Emirates First Class (A380)
Emirates First Class Seat

Last week, there was a lot of sadness about Emirates cutting off most of its partners from accessing its First Class cabin for awards starting with redemptions made on or April 1st, 2021. Booking Emirates with Alaska miles was the major loss. Alaska Airlines also informed us, among others, that this applied to all partners.

Qantas Can Still Book Emirates First Class

It turns out that there is one exception (at least that we know of), and that exception is Qantas. According to Executive Traveller, an executive at Emirates stated “First Class Rewards will be exclusively available to Emirates Skywards members as well as members of select strategic airline partners that offer mutual benefits to our customers.” They wouldn’t say which other airlines, if any, retain this perk, but we know Qantas does.

Now, given that can transfer points into Emirates from everywhere, including Amex, Chase, Citi, and Capital One, does this matter? I’d say not to very many of us in North America, but to our friends Down Under, definitely.

Qantas Award Rates for Emirates Flights

Priced by distance, you don’t find any bargains. Here’s a link to the award chart.

149,800 Qantas points New York to Dubai (versus 136,500 Emirates Skywards miles one way to Dubai or 217,500 round trip)

169,800 Qantas points New York to Male

107,700 Qantas points New York to Milan

129,300 Qantas points New York (Newark) to Athens

Fees should be about the same no matter how you book since Emirates dropped most of their award surcharges.

Qantas Transfer Partners in the US

Amex, Citi, and Capital One can all transfer to Qantas. But again, you could would, in all cases I can imagine, be better off transferring those same points (or Chase points) to Emirates directly.

Still, worth knowing your options!


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