Emirates introduces new Platinum tier to their Skywards program

Emirates has just announced the details of their new Platinum tier, which is for those that earn 150,000 tier miles in a membership year. In terms of requirements there’s a huge gap between this and the Gold tier, which requires just 50,000 tier miles. The benefits of Platinum status are as follows:

Platinum privileges are exclusively reserved for our most frequent flyers with 150,000 Tier Miles or more, and are carefully designed to make every moment of your journey extraordinary. In addition to all the benefits of Skywards Gold, you’ll also enjoy exclusive Platinum member benefits, such as:

  • First Class check-in and baggage delivery
  • Access for yourself and a guest to the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai and Emirates Lounges across the network
  • 75% bonus Skywards Miles when you fly with Emirates
  • Gold ‘Partner’ Card for a spouse or partner
  • Guaranteed Business Class revenue seats*
  • ‘Last Seat’ Flex reward tickets even on high-demand flights

So the main benefits seem to be first class check-in and lounge access, a 75% mileage bonus, and Gold status to gift to a spouse or partner.

First class check-in isn’t that valuable, in my opinion, since you can usually check-in online, so it really boils down to the other three benefits.

If you fly so much the first class lounge access and 75% mileage bonus can be quite valuable, so I think this is a nice way to differentiate the tiers. That being said, this tier requires triple as many flown miles as the next highest tier, so this is a huge leap. I’d say they could have done a bit more to differentiate the tiers, maybe a couple of upgrade certificates or something, but then again I’m probably coming at this with a bit too much of a US-centric approach. The reality is that foreign carriers don’t compete with US carriers on the frequent flyer program front, mainly because they don’t have to. People fly them because of the great onboard experience and not because of the great frequent flyer program.

So while it’s probably not worth going out of your way to earn Skywards Platinum, if you’d earn it anyway or would otherwise be close, these are some great new benefits.

Comments

  1. 150k Tier Miles on Emirates can be 300k+ BIS miles in Saver Economy. The only folks who are going to qualify for this are the F/J class regular fliers who are already getting most of these benefits anyway via their class of service. Overall, its not a particularly big game changer.

  2. EK took away guest access to the lounge for Gold members travelling in economy several months ago so I’m not surprised they gave that privilege to the new platinum tier.
    When I joined skywards back in 2006, it was a pretty good frequent flyer program in that tier miles were the number of miles flown, regardless of fare price. That all changed in 2010 with the whole new saver/flex program. Nowadays, most of the affordable tickets on emirates are saver tickets, which only accrue 50% tier miles of actual miles flown. Thus, most of the F/J fliers are the likely candidates for the new platinum tier.

  3. “Joey The guest access for the Business Class lounge for Golds has been reinstated (it was taken away due to the fact that the business class lounge in DXB always was more like a zoo, massively overcrowded). Platinum members actually get access to the First lounge, much like QF Platinum flyers (biggest reason for EK to introduce the new tier is to match QF’s FF program tiers).

  4. Joey, I read an interview with Brian Labelle (SVP of Skywards) that they will reinstate guest priviliges for eco passengers with a gold card and that the website will be reflected accordingly to reflect this.

  5. @Joey, no problem! Reason they are reinstating is again to align with the QF tier benefits as well as the fact that due to their new terminal they have increased lounge capacity, hopefully you can relax in the biz lounge next time you fly EK in eco!

  6. Really terrible. Not even 2 one way upgrades or anything?

    LH HON, BA Gold, CX Diamond, and many other high revenue favored top tier statuses puts EK Platinum program to shame. If people are going to shell a ton of money flying with you, throw them a bone here and there with some real tangible benefits that will significantly elate the flying experience from time to time.

    I would rank EK with SQ for having one of the stingiest FF programs.

  7. EK knows that most plat’s will be passengers that already fly J and F. Many people that have qualified for plat (me being one of them) dont fly EK for skywards, we fly bc we love their product. I dont think many EK premium pax care about their FF benefits, as i know I dont because i fly paid F and get all the benefits anyway. Sure it would be nice for those who fly J, but EK knows that their passengers will still fly them bc they have a solid product even if their FF program isnt that great.

  8. I have to agree with EK-Flyer, many premium EK FF do not fly with them due to the perks you get as FF. if I fly EK I fly in F, they have some great fares and if you can afford them and are willing to shell out a little premium over flying C on LH or SQ. The premium you pay is really “nothing” (again all relative to what your income is) for the service you receive and once you fly F with EK you don’t care about the FF perks as EK treats you according to the class you fl and they do not take into account your loyalty.

  9. KG- The only time that loyalty comes in handy is when they’re asking when you would like shower on the A380 🙂 They ask all golds first (well now platinums when it begins haha)

  10. So, I did a quick search for DXB-FRA. EK and LH C fares are about the same, 14,370 AED or a little over $3K. In this instance, I will pick EK J.

    LH F is about 500 AED less or close to $6300 while EK F is about $6400. This case, I will go with LH as the EK lounge simply cannot compete with the FCT.

    Using JFK as another example, EK F is 33,380 AED or close to $9100. In this case LH F is not that much more at 36,380 or $815ish more. Whereas TK, who has a solid C product, is at 10,710 AED or a little over $2900. LH C is 16,860 AED for about ~$4600.

    I don’t call paying 3x more for F a little premium. I wouldn’t pay $6200 more for EK F over TK C. Of course, to some $6200 is chump change.

    What routes are you talking about where EK F is dirt cheap? ex-CMB does not count. A regular business route or something ex-USA would be more intriguing.

  11. Golfingboy – It is normal that your “home” carrier is more expensive than others (e.g. ex DXB EK will be more expensive than LH or BA etc)

    I usually take EK ex Ams and as example I pay around 5200 euro for an F class roundtrip to Auckland, New Zealand in F all the way. Includes stopovers at DXB, SYD and even BKK if you route via there and also limo transfers in all places (even for the short hop to New Zealand from Sydney). This fare has a 4month validity, which is the catch. If you want to fly F to Asia/ Africa / Pacific on other carriers however you pay at least 50% more.

  12. KG you wrote: “…EK you don’t care about the FF perks as EK treats you according to the class you fl and they do not take into account your loyalty.”. Not quite true. As a Skywards gold for years and now Platinum, I know for a fact that ground and air crew are told to treat a Platinum customer in J class better and with higher priority than a non FF customer in F class….

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