I’ve been in the points game for almost a decade, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never had the luxury of experiencing an Emirates flight. Not in economy, not in business, and definitely not in first, so to say flying on the Emirates A380 has been on the bucket list is an understatement.
My family is headed on a big South East Asia / India trip in April, and one of our flight segments is between Bangkok and Hong Kong. Sure, there are plenty of options, but what really piqued my interest was the Emirates fifth freedom flight between Bangkok (BKK) and Hong Kong (HKG).
As I was shopping for flights, not only was Emirates the best option in terms of departure time (we have an 8pm flight to Delhi to catch from Hong Kong), I noticed very reasonably-priced business class flights to Hong Kong on their A380.
It’s a short 3 hour and 5 minute flight, but I said, “what the heck?”, this is an opportune time to “splurge” on a special birthday flight and get to experience something that’s been aspirational to me forever.
Instead of figuring out award space, I decided to redeem a total of 99,016 Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5x using my Chase Sapphire Reserve to outright buy the 4 flights, which works out to a little under 25,000 points per person for a paid A380 Emirates business class flight (and we’ll actually be able to earn miles back by flying).
The great thing about Emirates (and a number of other foreign carriers) is that tickets for children 2-11 years old traveling in a separate seat are discounted from the full adult fare. In my case, the kids were about $100 cheaper, almost a 25% discount. That little surprise discount was icing on the cake and helped me to internally validate the bougie redemption.
As of October 1, 2017, EK 384 is a two-cabin flight featuring 58 flatbed business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and 557 (!) economy seats. The Emirates (EK) A380 business class cabin features spacious seats which offer 48-inch pitch, 79-inches in bed length, and an 18.5-inch width. Each seat also features a personal minibar stocked with soft drinks.
It’s definitely a quick flight, but long enough for me to take it all in. I’m excited to experience a full meal service, the novelty of playing family games of UNO while sipping drinks in the swanky center bar, and earning Alaska Airlines miles. Unfortunately, itineraries that are exclusively between Bangkok and Hong Kong or Bangkok and Phnom Penh are not eligible for Emirates’ complimentary chauffeur-drive.
The marvel of being upstairs on a double decker jumbo jet will never cease to amaze me, and it’s redemptions like these that remind me to never underestimate the possibilities of buying business class flights with points.
Bougie? Hell yeah. But it’s OK to splurge and redeem in ways that make you happy. YOLO!
Have you used your points to book Emirates A380 business class before? Feel free to share you experiences below!