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United MileagePlus & Emirates Skywards Partnership Begins March 26

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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United Airlines and Emirates previously announced a historic new partnership in September 2022.

The new codeshare agreement will allow flyers on either airline to travel seamlessly throughout either carrier’s network. In addition to the codeshare agreement, the airlines have inked an interline agreement and United has announced a new flight to Dubai, Emirates’ home base.

Let’s take a look at all the details of this exciting new partnership!

The Codeshare Agreement

In November 2022, Emirates added its flight numbers to United-operated flights departing Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), and San Francisco (SFO). This means customers flying Emirates can arrive in one of those United hubs, connect to a United-operated flight, and fly to their final destination … all on 1 ticket. With this new agreement, bags will be checked to passengers’ final destinations, and the door is open for reciprocal elite benefits across each airline.

The Interline Agreement

An interline agreement is available for flights out of Boston (BOS), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington, D.C. (IAD).

With an interline agreement, a customer could, for example, be placed on a United flight with very little hassle if their Emirates flight was canceled. The flights are essentially treated as one and the same, no matter the carrier.

Reciprocal Booking

As of March 26, 2023, you’ll be able to book Emirates flights on, United flights on, and mixed-airline itineraries on either site. Conceivably, you could go from Dubai (DXB) to Houston (IAH) to Honolulu (HNL) on a single ticket issued by Emirates. This will be a major benefit for customers as you won’t need to book separate tickets or use various websites.

As part of this booking process, United will only sell tickets on its website where the U.S.-Dubai, or Dubai-U.S. segment is on a United aircraft. This means that while you can connect to or from Dubai on Emirates, that 1 segment will need to be flown on United, making this an awkward partnership at best.

In addition to seamless bookings, checked baggage will be transferred to either airline — depending on which carrier you’re flying and your connecting flight — as this allows your bags to head to your final destination without you needing to re-check them.

United’s Nonstop Flight to Dubai

Dubai at sunset with camel caravan
Image Credit: adrian_ilie825 via Adobe Stock

As part of this new partnership, United is launching nonstop service from Newark (EWR) to Dubai (DXB) as of March 25, 2023. Passengers who book a ticket on this new flight can connect in Dubai to any one of Emirates’ many destinations served from the hub.

The details of United’s new flights are as follows:

  • Depart Newark (EWR) 9:40 p.m. — Arrive Dubai (DXB) 7:05 p.m. (+1)
  • Depart Dubai (DXB) 1:55 a.m. — Arrive Newark (EWR)  8:45 a.m.

Frequent Flyer Benefits

United customers be able to redeem MileagePlus miles on Emirates flights as of March 26, 2023, though Emirates Skywards members won’t be able to redeem miles on United flights. Customers will also be able to earn miles on either carrier. Like revenue tickets, to redeem United MileagePlus miles, the U.S.-Dubai and Dubai-U.S. portions of the itinerary need to be on a United aircraft.

Hot Tip: To celebrate the launch, you can earn double MileagePlus miles on all Emirates flights from March 26, 2023, through April 30, 2023.

United has also released its earning charts as to how many miles you’ll earn, depending on whether the ticket is issued through United or not.

Here is how much you’ll earn on flights, when ticketed as a United ticket as of March 26, 2023:

MileagePlus LevelEarnings
Member5x fare
Premier Silver7x fare
Premier Gold8x fare
Premier Platinum9x fare
Premier 1K11x fare

Here is how many miles you’ll earn when your ticket is not ticketed by United, as of March 26, 2023:

Class of ServicePurchased Fare ClassAward Mile Earnings (Including Fare Class Bonus)
First FlexF150%
First FlexA150%
Business FlexC, J125%
Business FlexI125%
Business SaverO125%
Business SpecialH110%
Premium EconomyW, E110%
Economy FlexR, Y, P, X100%
Economy FlexU, B, M, K50%
Economy SaverG, T, L, Q25%
Economy SpecialV10%
IneligibleS, N, D, Z0%

In addition, eligible United customers will also be able to use Emirates lounges in Dubai. More information on frequent flyer benefits will be available soon.

Final Thoughts

This strategic partnership between United and Emirates allows United to expand into more international markets via Emirates’ extensive network from Dubai. This should prove to be beneficial for customers of either airline, and this partnership could very well lead to more similar relationships between other airlines in the future.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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