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

Back in November, we learned that Emirates would stop offering First Class award space to its partners.

We then got the clarification that Qantas would continue to offer Emirates First Class space.

Last Chance to Book Emirates First with Alaska Miles

Many like to use Alaska’s Mileage Plan to book Emirates First and tomorrow, March 31st, appears to be the last day that you’ll be able to do that. That said, since being bumped up to 150,000 Alaska miles each way to go to/through Dubai to the Middle East, it’s hardly the amazing value it used to be when it was priced much lower.

Still, if you like to use Alaska miles to book Emirates First Class, do so today or tomorrow.

Happily, since Emirates’ own program, Emirates Skywards, eliminated most award surcharges, lowering those YQ fees from $800 to $150 per ticket.

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 to Skywards.

Unfortunately, this is part of a larger trend we have seen towards airlines saving First Class longhaul awards for their own program members only.

Several other airlines restrict First Class awards in some way:

  • Air France only allows First Class to be booked by it’s own Elite Flying Blue members
  • SWISS only allows First Class to be booked by it’s own Elite Miles&More members
  • Korean Air only allows it’s own frequent flyer members to book First Class (elite status not required)
  • Singapore Airlines only allows KrisFlyer members to book First Class (luckily you can transfer in to Singapore from every transferable point). Same for their long haul Business Class, with the exception of Alaska MileagePlan and SAS Eurobonus having expanded availability.
  • Lufthansa only allows partners to book First Class within 14 days.
  • JAL also has pulled the ability to book First Class awards past March 31, 2021 with partner miles. (Whereas you can still book Emirates flights into the future – but you must book by tomorrow.)

Additional reading on Emirates First Class:


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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 the South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


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