Yesterday, July 7, was the launch of Emirates second daily flight between Seattle and Dubai. This greatly increases the airline’s capacity between these two cities and makes it even easier to take advantage of Emirates’ partnership with Alaska Airlines. (See the bonus miles promo below.)
Boeing 777-300ER (existing)
EK229 Dubai to Seattle — departing 9:35 AM and arriving 12:55 PM
EK230 Seattle to Dubai — departing 5:40 PM and arriving 6:55 PM (+1 day)
Boeing 777-200LR (new!)
EK227 Dubai to Seattle — departing 3:15 AM and arriving 6:55 AM
EK228 Seattle to Dubai — departing 9:40 AM and arriving 10:55 AM (+1 day)
The original daily flight continues to be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. This is now supplemented by a Boeing 777-200LR. Both have 8 first class and 42 business class seats, but there is some tradeoff in quality: the business class seats on the 200LR are lie-flat vs. the angled flat seats on the 300ER. So depending on if you’re flying business or first, one plane might be better. (Update: According to one reader, there’s no difference between the two first class cabins.)
If you’re in economy class, you have my condolences. 😉
Why Is Emirates a Great Choice for International Travel?
Simply put, Emirates has the ultimate hub-spoke model. Many major airports have a flight to Dubai on Emirates, and they’re adding more. Once in Dubai you can connect onward to your destination. And Dubai is very centrally located between Europe, Africa, and Asia.
It’s not the best option if you’re trying to stay active in a domestic U.S. loyalty program, although they do have some partners. Alaska Airlines is offering double or triple miles on Emirates for travel that originates in the U.S. between July 15 and November 30, 2015. Register by September 7.
For those who don’t care about award programs, Emirates can be a good choice for price and convenience.
Booking an Award Ticket on Emirates
Just yesterday I received an email from Isac asking how to search for award space on Emirates, specifically for an award that did not originate from a U.S. gateway.
Alaska Airlines miles would be the ideal choice since there are no fuel surcharges. However, Alaska has a very peculiar set of award charts: They publish a separate chart for each partner and each region. If a chart doesn’t exist, you can’t book it. And, at least for Emirates, they only publish charts for flights between the U.S. and various international destinations. The good news is that space is searchable online (though it may not match what you find through other tools like ExpertFlyer).
The other option is Korean Air. It can be a better option for some people because you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air SkyPass, whereas there are fewer transfer options for Alaska. But Korean Air collects fuel surcharges and makes you jump through a few hoops to book the award.