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Extremely rare award space from NYC for Emirates' latest first-class suite

Sept. 24, 2020
4 min read
Extremely rare award space from NYC for Emirates' latest first-class suite
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Want to fly one of the very best products in the world? Now's your chance. For a limited time, Emirates has replaced its pre-pandemic A380 flight between New York-JFK and Dubai with a single Boeing 777-300ER.

Best yet, the 777s currently flying this route offer the carrier's best first-class product, complete with floor-to-ceiling walls, a full-length door and pandemic-friendly amenities like video-chat ordering and even a slide-up window that flight attendants can use to deliver your meals.

Flight attendants can deliver meals through a slide-up panel in the side of the suite. Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

While the airline's fleet numbers in the hundreds, just nine Boeing 777-300ERs offer the carrier's latest first-class suite — A6-EQH, A6-EQI, A6-EQJ, A6-EQK, A6-EQL, A6-EQM, A6-EQN, A6-EQO and A6-EQP.

Related: Dubai and Abu Dhabi are open for travelers. Should you go?

Normally, these wide-body Boeings fly between Dubai (DXB) and a handful of destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Tokyo (HND), but for a limited time, Emirates is flying its latest product to New York-JFK, giving U.S. travelers a rare opportunity to experience the airline's fully enclosed suite on a nonstop route to Dubai.

Traditionally, this has been one of the most difficult products to book with miles, but there's actually award availability on the JFK route!

Screenshot courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

In the past, I've booked Emirates first class with Alaska MileagePlan, but there's actually a better option now.

With new drastically lower surcharges through Emirates' own loyalty program, Skywards is now a no-brainer. Plus, instant partner transfers make it possible for many more travelers to experience pure bliss while flying in an extra-safe, self-enclosed private suite.

You can currently transfer points to Skywards at the following rates:

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In fact, it's such a rare, exciting opportunity that I picked the new suite for my very first pandemic-era flight — I transferred points instantly from Amex and Citi and booked a round-trip nonstop award from New York to Dubai for 217,500 miles, plus $360 in taxes and fees, for travel next month.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFPbFS7pi1Z/

Currently, Emirates is scheduled to operate the 777-300ER between JFK and Dubai through March 27, 2021. The easiest way to confirm the aircraft configuration is by searching via ExpertFlyer — our guide will show you how. If you see a total of six suites, you're good to go.

Personally, I prefer suites 1E and 2F. They're in the middle of the plane, but they're considerably larger than those by the windows, and have "virtual windows" — they're super-sharp and look fantastic, adding a ton of appeal to what would otherwise be a windowless suite.

Screenshot courtesy of ExpertFlyer.

As always — especially during the pandemic — it's possible that Emirates could swap in an older aircraft on the JFK route. Fortunately, even the older 777s offer a top-notch first-class cabin. While I'd be a bit disappointed by an aircraft substitution, it wouldn't be grounds to cancel my trip.

Note that all travelers flying to or through Dubai are required to present the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken at most 96 hours before departure. U.S. passport holders don't need a visa to enter Dubai, but some travelers may be required to take a second test upon arrival, and quarantine at their hotel until they receive their results.

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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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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

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740-850
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023