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Merry Christmas! I have re-emerged from my sofa coma and several portions of leftovers to update you on the Emirates sale that went live recently. At face value, it isn’t amazing and don’t even think about there being good First Class fares! But if you have lots of Skyward Miles or AMEX points, you can bag a return trip to the Maldives flying the newest and best First Class cabin four times for £2,044/€2,400 + 97,500 miles/points.
What: Emirates January Sale
Offer: Sale fares in all classes from and to worldwide destinations with extra discounts if you book a fare from the UK before 31 December 2019! The sale is running until 31 January 2020.
Availability: Travel dates, blackout dates and minimum stays vary depending on destination. Travel from the UK is available until 9 Nov 2020.
Book By: 31 January 2020.
From the UK
There are sale fares running worldwide. The best value, as always, is from outside the UK. But there are some kind of decent fares running from London if you do not want to bother with positioning within the EU first.
All UK sale fares can be found here. You can use the filter to look at Business and First Class offers only. Once you find a destination that works, you can find the cheapest dates by…
The top fares in Business Class from London are:
PLUS if you book before 31 December 2019 and book via this link then you get an extra £150 off return Business Class flights (or £50 Economy, £300 First). You will see where the discount will be valid in your search with a gold badge against the fare.
With this code, I was able to bring the price of London to Dubai down to £1,750 return.
If you are prepared to position from the EU, you can bring the cost down further! My top picks are the Italian and Belgian sales.
The top picks from Milan are:
The top picks from Brussels are:
Maximum Extravagance, Minimum Cost
Upgrade to First
You will notice I have not included any First Class fares in my top picks, because the lowest fare is £2,858/€3,353 to Delhi from Brussels.
But all of these fares are upgradeable!
If you have Skywards miles or American Express Membership Rewards, which transfer at 1:1 almost instantly, now may be the time to book and upgrade.
When searching for the Business Class fares, if you click on the route/fare you are interested, it will tell you how many Skywards Miles you need to upgrade one-way to First. You need more miles to upgrade the lowest/Saver fare, compared to Flex.
You can also look up the cost using their mileage calculator, which shows you the upgrade rates between two destinations at all classes and fares.
This does not mean the upgrade is available though. I strongly recommend calling in advance to find out if you can upgrade straight away, or use a site like ExpertFlyer which shows reward availability.
This presents lots of possibilities of upgrading to First. For example, the £1,750 London to Dubai fare can be upgraded to First for 39,000 miles each way.
Short of Miles?
If you are short on miles, Emirates are also running a discount promo of buying Skywards Miles. The discount you get depends on your account. Mine was 25%, which made purchasing the 39,000 points for the above upgrade come to £697.91.
If done both ways, this would bring a First ticket London to Dubai to £2,447.91 (if upgrades are available!), compared to the £4,209 ‘sale’ fare.
Fly the Amazing Emirates 777 First Class Cabin
Some of the sale fares fly the Boeing 777-300ER, which has one of the best First Class suites in the sky, with floor to ceiling walls. With just six suites, even if you get a middle suite, you have virtual windows!
If you originate in Brussels or London and travel to or via Dubai then some routes should show as the 777-300. The 777 is also flown from Frankfurt, Geneva and Vienna, but those sale fares are pretty bad.
Then, from Dubai, if you go onto Kuwait, Male Maldives, Riyadh or Tokyo Haneda, you get another chance at the 777 suite!
You can see if your route is on the 777 in the search results – look out for B777 next to the flight number.
My top pick is Brussels to Male via Dubai, upgrading at 48,750 miles each way. For me, it is not worth paying 333 Euros extra for the Flex rate and upgrading for 37,500 miles. This is because I can purchase the extra 11,250 miles for £214.74 with my 25% discount.
So £2,044/€2,400 plus 97,500 miles will get you four flights in one of the best seats in the sky!