Emirates First Class (A380)
Emirates First Class (A380)
Want to discuss these deals? Apply to join the members-only MilesTalk Facebook group.
Advertising Disclosure: Links and credit card offers on this page may earn us a small commission. They never influence what we cover but they do keep the lights on. Learn More

I was doing my daily search just now for an award flight to the Maldives during peak season today when I came across something very interesting.  Since Emirates hadn’t shown a through flight in Business in many days now, I started searching segment by segment, starting with NYC-DXB.

Emirates First Class (A380)
Emirates First Class (A380)

Emirates Drops “Fuel” Surcharges

The first thing I noticed was that the surcharges (formerly known as fuel surcharges) were only $161.50 for Business Class JFK-DXB. They used to top $800.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

I thought this must be a mistake and was going to call Emirates to ask… but a quick Google search verified that OMAAT’s Lucky beat me to the punch – by 22 minutes 😉

It saves me the phone call, though, as he verifies the same thing I saw and also added in an IATA screenshot showing that the surcharges were indeed pared down to just $150 a ticket (the other $11.50 is taxes and fees). He found the same for fifth-freedom flights like EWR-ATH as well.

Emirates First Class Bar
Emirates First Class Bar

Emirates Skywards used to rarely be the best way to book Emirates First and Business Class – That’s all changed

As a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Capital One miles, you have TONS of ways to get miles in. Until now, Alaska MileagePlan was your best method since they didn’t pass on the fuel surcharges.

Note that Alaska is still a bit of a better deal, at 82,500 miles, but you can only earn Alaska miles via their own MileagePlan program or via a transfer from Marriott Bonvoy. NYC-DXB, for example, is 100,000 Emirates Skywards miles instead of 82,500 Alaska miles, and still a $150 more in fees, but it’s so much easier to acquire Emirates Skywards miles via transfer partners.


Additional reading on Emirates First Class:

Emirates A380 First Class Review

Emirates First Class Suites vs. the Etihad First Class Apartment


Have you flown Emirates First or Business? Will this change how you book?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here