Emirates, the international airline of Dubai, is an extremely successful, fast growing airline. It was established in 1985 after a group of 10 men created a business plan for a new airline. The company first leased two aircraft, a Boeing 737 and an Airbus 300 B4, with a goal to prove quality before quantity. After only three years of operation, Emirates flew to 12 destinations. By the company’s sixth anniversary they had accumulated 23 destinations and were flying 25,000 passengers each week. In 2005, after 20 years in business, the Emirates Group workforce totaled 25,000 people from 124 countries around the world, which was Dubai’s biggest employer. They hired an additional 10,000 employees, cabin crewmembers, to their workforce in 2008. Today the company operates a fleet of over 230 aircraft, a combination of Boeing and Airbus aircraft, making Emirates the largest operator of both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777; in the financial year of 2013-2014, Emirates had carried 44.5 million passengers and 2.25 million tons of cargo.


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The Good

  • Amenities
  • Awards
  • Frequent flyer program

One unique feature Emirates offers their passengers is a view from several onboard cameras. Travelers may use their screen to see the pilot’s view (forward camera) or look directly below the aircraft (downward camera). Some planes have a third option to see over the aircraft and through the clouds (tail fin camera). Plenty of other amenities are offered through Emirates including a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and music, a lengthy menu of fresh and satisfying meals, and complimentary beverages, and complimentary onboard Wi-Fi availability on most carriers.

The awards and recognition Emirates has earned is beyond impressive. It is easy to see that they are committed to their desire to prove high-quality service to their passengers. In 1998, Emirates was voted Best Airline in the World at the OAG (formerly Official Airline Guide) Awards. A survey conducted by Skytrax Research in 2001 surveyed 2.7 million airline passengers and named Emirates Airline of the Year. Skytrax polled 4 million airline passengers the following year and granted the company Airline of the Year once again. More recently, in 2014, Emirates was named the world’s Most Valuable Airline Brand.

Every Emirates flight earns miles with their frequent flyer program, Emirates Skywards. Yes, every flight—even special offers! Bonus Skywards miles are also given on certain flights, which can be located using Emirates Miles Accelerator feature. Miles earned are calculated using route, fare type, class, and tier. Members increase in tier status after earning a certain amount of reward miles, or after taking a certain number of flights. Benefits vary from tier to tier and get more prestigious as the tiers increase: Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Miles can also be collected when shopping with Emirates partners who vary depending on location. Popular features and promotions that allow members to receive more miles include receiving a transfer of miles from friends or family, purchasing more miles at a special rate, or referring a friend. Spend Skywards miles on Emirates flights and upgrades anywhere in the network, flights with partner airlines or with Emirates partners in hospitality, car hire, finance, lifestyle and retail. Miles are valid for three years, which allows passengers to spend them regularly or save them up for something extra special. Flight rewards start from 15,000 reward miles, and upgrade rewards start from 7,500 reward miles. Passengers seem to enjoy this frequent flyer program; by Skywards 10th anniversary they served more than five million members!

The Bad

  • On-time percentage

Emirates was on time with 82% success from May 15, 2015 to July 15, 2015 (according to Flightstats.com). Sure, this percentage could be lower. Still, with punctuality being one of the key factors in determining a reliable airline, the fact that 8% of flights were late and 3% were very late means that one in ten passengers were somewhat delayed. Travelers of today, whether for business or pleasure, do not have the time for late departures.

The Bottom Line

There really isn’t any bad thing to say about this airline. Still, those two matters become non-issues when compared to the many impressive features and qualities Emirates possesses. It is likely—even probable—that passengers will thoroughly enjoy their Emirates flying experience.

Emirates airlines has one of the most generous checked baggage policies when compared to other airline companies across the world. Customers who choose to fly with Emirates can enjoy some of these and more benefits.

• Free checked baggage prices

• More weight capacity for luggage

• Free carry-on luggage options

Most airline companies charge customers for any baggage that needs to be checked into a flight. It is a great benefit to find an airline that will allow for a free checked bag. Emirates airlines not only allows customers the generous benefit of one free checked bag but also includes up to two checked bags free of charge. Passengers who are flying Economy class or with a standard airfare ticket can bring up to two bags to be checked for free that weigh 50 pounds or less each. First class or Business class tickets can also enjoy two free checked bags that can weigh up to 70 pounds or less for free. These rates apply to travel from Canada or North America but most other locations also include free checked baggage prices and only the weight concept changes. For a list of all destination checked baggage fees, the Emirates website has a detail list outlining each location and the specified requirements.

In addition to the free checked baggage, customers flying with Emirates airlines can also enjoy the ability to carry-on luggage free of charge. With a First class or Business class tickets, Emirates allows up to two pieces of carry-on baggage. Economy class tickets are only permitted to bring one carry-on item such as a purse, laptop bag or briefcase. However, with the free checked baggage prices, the need for carry-on bags is limited when flying with Emirates. Compared to other airline companies, this checked baggage policy and the carry-on baggage policy is very competitive. It is rare to see an airline company that will allow multiple bags to be checked for free with a standard Economy class ticket. This is a great benefit to Emirate customers and one that shows great customer service to all their passengers.

Unexpected events can happen and how an airline prepares and covers these events is essential information. Some of the most important insurances offered through Emirates policies are listed here:

• Trip Cancelations and refunds

• Baggage loss or delay

• Customer service availability

The ability to receive a refund for a trip cancellation or any changes made to travel through an Emirates flight first has to be submitted in the form of an online form request or through the customer service department which can be reached by phone. Any changes made to travel plans will result in change fees that are subject to change depending on how far in advance the changes are made and the type of changes a customer desires. Canceling a trip completely can be refunded and returned in the original form of payment but is also subject to any cancellations fees that will be deducted from the refund amount if cancellations aer made after the first 24 hours of purchase.

Bags that are not at a customer’s destinations upon arrival must be reported immediately to airport staff so that a report can be filed and searching for a lost bag can start. If, however, a bag is still not found after three days, a lost bag report must then be filed that contains more detailed information. At this point, Emirate recommends customers register a claim on any travel insurance to cover the loss of the missing bags. However, Emirate does not reimburse for delayed or lost baggage that is not covered under any additionally purchased travel insurance.

Customer service is very important to Emirate, which is why they offer a 24/7 worldwide accessible phone line for any questions or concerns. In addition, Emirate staff and aircrafts are fully equipped to help passengers who are in need of any special assistance. Emirate airlines does ask that special requests are made prior to travel and at least 48 hours in advance to any travel plans.

The rewards program through Emirates airlines is called the Emirates Skywards program. Like many other airline rewards programs, this program allows members to earn reward miles by purchasing airfare through Emirates airline, hotel stays, car rentals, and other purchases through any partnering companies with the Emirates Skywards program. Members can earn mile points based on which tier of the program they belong. Tiers are based from the amount of mile points that have been accrued, meaning the more a customer purchases through the rewards program the easier it is for them to receive additional points for every purchase. Members of the program also enjoy benefits on standard airfare such as more checked baggage allowances free of charge, priority seating, and occasional discounted retail products through partnering companies. Flight rewards through the Emirates Skywards program start out at 15,000 points and upgrades on purchased airfare can be purchased starting at 9,000 mile points. Points that are earned are valid for up to three years and flights booked through Emirates airlines using reward miles are not subject to any blackout dates or seat restrictions. This means customers can purchase tickets at any time in any available seating class using reward miles. Members can also use reward miles to purchase travel for friends or family, or on any of the partnering company’s products that are offered through the Emirates Skywards program. These products include hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, dining and retail options. Compared to other airline companies reward programs, the Emirate Skywards program offers many benefits to their members. Some of the most beneficial include:

• No blackout dates

• Seats available in any class

• Ability to donate, share, and gift miles

• Many partnering companies that offer additional products

These benefits (along with many more) make the Emirate Skyward rewards program worth the membership for frequent flyers of Emirate airlines.

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    June 9th, 2017

    Emirates is the best airline I have ever used. The prices are very good for what you get, the seatings are comfortable (even on long flights) and the flight attendants are friendly and helpful. And the food isn’t bad either. Whenever I travel, my first choice is always Emirates. 10/10 recommend!

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