Emirates A380 first class is affectionately known as “Shower Class” and 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 is here.
A shower class flight can cost $27,000 round-trip, but with miles it’s a whole lot less. Plus Emirates has excellent award availability.
Unfortunately the options are more limited than before as Alaska Airlines has skyrocketed their mileage rates for Emirates:
JAL has now finally added the ability to book Emirates awards online. You will need to be logged into a JAL mileage account and then you can search for partner awards here.
I’d recommend starting your award search on alaskaairlines.com as they have a flexible award calendar, though JAL’s availability on Emirates is actually better than Alaska’s. After getting a feel for availability try booking your ticket on JAL’s less intuitive site.
JAL charges just 135K miles from JFK to Dubai in Shower Class, which is great, but the fuel surcharges sting. Note that this award will go up to 165K on November 19 due to JAL’s upcoming devaluation.
If you can fly Toronto-Dubai and then Duabi-JFK you’ll save over $500:
Fuel surcharges from JFK to Milan are lower, but are still high. This award will go up from 105K to 135K round-trip on 11/19.
One of the better ways to fly Emirates shower class may be to use other miles to fly to a destination in Asia and then book a “round-trip” award from a city like Hong Kong to Dubai and then Dubai to JFK with no fuel surcharges. You can stay for as short or long as you want in Dubai. This award will go up to 145K on 11/19.
Tokyo to Dubai and Dubai to JFK also has minimal fuel surcharges:
Need JAL miles?
Getting JAL miles is the tricky part.
You can transfer 20K Starpoints (60K Marriott points) into 25K JAL miles.
You can also transfer 90K Starpoints (270K Marriott points) into 85K JAL miles and 7 nights at a Marriott hotel.
Unfortunately it will be very tough to earn Starpoints after 7/31 when you will only earn 0.67 Starpoints per dollar instead of 1 Starpoint per dollar on the SPG AMEX.
The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® allows you to earn between 1.18-1.47 JAL miles per dollar spent and is probably the best bet going forward for JAL miles. You can read more about that card here.
Post what other routes you find without fuel surcharges!