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Unusual airline choice

When looking for airlines to take to Europe, Emirates probably doesn't pop into your head. But because of an unusual international airline agreement called fifth freedom, they are allowed the following flights (of course confirm this info). Keep in mind they are considered one of the best airlines in the world and I think they are Star Alliance.

"What about Emirates’ fifth freedom routes?
Emirates operates two fifth freedom routes from the US:

New York to Milan to Dubai
Newark to Athens to Dubai

Posted by
5478 posts

I flew with them in 2020 to Sri Lanka via Dubai. No issues and very accommodating changing flights within 24 hours to get us back to the U.K. just before lockdown. I did have the slowest ever check in queue at Sri Lanka airport. It was meant to be a free flight change, but we were charged. We were so relieved to get home that we didn’t bother to argue with them.

Posted by
12939 posts

We had a great experience flying Emirates between Australia and New Zealand a few years back. My husband in particular loves this airline—-everyone is so professional, and he loves the flight attendant uniforms.

Those are the 2 routes from the US to Europe that do not have a layover or stopover in Dubai. I knew about the MIlan flight (and we are taking it in March covid willing), but this is the first I heard of the one to Athens. Could be useful to lots of people.

I originally booked our March trip to Italy on British Airways, using our Avios to get business class. The flight has a layover at Heathrow and we have taken it many times, often with some time spent in London on the way home. By late July I was becoming concerned about that stop in the UK, which at the time was causing complications for entering Italy, even with an airside transit. I found I could use our Alaska miles to get seats on Emirates in business class, so I canceled the BA flight and booked the Emirates one. This was just days before the Emirates—Alaska Airlines partnership ended, but I did not know that at the time. The tickets are still good, but cannot be changed.

We have to get ourselves to JFK from Seattle separately, so we are flying there a couple of days ahead (we always enjoy a bit of time in New York). It appears that if we wanted to book that flight now, we would still have to fly ourselves to New York, even though Emirates serves our airport (SeaTac). If I try to book to Milan from Seattle, they will route us Seattle to Dubai nonstop, then Dubai back to Milan. Or a flight with 2 connections, Seattle to San Francisco to JFK to Milan. Nothing from Seattle to JFK.

But if you start in San Francisco, they will route you SFO—-JFK—-MXP.

Their one-way pricing is very reasonable if you want to do that. Like JFK to MXP in business class for $1800 in March (flex price).

Posted by
300 posts

They are one of the very few airlines still flying to New Zealand- and have continued to all through the pandemic - note this means that they are basically making a huge loss as so few passengers are allowed into NZ for the last 2 years.

Look on youtube before you book their business class - but be warned -you'll understand that US airlines 1st class is a bad joke in comparison.

Posted by
215 posts

@ phred

They are Oneworld Alliance. Business class sets a very high standard. A380 has the unique bar at back of top deck.

From antipodes the major choices are Emirates, Qatar and Skippy. All have their unique plusses and are recommended.

Qatar is top of the tree for me.

Regards Ron

Posted by
215 posts

@ phred

Apologies, appears no longer to be Oneworld. Assumed as their flights are offered at Qantas along with Qatar they were Oneworld. Maybe stand alone now.

Regards Ron

Addendum

Emirates have own called Skywards. Should have known that, been a member 2009, but I book through Qantas for points and status credits which links to Oneworld..

Posted by
3578 posts

Note that Singapore Airlines flies Manchester UK / Houston, a completely unexpected routing.