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Happy Christmas from Emirates – here’s a secret 20% Skywards devaluation

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Emirates has decided to celebrate the festive season with a secret 20% devaluation of Emirates Skywards miles.

This is on top of the very substantial increases in taxes and charges which we’ve seen over the past 12 months.

Emirates recently announced that the UK was the single biggest market for Emirates Skywards in terms of member numbers. With plans for a new dedicated UK credit card now scrapped, and the Qatar Airways / Avios tie-up showing some exceptionally attractive redemption rates, this may be a step too far for some.

Here is the new headline pricing from Europe to Dubai as an example of the changes:

  • Business Saver – 54,000 Skywards miles each way, but needs to be booked as a round-trip at 108,000 miles and availability is very restricted – was 90,000 miles return (up 20%)
  • Business Flex – 87,000 Skywards miles one way – was 72,500 miles (up 20%)
  • First Flex – 102,000 Skywards miles one way – was 85,000 miles (up 20%)

Here is some example one-way pricing from London in Business Class:

The total price for a return in Business Class to Dubai is 174,000 miles and £950 of taxes and charges. This is ludicrous, given that it isn’t too unusual to see £999 cash tickets in Business Class to Dubai on (admittedly lesser) airlines.

It’s interesting to note that, even though I am looking at midweek flights for mid June which is both a long way ahead and very much not peak season, there is NO Business Saver availability showing.

Emirates Skywards devaluation

Here is one way First Class pricing from London:

The taxes and charges are virtually the same as for Business Class.

Whilst this IS still good value for First Class on the new Emirates 777-300ER (image above) which is arguably the second best First Class product in the world behind the Singapore Airlines A380 suite, it is difficult to justify this on the Emirates A380 fleet. Here is my review of Emirates First Class on the 777-300ER fleet.

At present there are no changes to bookings which simply connect in Dubai, or to ‘Fifth Freedom’ routes such as Milan to New York JFK. The Fifth Freedom flights also escaped the recent tax increases – Milan to New York now looks like a bargain at 145,000 miles + €228 return in Business Class on a Flex ticket (90,000 if you can find Saver dates).

Happy Christmas!


How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (January 2023)

Emirates Skywards does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (35)

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  • Boi says:

    Has the household Avios transfer trick been fixed? I want to transfer some household member Avios to qatar and not getting any luck….
    Qatar giving me better discount with my Avios

    • Chabuddy Geezy says:

      It does not work for me either.

    • Paul says:

      I am not aware of any tricks, simply that the household avios of other members cannot be moved. I even looked at opening a separate QR account for my wife and then applying for their household account but aside from it being a farce to sort out it doesn’t work either

      • Boi says:

        Paul, there was a trick which was reported on hfp a few months ago which allowed Avios from other members to be moved to QR…

        • Talay says:

          I remembered this and tried it yesterday and it didn’t work.

          Miles transferred to and from in exactly the “correct” amounts without the previously reported variance, much to my annoyance.

  • Matthew says:

    Crikey. I’m glad I managed to use pretty much all my skywards miles left for a first upgrade back in Oct. That was on the old saver rates and pre tax/surcharges hike too. It feels like every good bit of any program is ending now making the points game less attractive each day :-(.

  • Errol says:

    Skywards has always been a poor program. As a non alliance program it is hard to get to gold or platinum unless you frequently fly EK in premium cabins. Routing through Dubai is, at least for me, not very convenient. With no credit card in UK, it takes ages to build up a large points balance and economy earnings on Skywards are often pitiful. The business cabin on the B777 is also inferior to most other airlines. Whilst I love EK F, overall EK is not attractive to get my dime normally.

  • SydneySwan says:

    It is a very hotly contested competition these days amongst FF programs to see who can stick 2 fingers up to their clients the most.

  • Mayfair Mike says:

    The article misses the point – who on earth would want to go to dubai and its characterless and overpriced plastic hotels, fake beaches and chav z-listers anyway?!

  • Stephen Harris says:

    @rob you might be interested to know. An upgrade now from LHR to go DXB economy flex is 39000 up from 30000 Skywards!!! A 30% increase from last month.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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