With the multitude of airlines in the market, choosing which to fly with can be quite a hassle. For a budget-friendly option with awesome perks, do as the slogan says and “Fly Emirates”This recommendation is completely unbiased and me being an Arsenal fan has nothing to do with it – I promise. Not convinced? Here are 7 reasons why you should “Fly Emirates” on your next trip.
1) Extensive Network
Here’s some good news. There’s probably an Emirates flight departing from your nearest airport! Yes. Such is the vastness of Emirates’s flight network. They fly to all major cities amongst others. The airline also has a number of international affiliates so even the most far flung exotic destinations are covered.
2) Competitive Pricing
While Emirates isn’t the cheapest deal on the market, it’s not exactly expensive either. Prices are competitive and tend to fall within the low to average price range. If you still find the price steep, Emirates frequently offer sales & promotional fares. These fares are more often than not one of the cheapest on the market.
Booking a flight directly from Emirates also means you’re getting the best deal at the point of booking. A key feature of Emirates in-house booking system is the *Best Price Guarantee*. If you manage to find an Emirates flight cheaper than the one advertised on the website, Emirates will refund you the difference.
*Cheaper fare must be for the same itinerary and at least 20 USD cheaper. Other terms & conditions apply. Visit the link above for more details.*
3) Economy Class
Economy class passengers form the bulk of travellers today and airlines are starting to take notice. In recent years, many airlines have significantly improved their economy class offerings and Emirates is no exception. In fact, they were one of the first few pioneers to implement it years before the other airlines followed suit.
The seats are comfortable and spacious. Each seat comes with an individual USB port and charging outlet for you to power up your devices.
– On-board Connectivity
Emirates were one of the first few airlines to offer on board connectivity years ago. What used to be exclusive to business & first class passengers is now available to economy class passengers too. WiFi & telephone services are available for a price. From what I remember, the prices were reasonable.
– Food & Beverage
The cuisine served on-board flights is determined by the region/country you’re flying to. You get to discover the country before you land! They also have mainstay favorites amongst the selection. You’ll usually have one from each category to select from. If you have any dietary restrictions/requirements, they’ll cater a special meal for you.
For beverage options, the selection is diverse considering that it’s free. There’s juices, carbonated drinks, tea and coffee from the non-alcoholic menu. Alcoholics will love flying with Emirates. You have a bar on wheels at your service. Beer, aperitifs, wine, whisky, vodka just to name a few. There’s even champagne (at an added cost of course) if you’re feeling fancy!
The food & beverage options on-board are of such quality that I consciously refrain from eating before my flights. I actually look forward to the meals! Definitely one of the highlights of flying with Emirates.
*For a larger cabin & more legroom, fly on the Airbus A380 wherever possible. Also, choose seats at the front row of each group of seats.*
No other airline comes close to Emirates’s entertainment system which goes by the name ICE. ICE is an integrated entertainment service. It’s actually an acronym for its key components – Information, Communication & Entertainment. ICE has been voted the best in-flight entertainment system in the world for 10 years running!
Stay in touch with global affairs while you’re in the air with BBC news. Interested in seeing the plane take off/land? Not in a window seat? This is where the on-board cameras come in to play. You get a 360 degree live view of the plane’s surroundings from 3 cameras mounted on the exterior. Want to know where in the world you currently are? Enter the airshow function where you can track the plane’s movement on a live world map. Weather, flight data and estimated arrival times are also displayed.
As mentioned earlier, you get to enjoy WiFi and telephone services on board! You can also use your mobile phone’s roaming services on select flights.
With up to 1800 channels showcasing entertainment from all around the world, you’ll never get bored! You’ll have access to the latest movie blockbusters, radio channels, TV shows and podcasts amongst others. Did I mention you get to watch live TV as well as play games too?
5) Free Stopover
If you’re travelling from East to West or vice versa, your flight will definitely involve a transit in Dubai, the home city of Emirates. Instead of spending your transit time stuck in a dingy airport terminal, why not take this opportunity to explore Dubai along the way? Take a trip to the the Arabian desert, visit the traditional souks and see man-made wonders such as the Burj Khalifa up close. Whatever you choose to do, Emirates has you covered.
Emirates offers a stopover option for their passengers. Escape the bureaucratic red tape with a complimentary 48 hour visa. The visa can also be extended to 96 hours for longer stays. Book a stopover package from as little as 48USD. The package includes return airport transfers, a night’s stay at one of the 80 hotels available, buffet breakfast amongst other goodies.
Unlike most airlines rewards programmes which cater to frequent business/first class passengers, Emirates’s reward programme is extremely inclusive. Titled Skywards, it costs nothing to join. Sign up before booking your flight and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of Skywards right away! You’ll not only enjoy benefits from Emirates but from their entire network of partners across various industries. The reward programme is very comprehensive so for more details click on the link above. For now, here are some aspects of the programme I find attractive:
– Flight Rewards
I mentioned earlier about the inclusiveness of the programme and this is reflected in the flight rewards available.
- Upgrade to business class 7500 miles onwards
- Free Flight starting from 12500 miles onwards
- Fly with one of Emirates’s partner airlines & earn miles
- Redeem a free flight with one of Emirates’s partner airlines from 7500 miles onwards
– Culture & Sport
Emirates has established itself as a global sponsor in the sporting arena over the years. As a result of this, passengers of Emirates get access to exclusive tickets for major sporting events worldwide. Even if the tickets are sold out to the general public months before, I can guarantee you there’ll still be some available on the rewards catalogue. For a football fan like me, flying Emirates really pays off. Here’s how many points you need to catch the biggest football teams in action:
- Real Madrid starting from 5000 miles
- Arsenal starting from 10000 miles
- AC Milan starting from 3000 miles
- Hamburg starting from 3000 miles
- Olympiakos starting from 5000 miles
- Paris Saint Germain starting from 5000 miles
Emirates also offers tickets to cultural events such as concerts whenever available
The rewards programme is rather flexible vis-a-vis other airline reward programmes. You can transfer miles from account to account for a small fee. Don’t have enough miles to redeem an item? Purchase miles at a fair rate to top up the difference. There are also numerous ways to earn miles through Emirates’s network of international partners. Earning miles is no longer restricted to flights.
Emirates is really unselfish in dishing out miles to their passengers. There are many ways you can earn bonuses. Here’s a few:
- Miles Accelerator (Certain flights are under Miles Accelerator which simply means more miles than usual)
- First Flight Bonus ( Economy class passengers receive a bonus of 2500 miles. Business & First Class passengers receive 3500 & 5000 miles respectively
- Refer-A-Friend ( Nominate a friend to fly with Emirates. Once that person successfully flies you’ll receive 1500 miles)
- Family bonus ( Nominate up to 10 family members. Each flight by any one of them earns you 20% of the miles they earn)
I mentioned earlier that the programme is extremely inclusive. I also mentioned that you can start reaping benefits soon after your first flight with Emirates. Here’s a real life example scenario:
A return trip from the Far East to Europe (SINGAPORE-DUBAI-LONDON) or vice versa will earn you at least 6500 in base miles. Suppose mile accelerator is available on a single flight of your multi-leg journey. You’ll be looking at a minimum bonus of 2000 miles. Since it’s your first flight Emirates, you’ll receive 2500 bonus miles. That’ll leave you with a grand balance of 10500 miles at least! Even if mile accelerator is unavailable on your flight, you’ll still be guaranteed 8500 miles. More than enough to start redeeming!
How can I forget the aircrew! Emirates’s aircrew are young and incredibly good looking. I think model-like looks are a pre-requisite for the job. Superficiality aside, the aircrew are worth their weight in gold too. Since Emirates focuses on international recruitment, you get a pretty diverse mix of aircrew. It’s not uncommon for the number of languages spoken on a flight to be in the double digit range. Be sure to expect pleasant and courteous service throughout the flight.
*** The entire review is focused on economy class travel on Emirates***
With all the reasons I’ve presented, there’s no excuse not to fly with Emirates! I hope this has helped narrow the choices of airlines to just one. For more detailed information head over to the Emirates Website.
All Pictures taken from Emirates.com if not credited below
Emirates Economy Meal taken from gotravelyourway.com
Dubai Night Skyline taken from http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Dubai Day taken from tripadvisor.com
Dubai Desert taken from http://www.jumeirah.com
Burj Khalifa taken from http://www.techjost.com
Emirates Stadium exterior taken from http://www.thesun.co.uk
Emirates Stadium interior taken from http://www.arsenalsite.com
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