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AS award to Dubai on Emirates. Yes, I have questions!
I just made my first ever booking on Emirates (with Alaska miles) so I have a few questions that would really help me and I expect will be easy for you to answer. 🙂
I’m flying SEA-SFO-DBX-LGW; SEA-SFO is AS F and SFO-DBX and DBX-LGW are EK F, both on the A380 with a 2+ day stopover in DBX.
1. I used 100K AS miles for this. While it’s way more miles than the 62.5K I’ve already got confirmed in AA F SEA-DFW-LHR on the 77W, I went ahead and booked this because (a) it will get me to London a day earlier than AA, which I would really like; (b) I’ve always wanted to see Dubai; (c) I’ve always wanted to fly an A380; and (d) I’ve always wanted to fly Emirates first class. In your mind does this justify the extra 37.5K miles and the $150 AA redeposit fee?
2. I’ll have 2 complete days in Dubai (arrive at 7:30pm Sunday night and leave at 8am Wednesday morning). Is this a reasonable amount of time to see Dubai and maybe do something in the desert?
3. What seat would you recommend on the A380 for a single traveler? I’ve currently booked 3A on both SFO-DBX and DBX-LGW. (1A and 2A were taken, the center section seems better for couples, and several of the right side seats were marked for disabled passengers.) I’m sure you’ve stated your favorite seats in EK F on the A380, but I can’t remember what you said. 🙂
4. I was sure I had read on your blog that Emirates no longer gives the chauffeur service on award tickets, yet when I retrieved my reservation it said I had currently reserved 0 of 1 eligible cars between Dubai and the airport and 0 of 1 eligible cars between LGW and central London. However, when I went to book the car from LGW and my hotel in London, it kept saying something like “Error while saving; please try again”. Is this a cryptic way of saying you can’t book a chauffeur on an award, or has that policy changed? I didn’t expect to see anything about eligible cars in my booking and I was surprised to be able to start the booking process.
5. Will I have any trouble accessing the EK F lounge before the flight to LGW? I thought I remember reading that there’s a problem doing that with AS awards. Is their F lounge special in DBX? My flight to LGW is at 8am; will the lounge be open early enough to enjoy it?
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to answer all our questions. Sorry for the long message, but I just wanted to be sure to give you all the details to answer my questions.
@ Todd — Congrats!
2) Yep, you should be able to get a good impression of the city in two days.
3) Any window in row two or three would be my first choice.
4) I’d try calling. Before it wasn’t allowing the option at all, so maybe it works for your booking for whatever reason.
5) There shouldn’t be an issue. It might take an extra minute or two, but that’s it. The lounge should be open a few hours before departure.
Have a blast!
Thanks so much for the super-speedy and helpful response, as always.
One more question (for now) about Dubai… what area would you recommend for someone who’s only going to be there for 2 days? What are your thoughts on the two Hyatts (my bro works for Hyatt so I can probably get a really good rate)? What are the best hotels without worrying about rate?
@ Todd — Dubai is pretty spread out, and there’s not really a best place to be. The Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt are just minutes apart, and are close to the airport. I’d do the Park Hyatt, in your shoes.
Thanks for all the Dubai info. I had mentioned that I was presented with the ability to book chauffeured rides online even for an AS award on EK, but it kept erroring out when I tried to save it. I called as you suggested and played dumb — but the agent pretty quickly said, “Oh, you’re on an Alaska award — this will never work.” He agreed it was pretty silly for the website to let you start booking the chauffeur only to then mysteriously error out, but it sounds like it’s not going to happen. Oh, well.
On another note — have you ever been to Dubai in August? Obviously it’s not the best month to go, but for someone who’s never been and doesn’t know when they’ll get another chance to go, would you still recommend it for a few days? My understanding is that the beaches are totally unsufferable and the sea is way too warm — but can one do enough sightseeing, afternoon tea-ing, and pool lounging to make it fun and worth it?
@ Todd — I have. It’ll be REALLY hot, though the good news is that there’s lots to do indoors in Dubai, so I wouldn’t necessarily avoid it. So while it’ll be rough to be outside, inside it should be nice enough, and there are lots of good deals to be had that time of year.
Hey Ben — thanks for the speedy reply. I don’t expect I’ll want to spend much time shopping, except maybe once just to get a sense of the mega-malls. 🙂 As we discussed earlier, my hope would be to “see” the city — would I be able to do any sightseeing? Will the hotel pools be comfortable, or will they also be steam baths?
@ Todd — They’ll be cool. And a lot of the stuff to “see” in Dubai is malls. There’s not all that much substance to the city!