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Alaska Airlines has massively devalued its award charts to fly Emirates with zero notice. That’s devastating because Alaska miles were the best way to book Emirates A380 First Class, my second favorite product behind Etihad A380 First Class.

Emirates is most famous for having showers and bars on the A380 for First Class passengers.

Until yesterday, you could book Emirates First Class at slightly expensive/kind of reasonable prices:

  • USA to Dubai: 90,000 Alaska miles one way in First Class
  • USA to Dubai to Asia/Africa/Europe: 100,000 Alaska miles one way in First Class (2-4 flights total)

Say bye-bye to those those prices. Today, Emirates First Class prices have gone up 67%-100%.

  • USA to Middle East/India: 150,000 Alaska miles one way
  • USA to rest of Asia or Europe: 180,000 Alaska miles one way
  • USA to Africa: 200,000 Alaska miles one way

Business Class prices were also gutted, though that’s less of a blow to me personally. Here are the full charts for Africa and Asia. Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.59.25 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.59.33 AM

Emirates has apparently forgotten to update its Europe award chart. It still shows the old prices.
Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.57.10 AMDon’t get too excited. Not only do new higher prices apply to Emirates First Class awards to Europe that connect in Dubai…

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.56.50 AM

…but the same 180,000 miles one way applies to the nonstop route from JFK to Milan that is just over seven hours in the air.
Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.58.27 AM

So the current Emirates award chart to Europe is a lie. Ordinarily I wouldn’t do anything about it, but if you think a no-notice devaluation is as much horse***t as I do, especially when aggressively selling its miles at a discount simultaneously, then you might want to call Alaska to book Emirates awards to Europe and point phone agents to the posted award chart if they try to charge you 180,000 miles one way.

How to Fight Back

You should tweet @AlaskaAir with your displeasure. They will notice, and I think will be far less likely to make a no-notice devaluation in the future. If you aren’t feeling creative, just retweet my tweet.

Best Way to Book Emirates First Class Now

Japan Airlines miles, transfer partner of SPG Starpoints. I’ll have more on this option soon.

Bottom Line

Devaluations stink.

Major devaluations stink more. (Please do it the Aeroplan way of small yearly devaluations with a few months notice instead.)

No-notice major devaluation stink the most.

They are plainly unethical. For weeks Alaska has been selling its miles with a bonus to entice you to buy. This is a revenue stream in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually for them.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.15.13 PM

The implied promise is that you buy the miles and redeem them at the stated award chart prices, and then those prices change with no warning. I am sure someone got caught out on this sale with the no-notice Emirates devaluation, and that is slimy as all get out, Alaska.

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