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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.

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.