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.