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Emirates Increases Skywards Miles Redemptions Again [By 20%]

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

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Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Devaluation and Emirates are 2 words we wouldn’t have expected (or hoped) to see together. However, over the last year, we’ve seen multiple jumps in award rates in the Skywards program, as well as increases in fuel surcharges.

Now it looks like Emirates has done it again — this time bumping the business class and first class rates on one of our favorite fifth-freedom routes.

Let’s take a look.

Another Emirates Devaluation

What’s a devaluation? In short, a devaluation means that the cost of redeeming some flights using Emirates Skywards miles has increased.

We’ve seen this repeatedly over the last year, but now one of the few remaining holdouts has seen its costs spike. We’re talking about the fifth-freedom flights between the U.S. and Europe, which Emirates operates to both Athens and Milan. It looks like the cost has gone up 20% compared to the previous pricing.

Here’s what it used to look like for business and first class flights:

Newark (EWR) to Athens (ATH)72,50085,000
New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP)72,50085,000

However, use the search tool on the Emirates’ website to actually book those routes and you’ll find much higher prices:

  • Business class flights: 87,000 miles one-way (20% increase)
  • First class flights: 102,000 miles one-way (20% increase)

JFK MXP Emirates business class
Image Credit: Emirates

Note that you’ll still receive a discount when booking a round-trip ticket, but these increases have affected those tickets as well. You can expect to shell out 108,000 miles for a round-trip business class itinerary.

The Devaluation Trend

Emirates Inaugural World's Shortest A380 Flight Business Class Seat 16K - Cherag Dubash
Emirates A380 business class seat. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Points and miles are a depreciating currency, so it’s always a race against the clock to get your use out of them before they become worthless. That said, Emirates has been on a tear over the last year with numerous devaluations.

While devaluating loyalty programs by increasing the cost of a redemption for members ultimately means the airline or hotel chain makes more money, it also risks deterring members from engaging with the program.

If things keep going the way they have been, it won’t be long before redeeming your miles for a flight becomes simply … well … too expensive. That means if you’re looking to fly one of these products, you’ll want to do so sooner rather than later.

Hot Tip: Our guide details the best ways to redeem Emirates Skywards miles to make sure you’re getting maximum value for your miles!

Final Thoughts

Emirates has once again increased the cost of redemptions in business and first class. This time some of our favorite flights are affected, with costs for both business and first class flights from the U.S. to Europe seeing a jump of 20%.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.


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