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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 (March 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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  • Matt says:

    I’ve got around 15,000 skyward miles that have been sitting around for a while – what is the best value option for redeeming them, given it doesn’t seem enough for any flights or sport tickets these days?

    • Rob says:

      12,000 is £40 to spend at Heathrow via Heathrow Rewards (£80 to spend on parking) or around £50 off an easyJet flight.

    • BJ says:

      If you’re ever out BKK-HKG way a one-cabin upgrade on that route starts at 13k IIRC and presuming it hasn’t changed.

  • BJ says:

    So this is Christmas and what have you done?

    … BA, Iberia and Emirates stuffed the customers, not the turkey…

    Another year over

    …what will the new one bring?

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    TBH a stuffed you writing a blog would still be better than some of the US sites.

  • MCO says:

    TBH I don’t rate Emirates Business. I feel QR and EY offer a superior product especially if you can get the Q Suites. Plus if you fly from NCL you get the 2+3+2 business which is 20 years behind the current ones on the “lesser” airlines.

    • Pogonation says:

      Agree with you. Always thought emirates is the most overrated airline and is distinctly average. It’s marketing team seems to be pretty good though because the general public seem to think it’s the best airline out there.

      • Yuff says:

        Have to agree, wasn’t that impressed with Emirates business on a 777 at October half term.

    • Benilyn says:

      agree but miles better than BA imho, particularly soft product

  • The real Swiss Tony says:

    I’m tracking DXB fares at the moment – only thing I’m seeing sub £1k is LOT (euro business on both legs – hmmm). Finnair was in the mix but it’s a long way round, especially just before the TP year ends and timings weren’t great.

    Only bargain I’m seeing in that direction is the LH/LX fare that connects onto EY into AUH. £1600, but the extra stop AND the 1hr drive up from AUH is a detractor.

    I do however fear that we’ve had a re-rating of long haul J fares and now just need to suck it up.

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      I’ve seen £1200 recently from MAN and BHX on LH/LX for 2023 travel. Dublin also remains possible for £1000-flat fares.

      • tony says:

        The LX/LH flights are really patchy though at that price. I have to go for meetings next month and it’s not proving easy.

  • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

    The man behind the monkey is very good looking and thus would be objectified by women (and some men) if he fronted up the blog as himself. Hence, the monkey front-man. It’s a burden I wish I had to bear too.

  • DaveJ says:

    Cash prices are up 20%+ aren’t they?

    Not really a surprise that points are being devalued in an inflationary environment

    • Rob says:

      There are 2 types of points inflation:

      *hotel style, where you earn based on $ spent – in this case you SHOULD increase redemptions in line with room rate inflation

      *airline style, where you earn based on miles flow – in this case, there is no real excuse for it, on the basis that miles fill seats which would otherwise be empty and you paid more for the flights that earned you the miles originally (it’s basically coffee stamps – buy 10, get 1 free, and the economics don’t change if the cost of coffee doubles)

      • WaynedP says:

        The difference between coffee shop vs airline economics is that Coffee Co isn’t forced to provide 300 units at a time, split into three (maybe four) levels of fanciness in fixed proportions, and then chuck away any unsold coffees down the drain at the end of the day.

        If that were the case, then when supply exceeds demand, Coffee Co might lure extra custom through the door by promising, say, double stamps for each coffee bought, enticing more customers for whom the lure of reaching their free eleventh coffee is attractive enough to swing all their custom in Coffee Co’s direction, maybe even increase their consumption.

        When demand for coffee becomes greater than supply, why would Coffee Co continue giving double stamps, essentially giving away twice as many of their 300 coffees which they are assured to sell out anyway.

        Rather change to a policy of one stamp per two coffees bought, which is essentially what we are witnessing.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Well almost but more accurately it’s like saying it’s now 1.2 completes sets of 10 stamps to get your free coffee – meaning those who had enough cards for 6 coffees are now down the value of a coffee.

          It isn’t merely the new collectors but the ones foolishly holding onto cards

          • WaynedP says:

            Your assessment is a more accurate reflection of reality, of course, and I did consider delivering a closing remark along the lines of “change back to one stamp per coffee, but need twelve to get your thirteenth free” but decided to go with grand hyperbole in this season renowned for excess.

            Merry Christmas to everyone, and best wishes for a New Year that brings us all joy and prosperity 🎄

      • optomdad says:

        But how many people earn points on miles flown, vs how many people earn points from other credit cards.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Great piece of writing, saying it how it is, that’s why we like H4P!

    (Also love how youve used there christmas marketing picturez 🤣 )
    Merry Christmas one and all

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