Goodbye To The JAL Workaround To Book Emirates Shower Class: Fuel Surcharges Added Without Warning!

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Emirates’ A380 first class is affectionately known as shower class due to its amazing onboard shower spa. A shower on a plane may sound gimmicky, but there’s something amazing about taking a nice hot shower after a long flight and then walking off the plane totally refreshed.

I wrote about my experience flying shower class earlier this year and wrote about how to use JAL miles to do it. After Alaska significantly hiked up the cost of Emirates awards in April 2016 I wrote about using JAL miles transferred from Starwood as a “workaround” to the devaluation and wrote about it several times when Starwood points went on sale.

#Bedtime from #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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Alas, all good things must come to an end. DDF member “JayBerg” sent me a private message last week that he transferred several hundred thousand points from Starwood to JAL, but by the time they got to JAL they had a new system in place and couldn’t book Emirates tickets. The system is now back up and now you can book some partner awards on JAL’s website (though you still can’t book Emirates online), but they have added fuel surcharges to Emirates tickets.

My brother-in-law just recently booked tickets to fly to the Maldives in Emirates first class for 155K miles and $90 in taxes to stay in one of my price mistake reservations at the amazing S. Regis there, so I called JAL to verify the information.

I asked JAL for the miles and taxes required to fly round-trip from JFK to Dubai in Emirates first class. The miles required are still just 135K, but the cost went up from $78 to a whopping $1,716 due to fuel surcharges. That matches the cost of taxes and fuel surcharges on a paid ticket as seen on ITA Matrix besides for the $4.50 PFC:


Indeed, the Google Cache of the JAL award chart from 11/23 shows a maximum charge of $54 on an Emirates flight from Japan to Dubai, but the current chart shows a charge of $1,716.09 from JFK to Dubai. Here is a screenshot from a version before the Google Cache showing a maximum charge of $78.20 from the US to Dubai.

“JayBerg” was trying to book a first class award from JFK to Milan for 105K miles round-trip, but is now faced with $1,132 in fuel surcharges and fees, which also matches the ITA Matrix quote for a paid ticket to Milan:


JAL is refusing to return JayBerg’s miles to Starwood or allow an award on Emirates without fuel surcharges.

I’ve advised JayBerg to file a DoT complaint against JAL for making a significant change without warning. If you have JAL miles in limbo then you may want to file a complaint as well.

Were you able to take advantage of JAL miles to fly Emirates shower class?

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65 Comments On "Goodbye To The JAL Workaround To Book Emirates Shower Class: Fuel Surcharges Added Without Warning!"

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I believe it’s only for us based flights.


So what’s the best way to book shower class now?


I very recently transferred starwood to jal, what do you think I can expect from the DOT if I complain?


Same with me, literally same story. Working on trying to get them to honor it, probably a long shot. Will pay it I guess, and file complaint. Would there be a chance for that to help me get refunded down the line?


Is says clearly on the chart “as of november 22”


They charge YQ for business class as well?


Wow. Major blow.


The cached chart from 11/23 actually provides: “EMIRATES (EK): *JAPAN* to U.A.E round-trip: maximum US$54.76.” It says nothing of the U.S.A.

Before that, however, it used to say: “EMIRATES (EK): U.S. to U.A.E round-trip: maximum US$78.20.”


Also, the current chart shows *JFK*… I wonder if there is YQ from other USA-based airports?


The cached page fee is for JAPAN to UAE NOT US TO UAE. I don’t t know if there’s any basis for the DOT complaint


do they charge any YQ on AA flights?


This is terrible… have you done the math for the most common routes whether it makes more sense now to:

1. buy Alaska miles at 50% bonus (lot of points but no surcharges)
2. buy SPG points at 35% off and transfer to JAL (fewer points but massive surcharges)

Thank you.


Have filed a DOT complaint. This is B.S. Literally transferred points Nov 20-23.


Wow!! I guess I got my ticket just in time. Booked it 10/20. #LastShower


Sitting on 200k JAL that I transferred in from spg a half year ago. Damn


what’s the best way to book shower class now from JFK to anywhere just to experience shower class for cheap.


I spoke to an agent this morning when the phone lines opened and she said the system was down at the time. She had said they were having issues with “booking and removing charges and taxes on the new system.” She didn’t specifically mention the fuel surcharge. I’m wondering if they potentially (fingers crossed) are in fact having system issues with backing out the U.S. fuel surcharges and just threw in the max amount on the website. I’ll reach back out again + send an email to help desk.

The Traveling Millennial

I had no luck getting either the award fees waived or my SPG-JAL transfer reversed, despite trying for 50 minutes. I did however come up with a few ways to minimize the fuel surcharges:


That’s a terrible idea. You’d be better just to pay the surcharge than to pony up tens of thousands of additional miles for the CX flight.


Is there a fuel surcharge on flights from Toronto?

The Traveling Millennial

I believe so but they appear less. You can use ITA Matrix to check


I just called JAL, the fee for a flight with miles from FLL to BKK is around $860, question is if emirates is charging the fuel surcharge, why are there no surcharges using Alaska miles?


That’s what I want to know as well. I doubt JAL keeps the fuel surcharge and its too big a coincidence there would be a contract change b/w EK and JAL the same time as an IT overhaul. Still clinging to hope Amadeus can’t back the fee out (yet!) and the agents are just quoting what its spitting out.


I love your theory, since they did change systems, maybe thats what it is. And then lets hope they get enough complaints to actually correct it.


This all happened when JAL moved over to Amadeus.


Called JAL to book EK flight and they said they have no access to ANY EK inventory. Anyone else have that issue? Too late to HUCA, plus it’s a minimum 1.5 hour wait to speak to someone.


Anyone hear back from DoT, or any luck getting exceptional waiver from Jal? I have not heard back yet. Dan, typical turnaround time for DoT from past experience? Also wondering If they would give an easier time for an existing ticket to change date and even to possibly modify/add sectors. I have an existing one pre nov 22.


any reply from DoT? I am looking for file a complaint as well, would like to see if there are any positive news.


Has anyone successfully been able to get them to honor the old fuel surcharge rates or transfer their points back to SPG?

My fiancee and I transferred over a collective 350k points a few days before the system upgrade. We called in to book flight the day after the system upgrade and they told us partner award availability was not available and to try again in a few weeks. I tried again a few times over the next two or three weeks only to find that once their system was back on line, Emirates fuel surcharges were now $1,500 vs. $90 previously. Needless to say, we’re pretty upset as we would not have transferred our points over if we were made aware of this change beforehand.

I’ve filed a complaint with the DOT however I’m hoping we can collectively bring this up with JAL. There must be someone on the executive team that is in charge of Award Points that we can highlight this issue with.


Any updates from your side?


Anyone get any sort of response from jal ?