How I used Skywards miles to watch Arsenal v Chelsea from the Emirates box!

Back in January I explained how Emirates was now offering tickets for Arsenal matches in return for Skywards miles.  ‘General’ and ‘Emirates Skybox’ tickets are available for most games at the stadium.

Full details can be found on the Emirates website (log-in required).  However, at this point in the season, there is obviously nothing left for Arsenal.

You can also redeem for tickets for AC Milan, Hamburger SV, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and SL Benfica.  Only Paris St Germain tickets are currently showing.  I expect Arsenal tickets to reappear around July – this year games were loaded in batches every few months.

The key here is the pricing. For weaker opposition, basic tickets are 10,000 Skywards miles each. Given that Arsenal games tend to sell out, this is not a bad use of miles.  For the bigger games, standard tickets are 15,000 to 20,000 miles each.

Far better, though, is – for weaker opposition – 15,000 Skywards miles for a seat in the Emirates box. This comes complete with full hospitality including food and drink.  For stronger opposition you will pay 30,000 or 40,000 miles per person.

(EDIT: pricing was increased for 2015/16 and now starts at 12,500 miles for standard tickets and 20,000 for the Skybox.)

On Sunday, I took my father-in-law down to the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal play Chelsea. This cost 80,000 Skywards miles in total. The cost would have been just 30,000 miles for the pair for a game such as Newcastle.

Emirates Skywards Arsenal

If you do this, note that the instructions you are sent are very vague about ticket collection.  You need to go into the office building via the round door which has a buzzer outside.  It is just before the club shop if you are coming from the tube.  The security guard at the desk has your tickets.  He will want to see ID.

Emirates Skywards Arsenal football

When I reviewed the SPG Suite at the O2 last week, I said that it was a trade-off.  You enjoy great hospitality but a real fan would want to be closer to the action.  This is NOT the case at Arsenal.  The Emirates box – not surprisingly – is the best positioned one in the stadium.  It is Number 75 if you know the ground.  As you can see below, I was sat EXACTLY on the half-way line.

Skywards miles Arsenal Skybox

The suite seats 24 people with 3 rows of 4 x 4 seating.  What is amusing is that the seats are heated!  They are well padded with substantial armrests – you will never sit in a comfier seat for a football match!

Emirates Skywards miles Arsenal

The food (buffet) and drink selection was excellent.  The 4pm kick-off meant that we had already eaten lunch so we only nibbled at the food.  It was done to a very high standard however.  The buffet was brought out again at half time with added snacks (chicken wings) and desserts.  Food is also available after the final whistle if you want to avoid the queue for the tube.

Arsenal on Emirates Skywards miles

By law, you cannot take alcoholic drinks into the seats.  Soft drinks and tea / coffee are fine, however, as long as they are in plastic glasses.

I can thoroughly recommend this as an Emirates Skywards redemption – even if the game ended 0-0!  I will definitely be back next season.  Even if you have NO Skywards miles at the moment, you can earn enough to get two tickets for the Emirates box (for weak opposition) with just one card sign-up bonus.  I discussed the options in my original article here.

One further tip to note.  You should NOT treat the dates shown on the Emirates website as firm.  The TV companies decide at relatively short notice (2 months or so) which games to show.  Your game could be moved to earlier or later on Saturday, to Sunday (as mine was) or even to Monday evening.  Emirates did not offer me the chance of a refund when the Chelsea game was switched to Sunday – I’m not sure if they would have if pushed.

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Comments

  1. Seems like a quite a good use of points. It’s also probably worth mentioning that Emirates are an Amex MR partner.

  2. The suite seats 24 people with 3 rows of 4 x 4 seating. Could you clarify the seating please as ive never been there. Thanks

    • That would be 3 rows of 8 seats with an aisle through the middle

    • Four seats – walkway – four seats, repeated x 3. The three rows of seats are separate to the rest of the stadium seating so no-one who is not in a box can get to it. In front of you is a drop down to the next level and behind you is the door to the suite.

  3. Sorry for OT but I hope someone can suggest me what to do.
    I got my Amex 2-4-1 about a month ago and since then I have been checking regularly for First class seats to my ideal destination. As I couldn’t find the seats (wanted A380 to/from Miami). finally decided to book any A380 First to US and take an internal flight. So booked IAD with return from Mexico city (which fits my plan perfectly). However, when I called:
    1) The agent said the service fee wont be waived as I am booking different zones and I am not supposed to do that . I argued that I have done this before w/o any service fee but she would have none of it and kept saying I was not supposed to do different zones. Eventually, she waived it off as there was some problem with my Amex voucher and she said she was waiving it off because of that
    2) My outbound was JER-IAD, the agent charged me 69K for that. When I told her it should be 60K she would have none of it and said they are a “London” based airline and I will have to pay for any segments out of London to London. I argued that they are a UK based airline providing free connections to destinationas in UK and Jersey is included for this purpose. Also told her I have done this couple of times and that domestic flights are included for free in avios and she can check my redemption history but she would have none of it. Hanging up and calling was not an option as this was around 20h so the avios center closes then in any case. As I had another redemption in mind with the saved 15K (the 2-4-1 would have emptied out my avios balance) once new rates kick in, I told her to change it JER-LON to economy and she charged me 64.5K for that

    3) I asked her if in future can I change my outbound to MIA if it becomes available (expecting 20K worth of avios whenever Tesco clubcards are sent). She said I can change it if in same zone but IAD and MIA is not in same zone so I can’t do it without paying new rate. I asked shouldn’t they be both part of N.America so same zone to which she replied US is divided in five zones internally.

    Does anyone know if I can change IAD to MIA if the seats become available in future? I know I could have booked any dates for MIA and changed it later but didn’t want to take risk of seats never opening up on dates when I can actually go. Atleast IAD, while a detour, is on dates I can go and as this may be my last Amex 2-4-1 we absolutely wanted to try A380 First.

    Regarding the extra avios, I intend to call up Avios again over weekend and complain that they took extra avios from me and ask for a refund and also ask them to change my JER-LON class from Economy to Business without any extra fees (though to be honest I am not bothered about this much as long as get back my 4,500 avios). Is that a reasonable course of action? Do I have any hopes of getting back my hard earned 4,500 avios?

    • I thought that 241 had to start in UK?

      • For some reason Jersey even if classified as Club Europe is included in domestic RFS. I even verified this with the new rates for a long haul flight.

    • IAD is less than 4000mi, MIA is more than 4000mi, so the agent is correct – they are in different zones. You cannot officially change destination to another zone, certainly not without paying the extra. It should normally require you cancel and rebook, which puts your return at risk as well. I would imagine the whole thing, both legs, would also be recalculated at the post-devaluation rates. All in all I would stick with what you have!
      You should be entitled to getting your miles back. I know others have had good service through twitter if you fancy trying that approach.

  4. Arsenal have sold out every home game in the league for six years, so it does seem a very good use of points! I might sell my season tickets for a game, and see what the box experience is like!

  5. Hi,

    Thanks to raffles I used my miles for arsenal vs Everton. It cost 20k miles each.

    I had about 10k miles already from previous flights with Emirates (which I couldn’t do anything with) so topped up my account with MR transfer.

    Like raffles said it was an amazing experience. Great seats, free food/drinks. I think they also offer parking if requested in advance (I was too late in booking this).

    Anyone have any idea how much a box seat would cost with cash?

    • ScotlishZander says:

      With cash, they start from £2,500 per person, that’s for the Executive Box, Club Arsenal starts at £250 per person.

      I presume from the pictures and description this is roughly the same as the Executive Box rather than Club Arsenal so up to 40,000 miles is a steal and well worth it.

  6. Hi,
    Just to add to the original article. I used Skywards miles for a Benfica match at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon a few weeks back. Similar to Raffles. a great experience with fantastic seats with great hospitality (lots of great free-flowing food and drink) and great service too. All for just 18,000 miles, which in my opinion was a great redemption.

  7. 30,000 points to watch Newcastle would have been a huge waste of points the way they are playing at the moment!

  8. Out of interest did they want ID for both of you. The website wants names for each ticket but does this make them totally non-transferable?

    • No, only for the lead guest. I can’t remember if I gave my father in laws name or not but the envelope only had my name on it. I reckon a credit card, which you could borrow, would do the trick anyway although I did take my driving licence.

  9. plastikman says:

    i think i see a prawn sandwich in the buffet!

  10. Nickster says:

    Do the tickets or the confirmation email strictly say home fans only? This may be a good option for a fan of another premier league club to indulge on this excellent suite.