Emirates Skywards Surprise Devaluation: Up To 99% Increase

Emirates Skywards Surprise Devaluation: Up To 99% Increase

As first mentioned by Monkey Miles last Friday, the Emirates Skywards program has devaluated the award costs to redeem a seat. This change will greatly impact the number of miles needs to redeem for up to 99%.

Emirates Skywards Horrible Award Devaluations

When airlines or hotel programs decide they will devaluate their mileage system, they notify customers or the public in advance by email or any means of communication. But Emirates pulled up one of the worst Christmas gifts ever on the Skywards program devaluation.

How terrible was the program communicated with regard to the devaluation? Emirates made members confused where the mileage calculator and the booking page showed different numbers of miles required.

Then, Emirates sent out members an email about the press statement however, the details were like this:

“In line with current market conditions, Emirates Skywards is introducing an increase on Skywards Miles required for Upgrade Rewards and Classic Rewards booked in Business Class and First Class. The increase will be gradually introduced on reward tickets across the Emirates network between 22 December 2022 and 31 January 2023.

To reduce the impact of this change on our most loyal customers, we will be increasing the bonus Skywards Miles earning opportunities for all Platinum, Gold and Silver members travelling with Emirates.

On all Emirates flights booked from 31 January 2023 onwards, Skywards Platinum members will earn a further 100% of the Economy Flex+ Miles earned on a given route (increasing from 75%); Skywards Gold members will earn 75% of the Economy Flex+ Miles earned on a given route (increasing from 50%); and Skywards Silver Members will earn 30% of the Economy Flex+ Miles earned on a given route (increasing from 25%).                                                                                                             

For more information on earning and spending Skywards Miles and to view the Miles calculator, please visit emirates.com/skywards.”

Based on the statement above, the statement mentions Skywards miles increasing for upgrades and rewards but the problem is it was notified after the changes. On top of that, all members were not informed.

Emirates Skywards Devaluations

So how badly did this award devaluation affect? I have searched some of the redemption costs by using the Skywards calculator and this has become absurd. Here are some samples of how many miles are required after the change.

Before the change, a one-way flight from Milan to New York on Emirates first class cost 85,000 miles but look at how much it increased to now – 168,750! That’s nearly a double increase. Other destinations such as Dubai to Los Angeles increased from 155,000 miles to 186,000 miles.

Not only first class award seats devaluated, but the business class is as well. For example, a one-way business class award from Dubai to Los Angeles increased from 131,250 miles to 157,500 miles.

Since Emirates notified us that the devaluations will be over the course of five weeks, I believe more routes will be affected soon.

What I Think About The Skywards Devaluation

Award devaluation is something the majority of frequent flyers hate. From the Emirates’ point of view, the airline possibly wants customers to fly more on full-fare tickets in order to redeem award tickets, maximizing profit as much as possible. That is why the program is increasing the number of miles earned but still, it is limited to the Flex+ tickets and based on membership tiers.

With this, those who redeem miles with Skywards will need to research more to maximize the mileage use before redeeming premium award tickets. On the other hand, it might be better value to redeem Emirates with partner mileage programs like JAL Mileage Bank or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Summary

Emirates Skywards program potentially pulled off the worst devaluation strategy ever. Not only were the miles required between 20% to 99%, but the communications with Skywards members were failing. I understand that with the increase in award cost, Emirates is increasing its earning rate and the airline wants more passengers to fly instead of transferring points to miles. But I think this devaluation is quite ridiculous.

We would still need to wait as this change is gradually happening for the next five weeks. Let’s wait and see how far the devaluation or changes will be made.

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