3 great uses of Emirates Skywards miles that aren’t Emirates flights

Dec 31, 2019

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With long-haul flights operating from six U.K. airports, Emirates is a compelling option when flying to Dubai and onto Asia on connecting flights. Low fares combined with a great hard and soft product make flying Emirates a treat, especially when comparing economy class to competing carriers. Since Emirates flights can not be credited to a whole lot of programmes, that inevitably means a bunch of Emirates Skywards miles sitting in your account. With its own award flights priced rather steeply, we went looking for alternative ways to spend your miles.

JetBlue Flights

JetBlue Airbus A321. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

JetBlue is widely known as the friendly low-cost carrier in the States. With standard 34-inch legroom, free DirectTV and complimentary drinks and snacks, it is one of the more comfortable economy class options in the country. Almost all nonstop JetBlue flights can be booked with Emirates Skywards miles, as long as there is award space available. The neat thing about this option is that a fixed-amount award chart is available for JetBlue flights. This chart contains sweet spots on otherwise rather expensive and popular routes, like New York (JFK) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) for 11,500 miles + $5.60. With prices hovering around $150 one-way, this gets you a decent value. There are also some specialty flights available, like Cape Air-operated flights from New York (JFK) to Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) that regularly go for north of $400 on weekends. Talk about getting some value for your miles.

This option is a perfect way to spend a modest Skywards balance, since Emirates’ own flights are all long-haul and require a larger amount of miles. Small caveat that the online booking engine is far from perfect, so you might need to phone Emirates to book. In my experience however, the U.K.-based phone agents are a true pleasure to deal with.

Domestic Flights in Brazil on GOL

(Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Photo by Andras Jancsik/ Getty Images)
Use Skywards miles to fly to beautiful Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. (Photo by Andras Jancsik/Getty Images)

With one-way economy class flights pricing as low as 4,500 miles, domestic Brazilian flights are a great option to spend some Skywards miles. GOL flies between lots of city pairs in Brazil. You can find the full Emirates redemption chart here. Searching for award space and booking actual flights can be done online but again; sometimes it’s easier to just call.

Domestic Flights on Korean Air

Domestic first class on Korean Air can be had for as little as 12,000 Skywards miles round-trip. Image courtesy of the airline.
Domestic first class on Korean Air can be had for as little as 12,000 Skywards miles round-trip. (Photo courtesy of the airline)

Although most awards on Korean Air are priced rather high, domestic flights seem to be the exception. A domestic round-trip starts at only 10,000 Skywards miles in economy class. Prestige Class awards offer an even bigger value: a round-trip flight can be had for as little as 12,000 Skywards miles. Unfortunately, a one-way award ticket is not bookable. Nevertheless, this is a perfect way to extend your trip to Seoul with a little side-trip to for example second city Busan or the holiday island of Jeju.

Featured image by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

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