Wide Open Emirates First Class Award Space For The Fall

Stay at the Burj al Arab, often described as ‘the world’s only 7 star hotel’. Or enjoy a special Marriott redemption at the incredible Al Maha Desert resort, where meals and activities are included and all accommodations are standalone Bedouin villas with their own private pools overlooking the desert. Use a trip to Dubai to visit the Mideast, or as a jumping off point for the Maldives or other destinations in the region.

Right now there’s fantastic first class award space for two passengers on the Washington Dulles – Dubai, Houston – Dubai, and San Francisco – Dubai routes from August through November. This deal was first spotted by Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service.

By late summer all 3 routes are scheduled to operate with Emirates’ Airbus A380, which offers first class suites and showers. (Currently Boeing 777s are operating, including long haul 777s without first class on the Houston route.)

Here’s October availability for the Houston route:

Here’s October availability for the Washington Dulles route:

Emirates largely restricts first class redemptions to those using miles in its own Skywards program, but Emirates is a transfer partner of literally every one of the major transferable currencies Chase, American Express, Citibank, Capital One, Bilt and Brex. Plus Barclays issues a US co-brand card.

Emirates charges a lot of miles for first class long haul, but they no longer add fuel surcharges to awards. So expect one-way pricing to be 136,000 miles per person on the Washington Dulles route and 155,000 miles per person on Houston and San Francisco.

Dubai is largely open with certain precautions, as are many places you might connect beyond there, though the pandemic has had many surprises in store which presents some risk whenever transferring points out of a flexible currency that cannot be transferred back.

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. @ Gary — You might want to mention that transferring to Emirates and then booking a ticket for your spouse will get your account closed.

  2. Has anyone received their email about gifting platinum status for 2022? I haven’t seen anything yet after qualifying for ambassador in 2021 (no, I didn’t go out of my way and was only $30 over 14k).

  3. If you can take advantage of this it’s a once in a lifetime trip.
    Showering on board a plane.
    But, be adivsed they don’t allow you to shower with a companion….
    My wife and I did it with really cheap (at the time) Alask Air miles.
    Also, be sure to spend time in the Emirates 1st class lounge. Unbelieveable.

  4. @reiner, EK is notorious for auditing people’s accounts if there is the slightest mismatch between cc holder and account holder w/ points transfers.

    MIA-DXB is also widely available available for 2 (though it’s 777 not 380).

  5. Get 20% off ponts redemptions for everyone in your party by subscribing to Emirates Skywards plus program for $400.

    We saved aver 120,000 points on our 2 F tickets, more than maming up cost of the program.

    We also found a great agent that held our seats while the points transferred from chase

  6. as long as you don’t get your account held hostage as widely reported on flyertalk for those transfering points and immediately booking for 2.

  7. A useful post and some very useful comments here. Thanks to Bryan, Joe and others.

    My own hesitation on transferring points and then making the booking is – no surprise – Covid. To the very limited extent I’m even putting my toes back in the water of international travel these days, it’s non-stops from the USA to the foreign destination and vice versa, partly to avoid dealing with additional health protocol complications. An EK trip for me, as great as it would be in F, would be as a way of transiting to some other country. And while I realize that if I had to cancel the trip I could use the miles for a different trip a year later, I’m still cautious about banking my miles that way.

    Still, point/miles risk assessment is a YMMV kind of thing, especially in this time of Covid.

  8. There are actually a handful of dates with availability from 3 from IAD-DXB and v.v..
    Just booked DXB-IAD for 3 in October.

  9. A data point counter to those of @Joe and @ Gene…

    I had a long dormant Skywards account that I had never used. Transferred Amex points to it last night and booked award tickets for my wife and myself with no issues.

  10. First time trying to book with miles – seems like their website is very bad a showing availability.
    I keep getting the message “We were unable to get a price for your selected itinerary.” when searching for first class reward flights.
    Is there any better way to see what flights are available rather than doing a search for every 3 days…?


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