I’M SO EXCITED!!!
I first wrote about the great first class fares that Emirates published out of Canada last night. Then just a short while ago I wrote about an even better fare, from Toronto to Milan via Dubai for ~2,900USD roundtrip (all credit goes to zoqfotpik for finding these). That’s the cheapest legitimate Emirates first class fare I’ve ever seen.
Long story short, that fare gets even better. A similar fare is available out of most airports in Canada, and you can route via the US. For ~3,170USD I just booked an Emirates first class ticket from Vancouver to Los Angeles to Dubai to Milan and back the same way — the four longhaul flights are in Emirates A380 first class, while the flights between Vancouver and Los Angeles are in WestJet economy.
For this trip I’ll be earning:
- 15,850 Membership Rewards points (5x points on airfare by paying with The Platinum Card® from American Express), which I value at ~270USD
- 101,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles, which I value at ~2,020USD (I’m an MVP Gold member and am earning 450% redeemable miles)
In other words, on a ~3,170USD ticket I’m earning ~2,300USD worth of points. The way I view it, the real “cost” of this ticket is around $870. Oh, and I get to spend 45 hours in Emirates first class.
If you’re interested in booking a similar ticket, note that you can route via most US gateways, as long as you can fly WestJet from Canada to that gateway. There’s nothing the airline can do to force you to take that last segment, so if you don’t want to take that last flight back to Canada, it’s up to you.
So, how can you book this ticket? To start, you’ll need to book directly on emirates.com using the multi-city search tool. Enter each segment separately, and select economy for the segments that are operated by WestJet, and first class for the segments operated by Emirates.
Then you’ll have to select each segment individually. The key to getting this to price is that you must select the WestJet coded flight option between Canada and the US. Only select flights that are marketed and operated by WestJet. While you’ll be presented with other options, the ticket won’t price if you select them. For example, for me it showed the two below options, and it won’t price if you select the codeshare option (in this case a China Airlines codeshare operated by WestJet). This only works if you select the flight marketed and operated by WestJet. I’m saying this over and over because I think this is where a lot of people will get hung up.
After selecting all the flights, you should find the correct fare, and be able to book on Emirates’ website.
The best part is that you can book the first WestJet segment on a date prior to the rest of the trip, which means you can get that out of the way a week early (or whatever), and then start your trip from a US gateway.
The fare comes with complimentary Emirates chauffeur service at your US gateway and in Milan on both arrival and departure, so you can get quite a bit of value there. You can also score a free layover hotel if you have a long connection in Dubai.
So if you’re interested, head over to emirates.com to book.
Let me also acknowledge that on one hand I had a really hard time paying over $3,000 for a ticket. The only time I’ve ever spent that much on a ticket is when I flew the Etihad Residence. However, I’m also a numbers guy, and as much as spending that much money sucks, I’m also earning nearly 120,000 points, which is incredible. When all is said and done, my out of pocket (as I calculate it) is less than if I were flying economy from Los Angeles to Milan.
Anyone else taking advantage of these amazing Emirates first class values?