According to FlyerTalk, without loud announcements Emirates sharply reduced fuel surcharges.
This instantly made Emirates award tickets more affordable. The Skywards program used to charge space fees that made it virtually worthless.
That’s what level of fees we are talking about now.
On a flight from Brussels to Dubai, in addition to miles, you will have to pay only 100 €.
On flights from Athens to New York, in addition to miles, you will have to pay only 75 €.
On a flight from Barcelona to Mexico City, in addition to miles, you will have to pay only 70 €.
Previously, fees were 3-5 times higher, depending on the direction.
But pay attention to the nuance. It’s not that Emirates changed the terms of her Skywards program and stopped charging fuel fees on award tickets. No. Emirates has reduced the share of fuel surcharge (or, as they have recently been called, carrier-imposed surcharge, YQ) in the total ticket price.
For example, this is what the fees on the Barcelona-Mexico ticket now add up to. The fuel surcharge was reduced to only 30 € (and, together with all the little things like airport taxes, the very same 70 € of the total premium ticket fees are added up).
Along with a reduction in fees, Emirates eliminated award tickets at Saver fares. Is that what Emirates is all about? Close Saver rates so people don’t book premiums through affiliate programs, Emirates would save a lot. On the other hand, a hidden increase in tariffs in its program (without official devaluation) would help relieve the mileage debt.
I would like to think that Middle Eastern airlines will finally understand that a quality loyalty program could be a motivator for travelers.