Episode 39: Emirates Fuel Surcharges/Instagram Live

Update: Here’s link to the Instagram Live video

Last week Emirates greatly reduced taxes + fees on awards on their metal using their Skywards miles.

That’s great for those who want to fly Emirates metal, especially since we can transfer bank points to Skywards 1:1 across so many programs. But the place a lot of us immediately went with this was to wonder…

Did Emirates also reduce fuel surcharges on partner awards?

That curiosity led to more questions…

  • Can partner awards (like Japan Airlines) be booked online? (looks like “no”)
  • Can taxes + fees be accurately estimated online? (also “no”)
  • The Emirates chart for travel on JAL from North America to Japan is pretty favorable. 125,000 pp roundtrip in Business, 185,000 pp roundtrip in First. Can partner awards be booked as a one-way for half the miles of a roundtrip? (“no”)
  • Partners like JAL open their schedule at 360 days. How far out can you book an Emirates partner award? (330 days)
  • How good is Emirates call center?

I called Emirates a couple times last week and got conflicting answers.

The first rep said their systems were down and she couldn’t estimate taxes + fees for partner awards. Call back tomorrow.

I called right back a moment later and a second rep said he could estimate taxes + fees on JAL parner awards, but said it wasn’t possible to use Emirates miles on North America to Japan routes. I pointed out that their site has a table for the route and he came back and agreed it was possible after all. And that the cost of a roundtrip flight from Boston to Tokyo on JAL in Business Class would be 125,000 pp roundtrip + just $60 in taxes and fees.

That’s pretty tremendous, if true, because when Spencer Howard checked it in September 2019 it was $360 in taxes + fees.

What happened? Did JAL decrease the fuel surcharges? Did Emirates reduce the amount of fuel surcharges they collect on partner awards? Was the rep I spoke to mistaken?

I frequently come across articles Spencer has written when researching foreign carrier frequent flyer program awards so I thought it would be informative and interesting to discuss this and more.

Instagram Live

I’m planning to appear on Instagram Live with Spencer to discuss this, award travel, and more.

Where: Instagram Live https://www.instagram.com/straighttothepoints/
When: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020, 7:30p eastern

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy this snippet from our paid show here on the No Annual Fee version of our podcast.

The Emirates topic is just 5 minutes out of an hour and twenty minute show this week. The breaking news we discuss is a Chase 1.5 cent per point cashout opportunity, along with a dozen other topics. If you’d like to hear more of the show head over to Patron and subscribe…

Listen: Milenomics² Episode 79 on Patreon

About the author

– Written by Robert Dwyer, contributor at Milenomics. Connect with me on Twitter @RobertDwyer

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