Emirates Bringing their A380 Back to JFK

Emirates is bringing A380 service back to JFK beginning October 31.

They had served New York – Dubai with this aircraft and then moved 380 service up to Toronto where they were only permitted service 3 days a week and could better utilize the extra capacity of the aircraft.

Now, the A380 is still just cool. And Emirates offers one of the most over-the-top first class cabins on that aircraft. Like Singapore’s A380 and Jet Airways 777s (and thus Turkish leased Jet Airways 777s), they offer suites with doors. And unlike anyone else in the sky, they have showers.

I’ve not much paid attention to Emirates, I do realize that they are a Continental partner at reasonable award pricing and a United partner at more expensive mileage pricing. My impression had been that Continental only had access to business class awards on Emirates and not first class, but perhaps that understanding pre-dates Continental’s entrance into the Star Alliance and introduction of first class awards. United certainly publishes first class award pricing.

So the next question becomes, how does someone with miles across many programs but who has never been an Emirates Skywards member secure first class award space on the A380??

Expertflyer says that it searches for Emirates award and upgrade space, and that first class awards/upgrades come out of the “Z” inventory bucket and that first class ‘peak awards’ come out of “A”. My hunch is that peak award seats will be relatively doable, e.g. I see plenty of A space for Toronto Dubai and Paris-Dubai on A380 aircraft. But I haven’t researched what that is, I assume it’s only open to Skywards members at a hefty mileage premium.

Anyone with suggestions how to score first class on this bird, please pass them along in the comments…!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not that you’ll ever do this, but:

    Biz fares from KHI-YYZ R/T are in the $3K range. I assume KHI-JFK R/T is similar. Transfer SPG into 90K Skywards and upgrade J to F.

  2. AKL-SYD vv on EK has great availability for awards in first and is also frequently on sale (as usual cheaper from New Zealand than from Australia).

  3. I have tried in the past 2-3 weeks to try and obtain EK F with CO miles to no avail. CO reps can manually input D Class for Business, but have no way to put in Z. Maybe the merger with UA will change that….

  4. I tried a couple of months ago with Continental but was told no go for Z class. But I was able to book via United at the astronomical rate of 210K miles. Worth it for 16 hours of private suite and a chance to try shower at 38,000 feet on the A380 🙂

  5. I’m gonna try to redeem my miles for my honeymoon, a year and a half from now, leaving in NYC and going to either Africa or Male via Dubai, so I’ll be monitoring the comments here very closely! Any help appreciated!

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