a table with food and a tv in the back of it

This First Class steal won’t be around forever…

What if you could combine the ultimate, multi city vacation with one of the ultimate points redemptions? We’re talking showers at 33,000 feet, sliding doors to close you off from other passengers, on board bars, incredible destinations and a level of luxury fit for a king or queen. There’s an incredible way to book Emirates First Class, which isn’t exactly new, but it won’t be around for long, so here’s how to enjoy Asia, the Middle East and Europe for just 80,000 points, with more than 16 hours in Emirates first class.

a bar with drinks and shelves in a planeThe First Class Trip

You’ve gotta get to Hong Kong or Seoul first, but if you do – you’ll be greatly rewarded. There are cheap flight deals and great ways to use points to reach either city, from virtually anywhere on earth – so no excuses! If you can reach Seoul or Hong Kong, you’ll be rewarded with two lovely long haul segments in Emirates First Class, with the potential to stop off in Dubai for as long as you want, before carrying onto Europe, or just returning back to Asia. That’s seriously cool. Why Seoul or Hong Kong? You’re able to bypass the surcharges usually charged with Emirates First Class. Each bottle of Dom Perignon you’ll enjoy is more expensive than your out of pocket costs!

a city skyline with many lightsThe Miles

You need Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott Rewards, Barclay’s Arrival Premier or JAL Mileage Bank miles to get started here. If you’ve got SPG Points, you’ll just need 80,000. Why? Because for every 20,000 you transfer to airline miles, you get a 5,000 point bonus, bringing you a grand total of 100,000 JAL Mileage Bank. You’ll ultimately convert any of the first three into JAL Mileage Bank miles, which you’ll then redeem on their partner airline, Emirates. You can earn JAL miles from any of the programs above, or for flying on any OneWorld airline, or on other partner airlines on select routes.

a table with food on itThe Details

Until November 20th, JAL charges a mere 100,000 points for up to 8,000 actual miles of flying in Emirates First Class. With 8,000 miles you can fly from Hong Kong or Seoul to Dubai, stopover and enjoy Dubai, and then carry on to virtually any destination in Europe – or just turn back around to Asia. After November 20th, you’ll need 20% more points. If you can get 80,000 SPG Points saved up, you’ll be able to book this incredible itinerary, with less than $200 in total surcharges, because you’re smart enough to start in the two places where Emirates does not add surcharges. You’re welcome.

a bridge over a river with a clock tower and a buildingHow To Book

Booking is pretty easy, if you get your ish’ together. First, you need to lock down 80,000 SPG Points, 240,000 Marriott or 175,000 Barclay’s Arrival Premier Points. There is an SPG Points Sale, if you’re in need a top off. You’ll then need to convert those SPG points into JAL MileageBank miles. Transfers to JAL can take multiple days, so you’ll need to put points in place in advance. Once that’s all squared away, you just need to find first class availability on Emirates flights from either Seoul or Hong Kong to Dubai, and then from Dubai to whichever European city you’d like, after as many days of Dubai stopover as you’d like. You can use Qantas.com, AwardNexus or ExpertFlyer to look up first class availability bookable using Japan Airlines miles. Qantas “flexible” calendar allows you to search entire calendar months at a time. Yes – you’re potentially looking for Emirates flights on an Australian airline website, and booking those flights using points from a hotel chain, which you’ve then transferred to a Japanese airline. Once you’ve found seats, call JAL to book using 1-800-525-3663 (or via Skype). It’s worth it.


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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