Devaluation and Emirates are 2 words we wouldn’t have expected (or hoped) to see together.
Only recently we were getting excited about the possibility of booking a one-way in Emirates first class from New York to Milan for just 85,000 Skywards miles.
However, it appears that as of February 1, 2022, the airline has made some overnight changes to redemption costs without prior warning.
Let’s investigate a little further and check to see if that one-way in first class for 85,000 miles is still a possibility.
A Quiet Devaluation by Emirates
By devaluation, we mean that the cost of redeeming some flights using Emirates Skywards miles has increased.
The good news is that the increase seems to only have applied to business class flights.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
As per the Emirates Miles Calculator, the costs in Skywards miles for a one-way flight should be as follows:
|Los Angeles (LAX) to Dubai (DXB) ||71,250||113,750||155,000|
|New York (JFK) to Dubai (DXB)||62,500||100,000||136,250|
|New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP)||38,750||62,500||85,000|
However, use the search tool on the Emirates’ website to actually book those routes and you’ll find higher prices. Thankfully (for now) these increases seem to only have been applied to business class redemptions:
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Dubai (DXB) = 132,500 Skywards miles (14% increase of 18,750 miles)
- New York (JFK) to Dubai (DXB) = 115,000 Skywards miles (15% increase of 15,000 miles)
- New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP) = 72,500 Skywards miles (14% increase of 10,000 miles)
Bottom Line: The good news is that you can still redeem just 85,000 Skywards miles for a one-way in Emirates first class on the A380. The bad news is that it will cost you around 14% to 15% more per business class award ticket.
The Devaluation Trend
As the pandemic releases its chokehold on the aviation and travel industry, airlines and hotels are calling “final boarding” on survival mode and turning their focus to recuperating losses and getting back to pre-pandemic revenues.
While devaluating loyalty programs by increasing the cost of a redemption for loyalty program members ultimately means the airline or hotel chain makes more money, it also runs the risk of deterring members from engaging with the program.
A notable recent example of this is the imminent devaluation of the Marriott Bonvoy program, which for some has sparked a mad dash to spend points before they could lose a significant amount of their value.
In the case of Emirates business class devaluation, it’s not the end of the world. Should this only be an early phase of a program-wide change, we could also see increases of around the same amount to both economy and first class redemptions.
Hot Tip: Our guide details the best ways to redeem Emirates Skywards miles to make sure you’re getting maximum value for your miles!
Emirates has quietly increased the cost of redemptions in business class. The increase varies per route, but as of February 1, 2022, you can expect to be charged around 14% to 15% more than before for Skywards miles redemptions in business class.
As there has been no news or update from the airline about the changes, it’s currently unclear as to whether this is some kind of test or part of a larger program-wide devaluation.
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