Trip Report: Zurich to Dubai in Emirates A380 First Class

Trip Report Index

Emirates Lounge Zurich
Emirates A380 First Class from Zurich to Dubai
Emirates Lounge Dubai
Emirates A380 First Class from Dubai to Houston

Emirates 88
Zurich (ZRH) – Dubai (DXB)
Depart: 3:35 PM on September 8, 2015
Arrive: 11:45 PM
Duration: 6 hours, 10 minutes
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 1A (First Class)

I was the last passenger to leave the Emirates Lounge in Zurich, and I was the last to board in First Class, about 20 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Trip Report: Emirates Lounge Zurich

Emirates Lounge Zurich
Emirates A380 First Class from Zurich to Dubai
Emirates Lounge Dubai
Emirates A380 First Class from Dubai to Houston

Last Tuesday I flew from Zurich to Dubai in First Class on the Emirates A380. As with all premium cabin international tickets, including award tickets, I got lounge access as part of my ticket.

Emirates operates lounges in many of the cities that it serves including Zurich.

TRICK: How to Still Get Free Chauffeur Service on Your Emirates First or Business Class Award

Emirates offers First and Business Class passengers free chauffeur service to and from the airport. I took advantage with rides to Auckland's airport and from Sydney's airport in 2013.

Starting in January 2015, Emirates restricted chauffeur service to First and Business Class passengers whose tickets were issued by Emirates or Qantas.

The best way for travel hackers to book Emirates First and Business Class ticket is with Alaska Airlines miles, meaning Alaska issues the ticket. That means, by the rules, no chauffeur service.

TRICK: How to Still Get Free Chauffeur Service on Your Emirates First or Business Class Award

Emirates offers First and Business Class passengers free chauffeur service to and from the airport. I took advantage with rides to Auckland's airport and from Sydney's airport in 2013.

Starting in January 2015, Emirates restricted chauffeur service to First and Business Class passengers whose tickets were issued by Emirates or Qantas.

The best way for travel hackers to book Emirates First and Business Class ticket is with Alaska Airlines miles, meaning Alaska issues the ticket. That means, by the rules, no chauffeur service.

Alaska Airlines Statement on the Blocking of Emirates First Class Award Space

Emirates First Class is not bookable with Alaska Airlines miles for flights past March 28, 2015. There has been a workaround, but I think all Alaska agents have gotten the memo not to use it.

I reached out to Alaska Airlines for a statement on what's going on. This is from a spokeswoman for Alaska:
It’s not a glitch. Emirate awards show in our system if there are a minimum of three seats available per flight. The minimum threshold is due to the connection in place between Emirates and our shopping system vendor.

Updated: How to Book Emirates First Class with Alaska Miles Beyond March 28

Update 2/18/15: I cancelled my award reservation in Emirates First Class using Alaska miles. I was invited to a wedding that changed my plans. I tried to change my reservation to different dates.

I called up and asked for the change.

Amazing Emirates First Class Award Space from SFO/IAH to Dubai

Emirates is releasing two First Class seats on its A380 flights from San Francisco and Houston to Dubai on a ton of days in Winter 2015.

My flight in Emirates First Class was my favorite ever because of the over-the-top service and amenities, like two onboard shower spas.

Emirates First: Chauffeur Service
Pre-Departure Services and Emirates Club Auckland
Emirates First: Suite, Seat, and Bed
Emirates First: Service and Food
Emirates First: Shower Spa

At the MileValue dinner, when I shared these five tips, a reader (wish I could remember a name for credit here) shared the tip that Emirates First

Three Emirates First Class Showers for 100k Alaska Airlines Miles

You can take up to three showers in the First Class Shower Spa onboard Emirates A380s on a single award that costs only 100,00 Alaska Airlines miles.

Best Program to Redeem Miles for Emirates First Class

Update: See the comments for reports that fuel surcharges are being collected by JAL on Emirates flights.

Yesterday I panned the Emirates frequent flyer program for its exorbitant miles prices and fuel surcharges to enjoy Emirates Business and First Class.

But flying Emirates First Class on an A380 is awesome--there's an onboard shower and bar--so I want to give everyone the cheapest ways to use miles to put a truly luxury experience within reach.

Fully Flat Bed in Your Emirates First Class Suite

There are two programs that offer Emirates First Class and Business Class

Emirates A380 First Class: Shower Spa

Chauffeur Service

Pre-Departure Services and Emirates Club Auckland

Emirates First: Suite, Seat, and Bed

Emirates First: Service and Food

Emirates First: Shower Spa

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Emirates 413
Auckland (AKL) – Sydney (SYD)
Depart: 6:40 PM on Saturday, January 12
Arrive: 8:05 PM
Duration: 3:25
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 3A (First Class)

There's one reason why Emirates First Class on an A380 is famous: the on board shower.