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Owned by the Dubai government’s sovereign wealth fund, Emirates is one of the two flag carriers of the UAE, with the other national airline being Etihad. Established in 1985, Emirates has grown to become the largest airline carrier in the Middle East, with its headquarters just outside the Dubai International Airport. It operates all over the globe, with more than 150 destinations in over 80 countries, including 12 airports in the United States. Emirates is one of the largest long-haul airlines in the world in terms of passenger kilometers flown, and it also has the largest fleet of both Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. It also has a great reputation among business and first class travelers, and has received multiple awards for its luxurious service and attention to detail.

by Business Traveler

September 28, 2022

Where does Emirates fly?

Emirates Airlines flies to 185 destinations in 85 countries, with most of its operations conducted from its central hub, the Dubai International Airport. It began non-stop routes between Dubai and New York in June 2004 and has since dramatically expanded its U.S. presence, with 96 weekly flights between the United States and Dubai. Other popular destinations in America include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. Emirates' fleet consists of 269 aircraft, which make over 400 journeys each day.


What is the Emirates Skywards program?

Emirates frequent flyer program is called Emirates Skywards. Once signed up, two different types of points are up for grabs. The first of these is Skywards miles, and the easiest way to earn them is either by booking airfare with Emirates or their partner airlines or using certain branded credit cards (Emirates has their own cards, but other providers will allow you to rack up points too). When flying, the number of Skyward miles earned is determined by several factors, including flight price, route taken, and elite member status – something we will get to shortly.

When passengers have enough points, they can be redeemed in various ways. While many options exist - such as hotel stays and holiday experiences - the best value for money is purchasing flights or buying cabin upgrades on existing tickets.

The second type of miles is tier miles, which can only be accumulated by flying with Emirates or FlyDubai. Rather than being redeemed, these are used to determine a passenger's elite status, with higher tiers bringing better perks and benefits.

Emirates Skywards Silver - 25,000 tier miles or 25 flights

 25% extra Skyward miles
 Priority boarding and check-in

Emirates Skywards Gold - 50,000 tier miles or 50 flights

 Same benefits as Silver
 50% extra Skyward miles
 Priority baggage delivery
 Lounge access
 Guaranteed seats on booked flights

Emirates Skywards Platinum - 150,000 tier miles

 Same benefits as Gold
 No expiry of Skyward miles
 75% bonus Skyward miles
 Extra baggage allowance
 Ability to nominate someone for gold membership

What are Emirates' ticketing options?

Emirates has four main types of fares, with four separate booking classes available for economy.


 Standard seating
 Carry on + personal item
 Checked-in bag
 Last to board
 Free food and drinks
 Flight amenities kit


 Cheapest tickets
 15kg baggage allowance
 Non-refundable
 Non-transferrable
 Not eligible for upgrades
 Points earned at 25% of miles flown


 Eligible for upgrades
 25kg baggage allowance
 Refunds/changes available for a fee
 Points earned at 35% of miles flown


 Free changes
 30kg baggage allowance
 Refunds available for a fee
 Eligible for upgrades
 Points earned at 60% of miles flown

Economy Flex Plus

 Free changes and refunds
 35kg baggage allowance
 Points earned at 100% of miles flown

Premium Economy

 Larger and more comfortable seats
 Carry on + personal item
 Checked-in bags
 Specialised dining menu
 Some wine options from business class
 35kg bag allowance


 Lie-flat seats
 Carry on + personal item
 Checked-in bags
 40kg baggage allowance
 Restaurant quality meals and drinks
 Lounge access
 Designer amenities kit
 Chauffeur to and from the airport

First Class

 Lie-flat seats in a private cabin
 Carry on + personal item
 Checked in bags
 50kg baggage allowance
 Restaurant quality meals and drinks
 Virtual windows
 Temperature controls and mood lights
 First-class lounge access at airport
 Onboard lounge and bar
 Onboard shower
 Chauffeur to and from the airport

What are Emirates' baggage fees?

Emirates has a reasonably generous baggage policy, with allowances varying between different fare classes and routes. Passengers can bring as many bags as they want on most routes as long as the maximum amount does not exceed the overall weight limit. Some individual bags also have maximum weight limits within this. On some routes, passengers are limited to one or two checked-in bags


 7Kg maximum carry-on weight
Total weight allowance:
 Special -15kg
 Saver - 25kg
 Flex - 30kg
 Economy Flex Plus - 35kg

Premium Economy

 10kg maximum carry-on weight
 40kg maximum baggage allowance

Business Class

 7kg carry-on + 7kg briefcase or garment bag
 40kg maximum baggage allowance

First Class

 7kg carry-on + 7kg personal item maximum weight
 50kg maximum baggage allowance

Additional baggage charges are listed below:

 Buying additional weight at the airport: $15-$40 per kilo, depending on the route
 Extra baggage charges: $100-$300 per item, depending on the route
 Overweight bags: $75-$275 per item, depending on the route
 Oversized bags: $75-$325 per item, depending on the route