First Class - First time Question

Old Jan 6, 21, 9:18 am
  #1  
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First Class - First time Question

Discloser - Looking for award availability, no status with Emirates. Home base is IAH (older version 777), this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly F so willing to go out of the way to make it happen.

Situation -Wife and I are looking to travel First Class from JFK to DXB on the A380 in late June. Onward to Maldives after a few days in Dubai.

Problem - I have been looking since the summer and award availability is nonexistent for 2 people. There is some in April but otherwise, nothing. Business class is available but that is the back up plan. I have searched flexible dates, one-way, round trip, multiple stops etc. to make things happen (no award availability). I spoke to CS over the holidays, said schedule was not out yet. (not sure I fully believe that but was what I was told).

Anyone have any advice, etc. that they can offer. I know scheduling is hard with Covid etc. just wanted to get outside opinions.

TIA

Last edited by tex1721; Jan 8, 21 at 10:32 am
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Old Jan 6, 21, 11:22 am
  #2  
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Can't offer any real advice, other than that Emirates put most of their remaining A380 pilots on 12 months unpaid leave in November. So, there will be very few A380s flying in the near future. Who knows if JFK will be one of those routes? It would require more than one A380 to serve JFK.

If it were me, I'd try and get F direct from IAH (or anywhere else you can easily get to) on the B777. Other than the shower and bar, there's not much difference in F.
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Old Jan 6, 21, 12:25 pm
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2 F seats are hard to come by as ive tried many times. If they pop up on any route (including IAH) i would grab them without thinking twice.
The difference between the F seat on A380 or B777 is minimal. Yes the bar and shower on 380 are nice, but the service on 777 can be better as its smaller cabin.
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Old Jan 6, 21, 12:46 pm
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If you are planning a specific destination, cabin & aircraft, it really is not worth thinking much about this until 30-45 days prior to departure. Everything from schedule to arrival & transit requirements may change. Fully agree that if the goal is an F trip, watch availability and grab what comes up. Even then, do understand that the chances of anything booked in advance sticking without a lot of flexibility on your part is fairly remote.

If this is once in a lifetime and you feel up to it, I would wait for 2022.
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Old Jan 6, 21, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by tex1721 View Post
Discloser - Looking for award availability, no status with Emirates. Home base is IAH (older version 777), this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly J so willing to go out of the way to make it happen.
<snip>
With ff miles from which frequent flyer program?
EK ffp?

No one, including the airlines, know what aircraft/routes will be flying in June/July 2021
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Old Jan 7, 21, 7:50 am
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Purely from standpoint of Covid-19, I think the chances of A380s flying to the US in June are slim to none. Covid-19 is right now worse than it has ever been in the US/UK and Europe. Numbers in Dubai are also increasing because Dubai is effectively open for business. The increase in cases in Dubai may prompt them to put in more restrictions and things may be really difficult over the next few months regarding any sort of travel.
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Old Jan 7, 21, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
With ff miles from which frequent flyer program?
EK ffp?

Transfer of Amex to EK program.

No one, including the airlines, know what aircraft/routes will be flying in June/July 2021
I agree! Hoping things improve though so this trip can go as planned.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 9:17 am
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Having been in the same situation several times I've booked J and been able to upgrade to F within two weeks of departure - in all cases for two people. Otherwise I've found it difficult to secure an upgrade when requesting in advance.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by dwugson View Post
Having been in the same situation several times I've booked J and been able to upgrade to F within two weeks of departure - in all cases for two people. Otherwise I've found it difficult to secure an upgrade when requesting in advance.
For the upgrade, did you just pay the difference between J and F in miles? i.e. I think J is like 200K miles one way, while F is 272K (for 2 people)... so just would need 72K miles transferred over. Was it a very straightforward process, 2 weeks out? (i.e. online or call).
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Old Jan 9, 21, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by dwugson View Post
Having been in the same situation several times I've booked J and been able to upgrade to F within two weeks of departure - in all cases for two people. Otherwise I've found it difficult to secure an upgrade when requesting in advance.
I was wondering if you had any experience with using any of the website companies that monitor and/or help with booking award redemptions.... I have read about several via FT and various bloggers, but looking to get an independent view of the value of their services. As an infrequent flyer on long-haul premium class, I don't find the fees these sort of groups charge to be outrageous (for the value of their knowledge vs my limited knowledge)....but I suspect some are better cost/value deals than others.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by tex1721 View Post
For the upgrade, did you just pay the difference between J and F in miles? i.e. I think J is like 200K miles one way, while F is 272K (for 2 people)... so just would need 72K miles transferred over. Was it a very straightforward process, 2 weeks out? (i.e. online or call).
Only needed to pay the difference in miles. Done by phone and just make sure to talk to the mileage plus desk if they try to ask for more miles (they tried on one occasion but then corrected it). They were extremely helpful over the phone especially as I had a very weak internet signal on one occasion while calling from a remote area in Africa.

Last edited by dwugson; Jan 10, 21 at 11:04 am Reason: Additional info
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Old Jan 10, 21, 11:09 am
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IME, finding two F seats from NA to DXB is not that difficult if you are flexible as to date and gateway. Use EK.com and the calendar function.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Brostman View Post
I was wondering if you had any experience with using any of the website companies that monitor and/or help with booking award redemptions.... I have read about several via FT and various bloggers, but looking to get an independent view of the value of their services. As an infrequent flyer on long-haul premium class, I don't find the fees these sort of groups charge to be outrageous (for the value of their knowledge vs my limited knowledge)....but I suspect some are better cost/value deals than others.
I don't have individual experience, but I think they would offer you value if you have a lot of different miles across different programs and were looking to go to one destination or area by maximizing those miles. If you're just looking to fly EK in first, after April, your only option will be Emirates's own program. You can just search for availability on the Emirates website. Those redemption companies may be able to set up ExpertFlyer alerts on your behalf to book F seats when they come available, which you may find useful, but you could also just sign up for your own ExpertFlyer account and do that yourself at a cheaper rate.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by steveholt View Post
I don't have individual experience, but I think they would offer you value if you have a lot of different miles across different programs and were looking to go to one destination or area by maximizing those miles. If you're just looking to fly EK in first, after April, your only option will be Emirates's own program. You can just search for availability on the Emirates website. Those redemption companies may be able to set up ExpertFlyer alerts on your behalf to book F seats when they come available, which you may find useful, but you could also just sign up for your own ExpertFlyer account and do that yourself at a cheaper rate.
For a few months now, ExpertFlyer have not been showing EK award availability. I have asked if they can tell me when this Ďtechnical problem is expected to be resolved and they canít tell. I think that is a really poor show and although I am (or rather was) an enthusiastic EF customer I have now suspended my subscription. The drawback is that I now canít see if / when the problem will be resolved so I would be grateful if someone can warn me when all is good again.
In the meantime, donít spend your money if award / upgrade availability on EK (and as far as I understand a few other airlines as well) is your main reason to subscribe.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 11:24 pm
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Originally Posted by steveholt View Post
I don't have individual experience, but I think they would offer you value if you have a lot of different miles across different programs and were looking to go to one destination or area by maximizing those miles. If you're just looking to fly EK in first, after April, your only option will be Emirates's own program. You can just search for availability on the Emirates website. Those redemption companies may be able to set up ExpertFlyer alerts on your behalf to book F seats when they come available, which you may find useful, but you could also just sign up for your own ExpertFlyer account and do that yourself at a cheaper rate.
Thanks for the input. I would be transferring miles into EK's program, as that would seem to be the best chance to book award redemptions versus getting them through a partner's program (which in these times is not likely to happen)... I have been considering an EF account, and so I will look at that more closely.
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