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Emirates is currently offering discounted first-class fares to many of the airline’s destinations worldwide, including Milan (MXP), Dubai (DXB) and Bangkok (BKK). As part of this promo, you can get up to an additional $500 off the price of a round-trip first-class ticket to many destinations when you book by January 17 and travel by June 30, 2017. In order to receive your additional discount, make sure you enter promo code EKFIRST when you’re making your flight selections.

Even with the additional $500 discount, the prices we’ve been seeing on Emirates’ site are pricey to say the least. On the airline’s fifth-freedom route between New York (JFK) and Milan (MXP), you’d have to pay $4,592 for the round-trip itinerary, even after the discount is applied.


Prices go up rapidly from there — a round-trip first-class ticket between New York (JFK) and Dubai (DXB) will cost you a staggering $13,194 if you were to pay in cash.


If you want to fly in opulence but don’t like the idea of shelling out several thousand dollars to do so, there are several ways to use points and miles to book this super-luxurious experience for just a little bit of money out-of-pocket. Ever since Alaska’s major devaluation for Emirates awards, your best option for booking first-class Emirates awards is to use Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles, which can be transferred from Starwood Preferred Guest at a 1:1 ratio.

Instead of paying thousands of dollars, you could use just 100,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles (80,000 Starpoints) for a first-class award between JFK and Milan, and 135,000 JAL miles (110,000 Starpoints) for a first-class trip between JFK and Dubai. JAL’s mileage levels are already lower than most other Emirates partner airlines, and the 5,000-mile bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer make the awards an even better value.

Have you experienced Emirates’ first class?

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Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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