Three Emirates Skywards Questions

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  SimonS1 17 Aug 2012
at 13:37

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  • Anonymous


    I’m a very frequent flyer (and big fan) of Emirates airlines. I am also a Gold Skyward member; for indication I fullfilled my Gold membership retention for 2012 in by early March this year and this has been the case regularly over the past years!

    I have however, noted 3 issues with EK which would be great to get some clarity on:

    -Skyward welcome – when I get on flights, I don’t get the “personalised” welcome whereas other Skyward Gold do – it is because I check in online? Or are some Gold Skyward members “more equal” than others?

    -Online check in choice – when I check in online, I don’t get the choice
    of seats I want, whereas colleagues who travel with me and check in at the desk get the seats that are usually marked full/taken online? I thought the earlier online check in would allow more choice?

    -Morocco route – I frequently fly from Dubai to Morocco on business and have noticed that the aircraft used is the old A330 aircraft which are very uncomfortable for an 8.5 hour flight as seats (in business) are small and do not fully recline, whereas other shorter flight use better aircraft (ex: 777-300ER to Cairo or even A380 to Korea? Both shorter flights?) – why is this and what is the policy for travellers comfort on such longhaul flights, which are usually close. To full capacity, so does not seem like a commercial issue to justify using older aircrafts on these.

    It would be great to get your, the readers/EK passenger and as well EK’s thoughts on these!


    I am also a Skywards Gold member and have a similar experience. Some flight attendants acknowledge me as a Skywards Gold member and others do not. When travelling economy I often get a personalised greeting at my seat and an invitation to ask for assistance but not always. Sometimes I am asked my meal selection first but not often.
    It is more difficult to book award upgrades these days even when I book 10-12 months in advance.
    That being said I still am full of admiration for Emirates and their staff both on the ground and in the air.



    I’ve been a Gold card member for the last 8 years. The service on EK can be a bit hit and miss at times. When I fly economy, I sometimes get an honourable mention. Either the purser or the senior steward/stewardess will say hello. One nice feature is when you land at DXB they give you a fasttrack card.

    Skywards is becoming more miserly in providing benefits, everything becomes expensive in terms of miles when booking a ticket.

    The number one thing that annoys me is choosing seats. BA, CX, Virgin and more airlines allows you to book ahead for an emergency but EK like to physically check you at check in to see if I am able to handle a situation. If you are travelling on EK every few weeks they should have an idead that I can manage. Lets be a bit forward looking.

    And when will I ever become IO!?


    As many UAE based friends accumulate Skywards miles throughout the year, and use the miles for upgrades/tickets for private travel for ourselves/family/friends, I have spotted a new ploy by Emirates to reduce the benefits. (Another one, I hear you say)
    As I have the dubious pleasure of travelling to Saudi nearly every week, yesterday I was checking my Economy seat for tonight’s flight and I noticed that the miles had been reduced from the usual 1000 to 500. EK have decided that the ticket is now classed as a “saver” ticket not a “flex” ticket, and the miles are reduced by 50%, yet the fare remains the same.
    I then decided to check fares to UK and (after the usual EK website crashing or timing me out), surprise, surprise, all economy fares were being classed as “saver” and the miles awarded are only 3000 for a return trip (compared to 6800 in 2009). However, to redeem miles for the same tickets, they were classed as “flex” at a value of 77,500 miles, instead of “saver” at 45,000. The “saver” option did not even exist on tickets originating from UK.
    By classing the basic ticket as a “saver”, this also increase the cost of an upgrade, which used to be the most cost effective way of utilising miles (when they were available).
    Even for people who regularly achieve Gold status within a few months, this change will soon utilise the accrued miles, and may affect future holiday plans for many.
    It may also affect other people’s ability to achieve/maintain Silver or Gold status.
    I don’t believe that these “changes” will ever be announced, and it was only because I travel regularly on the same route that I noticed the difference.



    You are 100% correct. I am looking to to book tickets to BHX/LHR and what do you know. Same price and lower tier miles (3500!!!!!!!!!!!). Talk about mega rip off. I’m not sure what Skywards are trying but quite a few people are getting pissed off. Its amazing how many people that I know in Dubai will travel down the road to Abu Dhabi or fly to Doha to stop being ripped of by EK/Skywards.


    Even though I usually renew my gold status by march or april and always travel first class, the recognition is hit and miss.
    Emirates has grown so much but I dont believe its training program has matched the pace. Some crew are great others dismal. Very inconsistent service however the suites product is great.


    As a relatively new traveller with Emirates (thanks to British Airways action last year) but already a gold member I would like to confirm my initial thoughts; I only travel on the A380 out of or back into Manchester using routing into Australia or China every six weeks, always travelling upstairs in Business Class.

    The area’s your state are the area’s I really enjoy the service levels with Emirates, yes, I get a warm, personal greeting on arrival or once in my seat, I can usually select my meal first (or with the other Gold’s) during the meal service.

    I did use my miles for both cabin upgrades to First on a recent trip to Australia and book my family on a trip to Dubai later this month, so all in all everything seems great with Emirates to me, maybe that’s due to me comparing them to our National carrier!


    I was always a big EK fan, being a gold member for many years. Flying Birmingham to the Far East i always found the level of service excellent, even on older 777s. but sadly now i rarely fly with them because of the stop over in Dubai. Who ever designed the business lounge obviously had no idea of travellers requirements. queing for toilets and showers, a lack of comfy seating with people asleep on all the sofas, the food maybe ok, but the 3 hour stop has just become to tedious and London Hong Kong direct in 11-12 hours non stop is much more attactive.


    With reference to BobJazz‘s original question about aircraft types, there are more than a few factors which will affect specific make and model of aircraft.

    The first, obviously, is fleet availability. The second is demand and the number of seats required. The third, and usually the most important when there is a variety of hard procucts in a carrier’s portfolio, is yield.

    Relatively low demand routes get smaller aircraft and intermediate stops. Low yield routes also attract the smaller aircraft with the second and third tier products in Business, and no First.

    Moroccan flights are an example – as are Newcastle and Malta (with a stop in Larnaca in the latter situation).

    Emirates is a slightly unusual case in that is has no narrow-body aircraft in its fleet, and also uses its largest aircraft on its shortest route. This does mean that some routes which another carrier might use an A320 family on (as Qatar do) would still get an A330. Meanwhile, the sheer number of A380s delivered and in the pipeline, compared to the relatively limited number of airports that can currently handle them, and provide the slots and the demand for them, means that some airports like Manchester and Auckland are seeing service before other airports which would generally be considered to be bigger, with greater demand and higher yields.

    In the Auckland case, another factor comes into play – namely that of scheduling. So it’s not just the specific route in question that informs the aircraft type; it’s how that route fits into the overall schedule. Auckland gets A380 mostly because it’s actually a Sydney service and it would otherwise sit on the ground at Sydney all day – which is what BA used to do with their Melbourne tags.

    More generally, if a lower-yield route employs an aircraft for a number of hours per day that happens to ‘fit’ with another route’s slots and aircraft utilisation, and that other route is higher-yield, then the lower-yield route will sometimes benefit from a larger or ‘better’ aircraft than might otherwise be expected.

    And, given this complexity and the dynamic nature of the business, sometimes airlines just get the aircraft type plain wrong, or at least have to wait for a while before they can make a change.


    I noticed the same when I last tried to book a flight to JNB which I fly about once a month or so.

    If you book online, there is no provision for changing the fare from Saver to Flex. Had to book through the Call Centre and ended up paying about a 20% premium on the ticket. Still, given that i’m upgraded 1/2 to 2/3s of the times I fly, it’s more worthhile for me to get the tier miles and retain Gold, than try to scrimp and suffer in cattle class.

    Cattle class in those 777s is pure torture…..


    I have noticed the same. There saver and flex fares are a joke. I am a gold member and recently went from Athens to SYD on 1st class I did not get the expected miles and the tier miles were the same as a skywards blue member.

    Overall the skywards scheme has gone poor. For example they do not even allow you to take in a guest into the emirates lounges anymore. Previously you were able to fly in economy and take in a guest into all emirates lounges worldwide however now they say only the gold member alone can enter the lounge. This was suppose to be a temporary suspension however there have been no recent signs of this being reinstated.

    I think I will start using Star Alliance network more often, they seem to have far better benefits.


    So far my experience has been that the lounge access restriction to actual Gold card holders and not their companions only applies to DXB. I’ve had no problems in Singapore, Joburg and elsewhere. And I think DXB will be fine once the new 380 concourse opens.

    But yeah, Skywards is losing its shine.


    Hi when is the 380 concourse opening, any ideas?

    Also you say that it’s only DXB I’m flying out from LHR so do you know whether I can take a companion in with me in this lounge?

    I did email skywards regarding taking a companion in with but they said no it’s suspended currently, however they did not comment on individual airports!


    If I remember correctly it should be Q1 2012. I was at Terminal 3 this week and it’s all coming together. Of course, as previous posters have written, it won’t improve the overall quality of the First or Business lounge. Which is pretty poor.

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