FlyDubai Is Ending Their Own Loyalty Program & Adopting Emirates Skywards

Around the middle of last year, Emirates and FlyDubai announced that they’d greatly strengthen ties, which is a logical move. The airlines’ fleets complement one another — FlyDubai’s fleet consists exclusively of 737s, while Emirates’ fleet consists of 777s and A380s. 737s can operate to destinations that 777s and A380s can’t operate to, and vice versa.

Add in the fact that both airlines are government owned, and it seemed silly that they didn’t work more closely together. While there have been discussions of them potentially merging, in the end they announced that they wouldn’t. However, they seem to be in the process of doing just about everything short of a full-on merger.

Last fall the two airlines introduced codesharing and reciprocal benefits for passengers, and now they’re integrating in yet another way.

FlyDubai will be discontinuing their OPEN loyalty program as of August 1, 2018, and will be integrating it into Emirates Skywards. FlyDubai actually only introduced their own loyalty program in 2016, and it’s revenue based, so you’re not going to get outsized value from it.

The airlines sure aren’t providing a lot of notice of this change, as the program will be discontinued in just a month. With this change, you’ll be able to earn and redeem Emirates Skywards miles on all FlyDubai flights, in addition to Emirates flights.

Members have until July 31, 2018, to redeem their OPEN points, and if they don’t “there are options to retain the value of your reward points in other ways,” including the option of having your points converted into a voucher valid for travel on FlyDubai.

OPEN Gold members will have their status converted into Emirates Skywards Gold, which seems like a positive development as well.

Bottom line

While on principle I’m not a fan of a loyalty program being discontinued with such little notice, I actually view this as a positive. It will finally be possible to earn and redeem Emirates Skywards miles for travel on all FlyDubai flights, which wasn’t previously the case. While Skywards is far from my favorite frequent flyer program, the OPEN program wasn’t exactly that rewarding either, so I don’t think too many people are losing out here.

Comments

  1. “Add in the fact that both airlines are government owned, and it seemed silly that they didn’t work more closely together.”

    There’s a reason for this. Emirates is regarded as a premium airline, in all its classes, while FlyDubai was created to fight back the emerging of low cost airlines in the Gulf, FlyNas, Jazeera, Airarabia took a lot of short haul business away from Emirates (which is not particularly interested in it). But it made sense to have a low cost airline with a hub in Dubai and it made sense to keep it separate from Emirates although the owner is the same.

  2. So the Maktoum’s own both? When we say “the government” is it the UAE government or Dubai’s?

  3. Hi Lucky,

    This is off topic, but recently it seems the BA website cannot search for AA award space at least domestic – every time the page returns an error message. (Try again later) I tried multiple devices across many days. Not sure if that’s your experience too? Do you know what’s going on?

  4. It would be nice if they would now partner with Alaska, but doubt it as SilkAir never did.

  5. Hi, I had a flight with Flydubai to Riyadh and the SAUDIA back to Dubai. This gave no points and Flydubai says it is because it is interline booking.

    Same with a flight I had Flydubai to Riyadh – then SAUDIA to Jeddah – and Flydubai back to Dubai…no miles.

    Is this normal? Before I got points when I had 1 flight to a destination and used another airline back.

  6. Hi.
    The join between both programs is a fraud for the customers we were using flydubai.

    They say you can earn miles in all flydubai flights when is not true.
    I am tired of claiming miles for flydubai flights and they are not giving me the miles.

    Flydubai says that now you can only earn miles when you book directly with flydubai, that is the excuse they mention to don’t give me the miles.
    But in emirates website you can read that you can earn the miles if you book the flights in emirates.com with a connection flight with flydubai.
    My situation is that I booked the flight in emirates.com but flydubai is not giving me the miles.

    I am fighting with flydubai to get those miles cause I consider the matter as a fraud.

    In any case, if you make a booking through a travel agency, what is usual for people traveling for company issues, you never are allowed to earn the miles.

    Flydubai is harming now their customers. Before you could earn all the miles flew but now is impossible to earn any mile flew with them.

    It would be nice if you make a post about this and try to find out why flydubai is focussed to harm their custormers.

    Regards.

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