some amazing redemptions on the Emirates Airbus A380 and enjoy an in-flight bar.

It’s clear that Japan Airlines provides the best opportunity to book, so let’s look at a few of the best options available for booking:

  • New York City (JFK) to Dubai round-trip in business class for 85,000 miles
  • New York city (JFK) to Perth, Australia one-way in business class for 85,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) to Milan round-trip in business class for 63,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) to Milan to Dubai to Bangkok to Dubai to Milan to JFK for 100,000 miles
    • This routing could include a stopover in Milan or Dubai on your way to Bangkok, and a stopover in the other location on your return to New York City

Remember, you’ll want to fly business class on Emirates’ Airbus A380 to ensure maximum comfort and fun!

Emirates A380 Routes
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York City (JFK)
San Francisco (SFO)
Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Emirates flies to several other U.S. airports with their Boeing 777. These routes do not have direct aisle access for all business class seats, nor do they include the lie-flat seats (which means sleeping will be less comfortable).

How To Earn Enough Miles for Emirates Business Class

The easiest way to earn the necessary miles for both Japan Airlines and Alaska Airlines is through the use of SPG credit cards. With each transfer of 20,000 SPG Starpoints, you will receive an additional 5,000 miles in the designated frequent flyer program.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Need Inspiration?
> 45 Best Ways To Redeem SPG Points
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Detailed Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 35,000 bonus Starpoints®. Offer ends 11/1/17.
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Detailed Review

Bank of America also provides co-branded cards with Alaska Airlines (both personal and business versions) that will earn you additional Alaska miles.

When Should You Search For Award Space?

Emirates does not have a regular schedule for releasing business class award space to their partner airlines. However, don’t wait to search for space and book your business class award ticket.

These award tickets are popular, so start your search as soon as you know when you want to travel. As with all award searches, flexibility is your friend. The more flexible your travel dates, the easier it will be to find award space.

Also, remember to take into account the transfer time of your travel rewards cards points if you are transferring from flexible point programs. It would be a shame to miss an award because you hadn’t yet transferred your miles!

What Makes Emirates Business Class Great?

It’s probably already clear why Emirates business class should be on your list of flying experiences to try! Just in case you need some convincing, let’s dig into it a little more.

Emirates Business Class Lounge

You will have access to the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai. When you are flying on the Emirates Airbus A380, you will be able to board directly from the lounge.

During your stay, you will be treated to a relaxing experience complete with champagne and a great selection of food.

Emirates has lounges in many airports across the world, so you’ll have somewhere to relax before your flight when flying business class.

World Class Catering

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dining
Enjoy a great meal at the Business Class Lounge!

Right off the bat, your business class adventure will provide a buffet that includes plenty of meal options to satisfy whatever desire you have. You will also have a variety of wine, beer, spirits, and champagne to pair with your meal. Finish it off with one of the many dessert options.

Of course, the fun only continues once you are in-flight. You will still have access to great food and your choice of beverages, not to mention an amazing in-flight bar.

Emirates Business Class In-Flight Bar

Emirates In Flight Bar
Your time at the Emirates in-flight bar might be the most memorable part of this amazing flight!

Enjoy a drink, a snack, and the company of your fellow premium cabin passengers at Emirates’ in-flight bar on the Airbus A380.

Yes, that’s right: an in-flight bar. Emirates is famous for its in-flight bar at the rear of the business class cabin on their Airbus A380. Anytime you feel the urge for a snack or a drink (they’ll make you cocktails too!), you can visit the bar and mingle with your premium cabin companions.

The Business Class Amenity Kit

No business class experience would be complete without an amenity kit, and Emirates excels with theirs. Emirates provides an amenity kit with Bulgari products to keep you refreshed throughout your flight.

Final Thoughts

Give Emirates a try; you won’t be disappointed! Using Japan Airlines miles, you can book a great experience that would normally cost thousands of dollars.

Just because this is an exciting opportunity, don’t forget to make smart decisions when booking. Check for award availability before transferring SPG Starpoints, and remember that flexibility is key to making business class on Emirates a reality for you.

This article should give you everything you need to get started, so go book your Emirates business class experience!

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express


What is the best way to book Emirates business class?
Use Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program if you want the best deal when booking.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly Emirates business class?
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express are the best cards to earn both Japan Airlines and Alaska Airlines miles.

Additionally, Bank of American provides a co-branded card with Alaska Airlines that earns Alaska miles directly.

What do I get when flying Emirates business class?
When you fly on the Airbus A380, you’ll have access to an amazing in-flight bar complete with snacks and cocktails.

Additionally, all business class seats on the A380 are lie-flat and have direct aisle access.

Before your flight, you’ll have access to the Emirates business class lounge.

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