Intriguing Emirates Skywards+ Subscription Plans

Intriguing Emirates Skywards+ Subscription Plans

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There are quite a few airline frequent flyer programs that offer some sort of a paid subscription model. In some cases they can represent a decent deal, while in other cases they’re the equivalent of lighting money on fire (like Southwest Airlines’ version). Emirates is the latest airline to roll out something like this, and it has the potential to be pretty lucrative.

Emirates Skywards+ subscription details

With Skywards+, Emirates Skywards members can pay an annual membership fee ranging from $399 to $999 in order to receive benefits, ranging from lounge access, to extra baggage allowance, to discounts on upgrades and award tickets.

This could represent an excellent deal, regardless of whether you’re a very frequent Emirates flyer, or just fly with the airline every once in a while. If you redeem for the right kind of award ticket, this could pay for itself after one trip.

Let’s go over the details of each of the plans (for the exact details associated with each perk, check out the terms & conditions).

Skywards+ Classic — $399 per year

An Emirates Skywards+ Classic membership costs $399 per year, and includes the following perks:

  • 20% bonus Skywards miles every time you fly, with no caps
  • 20% discount on Skywards Classic Rewards, once per year
  • Preferential Cash+Miles rate, when you pay part cash and part miles for your ticket
  • Two Emirates Business Lounge passes, valid in Dubai and select Emirates lounges around the world
  • Additional 5kg of baggage allowance
Get a 20% discount on award tickets with a subscription

Skywards+ Advanced — $699 per year

An Emirates Skywards+ Advanced membership costs $699 per year, and includes the following perks:

  • 20% bonus Skywards miles every time you fly, with no caps
  • 20% discount on Skywards Classic Rewards, once per year
  • 20% discount on Skywards Upgrade Rewards, with no caps
  • Preferential Cash+Miles rate, when you pay part cash and part miles for your ticket
  • Five Emirates Business Lounge passes, valid in Dubai and select Emirates lounges around the world
  • Additional 10kg of baggage allowance, plus an additional piece of baggage
Get Emirates Business Lounge passes with a subscription

Skywards+ Premium — $999 per year

An Emirates Skywards+ Premium membership costs $999 per year, and includes the following perks:

  • 20% bonus Skywards Tier Miles every time you fly, with no caps (which makes it easier to earn status)
  • 20% bonus Skywards miles every time you fly, with no caps
  • 20% discount on Skywards Classic Rewards, once per year
  • 20% discount on Skywards Upgrade Rewards, with no caps
  • Preferential Cash+Miles rate, when you pay part cash and part miles for your ticket
  • 10 Emirates Business Lounge passes, valid in Dubai and select Emirates lounges around the world
  • Additional 10kg of baggage allowance, plus an additional piece of baggage
Get a 20% discount on upgrade awards with a subscription

Is an Emirates Skywards+ subscription worth it?

I’m impressed by how thoughtfully designed the perks are for Emirates Skywards+ subscriptions. I’d say that in many cases the value proposition here is really good, regardless of whether you’re a frequent or occasional Emirates flyer.

Let me call out one perk in particular. Regardless of which plan you purchase, you receive a one-time 20% discount on an award ticket. This applies to all people traveling on a single booking, it applies for award tickets in all classes of service, and you can use it for a one-way or roundtrip.

Just to give an example, a roundtrip Emirates first class award ticket from Newark to Athens costs 170,000 miles. If you got 20% back, you’d be refunded 34,000 Skywards miles… I’d value those miles at right around $400, which is the cost of the cheapest subscription.

Now, imagine if you have two people in a single booking in first class, or if you have a family of four traveling on business class awards. The value of this is massive. I would say that if you redeem 200,000+ Skywards miles in a single redemption, then signing up for a subscription should be a no-brainer.

Then there are the other perks as well:

A subscription could be worth it for the award discount alone

Bottom line

The Emirates Skywards+ subscription plans offer perks in exchange for an annual membership fee. In reality this is a complement to the Emirates Skywards program, rather than a replacement. I’m impressed by the value proposition of Emirates’ subscription plans, in particular the discount on award tickets. A single redemption for multiple people could quickly recoup the cost of membership, and then some.

I know before I make my next expensive Emirates award redemption I’ll be joining the Skywards+ program.

What do you make of the Emirates Skywards+ subscription model? Anyone plan on joining?

Conversations (16)
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  1. tony7

    I tried the lowest tier membership and it will only allow 1 adult per booking when using the 20% miles discount. Either their website is not configured correctly or the promotion is highly misleading/unethical. if the latter I will cancel and demand reimbursement. Why can't anything be easy!

    1. Sash

      I'm having the same issue. I called skywards and they opened a ticket a ticket to look into the issue but i haven't heard back and its been 48 hours. Note that it appears that the previous version of this skywards+ program limited the discount to only 1 traveler based on what I glean from F/T.

    2. Ahmed Radhy

      Could you please update us if you get anything back from them?

  2. roundtree

    Has the annual recurrence of the benefits been confirmed? The details and terms from Emirates.com makes specific reference to "one-time", not "annual".

  3. JB

    Can the Business Class Lounge passes be transferred/gifted to another traveler (for a person on the same reservation as you as well as a person not traveling with you)?

  4. Ahmed Radhy

    I wish Etihad comes up with something like this because I fly with them yearly :-(

  5. UpperDeckJohnny

    Are these benefits in addition to existing tier status?

    For example, is the 10kg extra baggage on top of Gold extra of 16kg?

  6. PDX

    Wonder if this could be applied to an existing points booking for 3?

  7. EC2

    Lucky,

    So the lounge certificates are mainly if one was flying economy? Right? If one is flying business class already they would automatically have lounge access - correct?

    I like the subscriptions. Certainly makes extending ones Skyward miles go further. Makes flying all the way to Dubai more realistic. Between their impeccable service, credit cards, ability to purchase miles, 5th Freedom flights and subscriptions it almost makes me want to center what travel plans I...

    Lucky,

    So the lounge certificates are mainly if one was flying economy? Right? If one is flying business class already they would automatically have lounge access - correct?

    I like the subscriptions. Certainly makes extending ones Skyward miles go further. Makes flying all the way to Dubai more realistic. Between their impeccable service, credit cards, ability to purchase miles, 5th Freedom flights and subscriptions it almost makes me want to center what travel plans I can around Emirates and go all in with Citi, AMEX and Chase URs transfers to them. Yeah not all redemptions are great steals, but they are just looking to be great overall.

    1. Bruno

      Emirates also sells business class special fares (H class) without lounge access. Voucher can be useful for that.

  8. HA

    As a frequent EK flyer/loyalist, I've had Skywards+ subscription for over 2 years. They offered the new subscription plan at 50% off for existing subscribers. Definitely a worthwhile option for anyone in that scenario

  9. David

    Doesn’t sound like a great deal for the Endre, who only pays for his first class tickets.

    1. EC2

      One can still benefit by paying cash for these subscriptions as you can get discounts on upgrades and bonus Skywards miles. But if you don’t travel frequently on Emirates it may not be worth it.

      I’m certain Endre uses miles that he collects thru normal paid airline flights and thru a few credit cards. I think he would say if he chimed in is that his travel doesn’t doesn’t require him to purchase miles...

      One can still benefit by paying cash for these subscriptions as you can get discounts on upgrades and bonus Skywards miles. But if you don’t travel frequently on Emirates it may not be worth it.

      I’m certain Endre uses miles that he collects thru normal paid airline flights and thru a few credit cards. I think he would say if he chimed in is that his travel doesn’t doesn’t require him to purchase miles or collect 2 dozen credit cards for bonuses to travel business or first class. That’s the points game he refers to in his posts - at least the way I interpret his posts. He travel doesn’t revolve around “how can I get there on points.” He goes there on paid tickets and yes collects miles thru those flights. Who wouldn’t?

    2. David

      I interpret his comments as trolling, and mine was tongue in cheek. :)

    3. Alex-King

      Yep, in a world of fake online outrage, we need more tongue-in-cheek Endre comments! Love it.

Featured Comments Load all 16 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Bruno

Emirates also sells business class special fares (H class) without lounge access. Voucher can be useful for that.

David

Doesn’t sound like a great deal for the Endre, who only pays for his first class tickets.

Ahmed Radhy

Could you please update us if you get anything back from them?

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