Emirates has cultivated a reputation as one of the best airlines in the world, and it is well-deserved. Let’s be honest…you’re probably here right now because of the amazing things you’ve heard!
If you’d like to see what it’s all about, the Emirates business class cabin is a great way to go. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the experience on Emirates’ Airbus A380.
With lie-flat seats, direct aisle access, and an in-flight bar, your business class experience will be the trip of a lifetime!
A Look Inside Emirates Business Class
From the moment you step into the Emirates business class cabin, you’ll be excited to fly. For solo travelers, the window seats provide great privacy, while couples, friends, and families can enjoy each other’s company by selecting 2 seats in the middle section.
Regardless of your seat choice, you are guaranteed direct aisle access on all A380s, so you don’t have to climb over anyone to visit the in-flight bar (we’ll get to that later). Additionally, all business class seats on Emirates’ A380 are lie-flat, so you can sleep comfortably.
When booking your flight, be sure to verify that you’re flying business class in the A380. Otherwise, you might be surprised by a 2-3-2 configuration with angled flat seats and no direct aisle access!
Here are the flights that operate an A380 from North America:
|A380 Routes From North America|
|Los Angeles (LAX) – Dubai (DXB)||San Francisco (SFO) – Dubai (DXB)|
|New York City (JFK) – Dubai (DXB)||New York City (JFK) – Milan (MXP)|
|Washington D.C. (IAD) – Dubai (DXB)||Toronto (YYZ) – Dubai (DXB)|
|Houston (IAH) – Dubai (DXB)||Boston (BOS) – Dubai (DXB)|
While you’re relaxing in your seat, you’ll enjoy great meals throughout your flight as well as your choice of beer, wine, and spirits. In fact, your flight attendant will even offer you a glass of champagne when settled in your seat before takeoff.
How to Fly Emirates Business Class
If you’re ready to have some fun trying the business class cabin on Emirates, let’s dive into how you can book this flight.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but we don’t always recommend using Emirates Skywards miles — we’ll explain more below, but trust us when we say you have better options.
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is generally going to have the lowest miles price tag, but fuel surcharges on awards on Emirates in addition to the miles cost. For trips from the U.S. in Emirates business class, these can be as much as $1,716!
Learn more about these pesky fees in our ultimate guide to airline fuel surcharges (and how to avoid them)!
There are a few airports where you can start your trip and avoid these surcharges:
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- Tokyo (NRT)
- Sydney (SYD)
- Colombo (CMB)
- Sydney (SYD)
- Auckland (AKL)
If you decide to book an Emirates award, then consult Japan Airlines’ distance-based chart (the longer the flight, the more Mileage Bank miles your flight will cost).
When booking, make sure you remember to calculate the distance of each segment of your itinerary and add them together. Once you have done that, you can check Japan Airlines’ partner award chart to see how many Mileage Bank miles are required.
There are some sweet spot award redemptions to be found in this chart, so play around with it and see what you can find.
You can now search for Emirates availability directly on the JAL website:
- Go to JAL’s website
- Search for your desired route
- Select your desired flight
- Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your booking
A couple key points to remember when booking with Japan Airlines Mileage Bank 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
- Use Qantas to search for flights that are not to or from the U.S.
Hot Tip: Learn about how to maximize stopovers and open-jaws in our comprehensive guide so you can get extra flights for free!
Using Japan Airline Mileage Bank miles is generally your best bet to book Emirates business class for the fewest miles.
Make sure you check out some of the other amazing redemption options provided by Japan Airlines.
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 of routes you can take:
- New York (JFK) – Milan (MXP) round-trip for 90,000 miles + ~$120 in taxes and fees
- New York (JFK) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip for 145,000 miles + ~$322 in taxes and fees
- Auckland (AKL) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip for 224,000 miles + ~$100 in taxes and fees
Here’s how you can book your award:
- Visit Emirates.
- Log in to your Skywards account.
- After you log in, search for flights. Be sure to check off the box that says Classic Rewards.
- Select your flights.
- Pay with your miles and any additional taxes and fees.
Great Emirates Business Class Redemptions
Even with the new surcharges, Japan Airlines may provide the best opportunity to book Emirates business class, so let’s look at a few options available for booking:
- New York City (JFK) to Dubai (DXB) round-trip in business class for 85,000 miles
- New York City (JFK) to Perth (PER) one-way in business class for 85,000 miles
- New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP) round-trip in business class for 63,000 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 100,000 miles
- This routing could include a stopover in Milan or Dubai on your way to Bangkok, and a stopover in the other location on your return to New York City
Remember, you’ll want to fly business class on Emirates’ Airbus A380 to ensure maximum comfort and fun! Plus, the A380 Dubai to Los Angeles route is one of the longest nonstop flights in the world, giving you tons of time to enjoy your luxury experience.
|Cities with Emirates A380 Service|
|Los Angeles (LAX)|
|New York City (JFK)|
|San Francisco (SFO)|
|Washington, D.C. (IAD)|
Emirates flies to several other U.S. airports with their Boeing 777. These routes do not have direct aisle access for all business class seats, nor do they include the lie-flat seats (which means sleeping will be less comfortable).
While Japan Airlines will require fewer miles, a round-trip business class award from the U.S. to Dubai will include up to about $1,716 in taxes and fees. Alaska will require more miles, but won’t impose fuel surcharges (which keeps the out of pocket cost lower).
Hot Tip: Check out our dedicated guide for more information on Emirates’ routing options to/from the U.S.
How to Earn Enough Miles for Emirates Business Class
Alaska miles can be earned directly with their co-branded credit cards provided by Bank of America, which offers both a personal and business version of the card.
Marriott Credit Cards
You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Emirates at a rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 Skywards miles.
Recommended Marriott Cards
When Should You Search for Award Space?
Emirates does not have a regular schedule for releasing business class award space to their partner airlines. However, don’t wait to search for space and book your business class award ticket.
These award tickets are popular, so start your search as soon as you know when you want to travel. As with all award searches, flexibility is your friend — the more flexible your travel dates, the easier it will be to find award space.
Also, remember to take into account the transfer time of your travel rewards cards points if you are transferring from flexible point programs. It would be a shame to miss an award because you hadn’t yet transferred your miles!
What Makes Emirates Business Class Great?
It’s probably already clear why Emirates business class should be on your list of flying experiences to try! But just in case you need some convincing, let’s dig into it a little more.
Emirates Business Class Lounge
You will have access to the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai. When you are flying on the Emirates Airbus A380, you will be able to board directly from the lounge.
During your stay, you will be treated to a relaxing experience complete with champagne and a great selection of food.
Emirates has lounges in many airports across the world, so you’ll have somewhere to relax before your flight when flying business class.
World Class Catering
Right off the bat, your business class adventure will provide a buffet that includes plenty of meal options to satisfy any culinary desire. You will also have a variety of wine, beer, spirits, and champagne to pair with your meal before finishing it off with one of the many dessert options.
Of course, the fun only continues once you are in-flight. You will still have access to great food and your choice of beverages, not to mention an amazing in-flight bar.
Emirates Business Class In-Flight Bar
Enjoy a drink, a snack, and the company of your fellow passengers at Emirates’ in-flight bar on the Airbus A380.
Emirates is famous for the bar at the rear of the business class cabin on their Airbus A380. Anytime you feel the urge for a snack or a drink (they’ll make you cocktails too!), you can visit the bar and mingle with your premium cabin companions.
The Business Class Amenity Kit
No business class experience would be complete without an amenity kit, and Emirates excels with theirs, providing Bvlgari products to keep you refreshed throughout your flight.
Give Emirates a try; you won’t be disappointed! Using Japan Airlines miles or Alaska Airlines miles, you can book a great experience that would normally cost thousands of dollars.
Just because this is an exciting opportunity, don’t forget to make smart decisions when booking. Check for award availability before transferring points, and remember that flexibility is key to making business class on Emirates a reality for you.
This article should give you everything you need to get started, so get ready to go book your Emirates business class experience!
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