Emirates Discontinues First Class Flex Classic Rewards Effective July 1, 2021


Emirates is making changes to its Skywards frequent flier program. It is far more expensive for members to redeem for first-class awards by eliminating First Class Flex Classic Rewards.

The airline has also discontinued the eligibility to advance upgrade from J Saver to first, but you still can from J Flex and J Flex +. The number of miles to upgrade from J Flex has also increased.

You can access Emirates’ website here.

Here’s Los Angeles – Dubai search:

Then there is a footnote:

Miles quoted don’t include taxes and carrier-imposed charges.

First Class Flex Classic Rewards will be available for travel until 30 June 2021.

For travel from 1 July 2021 onwards, only First Class Flex Plus Classic Rewards will be available for all First Class one-way and return bookings

*You can’t spend your Miles on Special or Flex fares in Economy Class and Business Class, including one-way flights. Special fares are not eligible for upgrades.

Economy Saver fares can only be upgraded at check-in and on board.

**You can use your Miles to upgrade one class.


I find it unfortunate that Emirates doesn’t clearly communicate these negative changes but hides them in the footnotes.

The airline has removed the first-class availability from most partners (Qantas could be the only one left at this point).

Skywards has not been an excellent frequent traveler program by a long shot, and the only worthwhile redemption has been the upgrades. Awards tend to be ridiculously priced.