Emirates focuses quite a lot of attention, as all airlines, towards its frequent flyer and rewards programme. Skywards, Emirates’ frequent flyer programme, has become one of the most well known airline loyalty programmes in the world. Today I’ll be covering how Skywards works and which are the tiers of the programme.
Which Are Emirates’ Skywards Tiers?
Let’s get the ball rolling talking about the most obvious topic that comes to mind when thinking about a frequent flyer programme: which are the tiers? Skywards has 4 public tiers and 1 hidden, private access, one. We’ll talk about the non public tier later on in the post.
The public Skywards tiers are:
Originally the programme had only three tiers. However with more and more customers reaching gold status the airline opted in recent years to introduce the platinum tier.
How Many Miles Do You Need For Each Tier?
Each tier has a minimum points or flights threshold that must be reached in order to gain access to the higher tier. A higher tier comes with more privileges and exclusive advantages. You won’t need any points to access the blue Skywards tier. That is the entry level tier that all new applicants get.
However to make your way into the higher status tiers you’ll need to build up a hefty amount of frequent flier miles. Specifically:
- 25,000 Miles (or 25 qualifying flights) to pass from Blue to Silver Status
- 50,000 Miles (or 50 qualifying flights) to pass from Silver to Gold Status
- 150,000 Miles and at least one Business or First Class flight to pass from Gold to Platinum
Then you’ll need to maintain your status which requires meeting the same criteria as above every 12 months. You can build up qualifying miles only by travelling on Emirates flights.
How To Build Up Miles?
When you book a ticket depending on the fare and you Skywards status you’ll get more or less miles for your trip. Things will get a little tricky from here onwards and there will be quite a few % symbols.
- Saver is the cheapest fare, however it grants only 40% of miles in Economy class
- Flex, the intermediate fare, will grant 100% of miles in Economy class
- Flex Plus, the most expensive fare, offers 33% bonus miles in Economy class (you’ll get 133% of miles)
Also if you are in one of the premium Skywards tiers (Silver, Gold and Platinum) you’ll get a miles boost on every one of your flights. Specifically:
- Silver Skywards members get 30% extra bonus miles
- Gold members get a 75% extra bonus in Emirates frequent flyer miles
- Platinum get a 100% extra bonus in Emirates frequent flyer miles
These accelerators therefore make it easier to maintain your status once you have earned it.
Which Tiers Get Access to Airport Lounges?
If flying out of Dubai (DXB) all premium tiers get access to a lounge. However if flying from other airports only Gold and Platinum status holders will be granted access to partner airport lounges.
The Private Emirates Skywards Tier?
There is however a fifth tier, which you can’t gain access to by simply flying with Emirates. This hidden tier, which is in no way advertised, is called IO: Invitation Only.
This is a very exclusive and selected group of frequent flyers chosen to join the tier for various reasons that might transcend the frequency of their flying.
IO members are super pampered on flight and get limousine service, along with boarding first, a personalised welcoming on board, all their preferred drinks and meals ready for them and everything is done to their preference. Cabin crew will pay extra attention when they see an IO on their passenger information list.