Emirates has been making quite a few adjustments to their US flights lately.
In July Emirates will be taking the A380 off the Houston to Dubai route, replacing it with a 777. As of the same date, Emirates is adding a second daily A380 flight to Los Angeles. Emirates will also seasonally be downgrading their Dallas to Dubai route to a 777, though I wouldn’t be surprised it that downgrade sticks, given that it’s among the most poorly performing North American routes for the “big three” Gulf carriers.
Well here’s a new aircraft “upgrade” announcement. Emirates will launch Airbus A380 flights between Washington Dulles and Dubai as of February 1, 2016. This replaces the existing Boeing 777-300ER operating the route, and represents a sizable capacity increasing.
The flight will continue to operate with the following schedule:
EK231 Dubai to Washington departing 2:20AM arriving 8:15AM
EK232 Washington to Dubai departing 10:15AM arriving 8:00AM (+1 day)
On one hand it’s surprising they’re upgrading this route with only a couple of weeks notice. On the other hand, they’re launching the A380 flight less than a week after United is discontinuing their flight between Washington and Dubai. The nail in the coffin for United was that the GSA awarded the contract for the Washington to Dubai route for 2016 to JetBlue, through their codeshare flight with Emirates.
Emirates’ President had the following to say about the service adjustment:
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Our service to Washington D.C. has been one of our most successful and profitable routes, with high demand across all cabin classes. Despite strong seat load factors, United has made the decision to withdraw from the route. The additional seats offered by our A380 will therefore restore capacity on the route, and ensure that American consumers and international travellers wishing to visit D.C. for business or leisure will continue to be served. We look forward to offering the award-winning Emirates A380 experience to our customers, and to continue contributing to the economic success of the city and its surrounding regions.”
To put what he’s trying to say another way:
This aircraft change represents a nice upgrade for both first & business class passengers.
Emirates has a similar first class product on both the 777 and A380, though the 777 has only eight seats, while the A380 has 14 seats.
Emirates A380 first class cabin
Emirates 777 first class cabin
The major difference is that 777 first class doesn’t have a shower suite, and also doesn’t have an onboard bar (which both first & business class passengers have access to).
Emirates A380 first class shower suite
Emirates A380 bar
For business class passengers, Emirates has fully flat seats with direct aisle access in business class on the A380.
Emirates A380 business class
Meanwhile on the 777 they have angled seats with seven seats per row, meaning there’s a middle seat in business class.
Emirates 777 business class
This is great news for travelers. On one hand I’m sort of surprised by the route upgrade, since this flight rarely seemed to be full. Even with the new GSA contract, the 777 still likely wouldn’t have been full all the time. Still, Emirates has a lot of A380s to “play” with, so I’m not surprised to see the route upgraded.
Award availability on the route was excellent to begin with, and I suspect it will only get better with the A380 flying it.
Are you excited to see Emirates fly the A380 to Washington Dulles?
We changec, no problem at all. Based on comments here and flyertalk, folks have been placed into first on the 777. Only issue unknown is if there are more bookings than seats available. Not a big issue this far in advance.
So if I book an Alaska redemption for FC on Emirates DFW-DXB for this fall, with the main intent being to fly the A380, and we later learn that this temporary aircraft downgrade becomes permanent, will it be possible to change my award booking to a different route with the A380 (e.g, DC) so long as there is availability? Also, it sounds like from some of the other comments, if downgraded to 777, my booking would remain a FC booking on the 777, correct? Thanks.
@ jcsatt -- Well Alaska allows changes and cancellations for free up until 60 days before departure. Within that timeframe it's $125 per person. An aircraft type technically isn't enough reason to get a fee waived, but if you get a sympathetic agent it's not out of the question.
@Lucky - This is my Taylor Swift crazed fan moment.... well, not for Taylor Swift but for Emirates *finally* bringing the A380 to DC! I just wish they were releasing premium award space! I've checked a couple of dates already to no avail. Any ideas?
How easy is it to change an Emirates award ticket booked with Alaska Airlines miles?
We have JFK-MXP-DXB-BOM booked in F in August (two legs on the A380), but IAD-DXB-BOM would be way better. With our current itin we have to book a positioning flight.
re: changing Alaska/Emirates flight. Easy stuff. You can actually do it online, assuming there are seats avail. You can try a new booking at AK and see. If so, do the change. Easy stuff.
Lucky, any more details regarding EK "seasonally" downgrading DFW-DXN to a 777? I have booked a First Class award seat for that route in september, with the main intention of flying on the A380!!!! Any suggestions? Thank you!!
re: Gary - Looks like it was some sort of temporary issue - it shows I've been move to FC now. Curiously Alaska hasn't registered the change of equipment yet - only see it under EK's site.
So considering I have an AS J redemption BKK-DXB-DFW for the A380 in November '16, what should I do? Any ideas about how to talk to Alaska about this one if I do decide to switch it?
I'm sure this is not only to flip the bird at United, but in preparation of flying all of JetBlue's pax around for them.
When are the "seasonal" downgrades for the DFW-Dubai route? I was planning on a redemption soon but want to be sure its A380.
re: Seasonal DFW - this article says it will be back Sept 1st. NOBODY knows for positive of course. http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/aviation/sky-talk-blog/article53118525.html
Same here; We have 2 FC and 1 BC seat on EK in August, we've also been moved to a 777. The seats are still the same though. (Except for the angled seat in bc that is)
re: Tim - DFW on AK. We have/had a FC on Emirates. EK moved us over to the 777 in late March, still in First. Not sure why they would take you out of first. Does not make sense if you had a reservation and seats are available.
Curious to what you find.
As I read this I checked my DFW First Class reservation to see it's been downgraded to Business Class and no more FC availability exists despite the plane having many empty FC revenue seats available. Anyone have experience talking to Alaska Miles about this? What a huge disappointment.
As someone else said, that 380 came from the DFW route.
Interesting, as of today, Expert Flyer shows the 380 from Dulles, but no first class seats awards available.
(we are booked from DFW in first in March which now is the 777 vs a380 and might switch to Dulles)
Lufthansa - come on, bring the 380 to IAD. With BA, EK and AF all bringing the 380, time to bring LH 380 to IAD !
How can US-based flyers book Emirates awards? I know they partner with Alaska, but unfortunately I don't have any Alaska miles so I'm wondering what other possibilities there might be. Either way, I'm excited to see another A380 at my home airport.
PS: Off topic, Lucky, did you see this:
I just don't get why Emirates is still flying with those angled seats (personally, I am fine with the middle seat, but not to be able to lie flat, with all the PR they do?!). I love their soft product, but the 777 needs to be updated quickly, IMO.
I agree w/ @Adam's comment above...Definite middle finger action here...I Guess I will finally have to give in and burn some points to try them since IAD is in my backyard...
Please disregard the last one I have Etihad on the brain when I read Emirates..... Opps! Your welcome to delete so I don't look the fool. :)
I still see 789 on that route, are they running a second AUH-IAD? Or will they replace the existing 789? I don't see a 777 there? Am I missing something?
I get the feeling this is less about the need for capacity and more about flipping the bird to United. Either way, I think it's great.