Update, 3/30: Assuming this new rule will apply to partners like JAL, this is your last chance to use partner miles to book Emirates first class awards. You’ll need to use Emirates miles as of 4/1.
Originally posted on 11/5:
Alaska Airlines partner page for Emirates says that partners will no longer be allowed to book Emirates First Class awards as of 4/1/21:
That matches the policies of other airlines like Singapore that require you use their own miles for first class travel.
Emirates A380 first class is affectionately known as “Shower Class” and partner miles like JAL miles have long been one of the best ways to book that.
Sure, you get your own walled-in suite and access to the onboard bar.
But it’s the onboard shower that sets it apart. My review of the experience can be found here.
Unfortunately based on Alaska’s message, partners like JAL will also no longer be able to book first class awards as of 4/1/21.
A round-trip first class award in A380 Shower Class from JFK to Dubai is 165K JAL miles plus $56 in taxes and fees! Take advantage of that deal while you still can!
You can transfer increments of 60K Marriott points into 25K JAL miles.
Booking Emirates first class awards with Alaska miles is quite expensive, so that’s not a very big loss. It takes 300K Alaska miles for a round-trip first class award in A380 Shower Class from JFK to Dubai.
As of 4/1/21 you can still book awards directly with Emirates, but a round-trip first class award in A380 Shower Class from JFK to Dubai is 217.5K Emirates miles plus $360 in taxes and fees. You can transfer points from AMEX (1K:1K), Capital One (2K:1K), Chase (1K:1K), or Citi (1K:1K) instantly to Emirates.