a bed with a tray of rose petals

One trip, the whole world, every flight spent in the unrivaled luxury of Emirates First Class. If you’re now batting your eyes to make sure your vision is correct, it is. One of the greatest flying experiences in the world, around the world, is just 155,000 miles away and believe it or not, it’s easier than you might think…

a tv on a table in an airplane

The Basics

Emirates are partners with Japan Airlines. That means you can use Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles (which you can create without flying) to fly on Emirates. What’s exciting about that is that Japan Airlines offer the most favorable chart (least miles needed) for flying on Emirates in the world. For a fraction of what Emirates themselves would charge you, you can fly First Class using these Japan Airlines miles. How do we create them? We’ll get there…

a bathroom with a shower and sink

But First, Is It Really Around The World?

Japan Airlines figures out how many miles you’ll need for your Emirates First Class flight based on distance alone. Actual price in dollars doesn’t matter, number of flights doesn’t matter, cities don’t matter, just distance of all the combined flights. For 155,000 airline miles round trip, you can fly up to 20,000 actual miles in First Class, anywhere that Emirates serves. As an example, you can start in any of these cities and do it in any order.

US Example: New York to Milan, Milan To Dubai, Dubai To Bangkok and back. (HT: Matthew Klint)

Euro Example: London to Dubai, Dubai to Bangkok, Bangkok to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Dubai, Dubai To Milan, Milan to New York. (You’d need a flight back from NY to London, but awesome itinerary).

Asian Example: Bangkok to Dubai, Dubai To Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Dubai, Dubai to Milan, Milan to Dubai, Dubai to Bangkok.

a large airplane flying in the sky

Ok, I Want To Fly First Class On Emirates, How Do I Get The Miles?

Read all of this, even if you think you can’t pull it off, you probably can.

The HARD WAY: You can create Japan Airlines miles the hard way, by entering your free Japan Airlines frequent flyer number when flying on Japan Airlines or any flying partner of theirs like Emirates, British Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas. That’s hard, time consuming and expensive for most of us!

The EASY (Potentially Free) WAY: For those looking for the (super) easy way, you can also create Japan Airlines miles almost instantly by converting Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points into Japan Airlines miles, and for every 20,000 you transfer, you get a 5,000 bonus. With that logic, you only need 125,000 Starwood Points for round the world FIRST CLASS on Emirates! You can earn Starwood Points for all hotel stays within the Starwood brand, through their credit card, which offers a sign up bonus and points for every dollar you spend; and you can also BUY Starwood points at any time, sometimes even in great sales…

a bed with a tray of rose petals

Done and Done. How Do I Find Space?

Easy. Go to Alaska Airlines website and ignore all the prices in miles that you see there. Simply search by clicking “using miles” when entering your dates and cities and look for availability in Emirates First Class. When you’re there, you’ll see horrible prices in miles, which you’re avoiding by using Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles and not Alaska miles for these Emirates First Class flights. Certain cities such as the Dubai to Bangkok will not show up on Alaska. For those, use AwardNexus.com, a fantastic power tool for finding space, which will even email you when seats become available. You can also use the Qantas website.

a large building next to a body of water


Once you’ve found availability for using miles on the Alaska or AwardNexus site, you just need to call the JAL Mileage Bank hotline at (800)JAL-FONE. If you’re booking from outside the US, simply google your local JAL number, or use Skype to call this one for free. Surcharges will be less than $78 for most flights, making this an absolutely incredible deal.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. SPG has a limit of buying up to 30k points per year, your 155k target will take 5 years if buying (4 if you get Credit card as well…hardly easy or achievable

  2. And when we all thought the EK First Class post’s were done along comes another hack. Maybe this is the last one!

    Having said that EK First is losing it’s luster. Having flown five r/t’s ( 2 paid) we are not as impressed. The new pj’s are different other than that stale. A deal is BUYING your return ticket in SA with the conversion it’s a killer deal. And if your a AS flyer 175% but then you have to use real money

  3. Alaska doesn’t show accurate EK award availability, currently. It’s a much possible and well known issue.

  4. Booked JFK-DXB-BKK-DXB-MXP-JFK. Left time to visit DXB for a couple days, a week in SE Asia, and a week in Europe. Totally obnoxious but it should be a blast.

  5. Hi. I’m trying to plan my trip. JAL says you can have one country appear 3 times in an itinerary. In your Asia and Europe Examples, you have Dubai listed way too many times. Are these even book-able?

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