Beginning January 1, 2013, Emirates will operate two daily A380s from JFK to Dubai, replacing the current second flight operated by a B777-300ER.  The flight schedules are already loaded and include the following departures, giving US based passengers both a morning and evening option:

EK201 DXB JFK 0830 1350
EK202 JFK DXB 2300 2030+1

EK203 DXB JFK 0200 0720
EK204 JFK DXB 1040 0810+1

One of my favorite airline award redemptions has been my business class experience on Emirates.  The JFK – DXB route is easily one of the most requested redemptions on Juicy Miles and a route I’m emailed quite often about. Readers want to know how to secure a business class seat using their miles.  I was lucky enough to redeem with United Mileage Plus prior to UA ending their relationship with Emirates, however there are still a few options out there.

While you can no longer redeem United miles for Emirates flights, you can utilize JAL and Korean awards, with Alaska Airlines coming on board with redemptions in late 2012!  JetBlue is also said to be releasing their award redemption chart for Emirates later this year but I’m expecting the pricing to be extremely high.  Neither Korean or JAL are great about releasing seats but I’ve recently had better luck with Korean than JAL for business class redemptions. I’ve found sporadic business seats throughout the year on Korean with a few each month (loaded close to departure).  A Korean business class redemption costs 140k in business or 210k in first, you’ll need to open a Korean Air account and transfer your Ultimate Rewards points there once you confirm availability on Emirates .  If your willing to work a little harder and have some patience, JAL also allows for US redemptions at 130,000 points in business and 180,000 in first (you can transfer via SPG, wait until you confirm availability of course). When Alaska goes live late this year you’ll have several ways to accumulate miles for an Emirates experience (Alaska partners with AA, Delta, BA, Air France, Cathay, and Qantas amongst others). This link will explain more about how to earn enough Ultimate Rewards to get more than halfway towards the 140k (scroll to the bottom for Ultimate Rewards redemption options).

Korean

JAL

**Update  – Beginning October 1st, Emirates will be included on JAL’s distance based award chart which means business class from JFK-DXB will become only 85k miles! If converting from SPG that’s only 70,000 points*  See full details on the distance based award travel chart here, this is definitely one of the best redemption options on Emirates**

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21 comments

James Elkins June 28, 2012 - 11:03 am

Hey Adam,
Are you sure that Alaska partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards? Last I checked the available airline transfer partners were Korean Air, British Airways, and United.

James

Reply
adam June 28, 2012 - 11:16 am

@James – Thanks, included mistakenly and updated the post!

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WT June 28, 2012 - 11:43 am

Do you have any advice on Emirate’s award ticket availability? Is that in general good, mixed or bad? Thank you

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adam June 28, 2012 - 5:18 pm

@WT – if your flexible it’s OK / mixed with Korean in business. Business with JAL is tough but has availability if you can book last minute. United was by far the easiest to secure seats, though Continental before that was even better.

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CatJo August 3, 2012 - 8:16 am

Adam, what if we wanted to continue on to India (or the Maldives), say JFK-DXB-BOM, would it still be one award at 140k roundtrip in Business?

Reply
adam August 3, 2012 - 9:36 pm

@CatJo – It depends what partner airline you are going to use to redeem the award.

The bad news – Korean Air notes “when connecting via Dubai or Colombo, combination of two or more redemption mileage will be required”.

The good news – Beginning October 1st, Emirates will be included on JAL’s distance based award chart which means business class from JFK-DXB will become only 85k miles! If converting from SPG that’s only 70,000 points* Your second flight to Bombay would then also be based on distance using their award chart. See full details on the distance based award travel chart here. Feel free to email me at adam@pointmetotheplane.com with any questions.

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jeff August 9, 2012 - 10:22 pm

How do I transfer points to JAL? Is the only way via AMEX Starwood card?

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adam August 10, 2012 - 6:42 am

@jeff – Starwood’s SPG program offers a 1 to 1 transfer into JAL Mileage Bank, any SPG points in your account can be transferred including points earned with AMEX SPG. Members in Japan can also transfer via American Express Membership Rewards. There’s also the US version of the JAL card but it offers no sign-up bonus and only 5,000 miles after your first paid flight – http://www.jalusacard.com/en/jalcardusa.php

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If I want to redeem JFK-DXB-HKG business class on EK, which award chart would give me the best deal (counting SPG and Amex but not Chase transfers) ? Thanks.

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