Completely new to Emirates

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Dr0pB3ar

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Hi Everyone!

I recently left Army (in search of a real job) where we almost always flew QF. I am well entrenched in the QFF program (gold) and have about 200k points tied up. I have recently started working for a global oil and gas company where they mostly fly with cheapest fare (at my pay grade anyway). My company has just informed me that I am flying on Emirates in January 2015.

I am flying
PER - DXB - IAH (7 week stopover) - DXB - PER (at this stage I don't know what fare type other than it being Econ)

I don't know anything about Emirates or how to make the most of it. I have just applied for a Skywards account but don't know where to go from here.

Things I am looking for are:
-What upgrade options do I have (paid, points, begging) if any
-What lounges am I entitled to?
-Is there a way I can transfer points from QF to EK?

If there are any other gems of wisdom that you think might make this change any easier I am all ears.

Thanks Everyone!
 

defurax

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I don't have all the answers, but here are a few points:

1- If you have to fly Y, try and book the A380 instead of 777 (seat are a bit larger on the A380).
2- You will have access to all EK and QF lounges in Australia. You will have access to EK DXB J lounge on your way back to Australia, but I'm not sure you will have access when flying DXB-to any USA airports.
3- If you want to keep status with QF, you need to book QF flight number (which won't be possible if you fly to the USA with EK). So maybe you should join Skyward if you will be flying EK a lot.

Edit: Just saw you will be flying from PER...so it will be hard to get the A380:(
 

Dr0pB3ar

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Thanks Defurax

Yeah this is the Itinerary I have been given from work:

EK 421 01JAN Perth- Dubai 2205 0515 02JAN
EK 211 02JAN Dubai- Houston 0930 1605
EK 212 22FEB Houston- Dubai 1825 1905 23FEB
EK 422 23FEB Dubai- Perth 2145 1225 24FEB

I had a look at those flight numbers and they are all on the 777 :( the DXB - IAH leg is nearly 17 hours too :(:(

have been googling a bit this afternoon and a few things have come to light.
## Possibility of status match (I'm QF and VA gold)
## Possibility of Email upgrade opportunity (unlikely unless the top is true)
## Applying for the Citi Emirates world card and rapidly trying to accrue points for my flights home at leas

Any one had any luck with any of these? Any other general point for changing over to EK? I'm stuggling for ideas at the moment!

Thanks everyone!
 

Dr0pB3ar

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I just sent a request in to see if I have any chance at a status match... I am not feeling optimistic though
 

browski

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You can use your QFF points to purchase Business or Economy flights on EK, but not to upgrade flights.
Your QF Gold status will get you Biz Lounge Access when flying economy in either a Qantas or Emirates Lounge.
 

Dr0pB3ar

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Hi Browski,

Thanks for the info. That will at least make the stopovers in Dubai a bit better!

I have been reading at a few places that Emirates sometimes email offers to upgrade to business far cheaper than the usual difference of the fares. Has anyone had this happen before? as a Emirates blue member do I have any chance? is it something you have to opt-in for? Does any one know of any more tricks up their sleeve?
 

Dr0pB3ar

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Ok, So I have my Itinerary updated in Emirates... I have the option to add either my Blue Skywards Frequent Flyer Number or my Qantas one... What are the pro's and con's of either?
 

opusman

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Ok, So I have my Itinerary updated in Emirates... I have the option to add either my Blue Skywards Frequent Flyer Number or my Qantas one... What are the pro's and con's of either?

If you want to start earning EK status add your EK one, otherwise your QF number will get you points but not status credits.

Only thing might be accessing lounges using your QF status if your EK number is on the booking - not sure if they would grumble or not.
 

Dr0pB3ar

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I have had a bit of a look to see what the implications are of trying to use my Gold QFF with my emirates number on the card. Can't seem to find anything yet though. :confused:
 

zainman

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Skyward redemption rates aren't that great. I would credit to QF or see if you can earn anything with Alaskan...
 

Dr0pB3ar

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I just changed over my flight details so that it has my Qantas FF on it.

My understanding is that I won't get Status or FF points, but I will get access to the Lounge. Is this correct?
 

opusman

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I just changed over my flight details so that it has my Qantas FF on it.

My understanding is that I won't get Status or FF points, but I will get access to the Lounge. Is this correct?

You'll get FF points, but no SCs.
 

Dr0pB3ar

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Well that's good. For some reason in the Military we never got any FF points when we flew, even if it was with Qantas.
 

JohnPhelan

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Well that's good. For some reason in the Military we never got any FF points when we flew, even if it was with Qantas.

The government has negotiated much cheaper rates than are available to other customers; the quid pro quo is they don't five points on those tickets.
 

Dr0pB3ar

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I just got this email from Emirates:

Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your email requesting an upgrade to your Emirates Skywards tier status.

At this time we are unable to offer you a match to a Skywards Gold/ Skywards Platinum tier. We will review your account for an upgrade to a Skywards Silver tier status.

That will give me access to the lounge in Dubai. I will probably still just put my Qantas number on it....
 

FlyingScot1

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Hi,
Thought I would add my two cents worth as I fly Emirates a lot.

If I was you I would register an EK frequent flyer number on this trip. The biggest bang form your buck with Emirates is getting to Silver status as this gets you an extra 10kg baggage allowance, use of the business class check in as well as use of a lounge in Dubai. This is not the proper business class lounge but a secondary one slightly more remotely located. You can only this lounges in Dubai - no access anywhere else across their network. For that you need Gold status and above.

On a trip as long as this one you will likely get enough tier points using EK to make silver in one trip depending on the type of ticket you have. The key thing is whether you have a saver ticket or a flex ticket. Only flex tickets get tier and frequent flyer point at a basic 1:1 ratio. Saver tickets are at 0.5:1 so it takes a lot longer to build up status and miles to spend. Its also harder to retain status for a similar reason and this has to be maintained on a rolling 12 month period. They changed their award system a couple of years ago and it dose make life harder for the average traveller - saver economy earns very little, flex economy earns the same as saver business!! Its all down to the dollars you spend on the ticket now.

However, the rates of each award are actually higher for flights originating from Australia than from say Europe as a consequence of the link up with Qantas so that is on the up side of things. You need to decide if a flex ticket is worth buying.

In terms of redemptions I have not really had any problem with upgrading using points whereas I hear a lot of colleagues grumbling about Qantas. However it is important to realise that you can only upgrade at the time of booking if you buy a flex fare ie the more expensive option and this is another way that Emirates are squeezing things for their customers. Overall though I think that Skywards is an excellent programme to join.

You wont be able to access the lounge using your Qantas status if your ticket uses an EK FF, you would need to do this travelling on a QF flight number. This is another reason to bite the bullet and get some EK status.

Forget trying to buy an upgrade, only possible using points, and their computer system allocates upgrades so no chance as an EK Blue member. Never been able to charm my way into business or beyond. Once you get to Gold there is a reasonable chance of an upgrade and the lounge staff become very helpful. In Sydney at least this is where the 'power' lies, not at check in where things are very busy and the majority of the check in staff do not actually work for Emirates even though they wear the uniform of the company and you would have no idea that they didn't.

The Emirates Citibank card is fantastic - essential for those in the Skywards programme I would argue - lots of FF points (though again they have recently changed the way they allocate these with none for insurance products to name one notable class of purchase), but the free chauffeur pickups save a lot of cash and there is the dining programme with free bottles of wine in a lot of restaurants (at least here in Sydney and I would imagine in Perth as well). In short it will easily pay for itself in benefits over a year. I should point out that other cards like some AMEX ones can credit Skywards with points as well so the Citibank one is not the only way to increase your points balance.

The 777 remains the workhorse of their fleet, at least for now, and is generally comfortable. It is a 777-LR to Houston and I imagine a 777-ER to Dubai. No real difference between the two from the inside, try for an emergency aisle obviously, any seat there. The doors don't impact too much on your legs when in seat A or K, unlike in a 747 where you wish you were sitting somewhere else. Never take a seat on these aircraft with a bulkhead behind you as they don't recline to their full extent and sometimes have a reduced pitch as well. Seats with a bulkhead in front are generally OK on EK.

Hope this helps, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Cheers
FlyingScot1
 
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browski

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Hi,
Thought I would add my two cents worth as I fly Emirates a lot.
If I was you I would register an EK frequent flyer number on this trip. The biggest bang form your buck with Emirates is getting to Silver status as this gets you an extra 10kg baggage allowance, use of the business class check in as well as use of a lounge in Dubai. This is not the proper business class lounge but a secondary one slightly more remotely located. You can only this lounges in Dubai - no access anywhere else across their network. For that you need Gold status and above.
On a trip as long as this one you will likely get enough tier points using EK to make silver in one trip depending on the type of ticket you have. The key thing is whether you have a saver ticket or a flex ticket. Only flex tickets get tier and frequent flyer point at a basic 1:1 ratio. Saver tickets are at 0.5:1 so it takes a lot longer to build up status and miles to spend. Its also harder to retain status for a similar reason and this has to be maintained on a rolling 12 month period. They changed their award system a couple of years ago and it dose make life harder for the average traveller - saver economy earns very little, flex economy earns the same as saver business!! Its all down to the dollars you spend on the ticket now.
However, the rates of each award are actually higher for flights originating from Australia than from say Europe as a consequence of the link up with Qantas so that is on the up side of things. You need to decide if a flex ticket is worth buying.
In terms of redemptions I have not really had any problem with upgrading using points whereas I hear a lot of colleagues grumbling about Qantas. However it is important to realise that you can only upgrade at the time of booking if you buy a flex fare ie the more expensive option and this is another way that Emirates are squeezing things for their customers. Overall though I think that Skywards is an excellent programme to join.
You wont be able to access the lounge using your Qantas status if your ticket uses an EK FF, you would need to do this travelling on a QF flight number. This is another reason to bite the bullet and get some EK status.
Forget trying to buy an upgrade, only possible using points, and their computer system allocates upgrades so no chance as an EK Blue member. Never been able to charm my way into business or beyond. Once you get to Gold there is a reasonable chance of an upgrade and the lounge staff become very helpful. In Sydney at least this is where the 'power' lies, not at check in where things are very busy and the majority of the check in staff do not actually work for Emirates even though they wear the uniform of the company and you would have no idea that they didn't.
The Emirates Citibank card is fantastic - essential for those in the Skywards programme I would argue - lots of FF points (though again they have recently changed the way they allocate these with none for insurance products to name one notable class of purchase), but the free chauffeur pickups save a lot of cash and there is the dining programme with free bottles of wine in a lot of restaurants (at least here in Sydney and I would imagine in Perth as well). In short it will easily pay for itself in benefits over a year. I should point out that other cards like some AMEX ones can credit Skywards with points as well so the Citibank one is not the only way to increase your points balance.
The 777 remains the workhorse of their fleet, at least for now, and is generally comfortable. It is a 777-LR to Houston and I imagine a 777-ER to Dubai. No real difference between the two from the inside, try for an emergency aisle obviously, any seat there. The doors don't impact too much on your legs when in seat A or K, unlike in a 747 where you wish you were sitting somewhere else. Never take a seat on these aircraft with a bulkhead behind you as they don't recline to their full extent and sometimes have a reduced pitch as well. Seats with a bulkhead in front are generally OK on EK.
Hope this helps, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Cheers
FlyingScot1
Outstanding post here Flyingscot1; that information is really great. Thanks. (and welcome to AFF.........post more often!)

FWIW, Houston get the A380 from Dec 3.
 

pomkiwi

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With EK silver you can normally access any EK business class lounge in DXB. At the moment here is work going on in the B concourse lounge and silver mebers in economy are being directed to thr lounges in the other concourses.
 

FlyingScot1

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It's been a while since I tried to access a lounge on EK silver membership traveling in economy but this was always possible only to selected secondary business lounges in Dubai, not the principal business lounges in the concourses where you either held a business ticket or EK gold membership to gain entry - the platinum level only being introduced to coincide with the link up with Qantas (previously Emirates had stated thy had no plans for a tier above gold). There was also a brief period of time a few years ago when the lounges in Dubai were becoming too busy and Emirates decided that Gold members traveling in economy could not enter the main lounges and were to be relegated to the secondary ones. That included me unless I was 'on business'. Needless to say this was not well received and no doubt after a mountain of angry emails they reversed their position back to allowing Gold ffs in economy back in. So while there are lounges silver ffs can access in Dubai, and they are pretty good by most other standards, they are not the all singing / dancing full Emirates Lounges. I can't comment on concourse B at present as I transmitted concourse A in October.
 

Dr0pB3ar

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Hi Everyone,

Sorry for reviving a fairly old thread. Also, thank you FlyingScot1 for all of the valuable information.

For information, I was booked in economy on a saver ticket, so with alll 4 legs I was still going to be a long way short of even silver, so decided to just put my gold membership on it in the hope of getting the lounge access, however have had some conflicting information on this. So just to confirm, I am QF Gold, on an EK flight number. For the first trip PER-DXB-IAH will I have access to lounges in Perth and Dubai? if so which ones? and then same question for the reverse trip.

I called Emirates and asked but the lady on the phone seemed quite unsure herself but eventually concluded that I will have access to the international business lounge in Dubai, but nothing anywhere else. Is this what other QF Gold card holders have experienced?

I am leaving tonight so would be great if I could get some thoughts/ideas/experiences on this so I can decide when to go to the airport.

Thanks again!
 
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