Who doesn’t love a fancy Emirates flight? After taking away partner awards over the last few years, Emirates slashed its own fuel surcharges, making it a much more affordable option for travelers. This respite was short-lived, however, as it has been bumping up fees all over again. Let’s take a look.
Emirates Fuel Surcharges
After dropping its fuel surcharges, travelers were able to snag business class seats and pay fewer than $200 in taxes and fees. Such was the case at the beginning of the year, where a roundtrip ticket from New York (JFK) to Dubai (DXB) could be had for as few as 145,000 miles + ~$322 in taxes and fees. Since then, Emirates has raised its surcharges, not once — but twice.
Along with gutting reward redemptions, you’ll also be charged way more in fees for this flight. Here’s a look at what it’ll cost you today:
Ouch. We know that business class tickets are expensive, but paying over 200,000 miles and nearly $1,700 in fees doesn’t really seem worth it, especially when you can usually get to Europe in business class for around $2,000 in cash.
Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of options when booking business class with Emirates, let alone its first class seats. If you’re looking for a premium reward redemption, you really only have 2 choices. Emirates and JAL will both allow you to book business class seats on Emirates, though JAL miles aren’t easy to earn — and you’ll need to call in to book these tickets.
As far as first class tickets go, you’ll need to book with Emirates Skywards. And with the increase in surcharges, it’s not a pretty sight. At least, however, it’s easy to earn Emirates miles.
Hot Tip: Learn more about which airlines charge the most and least in surcharges in our ultimate guide to airline fuel surcharges.
Earning Emirates Skywards Miles
Emirates miles are particularly easy to earn thanks to their many transfer partners. The program is a transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
All of these transfer over at a 1:1 ratio, meaning that 1 credit card point becomes 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The exception to this is Marriott Bonvoy, where the transfer ratio is 3:1; this means that 3 Marriott Bonvoy points become 1 Skyward mile. If you transfer over 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll also receive a 5,000-mile bonus.
An increase in fuel surcharges is yet another blow for Emirates customers, along with a year of unhappy devaluations. At this point, it’s barely worthwhile to redeem points for premium Emirates flights. Unfortunately, your options are limited when booking business and first class seats with Emirates, so if this is something you’re really craving, you’ll need to shell out for those fees.
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