September 11, 2017
How to Fly 26 hours in Emirates Fist Class for 110,000 Miles
Emirates has one of the best First Class seats in the sky, and their Business Class seats aren’t too shabby either. Both classes provide access to an onboard lounge, complete with a full service bar, while First Class passengers can take a shower in their own bathroom at 40,000 feet! Unlimited Dom Perignon, fine dining, and a bed in the sky are just some of the perks of sitting up front. It doesn’t make sense to pay thousands of dollars for this experience when you can book it for free using miles. Here’s a quick video highlighting First Class:
Which Frequent Flyer Program to Use
Several frequent flyer programs allow you to book Emirates awards-mainly Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Emirates Skywards, and JAL Mileage Bank. Of those three programs, JAL Mileage Bank currently offers the cheapest award prices, both in number of miles needed and fuel surcharges, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on.
JAL Mileage Bank
JAL Mileage Bank is Japan Airline’s frequent flyer program. I know, booking Emirates awards with a Japanese frequent flyer program feels a bit odd, but it works. JAL uses a distance based award chart. This means it doesn’t matter how much the retail price of the ticket costs, all that matters when determining the number of miles you need is the distance of your flight.
Let’s use a flight from New York (JFK)-Dubai (DXB) as an example. That flight is 6,849 miles one-way, or 13,698 miles roundtrip. Based on JAL’s award chart, you can book that roundtrip vacation (with a total of 26 hours in First Class) for just 135,000 miles. But it gets even cheaper!
You can create JAL miles by flying Oneworld partner airlines and crediting them to JAL (that’s the long way) or by transferring points from Starwood Preferred Guest to JAL (that’s the fast and easy way). The magic of SPG is that for every 20,000 points you transfer, you get 5,000 bonus miles. That means transferring 110,000 SPG points would earn you the 135,000 JAL miles you need! The only caveat is that it typically takes 1-2 weeks to transfer points from SPG to JAL.
Now you know which frequent flyer program to use and how to create the miles you need. All that’s left is finding award space. I like to use AlaskaAir to search for Emirates award space on flights originating in the US. You’ll need to create a free Alaska MileagePlan account to do this. If you find Emirates awards available here, it should be bookable using JAL miles as well.
I like to use Qantas to search for Emirates award flights originating outside the US. You need to create a free Qanatas account to do this. Again, if you find Emirates awards available, it should be bookable with JAL miles. In my search above, you can see there’s plenty of seats available from Dubai to Singapore in February 2018.
Booking your Flight
Once you find award space and transfer Starwood miles to your JAL MileageBank account, you need to call JAL to book your award flights. Be sure to take plenty of pictures of your incredible experience!
Featured Image Courtesy of Emirates