Video: Entire Ellen Audience Wins Free Tickets To Dubai On Emirates

Some of you may remember a few years back when Oprah took her entire audience on a trip to Australia, and not surprisingly, everyone went nuts (in fairness, Oprah could have taken them to Compton, and they would have probably been equally excited). Here’s the video of that:

Now, I’m not actually sure how interactive the trip was, but the audience’s reaction to hearing about the trip was priceless.

While not quite to the same level, Ellen gave away tickets on Emirates to Dubai to her entire studio audience yesterday. It started when two audience members competed for a trip to Dubai and Cape Town, and then eventually the entire audience won tickets to Dubai. I’m guessing the timing of this giveaway isn’t a coincidence, as Emirates is about to add a second daily A380 flight to Los Angeles, so with that much capacity I suspect they’ll have a lot of empty seats.


It’s a pretty awesome video, if you haven’t yet seen it:

While I’m a fan of Dubai in general, my only concern is that the premise of the trip is a “summer getaway,” and if there’s one place I don’t want to get away to in summer, it’s the Middle East…


For those of you not familiar, the pilot on stage with Ellen is Ashley, who has been featured in several Emirates ads:

As you can see, she was recently promoted to captain, as she had three stripes in an ad last year, while she had four stripes on the Ellen show (per her Instagram, she seems to have recently gotten the promotion).

Well done, Ellen and Emirates! Now we just have to wait for the US airlines and their unions to shame Ellen for daring to do business with Emirates. 😉


  1. This is way overplayed. Instead of yelling, they should go to work and pay for their own stuff. I mean I understand that people are happy to win, but this is too much.

  2. Racist or Elitist?

    in fairness, Ellen could have taken them to to Compton, and they would have probably been equally excited

  3. In this giveaway there appear to be no costs to the taxpayers, at least US Taxpayers. This is unlime the GM giveaway years ago.

  4. Personally, what I find most amusing is that a high profile Middle Eastern airline would do such a business with a prominent member of the LGBT community. And what I think is somewhat odd, is that they’re trying to woo LA, which also happens to be a popular summer getaway destination. I’m curious to see how well this would work.

  5. Lucky your a nasty peice of work.
    Your comments at times borders on racists.
    As for ellen she’s just a beautiful human being with the star power to change lifes over and over again.
    And please stop going on about how much an expert of the ME you are.
    Luxury hotel stays in dubai for a night dont cut it you freak

  6. Emerates promoting with a gay show host?!
    They aught to get their beliefs straight (no pun).

  7. @ Lady Von Bitterness

    You don’t need to be an exper on the Middle East t to know that it’s super hot in Dubai in the summer. I also avoid Las Vegas and Phoenix in the summer for the same reason…

  8. @ Lady Carnavon von villy ?? Really…calling him a nasty piece of shit while paying him to read his blog???

  9. Low temp of 93…not even a good time to go out!

    My Sister-in-Law lives in the Middle East, they can’t wait to come back to the US each summertime…

  10. I thought the audience reaction was OTT. They will have been given economy seats. I highly doubt that was really such a big deal to Ellen’s white, middle-class, studio audience. This wasn’t a life-changing / once-in-a-lifetime giveaway for those sorts of people; more like it was just a saving of, maybe, £650 (or $USD equivalent). Lovely gesture though.

  11. I feel like Ellen does her homework, so it somewhat surprises me she agreed to associate Emirates with her brand and take her guests to a country that flat out hates on the LGBT community & women (the bulk of her audience). I believe if she knew that Emirates imported its labor only to pay them peanuts, she might have told them to pound sand. I guess that just shows the beauty of marketing and how successful Emirates has been at pulling the wool over the eyes of many.

  12. I wish Ellen stood up for LGBT rights and said no to Emirates freebies.

    Those questions are lower elementary appropriate, asking any adult is an insult, not sure why ladies were jumping up and down.

    Also EK FAs are turning into robots.

    With so much surplus capacity these tickets are worth nothing, they would be empty otherwise.

  13. “Racist or Elitist – in fairness, Ellen could have taken them to to Compton, and they would have probably been equally excited.” I’m going to go with 95% racist, 5% elitist. And 100% gross.

    And what is up with people who think you can’t critique someone or call them out when something they said isn’t cool. Really, just because I read this blog means I can’t have an opinion about it (or is the comments section for fawning only?)

    Any anyways, LAX-DXB tickets can be had for $1000, so number four would have been the better prize, since you could have go anywhere you wanted.

  14. Hopefully, the trip isn’t during Ramadan as all eating places are closed during the day. It is sooo HOT and you can’t even have a bottle of water in your hand and drink in public without being fined!

  15. Why do so many LGBT folks send money to countries that explicitly make their lifestyle a crime? As a boring straight white male who flies every week on AS for work and thus has a ton of AS miles to burn even I won’t consider using my miles for free trips on one of these carriers, much less actually spending dollars that will benefit them.

  16. Really annoyed that you took a swipe at Compton. I know you’re a pseudo Angeleno now so you should know better. Take a visit to Compton Lucky. It’s actually pretty cool now. Watts too. Time to step out of your WeHo Golds Gym bubble

  17. I agree with everyone above. This whole post stinks to high hell. I find it all to be mediocre. But really, it’s great.

    Seriously though, I can’t imagine a single audience member -rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight – finding this to be a good thing. Two tickets to somewhere you may or may not want to go to spend money you may or may not have? Those sparkly pictures of the fountains and Burj Khalifa might not seem so picturesque when you attach a price tag to the stay. I mean, I’ll take the cash value of the tickets if that’s on the table. Actually, give me the 1,000 Emirates Gift Card. You can get E airfare from LAX-DXB for cheaper than 1K. I’m sure I could find use for the extra… plus, don’t airline tickets expire? And gift cards don’t? (At least CA law, not sure how that’d apply to this).

    @ Lady Carnavon

    Ellen is alright, I won’t argue about her being a good person, but she hasn’t changed my life.
    Lucky on the other hand has contributed to changing my life— my recent trip to Dubai and the Maldives was made possible using the resources I found on his and other travel blogger’s pages.
    So in the “beautiful human being” category, Lucky is above Ellen to me. 😀

  18. Ellen is a hypocrite. She says she is against using animals for testing cosmetics yet she is/was the spokesperson for Cover Girl. She lost her street cred a long time ago. So this move isn’t a surprise at all.

  19. I made a decision a few years ago not to travel to, or give my money to countries that criminalise homosexuality (as I’d rather not spend my holidays paranoid my fiancé and I might get put in prison for loving another man).

    Given the ME airlines are state owned, I apply the same approach.
    This means yes I will never get to take advantage of any of their “lavish” seats or cheap fares and will likely be stuck flying BA everywhere long haul and possibly paying more for it with an inferior product but at least I will have my principles.

    Ellen has just gone down in my view for giving in to the commercial pressures to promote Emirates (and therefore a regime that criminalises something perfectly natural) despite her prominent position as an LGBT person.

  20. Wow. These comments….. A bit harsh…

    I will say the Compton comment was distasteful, but as far as everything else, the people who won the trip, still have to pay income taxes on the value of the trip.

    No one’s forcing them to go if they don’t want to. You don’t have to accept prizes like these. My guess is they can use the tickets whenever they want; most airline prizes like this usually just come in the form of a voucher for say, 2 round trip economy tickets to DXB, from any US gateway city. That’s how most airlines do their vouchers for charity auctions and such. They’re usually redeemed into full-fare inventory too, but are not mileage-earning.

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