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Top tips for London-Dubai "commuters"?

Top tips for London-Dubai "commuters"?

Old Apr 9, 18, 11:21 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 50
Top tips for London-Dubai "commuters"?

It looks as if I'm going to be living and working in Dubai from June, with my family still living in the UK for a year or more. This means that I will be flying LON-DXB-LON about 12 times per year, as well as undertaking other business travel to the US and Asia mainly on Emirates. I'm already Gold on Skywards but I really haven't mastered the program intricacies and now that I am going to be paying for my own flights on this "commuter" leg I wanted to tap the collective wisdom of the forum on the following points:

- best way to find upgradeable flights so that I can book in Y and use my miles to travel in J, especially for overnight legs
- tips about operational upgrades on this route
- any related tips about booking windows and booking directions (e.g., should I start my return trips from Dubai or from London?)
- any other tips about earning miles in Dubai (e.g. credit cards)
- any tips about making this commuting business less painful generally

I am sure that there are many people on the forum in a similar position to me but I couldn't find useful threads on this topic, so perhaps the answers will also prove useful to other people in future.

Thanks!

Last edited by Bossarb; Apr 9, 18 at 11:26 am
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Old Apr 9, 18, 12:29 pm
  #2  
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- best way to find upgradeable flights so that I can book in Y and use my miles to travel in J, especially for overnight legs

You can do this via the Emirates website. Look for J saver award availability, as this is what is used for Y-J upgrades. Alternatively, get a KVS / ExpertFlyer subscription.

- tips about operational upgrades on this route

Op ups are based on ticket type. So, if you're on a cheap saver ticket, you're unlikely to be upgraded even if you are gold. A flex or flax plus ticket is more likely get an op up.

- any related tips about booking windows and booking directions (e.g., should I start my return trips from Dubai or from London?)

EK are very expensive ex-Dubai according to the Dubai dwellers on here. So, best get tickets from UK.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 12:43 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Economy, mostly :(
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Just to add that BUX is a 2-class 380 and often oversold in Y AFAIK so if BHX isnít too far for you (some parts of London arenít far and Euston is a 2hr train) you could try that. Nesting flights to third countries with stopovers in dxb might be an option
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Old Apr 9, 18, 3:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Just to add that BUX is a 2-class 380 and often oversold in Y AFAIK so if BHX isnít too far for you (some parts of London arenít far and Euston is a 2hr train) you could try that. Nesting flights to third countries with stopovers in dxb might be an option
e.g. to MCT
ElJudioErrante is offline  
Old Apr 9, 18, 3:52 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Manchester/London, currently Tunisia
Programs: Skywards Plat, Bonvoy Plat
Posts: 630
I used to fly this route quite regularly out of London and Manchester - DYKWIA is correct, ex UK is a lot cheaper than ex DXB. If you purchase a flex + ex UK you can just put your rtn as far forward as possible then keep changing it when you know the precise date you will need it - also this ticket type is your greatest chance of op-up.

As far as flights go this is quite an easy one and I have done it that many times now I wouldn't dream of paying J prices to DXB, I wouldn't even use miles to go there but thats my personal opinion (more cost effective using them on long haul).

There is an emirates credit card you can get in Dubai.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 5:10 pm
  #6  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 50
Thanks for all of the replies so far. I still don't quite understand how I can tell whether an upgrade is available before I book (the Emirates FAQ says that to do that you need to call the Emirates Contact Centre but one of the answers up above suggested there was a way of telling from the website).

Also I don't know how if you choose the "Auto Upgrade" option under Manage Booking you can know in advance how many miles it would take out of your account to do that upgrade, which seems like an important piece of missing information!
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Old Apr 9, 18, 6:19 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Economy, mostly :(
Programs: Skywards Gold
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1. to find upgrade availability: Log into your Skywards account on emirates.com then search for an award seat in J. If the Saver award is available you can also upgrade from Y.

2. In terms of nesting the most beneficial would be to nest itineraries with stopovers and back-to-backs in a place like MCT or CAI. MCT is nice due to its proximity. Take itineraries A and B:

A LON-DXB-MCT // transit DXB, direct to MCT
B MCT-DXB //turnaround straight back to DXB
{stopover}
B DXB-LON
B LON-DXB-MCT //transit DXB, direct to MCT
A MCT-DXB //turnaround straight backt o DXB
{stopover}
A DXB-LON

This way you purchase 1x LON-MCT return, with a stopover in Dubai on the return and 1x MCT-LON return with a stopover in Dubai on the outbound. You achieve minimum stay criteria for cheaper fares on both tickets, and you can add more nested tickets originating in MCT before the final stopover on ticket A if MCT is a cheaper origin. You can also do this (exclusively or alternating) with other airports like BEY, CAI, IST, BAH, etc., depending on how far you want to venture.

Strung together your trip would be:

LON-DXB-MCT-DXB

then DXB-LON

then LON-DXB-MCT-DXB

then DXB-LON

and you could move it around so you have the triple-connection flight on the way to London, rather than on the way to DXB. Many options
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Old Apr 10, 18, 1:33 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by Bossarb View Post
Also I don't know how if you choose the "Auto Upgrade" option under Manage Booking you can know in advance how many miles it would take out of your account to do that upgrade, which seems like an important piece of missing information!
There is a mileage calculator on the website. Enter your information and you should see a table showing miles required for the different ticket types.

ETA. The Auto Upgrade feature is reported to be less reliable than regularly checking yourself, or via Expert Flyer, and then upgrading.
ft101 is offline  
Old Apr 10, 18, 3:59 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Manchester/London, currently Tunisia
Programs: Skywards Plat, Bonvoy Plat
Posts: 630
The most reliable way to book award seats is to ring EK and ask. Over christmas I had no luck on the website and also expert flyer was showing no availability. I called emirates and was able to upgrade straight through MAN - SYD. For the return I called EK again and managed to upgrade straight through as well. I was on Y flex + tickets and had to move my return flight one day to the right to get the upgrade.

I wouldnt bother using the auto upgrade feature it is more a benefit for EK than passengers. It is possible you could get upgraded at the airport and miss out on the CD and also the lounge if you wasn't gold.

Is there not a minimum stay in MCT?
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Old Apr 10, 18, 4:03 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Economy, mostly :(
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Originally Posted by Will08 View Post
The most reliable way to book award seats is to ring EK and ask. Over christmas I had no luck on the website and also expert flyer was showing no availability. I called emirates and was able to upgrade straight through MAN - SYD. For the return I called EK again and managed to upgrade straight through as well. I was on Y flex + tickets and had to move my return flight one day to the right to get the upgrade.

I wouldnt bother using the auto upgrade feature it is more a benefit for EK than passengers. It is possible you could get upgraded at the airport and miss out on the CD and also the lounge if you wasn't gold.

Is there not a minimum stay in MCT?
The above construction nesting two separate itineraries would permit minimum stay to be met, as I mentioned in my post:

A LON-DXB-MCT // transit DXB, direct to MCT
B MCT-DXB //turnaround straight back to DXB
{stopover}
B DXB-LON
B LON-DXB-MCT //transit DXB, direct to MCT
A MCT-DXB //turnaround straight backt o DXB
{stopover}
A DXB-LON

You arrive on itinerary A into MCT, then immediately turn around on itinerary B, itinerary A remains "in MCT" until your ultimate return much later, meeting min stay.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 1:14 pm
  #11  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Dubai
Posts: 50
Thanks everyone for the instant education in the ways of Skywards! I don't completely understand the benefits of nesting in this case because I think I can get cheap fares by just always starting my return journeys in DXB - but I may well be missing something... There is clearly lots to learn from the experts on here.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 1:51 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 750
Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
1. to find upgrade availability: Log into your Skywards account on emirates.com then search for an award seat in J. If the Saver award is available you can also upgrade from Y.

2. In terms of nesting the most beneficial would be to nest itineraries with stopovers and back-to-backs in a place like MCT or CAI. MCT is nice due to its proximity. Take itineraries A and B:

A LON-DXB-MCT // transit DXB, direct to MCT
B MCT-DXB //turnaround straight back to DXB
{stopover}
B DXB-LON
B LON-DXB-MCT //transit DXB, direct to MCT
A MCT-DXB //turnaround straight backt o DXB
{stopover}
A DXB-LON

This way you purchase 1x LON-MCT return, with a stopover in Dubai on the return and 1x MCT-LON return with a stopover in Dubai on the outbound. You achieve minimum stay criteria for cheaper fares on both tickets, and you can add more nested tickets originating in MCT before the final stopover on ticket A if MCT is a cheaper origin. You can also do this (exclusively or alternating) with other airports like BEY, CAI, IST, BAH, etc., depending on how far you want to venture.

Strung together your trip would be:

LON-DXB-MCT-DXB

then DXB-LON

then LON-DXB-MCT-DXB

then DXB-LON

and you could move it around so you have the triple-connection flight on the way to London, rather than on the way to DXB. Many options
If on a e.g. UK/DXB/MCT/DXB/UK ticket and eligible nationality and within eligible timeframe AND you get both the entry AND exit stamp in Dubai (at DXB/Hatta crossing) ie not smartgate then there is no visa/visa charge on arrival in MCT or Oman by road.
Details are on Oman police website.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 1:56 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
1. to find upgrade availability: Log into your Skywards account on emirates.com then search for an award seat in J. If the Saver award is available you can also upgrade from Y.

2. In terms of nesting the most beneficial would be to nest itineraries with stopovers and back-to-backs in a place like MCT or CAI. MCT is nice due to its proximity. Take itineraries A and B:

A LON-DXB-MCT // transit DXB, direct to MCT
B MCT-DXB //turnaround straight back to DXB
{stopover}
B DXB-LON
B LON-DXB-MCT //transit DXB, direct to MCT
A MCT-DXB //turnaround straight backt o DXB
{stopover}
A DXB-LON

This way you purchase 1x LON-MCT return, with a stopover in Dubai on the return and 1x MCT-LON return with a stopover in Dubai on the outbound. You achieve minimum stay criteria for cheaper fares on both tickets, and you can add more nested tickets originating in MCT before the final stopover on ticket A if MCT is a cheaper origin. You can also do this (exclusively or alternating) with other airports like BEY, CAI, IST, BAH, etc., depending on how far you want to venture.

Strung together your trip would be:

LON-DXB-MCT-DXB

then DXB-LON

then LON-DXB-MCT-DXB

then DXB-LON

and you could move it around so you have the triple-connection flight on the way to London, rather than on the way to DXB. Many options
Does this not get flagged by EK eventually?
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Old Apr 10, 18, 2:24 pm
  #14  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 15,807
Originally Posted by Bossarb View Post
Thanks everyone for the instant education in the ways of Skywards! I don't completely understand the benefits of nesting in this case because I think I can get cheap fares by just always starting my return journeys in DXB - but I may well be missing something... There is clearly lots to learn from the experts on here.
Good luck if you can... but as as been pointed out, ex-DXB is normally sky high.
DYKWIA is offline  
Old Apr 10, 18, 3:29 pm
  #15  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Posts: 50
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Good luck if you can... but as as been pointed out, ex-DXB is normally sky high.
Sorry, I meant starting my journeys in London. It's been a long day...
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