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Why you should expect Emirates premium fares to get cheaper

March 09, 2021
3 min read
Why you should expect Emirates premium fares to get cheaper
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Like most other airlines around the world, Emirates believes that business travel will take the longest to recover. But instead of waiting for it to return, Emirates is changing how it approaches leisure travelers in order to maximize on ramping up capacity.

Speaking during a panel at ITB Berlin on Tuesday, Emirates President Tim Clark detailed that the airline will target high-end leisure travelers in order to fill up the seats that were once typically filled by business travelers.

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The inventory that had been allocated to high-paying business travelers for whom money wasn't an issue has been adjusted to target "higher-end leisure travelers," Clark said.

"They want flat beds and service," Clark said. "[We will] adjust our price points to encourage leisure travelers to travel."

It's not the average leisure traveler Emirates is targeting. Instead, it's looking at the luxury leisure traveler who will dish out a bit more cash for a much more luxe experience. In other words, don't expect to be able to fly Emirates first class for the price of an American Airlines economy ticket to the same destination.

As an airline that operates only a fleet of widebody aircraft — Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s — it's got plenty of seats to fill.

Dubai-based Emirates is known for its flashy on board offering — especially in its new premium, business and first-class cabins. The airline's new first-class product — referred to as the "gamechanger" — is widely regarded as one of the best in the sky.

Related: What it’s like flying Emirates first class during the pandemic

From New York to Dubai, you can currently find return flights in first class from about $14,000 for mid-summer travel, while business class tends to hover around the $4,500 mark return. The airline first began flying its new premium economy product to London earlier this year. At this point, it's not flying to the U.S.

Based on Google Flights' built-in price-tracking feature, the fares in business-class are lower than average. It's unclear just how much lower those fares may fall in the coming weeks and months.

(Image courtesy of Google Flights)

According to an annual report by the Global Business Travel Association, the business travel sector isn't expected to fully recover until 2025.

Also at ITB Berlin on Tuesday, Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith detailed that the group is working on a similar timeline, believing that business travel will take three to four years to recover.

In November 2020, Emirates posted a $3.4 billion loss in the first six months of the year. The airline temporarily suspended operations at the height of the pandemic, and since, it's been slow to resume its route network.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
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  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases