United/Emirates partnership to end May 28, 2011

Late last year Continental announced that their partnership with Emirates was ending on March 25, 2011. That was pretty unfortunate since Continental prices awards on Emirates the same as they do on any of their other partners, and they also let you mix and match partners. In other words, you could theoretically fly New York to Frankfurt to Dubai in Lufthansa business class, and then Dubai to New York in Emirates business class, all for 115,000 miles per person. Unfortunately they did not allow for first class redemptions on Emirates.

United, on the other hand, has always had a separate award chart for travel on Emirates, typically much more expensive than a normal saver award on one of their Star Alliance partner partners. However, they allowed mileage redemptions for Emirates first class. While not cheap at 210,000 miles roundtrip in first class between North American and the Middle East, you could fly Airbus 380 first class on Emirates, which is a bargain at that price, in my opinion. Well, unfortunately that partnership is coming to an end on May 28, 2011 (and that’s both the “book by” and “travel by” date).

Farewell, Emirates!


  1. Boo! The redemption level is high, yes, but EK 1st suites are unmatched IMHO, esp. for those who have excess miles to burn.

  2. …and a question.

    What if one has a ticket booked with MP miles for, say, this August? Does that itinerary go poof?

  3. You appear to be the source of this information on FT and MP, so what’s your source? Linky?

    Does “travel by” apply to award bookings and to earning RDMs on paid flights? If this applies to awards, will existing award tickets for travel beyond May 28, 2011 be honored?

  4. When you book your ticket on Emirates in May, NOTHING was said about this. They took your UA FF number, as if it would be credited. I booked ONE eTicket with outbound May 26 and return June 3. NOTHING was said that I would not receive mileage credit for the June 3 piece. This is false business practices by Emirates.

  5. Same issue here. I flew a Melbourne-KL sector on Emirates and they openly told me everything is fine for my May 26- June 1 travel and return. In fact on my return I double checked the mileage while checking in and was told it was in the system for United miles. My experience with many airlines (I am American) but often overseas is I see large cutbacks or even non-award on certain classes of fares (one literally has to book the highest class ticket) to accrue any awards or miles. Or oten is the case 15% or 25% or even 50% awards. No one seems to award in kilometers though!

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