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And we thought Emirates blocking availability was bad enough…

Emirates just launched a truly gorgeous new first class cabin, unanimously agreed upon by anyone with or without eyeballs to be one of the finest ways to travel. With the launch of the new cabin, we wrote the definitive guide on using points for all Emirates First Class seats, updating techniques we’ve hailed in the past, such as flying around the world for just $125,000 points. Unfortunately, without notice – a gigantic monkey wrench has been thrown into the works.

The Monkey Wrench

Japan Airlines has offered the best way to book any Emirates First Class seat using points. Japan Airlines (JAL) points could be instantly created by transferring Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points or flying any OneWorld alliance airline. Their rates were substantially lower than any other mileage program – and miraculously, they did not add surcharges. No ticket using points would require more than $100 bucks. That’s changed.

Up To $1716 Per…

The whole point of collecting points is to unlock experiences, while keeping cash locked away. Japan Airlines updated the terms of their Mileage Bank partnership with Emirates, and now up to $1716 can be added to any Emirates First Class ticket using points and miles. That’s truly awful. This change puts a serious damper on many people’s chances to experience this great cabin, at great rates. The one exception comes from flights originating Hong Kong – where surcharges are illegal. Start there, if you still want to go forward with this, without shelling out over a grand.

Effective Immediately

The worst part of all this – is that it’s already in place. Anyone whose been quietly squirreling points away, with an end goal in sight is now forced to retreat or re-think. This is yet another chilling reminder that earn and burn is the best policy when it comes to points. Earn fast, burn fast and enjoy while you can. This is the wild west. If you still want to fly Emirates First Class, here are your other remaining options.

HT: OneMileAtATime

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