How to Earn Avios on Emirates Flights

Jun 25, 2019

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British Airways has many partners with which you can earn Avios by flying and crediting to Executive Club, although giant Emirates is not one of them.

Given its huge route network and frequent services to the UK, you might be tempted to book Emirates flights but be disappointed to find out that you cannot earn Avios for these flights.

But, there is a way to do so that many people don’t know about.

Emirates A380 Economy Class Meal. (Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy)

Qantas Codeshares

You earn Avios for flights operated by British Airways partner airlines, where the flight number is the same as that partner airline. For example, a Qantas flight number with a QF flight number, i.e. QF93.

But that flight number does not need to be actually operated by the airline of the flight number it carries — it can be operated by any airline whether they partner with Avios or not.

And Qantas has an extensive codesharing agreement with Emirates, with dozens of Emirates flights each day (operated by Emirates), carrying a QF flight number as well as an EK number. So if you fly a Emirates flight, provided your ticket is booked as a QF flight number and not an EK flight number, you can credit this to Executive Club.

Emirates First Class. (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

So how do you book it this way?

When searching for flights, look for those operated by Emirates but sold as a Qantas codeshare with a QFxxx flight number.

When searching on the popular London to Dubai route, which Emirates operates but Qantas no longer does, you can see that the same flight can be booked as either as EK12 or QF8012.

If you book the QF flight number, you can credit the flight to Avios. But if you book the flight as an EK flight number, you cannot, even if the flight operates as a QF codeshare (i.e. if the crew welcome you onboard a QF flight number. It’s all about which flight number you book it as. Similarly, if you book a flight operated by Qantas, it must be booked as a QF (or other Oneworld airline) flight number and not as an EK flight number if you wish to credit it to Avios (even though it is operated by Qantas).

So, what’s the catch? Well, Qantas doesn’t put its code on every Emirates flight, and you may find a QF-coded flight is more expensive than the same flight with the EK code.

But if you are flying Emirates and keen to collect Avios, it’s worth seeing if you can book the flight as a QF flight number to allow you to earn Avios on the flight.

Featured image by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

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