Best Ways to Book Emirates First Class Using Points [Step-By-Step]

Emirates First Class A380 - First Class Cabin

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When you think of the best first class products in the world, Emirates is probably high on your list (if not at the top)! Without a doubt, Emirates offers one of the most luxurious seats in the sky, and flying first class on this airline is an experience you won’t want to miss.

From the amazing Emirates first class suite to the Champagne or the shower spa (yes – you read that right), you’ll be treated like royalty.

To top it all off, you’ll have access to an actual inflight bar where you can enjoy a drink or snack and chat with your fellow passengers.

Before we discuss how to book an Emirates first class flight, let’s take a look at exactly what you’ll be booking.

A Look Inside the Emirates First Class Suite

There’s nothing quite like enjoying the glamorous first class experience on Emirates.

Let’s start with your first class suite, complete with a mini-bar, bed, and a privacy door that closes with just the push of a button. You read correctly — individual motorized doors on an airplane —- and that’s only the beginning of the Emirates first class experience!

Emirates First Class A380 - Seat 1E
There’s nothing like having your own personal Emirates first class suite. You even have your own mini-bar. Don’t worry, Champagne is provided on request! Image Credit: Alex Miller

Emirates raises the stakes with their fine dining experience to keep you well-fed. From Champagne to spirits to fine wine, your flight attendant will ensure you always have a nice drink to go with your meal.

Emirates First Class A380 - Caviar
Experience fine dining at 30,000 feet in your Emirates first class suite. Image Credit: Alex Miller

You might be wondering what kind of Champagne. Well, this is first class on Emirates, and they really spare no expense — you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of world-renowned Dom Perignon.

Emirates First Class A380 - Dom Perignon
The Emirates first class experience wouldn’t be complete without a glass of Dom Perignon! Your flight attendant will be happy to pour you a glass (or 2). Image Credit: Alex Miller

Is this the best first class experience? Perhaps, although that will depend on your personal tastes. It’s certainly up there!

Hot Tip: Want an in-depth review of this Emirates’ First Class? Read our review of Emirates’ First Class aboard the A380.

Emirates’ New Game Changer First Class Suites

Emirates New 777-300ER First Class Suites
Emirates’ new 777-300ER first class suites. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

As we know, Emirates often sets the standard for a top-notch first class product. Emirates’ new first class suites on select 777-300ER aircraft have just set the bar even higher. Believe it or not, the Emirates A380 first class is no longer their best product.

These new first class suites, dubbed the Game Changer First Class Suites, are unbelievably lavish. On the aircraft, there are 2 rows of seats in a 1-1-1 configuration. The density of seats on this aircraft is therefore similar to Cathay Pacific first class. However, the differences are eye-opening.

Emirates First Class Game Changer Suite 1A
Emirates first class Game Changer Suite 1A. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The suites on this aircraft are around 30 inches wide, 78 inches in pitch, and 84 inches long in bed length. The suites have floor-to-ceiling doors, which means complete privacy. No one will be able to see you when you close your suite doors. You can enjoy the 32-inch HD LCD inflight monitor in total peace. For context, each suite is 40 square feet, while Etihad First Class Apartments measure 39 square feet.

The seat itself can recline into a zero-gravity position inspired by NASA, and center seat passengers will be able to try out “virtual windows.” When you couple that with the binoculars provided to all first class passengers, those in a center seat have basically the same view as any window passenger.

You can also video/audio chat with the crew members and use the service window that allows you to be served drinks and snacks without being disturbed. This cutting edge product cannot be ignored, though for now, the routes are pretty limited.

To find out which Emirates aircraft have these suites and where they fly to, you’ll need to track these tail numbers:

Emirates Game Changer First Class Suites-Equipped Aircraft (777-300ER)

Here are some of the frequent routes to help you get started:

Emirates Game Changer First Class Suites Routes (Regularly Scheduled)
Dubai (DXB) – London-Stansted (STN) on EK 65/66 and EK 67/68
Dubai (DXB) – Geneva (GVA) on EK 83/84 and EK 89/90
Dubai (DXB) – Riyadh (RUH) on EK 819/820
Dubai (DXB) – Brussels (BRU) on EK 181/182 and EK 183/184
Dubai (DXB) – Kuwait City (KWI) on EK 855/856
Dubai (DXB) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) on EK 312/313
Dubai (DXB) – Vienna (VIE) on EK 125/126
Dubai (DXB) – Frankfurt (FRA) on EK 43/44
Dubai (DXB) – Malé (MLE) on EK 658/659

Emirates has also operated rare flights on the following routes:

Emirates Game Changer First Class Suites Routes (Rare Routes)
Dubai (DXB) – Victoria (SEZ) on EK 705/706
Dubai (DXB) – St. Petersburg (LED) on EK 175/176
Dubai (DXB) – Hamburg (HAM) on EK 59/60
Dubai (DXB) – Houston (IAH) on EK 211/212
Dubai (DXB) – Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) on EK 221/222

If you’re looking to book with points, you’re going to have to book very close to departure. The best chance of booking your new first class suites with points is 1-2 days before your flight.

How to Fly Emirates First Class

Now that you have a taste of Emirates first class, let’s discuss how to book this flight so you can have some fun!

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank usually offers the cheapest redemption prices, though they pass on huge fuel surcharges for awards on Emirates, in addition to the cost of the miles. For trips from the U.S. in Emirates first class, these can be as much as $1,716 round-trip!

To avoid these surcharges, there are a few airports where you can start your trip and skip them:

  • Auckland (AKL)
  • Colombo (CMB)
  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Sydney (SYD)
  • Tokyo (NRT/HND)

If you decide to book an Emirates award, consult Japan Airlines’ distance-based chart. The more miles you actually fly, the more Mileage Bank miles it will cost.

JAL award chart
Image Credit: Japan Airlines

As you can see, the award chart is broken into brackets based on the total trip distance. If you fly multiple segments, you’ll need to consider the distance of each segment.

This chart presents some booking opportunities for Emirates first, which we’ll discuss a bit later.

You can now search for Emirates availability directly on the JAL website:

  1. Go to JAL’s website.
  2. Search for your desired route.
  3. Select your desired flight.
  4. Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your booking.

A couple of key points to remember when booking with Japan Airlines 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.
  • Search with Qantas for award flights that don’t touch the U.S.

Hot Tip: Learn how to maximize stopovers and open-jaws to get some exceptional value without spending more miles.

If you’re planning an Emirates first class trip, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank will likely cost you the fewest miles. Make sure you give them a look and don’t forget to check out other amazing redemptions with Mileage Bank.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Using the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is the only way to avoid fuel surcharges on Emirates first class flights originating in the United States. As you can probably imagine, saving $800-$900 on one-way taxes and fees is going to cost you more miles.

Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines now charges a ton of miles to book an Emirates first class ticket. Check out the current cost in Alaska miles in the chart below:

RouteOne-Way Award Cost
U.S. to Middle East/India150,000 Alaska miles
U.S. to Europe180,000 Alaska miles
U.S. to Asia180,000 Alaska miles
U.S. to Africa200,000 Alaska miles
U.S. to Oceania225,000 Alaska miles

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

The biggest benefit Alaska possesses is that it is the only realistic way to fly without paying fuel surcharges over $1,700+.

So in that sense, it can definitely be worth it to use Alaska miles for Emirates first class. Think: “More miles, but less money.”

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

  1. Go to Alaska’s website.
  2. Search for your desired route (make sure you select “Use Miles”).
  3. Select your desired flight and “Add To Cart.”
  4. Log in to your Alaska Mileage Plan account.
  5. Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your Emirates booking.

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

Emirates Skywards

Emirates is a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy, while JAL and Alaska are only transfer partners with Marriott.

So while JAL and Alaska don’t have many ways to rack up miles fast, Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards will definitely help you boost your point balances to book first class!

Better yet, Emirates has recently massively reduced the carrier-imposed surcharges on flights! Depending on your award ticket, you’ll be able to leverage stopovers!

Here are a few great example routes you can take:

  • New York (JFK) – Milan (MXP) round-trip for 135,000 miles + ~$120 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip for 217,500 miles + ~$322 in taxes and fees
  • Auckland (AKL) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip for 336,000 miles + ~$45 in taxes and fees

Here’s how you can book your award:

  1. Visit Emirates.
  2. Log in to your Skywards account.
  3. After you log in, search for flights. Be sure to check off the box that says Classic Rewards.
  4. Select your flights.
  5. Pay with your miles and any additional taxes and fees.

Other Options for a First Class Emirates Booking

Qantas and Korean Air also partner with Emirates.

Korean Air isn’t great anymore since their sole transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy and their booking process is quite difficult.

Qantas has a ridiculously priced award chart (in addition to taxes and fees), so we definitely don’t want to use them here, except maybe to search for award availability outside the U.S.

Great Emirates First Class Redemptions

Even with the new surcharges, Japan Airlines may provide the best opportunity to book Emirates first class, so let’s look at a few options available for booking:

  • New York City (JFK) to Dubai (DXB) round-trip in first class for 135,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) to Perth (PER) one-way in first class for 135,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP) round-trip in first class for 100,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP) to Dubai (DXB) to Bangkok (BKK) to Dubai (DXB) to Milan (MXP) to New York City (JFK) for 155,000 miles
    • This routing could include a stopover in Milan or Dubai on your way to Bangkok, plus a stopover at the other city on your return to New York
  • Dubai (DXB) – Malé (MLE) one-way in Emirates’ Game Changer First Class Suites for 45,000 miles
  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – Dubai (DXB) one-way in Emirates’ Game Changer First Class Suites for 90,000 miles

If you want to experience a shower in the sky, find a route on which Emirates operates an Airbus A380. Currently, Emirates operates this aircraft between Dubai and 6 U.S. airports:

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

The Dubai to Los Angeles route is actually one of the longest flights in the world — plenty of time to enjoy the glamour of an A380 Emirates first experience!

Emirates flies to several other U.S. airports with their “older” Boeing 777. These routes still provide the first class suite (albeit slightly smaller) and perks, but you won’t get to experience the shower spa and inflight bar.

While Japan Airlines will require fewer miles, a round-trip first class award from the U.S. to Dubai will include up to about $1,716 in taxes and fees. Alaska and Emirates will require more miles, but won’t impose fuel surcharges (which keeps the out-of-pocket cost lower).

Hot Tip: Check out our in-depth guide for a full list of Emirates’ routes to/from the U.S., including plane types, cabin, and seating options. 

How to Earn Enough Miles for Emirates First Class

American Express Membership Rewards Cards

You can earn Amex Membership Rewards and transfer them to Emirates at a 1:1 ratio.

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months, worth up to $600 towards travel. Terms Apply.

However — you may be eligible for a much higher offer by using the CardMatch Tool. Plus, there's no hard pull on your credit to check for personalized offers.

This is our #1 card for accessing 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass). We leverage ~$3,000+ in value from the card every year. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x. Terms Apply). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and up to $100 airline fee credit per calendar year, it's a strong choice. For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
Recommended American Express Cards (Business)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

See how we get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks, including access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates & fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month, such as Facebook or Google ads. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. After that, you earn 1x. Terms Apply. For rates & fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This card is offering a welcome bonus of up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. A super simple, no annual fee card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually. After that, then 1x. Terms Apply. That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year. For rates & fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

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

Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Japan Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or Emirates at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Skywards miles bonus.

Recommended Marriott Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.

When Should You Search for Emirates First Class Award Space?

Unlike airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa, Emirates does not have a regular schedule for releasing first class award space to their partner airlines.

That being said, Emirates first class is a highly sought after award ticket, so you should start searching for space as soon as you have an idea about your travel dates.

The more flexibility you have with your travel dates, the easier it will be to find space and book your Emirates first class experience!

If you’re looking to book the Emirates 777-300ER Game Changer First Class Suites, your best shot is to book 1-2  days in advance. Emirates rarely releases award space on these flights until very close to departure.

What Makes Emirates First Class Amazing?

If the pictures above weren’t enough to convince you that Emirates first class is an experience not to be missed, let’s dive into some more features you’ll get to enjoy:

Emirates First Class Lounge

Emirates First Class A380 - First Class Lounge
Your Emirates First Class Lounge experience is sure to get your travel day started on the right foot. Image Credit: Alex Miller

When departing from or transiting through Dubai International Airport (DXB), you will have access to the Emirates First Class Lounge. If your flight is on the Emirates A380, you will be able to board your flight directly from the lounge.

You’ll find areas dedicated to entertainment, dining, and even families with children. There really is something for everyone in the Emirates First Class Lounge.

Emirates has amazing lounges in other airports around the world too, including New York City (JFK) where you can also board your flight from the lounge.

Emirates First Class Catering

Emirates First Class Lounge Dining
Whether you want a full meal or a snack, you will be happy in the Emirates First Class Lounge and during your flight. Image Credit: Alex Miller

From start to finish, your first class experience will include fantastic food and beverage choices. In the Emirates First Class Lounge, you have the option to enjoy snacks from a buffet or order a meal in the dining area anytime you’re hungry.

You’ll also enjoy on-demand dining on your flight, so you can eat when you are ready. As we mentioned above, fine Champagne and other drinks are available as desired.

Emirates Inflight Bar

Emirates First Class A380 - Bar
Enjoy a drink, a snack, and the company of your fellow premium cabin passengers at Emirates’ inflight bar on the Airbus A380. Image Credit: Alex Miller

One of the most well-known features of Emirates first class on their Airbus A380 is the inflight bar. Located at the rear of the business class cabin, first class passengers are welcome to enjoy the company of fellow passengers and have a drink.

You can even bring your Dom Perignon Champagne with you! This is a fantastic way to stretch your legs and add a little fun to your flight.

Emirates First Class Shower Spa

Emirates First Class A380 - Onboard Shower
A shower at 30,000 feet is pretty unbelievable — and in a space like this, it’s definitely comfortable as well. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Emirates first class passengers can also enjoy the First Class Shower Spa. You will have access to the room for 30 minutes, with 5 minutes of hot water in the shower. During your spa experience, you might notice that your feet are warm… that’s because the floor is heated!

After a long flight, this can be just what you need to freshen up before an adventure.

Emirates First Class Amenity Kit and Pajamas

Emirates First Class A380 - Amenities Kit & Pajamas
Slippers, pajamas, and a luxury amenity kit help you rest easy during your journey. Image Credit: Alex Miller

To top off the first class experience, Emirates provides an amenity kit with high-end Bvlgari products and pajamas (to keep) so you can relax comfortably during your flight.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that Emirates first class is an experience any traveler will enjoy. While these flights retail for tens of thousands of dollars, you can use Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, among other partners, to score an amazing award ticket.

Like with all award bookings, make sure you check for award availability before transferring points. Remember to start your search for award space as soon as you’ve narrowed down your possible travel dates to increase the likelihood of finding Emirates first class award space.

Now that you know how to book Emirates first class, what are you waiting for? Get out there and take flight in one of the most amazing first class products in the sky!

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Best Ways to Book Emirates First Class Using Points

Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to book Emirates first class?

Right now, the cheapest way in miles to make a first class Emirates booking is with Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles, though with large cash surcharges. If you have a ton of Alaska Mileage Plan miles, they can be a solid backup option in order to avoid surcharges.

Lastly, you can use Emirates Skywards miles to book, though be sure to watch out for fuel surcharges when you can. The benefit of Skywards miles is that you can transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy to get lots of points fast.

What do I get when flying Emirates first class?

When you fly Emirates first class on the Airbus A380, you’ll enjoy a comfortable suite with a lie-flat seat. Additionally, you’ll have 30 minutes to use the first class shower spa.

If you’re flying on the new 777-300ER Game Changer First Class Suite, you’ll get a fully enclosed suite with floor-to-ceiling doors and an unbelievably spacious product. You won’t get the shower spa, but you’ll be secluded in complete privacy.

To top it all off, you can enjoy the inflight bar at the rear of the business class cabin. Don’t forget the Dom Perignon Champagne!

How much is a first class suite on Emirates?

Emirates first class tickets are among the most expensive in the world. Because they are consistently ranked a top global airline, particularly for first and business class, they can command a larger premium.

Cash tickets routinely go for $10,000-$20,000, depending on your exact route. Using points can save a massive pile of cash!

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Hi! Love your site! I love booking with points. We have a ton of points with our Amex Platinum and we’re looking to book 3 seats in first class on Emirates to Milan next June. When I followed your link to Alaska Airlines, flying from JFK to Milan wasn’t an option. And on the Japan Air bank flying to Europe wasn’t an option either. Can you help? Thank so much!! Jenni 😊


    • Hi Jenni! Booking Emirates First directly with Emirates by transferring from Amex will cost you a LOT of points (and taxes). For example, a one-way flight from JFK > MXP would be 85k miles & ~$548 (see here). If you login to you can find out how many miles it would cost for your journey which is what I’d recommend doing if you’re set on using Amex points. If not, definitely use JAL miles as it’s a lot cheaper, especially the further you travel.


  2. Hi Alex, Nice post on this about Emirates. I loved my one time flying Emirates direct to Dubai. I was wondering the best option for a person like me to use points from Amex Gold Rewards to fly on Emirates first class. You say Japan Airlines would be best to transfer to and to use on Emirates. What would some good options for me to go on any destination considering I start off at O’Hare? You stated its not a good idea to fly to/from the US. Please help me with any ideas as I am new to using points and would like to take advantage of them to any destination. Thanks!


  3. Hey Joe! Yes, isn’t Emirates F just wonderful? 😀

    Here are some points redemption rates using Amex MR points (one-way):

    Chicago – Dubai 136,250
    New York – Dubai 136,250
    Dubai – Johannesburg 90,000
    Dubai- Tokyo 117,500
    Dubai – Mumbai 52,500
    Dubai – Sydney 136,250
    Dubai – Paris 85,000

    Hope this helps.


  4. Hi Alex,
    Do you still feel that Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is the best way to book award tickets on Emirates First Class Cabins? Are the showers available on all their planes?
    Thanks 🙂


    • Yes, Japan Airlines is still the best ways to book EK F! Only the A380 plane has showers on it, the 777 unfortunately doesn’t but the seats are a little larger on the 777 and the cabin is more private due to having fewer seats than the A380. For me, it’s A380 every time due to the bar and the showers!


  5. Great article. Emirates F is a favourite of mine, and many of our Australian readers use Qantas points to book it, simply because Qantas points are so easy to earn and burn here.

    While you’ve rightly pointed out that Qantas can be expensive for Emirates redemptions, there are some reasons why it makes sense to use Qantas points in this way:
    1) Qantas is the only airline scheme other than Emirates Skywards that provides access to Chauffeur Drive on points bookings – a nice perk.
    2) By commencing an Emirates journey in Hong Kong (even after the Nov 1 lift in restrictions around carrier surcharge) carrier surcharges can be avoided completely. As an example, I flew HKG-DXB-ATH-DXB-ADL last year, all in Emirates F, and paid around $80. Good times!
    3) While long distance flights require lots of points, it is possible to get a taste up the pointy end on a short distance route at a reasonable price. For example, the fifth freedom route of SYD-CHC comes in at 54,000 points, which many will think is decent for a 4 hour jaunt (complete with 4 course meal, Dom, Hennessy Paradis and shower time).


    • Hey Adele! Thanks for reading.

      You bring up great points! We’re going to include your feedback in our comments so that Qantas-loyal readers can utilize your knowledge. Thanks for your comments!


  6. Hi! Great article! I’m having trouble finding a place on the JAL website where I can search Emirates flights. It looks like JAL only has the option of booking flights through Japan airlines. We saved up a bunch of Amex points for flying from LA to Dubai but since they’ve switched to Marriott we can’t seem to figure out how to do this.


    • Hi Heather,

      Generally speaking, you’ll want to search for availability elsewhere such as on Alaska Airlines or directly on Emirates Skywards. Japan Airlines’ interface is somewhat clunky. Thanks for reading!


  7. I went to the JAL website to look at using points to book First Class for an Emirates flight MXP-NYC, but Europe is not an option in the From/To drop-down menu. Am I missing something?


    • Hi Lindsay, looks like that’s a glitch on JAL’s website. Unfortunately, this means you will have to call JAL to book this award ticket.


  8. Hi,

    Thanks for your very informative post.

    I’m trying to book Emirates from JAL’s website. Here is what I did: log in to JMB, clicked Award Ticket, then International Award Ticket, then JMB Partner Airlines Awards, then Roundtrip. I selected Emirates and clicked 1 Ticket First Class from SFO to BOM. Whatever dates I select it says there no seats available or this flight may be fully booked. Even 1 year out, weekdays/weekends doesn’t matter. Am I doing something wrong ?



    • Hi Norman,

      Thanks for reading.

      Japan Airlines can be clunky if you are looking for connecting flights sometimes. You can search each segment separately and then call Japan Airlines to book the award if the online search engine isn’t working very well.


  9. Hi Stephen,
    I tried again with only one flight/sector and tried all kinds of dates with the same result.
    If you have some time, can you please confirm you can still do this ?


    • Hi Norman,

      If you require an ongoing service that helps you book award travel and earn tons of points based on customized inputs and travel goals you have, we can provide that. Please reach out to me via e-mail at [email protected]


  10. Jackie Jacobs November 30, 2019

    A380 flies out of IAH as well. That’s not on your list. I just booked it.


  11. Where would be the best economic place to book with miles at this point for Emirates business class, I got miles all over the place , flight going from Sydney to the UK? (Is these any possible way to book with Alaska?)


    • Hi Emirates,

      The most economic option to book Emirates Business class is to book via Alaska. Alaska requires a bit more miles than Japan Airlines but charges significantly less in taxes and fees. Check out our full write up for more information.


  12. Thanks for your help. I have two follow up questions. First, am I correct in understanding that between the 777-300ER and the A380, only the A380 has the bar and shower, correct?

    And second, I am trying to book my first class ticket thru either DFW or IAH using Emirates Skywards points (thru my platinum AmEx). You mention booking some airlines rewards tickets only 1 or 2 days prior to travel, but does that also apply to Emirates points directly? I am booking flights to Africa a year in advance and have nearly 2M AmEx points to transfer into Emirates points, but I can’t run the risk of waiting until the day before to get travel booked. Any thoughts?

    Have a great day,


    • Hi Jay,

      The A380 is the only aircraft with a shower. Furthermore, the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) service only includes the 777-300ER. If you’re looking for a Texas departure, Houston is your only shot at the A380 flight.

      Figuring out when airlines definitively release these seats for booking is challenging, which is why if you feel like you’d get value from a service that will help you search for and book your first class travel, in addition to optimizing your credit card rewards to make sure you’re earning the most valuable points, then please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] to inquire about a monthly subscription service.


      • Hi Jay,
        I love your website.
        I have a question. I am thinking of booking an EK flight from Nice to Dubai to San Fransisco. First Class is available DXB to SFO but only Business Class NCE to DXB. Am I able to NCE upgrade the flight to First Class after ticket issuance if there’s space available? Thanks


        • Yes, you can. But the most nuanced answer is it depends on the customer service representative you get.

          Some will tell you that you need to cancel the ticket and try to re-issue the new ticket. However, others will be able to do it for you without canceling your ticket.


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