Snag a last-minute seat in Emirates’ A380 first class for 52k points plus fees

Sep 29, 2019

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Have you been craving a shower in the sky? Are you flexible for last-minute bookings, and maybe have an extra 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards hanging around? Well, then you’re in luck, as Emirates makes its very first trip to Cairo with an A380 this October.

As first reported by Paddle Your Own Kanoo, the airline is planning on operating a one-off A380 roundtrip from Dubai to Cairo on October 2, with hopes that the route will become permanent. This move comes in line with Emirates adding four new weekly routes at the end the month, bringing the total to a whopping 25 per week.

Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy
Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy

This is some pretty exciting news for those of us who have been eyeing Emirates’ first class but haven’t yet been able to afford it. Though it’s not cheap, first class cash fares ring in at $1500 from Cairo (CAI) to Dubai (DXB), and $3300 the other way around (DXB-CAI).

The route is normally operated by the 777, which, while amazing, doesn’t offer the onboard shower and bar (even the new 777 first-class is missing these). And while the flight will take less than four hours, which isn’t too much time to enjoy all the amenities, it’s four times longer than Emirates’ shortest A380 route, which flies Dubai to Muscat and comes in at a minuscule 45 minutes.

Luckily for us, Emirates Skywards are currently available on this route, and are available for just 52,000 miles and $282 in fees:

You can transfer American Express® Membership Rewards to Emirates at a 1:1 ratio, which means this award will cost you just 53,000 MR. This is far less than the regular cost of hopping on one of these babies, and an excellent redemption value of nearly 3.0 cents each for your Membership Rewards, as TPG values MR at 2.0 cents/point. The same can be said of Chase Ultimate Rewards, which transfer at a 1:1 ratio and which TPG values at 2.0 cents each. Capital One also transfers to Emirates, though it’s at a 2:1 ratio, so you’re better off using American Express or Chase points if you’ve got them.

JAL miles are the easiest way to try out Emirates' A380 on board shower
Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy

Overall, this is a really cool offer. Though currently just a one-off event, if things go well we can hopefully see the A380 operating on this route in the future. If so, this could be a new sweet spot for booking that sweet, sweet onboard shower.

Feature photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy

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