Emirates Skywards® - Emirates

Emirates Skywards®
Emirates Skywards is a frequent flyer program that has grown quite a bit throughout the years, and it is not part of any of the major airline alliances, so it is in a position to partner only with those brands that it finds align best with its own. Emirates currently offers flights from 10 different destinations, including Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington D.C, to its hub in Dubai, as well as flights to Europe via its New York-Milan route.

While it can be a bit frustrating to figure out how many miles you need for any given trip due to the lack of a published award chart, there are still lots of benefits associated with this program that you will want to look into. The more time you take to research this program, the more convinced you will be that it’s right for you. Those who are members of this rewards program will be able to accrue points that can be used for a number of things, including free award flights, hotel bookings, car rentals, and much more. Earning miles is fairly easy with this program, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with that at all as a member.
  • Pros
  • Two stopovers allowed ❸
  • Competitive economy award prices
  • Cons
  • Travel period restriction ❺
  • One-way awards restriction ❹
  • Booking through request form ❷
  • Small number of partner airlines
  • Most airlines impose fuel surcharge
  • Only 2 airlines can be booked online
  • Fees & Charges
  • Change award fee ❶
  • Cancellation fee ❶
  • Expiration: Miles expire 36 months since last activity.
  • For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
  • ❶ Cancellation fees on flex awards $50 ; Cancellation fees on saver awards $75
  • ❷ You need to fill the online request form to book other airlines
  • ❸ Saver awards include one stopover; flex awards include two stopovers
  • ❹ One-way fligths available only at the flex level
  • ❺ Saver awards allow three months of travel period maximum

Transfer Partners

Amex points
1 : 1
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
56 days
Marriott points
3 : 1
+ 15,000 bonus
42 days
IHG points
5 : 1
42 days
Carlson points
10 : 1
42 days
The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to Emirates Skywards®.
Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines and Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Emirates Emirates
No alliance
Qantas Qantas
Air Mauritius Air Mauritius
No alliance
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines
No alliance
EasyJet EasyJet
No alliance
No alliance
Japan Airlines Japan Airlines
Jet Airways Jet Airways
No alliance
jetBlue Airways jetBlue Airways
No alliance
Jetstar Airways Jetstar Airways
No alliance
Korean Air Korean Air
Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Airlines
S7 Airlines S7 Airlines
South African Airways South African Airways
Star Alliance™
TAP Portugal TAP Portugal
Star Alliance™
Virgin America Virgin America
No alliance

Program Review

Emirates is an airline that is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is wholly owned by the government of Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is currently the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from its hub at Dubai International Airport to more than 154 cities in 81 countries across six continents. Cargo activities are undertaken by Emirates SkyCargo.

The Emirates Skywards program exists to provide those who fly with this airline regularly with a variety of perks and benefits. Those who are members of this program will be able to accrue points/miles that can be used for a number of different things, including award flights, cabin upgrades, car hire, and hotel bookings. You will definitely want to take the time to find out more about what this program has to offer you.

Emirates Skywards Program

The Emirates Skywards program rewards those who fly with Emirates Airlines with Skywards Miles and Tier Miles. Skywards miles are mainly earned through flights which are calculated on the basis of route, class, fare type, and membership tier. You can also earn points from partner offers and promotions. Emirates Skywards lets you accumulate points even on discounted/special fares. This rewards program also features the Miles Accelerator, which helps you find flights that offer bonus points if you are flexible with your travel date and travel time. Tier Miles are accumulated only when you fly with Emirates and count towards your membership level. The more Tier Miles you earn, the higher you can progress in your Skywards membership status to unlock more premium benefits.

Earning Emirates Skywards Points

The way of earning Emirates Skywards Points slightly differs from the American airlines' options. When you travel on paid Emirates flights, you will not earn the points depending on the actual distance flown, but the transited zones. Even though it seems more difficult to obtain the points, it's actually not.

There are two fare classes that differ in the final number of acquired points: Flex and Saver. For instance, choosing a round trip to Dubai from North America West zone cities for an economy class Saver fare (IAH, LAX, SEA, SFO, or DFW) might bring you about 7,000 miles. At the same time, you'll be able to earn 6,000 miles when traveling from North America East (JFK, YYZ, IAD, EWR, BOS). As you see, when you opt for an economy class fare, you get only half the number of possible miles. You should consider purchasing a more high-cost Flex fare to acquire the full number of points.

Redeeming Mileage Points

Regardless of operating Airbus A380 super-jumbo (the largest fleet of Airbus in the world) and obtaining different accolades for their in-flight customer service, Emirates doesn't provide the possibility to redeem charts for the Skywards program.

Routing Rules

Flex and Saver awards differ in maximum stay periods and the number of permitted stopovers. Saver awards allow you to stay up to three months and take only one stopover, while Flex awards permit two stopovers and a maximum stay period of up to 12 months. The awards have also different fees for date changes: Saver - $25 for a change, Flex - free of charge. Note that recently, Emirates included fuel surcharges to award flights as well.

Booking Fees & Charges

There are some fees that Emirates Skywards members will have to pay, including $25 per person for a flight change and $75 for refunds before travel.

Redeem on Upgrades

When flying with Emirates awards, you're also able to upgrade the awards to the next service class. Although, it's important to mention that only one class upgrade is allowed. Award charts aren't available at all. However, a round trip from North America East zone to Dubai using the Saver upgrade award is estimated at 72,500 miles, while the Flex upgrade award consists of 90,000 miles. At the same time, Flex awards charge about 105,000 miles when traveling from North America West to the same destination, while Saver charges around 135,000 miles.

Elite Levels

Blue: Emirates Skywards membership starts with the Blue Tier. You get access to special member-only travel offers, earn miles with global partners, and are placed on the waitlist priority if you are a Skywards Blue member. Your preferences will be retained to enable Emirates staff to provide you with better service. You can also book your Emirates flight using your Skywards Miles online.
Silver: This membership offers all the benefits of the Blue tier plus extra service at the airport such as priority check-in and boarding, excess baggage allowance, and get access to the Emirates lounge in Dubai. You'll also earn 25% bonus Skywards Miles when flying.
Gold: Gold members get you more world-class service from Emirates staff. This membership has all the benefits of silver members plus priority service through the contact centers, guaranteed seats (even on fully-booked flights), lounge access throughout the Emirates network, and lounge access for guests. You can also ask for priority baggage delivery when you need it. You'll also earn 50% bonus Skywards Miles when flying.
Platinum: The Platinum tier is the highest membership tier in Emirates Skywards. It gives you all the benefits of Gold membership plus 'last seat' Skywards flex reward tickets which allow you to redeem points for a business or economy class ticket even on flights with restricted availability or high demand. Under this membership you can also nominate someone to share the privileges with you, and they'll receive a Gold Skywards membership. You'll also earn 75% bonus Skywards Miles when flying.

Benefits of the Emirates Skywards Program

Being an Emirates Skywards member brings some very unique benefits to the table, which cannot be found elsewhere. How would having your very own personal travel coordinator sound? This is someone that you can elect to check your flight itineraries; redeem your rewards for you; keep you informed regarding your mileage points; arrange seating upgrades; and look after any special meal or drinks preferences. This is the perfect solution for the business traveler and relieves a lot of the stress in relying on staff members or secretaries.
In addition to the travel coordinator there are many other benefits to being a Skywards member, such as:

  • Personal travel coordinator

  • Online upgrades

  • Online booking

  • Waitlist priorities

  • Special offers

  • Self-service check-in

  • Pre-assigned seating

  • Personal preference recording