Having been an Emirates Gold Card holder and PPS club member for a number of years, I read with interest the comments on the new Sywards redemption and earning schemes. Rather than comment at that time, I decided to wait and see in practical terms the impact on earning and redemption.
Since January I have made a significant number of Business and some Economy class flights. I have also redeemed miles for my children to visit Dubai. The long and the short of it is as follows:
Earning miles becomes much more difficult with the new tiers on levels of Business and Economy class fares. I have flown on the Flex fares and received the full skywards miles allocation (similar to that of the previous scheme, which rewarded any fare). I have also flown on saver fares (both Business and Economy) and received a much reduced number of Skywards Miles. On average I have earned around 40% fewer miles than on the previous scheme. Why would I chose a costlier Flex Business fare when there is a cheaper Business fare available?
Now here’s the rub. When redeeming miles for flights, It is now very difficult to find suitable saver redemption fares, the end result is that that one has to redeem the miles for Flex fares at around a 75% premium to the previous saver fares.
Net result for me is that the new Emirates scheme is approximately 115% less attractive.
In summary, earn less and redeem more. As was mentioned in a previous post, there is no real advantage for frequent flyers utilising Flex fare tickets, the miles earned are no greater than the previous scheme. However, when redeeming miles, the lower saver fares seem to be more difficult to find, so even for the full flex fare paying passenger, redeeming miles becomes more expensive.
Due to the attractiveness of the previous scheme, I would consciously plan and time my trips to fly on Emirates. Now I am not so sure. Time to explore other options such as Etihad and poor old BA perhaps.