Excellent advance award availability for Emirates’ first class suite to and from London

Jun 10, 2020

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Emirates is now releasing more, advanced award availability on its much-heralded Boeing 777-300ER first class suite — including to and from London Stansted (STN).

The product has previously been notoriously difficult to book with points and miles, both because the Dubai-based airline has it only on a tiny proportion of its massive fleet and would usually only release award seats a few days before each flight. Because the exclusive cabin has only six suites, it doesn’t leave much room to release large amounts of seats for award redemptions.

Related: Emirati excellence: Emirates first class on the 777 from Dubai to London Stansted

As first reported by Mainly Miles, Emirates is now releasing one award seat on each of its double daily flights to and from Stansted well in advance for travel from 1 November onwards.

Related: Emirates likely won’t have first class on new Boeing 787s or Airbus A350s

Here is an example of availability for one person between London (STN) and Dubai (DXB) return in November/December:

And again in January/February:

Note the mileage prices shown in the examples above of 135,000 miles + £335 are for a return journey using Emirates Skywards miles, a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. So, one Amex point can be transferred to one Emirates Skywards mile. If you are booking one-way, you’ll need 85,000 miles + £250 for the London to Dubai leg, or 85,000 miles + only AED400 (£85) for the Dubai to London leg.

That reduced surcharge is because recently, Skywards significantly reduced the amount of fees, taxes and surcharges required for redemptions with Emirates. Flights in premium cabins departing the U.K. retain higher taxes than those flying to the U.K. because of the unavoidable U.K. APD tax, which all airlines and loyalty programmes pass on to passengers, regardless of how the flights are booked.

Emirates also offers the first class suite product between Dubai (DXB) and a limited number of other European destinations including Frankfurt (FRA), Geneva (GVA), Brussels (BRU) and Hamburg (HAM), so if you are unable to find availability to and from Stansted, you could try these other cities as an alternative. The product also is also featured on flights to Tokyo (HND), so you could even fly the new product all the way from London to Tokyo, though there does not appear to be first-class availability on the Tokyo route over the same months as there is for Stansted flights.

Emirates first class can also be booked with Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles or Qantas Frequent Flyer points, though these are much harder to amass in the U.K., as they are not transfer partners of American Express. British Airways Avios can be earned on some Emirates flights, but not redeemed for Emirates flights.

Related: Where to find and how to book Emirates’ New 777 first class suite

Given Emirates typically operates more than a dozen flights to and from the U.K. every day with its older first-class product that is far easier to book with points, why should you aim for the new product? You can read our full TPG review of the new first class suite on this route here, but to summarise, TPG U.K. Director of Content Nicky Kelvin declared: “I had high expectations of this products, as it was right up there on my bucket list, and on board, I was not disappointed. The food and service were exceptional, and the seat and suite had such a wow factor. More understated perhaps than the garish previous Emirates first-class seat, but lashings of class, luxury and comfort make this the best seat I’ve flown on in the sky so far, and as a bed, it was impossibly comfy”.

Featured image by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

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