Emirates Skywards, which is usually the go-to loyalty program to book Emirates First Class, went through a number of quiet devaluations over the course of 2022.
We saw the amount of taxes and fees increase over the course of the year, but up until now, it was still a decent price to pay considering the experience you’d receive in return.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, as Emirates Skywards has drastically increased both the miles and the taxes and fees required for business class and First Class redemptions without warning.
In some cases, the number of miles has nearly doubled, and the amount of taxes and fees has increased by up to 800%. Booking Emirates First Class with Skywards miles has now entered into the realm of the astronomical, and we’ll have to look elsewhere going forward.
Emirates Devalues All Premium Cabin Awards
Just two weeks ago, Emirates Skywards awards between North America and Dubai increased in price from 136,250 miles to 163,500 miles for a one-way award in First Class.
That’s an increase of about 20% that Emirates implemented without any notice or announcement whatsoever.
You might think that’s maybe not the worst thing that could happen – after all, a 20% increase is quite a lot, but perhaps it’s reasonable for a once-in-a-lifetime aspirational aviation experience.
The caveat is that this 20% increase came in addition to a series of three overnight devaluations by Emirates Skywards throughout 2022, which saw the fuel surcharges attached to the same award booking skyrocket from about $255 (CAD) to over $1,000 (CAD).
Aside from First Class, Emirates business class awards also incurred changes back in February 2022, when the fuel surcharges went up. As of two weeks ago, the mileage cost also rose, adding insult to injury.
For example, a business class flight between Washington and Dubai used to cost 100,000 miles, but went up to about 115,000 miles. Similar trends apply to all Emirates business class flights, which saw the mileage cost increase by about 15–20%.
While the increase in fuel surcharges made First Class and business class awards between North America and the Middle East prohibitively expensive, there was a small silver lining in that Emirates fifth freedom flights between North America and Europe remained at 85,000 miles in First Class and about…