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.
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?