How To Redeem Alaska Miles For Emirates First Class After March

Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “Are Emirates First Class Redemptions Using Alaska Miles Going Away?”

Emirates-A380

Emirates first class isn’t bookable with Alaska miles after March 28, 2015

As I explained in the post, Alaska Mileage Plan members don’t seem to have access to any first class award availability on Emirates for travel on/after March 28, 2015. An Alaska spokesperson confirmed to me that there was no blocking that they knew of.

Personally, I’m fairly convinced this isn’t a coincidence, and that something will be changing with the arrangement between Alaska and Emirates.

Emirates-First-Class

The other Emirates availability discrepancy

For just about as long as Alaska and Emirates have had a reciprocal agreement, there has been a discrepancy in availability. Basically in many cases Alaska Mileage Plan members have access to one fewer first class award seat than Emirates makes available to their own Skywards members.

Emirates’ first class award fare class is “Z,” so if a flight is “Z2” that means there are two first class award seats available. However, typically Alaska would only have access to one seat under those circumstances.

Take the below flight between San Francisco and Dubai, for example, which is “Z1,” meaning there’s one first class award seat available:

Emirates

Unfortunately that seat isn’t bookable with Alaska miles, per their website:

Alaska

A way to get around the Emirates blocking/discrepancies

So there’s a way to get around the availability discrepancies in both of the above situations. It might require a lot of hanging up and calling again, but in theory it should work.

If you see that a flight actually has the “Z” class seats you need (be it for travel before or after March 28, 2015), call up Alaska’s partner award desk and give them the flight number. When they tell you there’s not availability, ask them if they could maybe try requesting that space in their old system. They’re not supposed to, but some agents will try.

The convo could go something like this:

“Hi, I wanted to see if I could make a first class booking for travel on EK226 from San Francisco to Dubai on January 19, 2015.”
“I don’t see any first class award space on that.”
“Hmmm, that’s strange. Is there any chance you could try requesting the ‘Z’ space in your old system? It should be available, as the flight has a ‘Z’ class award seat.”

Chances are the agent might outright refuse, or they may put you on hold for a long time. If they do, they may very well come back and confirm the seat, having requested the award space in their old system.

READ THIS SECTION

The challenge with the internet is that there are always people that ruin stuff for everyone, so if you’re going to try this, please, please, please note the following:

  • It could take well over a dozen calls before you find an agent willing to do it.
  • If an agent says it’s not possible, don’t push it. Thank them for their help and hang up. They’re making an exception by requesting space, and not doing something you’re entitled to.
  • Take down the names of the agents you speak with. Don’t embarrass yourself by hanging up and calling again, only to speak to the same person and make the request twice. That’s the point at which this stuff will get noticed. This is especially important at Alaska, because they don’t have that many agents at their partner award desk.
  • This is more general advice when dealing with phone reps, but be as nice as you possibly can. It’ll go a long way.

Bottom line

I wouldn’t expect this to be possible forever, but in the meantime this is a good workaround for booking Emirates first class well into the future when it doesn’t otherwise show on Alaska’s site. But please follow the above instructions.

Comments

  1. This is why people on Flyertalk stop sharing the good stop a long time ago. Lucky I highly advise you take down this post or you’ll never be able to book manually after tonight. People on Flyertalk already have a lot of trouble booking flights for after.

    Come on now!

  2. “The challenge with the internet is that there are always people that ruin stuff for everyone”

    You mean a blogger like yourself? You really are a post-slut. Jesus H Christ, this was already discussed in the Comments section in a previous post and now you need give picture tutorials and a script for people who don’t care to spend a single minute searching for info themselves. Now this will to go mainstream and get shut down in a few days.

  3. Please, please, PLEASE add this to READ THIS SECTION

    Don’t ever blog this tip on a website such as this one.

  4. It seems that being an FQTV pax of Alaska airline is very good.
    Why is that?
    On what alliance are they in?
    How come such a small airline has so much point potential?
    I have been reading on your comments more on Alaska than on Delta, US or any other American or worldwide FQTV airline program

  5. Already booked on Etihad LHR-AUH-JFk all in F for summer. Is it worth it to cancel the AUH-JFK segment and book Emirates F for the same dates? Will have to eat the redeposit fee for AA…

  6. i’m sure some over-entitled imbeciles will ruin this for everyone as well. i bet after they find a nice agent who books the seat, they will yell at her because they no longer get a chauffeur… it will go away, trust me.

  7. actually you can still book F awards on the website. You just need to enable the correct cookie to enable the seats to be visible online. Of course first verify with EK own website that seats are available, force enable the correct cookie hash, and voila seats will be available. afaik they stopped showing avail on flights with avail a few weeks ago. I have booked a couple of seats for me and my partner 3 days ago on SFO-DXB-TYO in F a few months from now.

  8. @ Nasakoto Iakata,

    Please do tell how to “force enable the correct cookie hash” or more specific, can you share this correct cookie hash here? I’m pretty sure we are all appreciated if there is a way to book online directly without the hassle of calling in.

  9. I’m quite sure that you killed the loophole with this post!!! If everyone knows the trick, it’s not a trick anymore. The result will be an insane amount of daily calls regarding EK F awards. Sooner or later AS will communicate to ALLr agents not to use the “old system” anymore.

  10. @Abdel Rahim Abdallah

    What do you like better bout Emirates? The seat doesn’t seem as comfortable and no more chauffeur service…is everything else much better?

  11. You yell at him for not sharing the good insider tips.

    You yell at him for sharing the good insider tips.

  12. What a big secret it was, considering it’s been openly discussed on flyertalk for years.

    Also, what is the need for the secrecy? Emirates has to confirm the ticket, which means the space is available. Alaska’s system just isn’t properly aligned with Emirates. This isn’t gaming the system, it’s finding a workaround for a broken system and it would be much easier for both their customers and their staff, if Alaska just fixed it.

  13. The people who are complaining about this blog post are such hypocrites. Why do they read this blog in the first place? Because they hope to learn something that they can take advantage of. That is perfectly fine with them, even if it (obviously) expands the number of people who know about that item. But my, such a terrible, horrible thing if the blogger posts about something that they already know about, but that others (like me) might be able to use. That must stop!! They complainers are entitled to knowledge — but no one who comes after them can be so entitled!!

    Please, hypocrites, stop your whining!

  14. Where do I find award availability for F (ex. Z1, Z2…) if it’s not showing on AS site? I’m talking about the screenshot with the Z = 1. I opened an Emirates account, and they won’t let me check because I have no Skyward miles. Flightstats availability tool is gone. I don’t have KVS or Expertflyer subscription. Is there something else you guys are using? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

  15. Thank you for this Lucky! If there is anything I’ve learned from reading your blog the past few years, it’s that pretty much *anything* is possible if one can master the art of chit chat/small talk with a phone agent or ticketing agent in person. From kindly asking the BA Avios agent to manually ticket that QR a350 flight LHR-DOH to talking to EY folks to void the CMB-AUH segment so you can be on the inaugural A380 EY flight, I think you’ve definitely mastered this delicate art! 😉
    For those who wish to redeem EK F on AS miles, I just hope AS would fix their award calendar (so yes I agree with Ron.)

  16. Just spoke with an AS agent, they have now been instructed not to check the old system. Even if they did and Z=2, they can only use the new system to book any new tickets. She kept saying it’s a bug though and there is a ticket to fix it.

  17. I visit to see reviews on products. Everything else I peruse by myself. So do most people who have any expertise in this field. But please keep make Lucky money, don’t bite the hand that feeds you too much. The mistake fare deal forum pretty much has died down over the years.

    Don’t be surprised when all the tricks go via pm. Not that it really matters for us, for newbies like you, good luck learning without being spoonfed.

  18. Lucky, thanks for all the good advice. I have tried 5 times and failed all. I’ll just keep calling everyday 5 times till i get someone whos willing to do it, but it kinda looks like its not going to work. Most the agents say they can’t use the old system. Im wondering if they will release closer to departure dates? Im trying to do sfo-dxb-pek on april 21st. Thoughts? Thanks

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