Last month, Emirates around 20% increase in bonus rates on most flights to and from central Dubai. Now, just a few weeks later, The Emirates has increased the prize price by about 20% on fifth freedom flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) and from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Athens International Airport (ATH), as first reported by thrifty travelers.
Let’s take a closer look at the most recent changes on these Thursday New York City freestyle flights.
Emirates devalues award tickets from US to Europe
First, the economy class award remains unchanged. You can still spend 45,000 miles on a round-trip savings bonus or 38,750 miles on an Economy Flex Plus one-way reward.
The biggest changes regarding business and first class award tickets:
- The business class savings award now costs 108,000 miles round-trip, up from 90,000 miles.
- Business Flex Plus one-way rewards have increased to 87,000 miles one-way, up from 72,500 miles.
- First class awards now cost 102,000 miles one way, up from 85,000 miles.
As mentioned, the Business Flex Plus bonus will cost 87,000 miles one way. You’ll only be able to unlock the 54,000-mile reward rate when looking for round-trip journeys (and of course, only if there’s a savings bonus space).
Conversely, there is no discount when booking a first class reward as a round trip. Expect to spend 102,000 miles each way when first-class prize space is available.
Taxes and fees, which cost the same in both business and first class, are around $100 for award tickets to Europe and $150 for award tickets back to the US. So if you book a round trip flight, you will have to spend $250 per person in taxes and fees.
On the bright side, these discounts are still good on paper. If you book a round-trip economy ticket from Newark to Milan in business class, you’re actually flying to Europe 54,000 miles one way. On more frugal days, round-trip cash rates are typically around $3,000. That gives you about 2.7 cents per Emirates Skywards mile — still more than twice that TPG’s valuation of Skywards miles.
Also keep in mind that Emirates miles are one of the easiest ways to earn thanks to partnerships with many US credit card issuers. You can now transfer points from all massive transferable rewards programs to Skywards miles at a 1:1 ratio:
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You may want to check the prize rate with Air Canada plane when booking Emirates tickets, like Aeroplan and Emirates recently extended their partnership. However, Aeroplan will soon introduce a special rewards chart for Emirates flights with different reward rates, so always compare your booking options. At the time of this writing, you cannot book Emirates first class rewards with Aeroplan, although that should arrive later this year.
Emirates Skywards offers discounts on award tickets from the US to Europe. This is the latest Emirates sale, we see the following changes since the beginning of last year:
Add Doa, Emirates ends partnership with JetBlue previous September. This is a loss for US-based Skywards members, as JetBlue Mint redemptions are among the program’s best.
Use this as a reminder to redeem your miles. Hoarding them makes them vulnerable to devaluation like this, and points and miles rarely increases in value overtime.