If you live in the UK regions, Emirates is a decent choice for long-haul travel, especially in premium cabins on the A380 routes.
One downside is Emirates Skywards. It is a pretty feeble loyalty scheme with low earning rates and high redemption rates. You can redeem for Arsenal VIP football tickets and for easyJet flights but that is about it.
One alternative is crediting Emirates flights to Alaska Airlines as the two are partners. Alaska is also a British Airways partner so you could redeem the miles for BA flights. If you didn’t have enough, you could credit a few BA, Air France or KLM flights to Alaska to top up your account.
There is an alternative, though.
Qantas signed a major tie-up with Emirates two years ago. A large number of Emirates flights now carry Qantas flight codes. Qantas is also a member of the oneworld alliance alongside British Airways.
As long as your Emirates flight is booked under a Qantas (QF) flight number and not an Emirates (EK) flight number, you will receive Avios points when you fly.
I got my wife to try this out recently. She had to fly to Singapore for a conference with the start date being immediately after our recent Dubai holiday. As the rest of us were already booked on Emirates, it made sense to book her onto a London – Dubai (stopover) – Singapore – Dubai – London routing.
This is what posted on ba.com:
As you can see, full long-haul tier points – 560 tier points for the return trip – and Avios were received. Whilst it states that all four flights were ‘operated by Qantas’, this is not the case. Three were on Emirates with only QF1 being on a Qantas aircraft.
To book an Emirates flight under the Qantas flight numbers, you should use the Qantas website to book. Flights may be cheaper, the same or more expensive than booking via the Emirates site – it varies by service – so be careful. Expedia and other third party sites may also show Emirates flights with Qantas flight numbers but you need to check this carefully before hitting the ‘buy’ button.
For corporate bookings, you need to carefully explain to your travel booking company what you want to do. It is not just routes to Australia that have a Qantas codeshare attached as these Singapore flights show.