FlyDubai’s Ending Its Loyalty Program to Join Emirates Skywards
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FlyDubai has announced it will be merging its loyalty program with Emirates. Up until now, the low-cost carrier operated its own OPEN rewards program, which will be integrated into Emirates Skywards on August 1.
Last year the two airlines joined together to form a partnership that included codesharing, network and schedule alignments.
Both carriers are owned by the United Arab Emirates government but operate independently. Emirates focuses on long-haul destinations, operating a fleet exclusively of 777s and A380s. FlyDubai flies just narrowbody Boeing 737s, although it has recently introduced lie-flat seats on some of its aircraft.
FlyDubai’s OPEN was a revenue-based program, and those with OPEN Gold status will be able to earn Emirates Skywards Gold status. Now when flying on FlyDubai, you’ll earn Emirates Skywards miles and credit toward Emirates elite status. You’ll also be able to redeem Skywards miles on FlyDubai. Unfortunately, OPEN elite tier points will not be transferred to your Skywards account — essentially you’ll have to start from scratch if you don’t have status on August 1.
If you don’t redeem OPEN miles before August 1, the airline says “there are options for you to retain the value of any reward points you’ve earned.” That includes unredeemed points being automatically converted into a FlyDubai voucher on August 1.
Flights after August 1 that have already been booked with a FlyDubai OPEN number will have their Emirates Skywards membership number take its place.
American Express is a transfer partner with Emirates Skywards, allowing you to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Emirates at a 1:1 ratio. TPG values Skywards miles at 1.2 cents each, and Emirates charges significant fuel surcharges on award tickets, making them less than ideal when redeeming points.
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