Emirates is now selling Skywards Gold membership for US$800

By David Flynn, June 11 2017

Want Gold frequent flyer status – along with perks such as lounge access and a higher checked luggage allowance – but haven't been able to clock up the necessary status credits?

If you're a Silver member of Emirates' Skywards rewards program, check your inbox – the airline is now offering selected Silver card-holders the opportunity to buy Gold status.

The cost is US$800 (A$1,060), which locks in Skywards Gold status for a full 12 months.

Those Silver-grade flyers are being given seven days in which to decide if Gold is worth that much to them.

An Emirates spokesman tells Australian Business Traveller that the promotion was targeted at "a very small group of Emirates Skywards Silver members ... who have met certain qualifying criteria, including being in the top percentile of our Silver membership base in terms of revenue contribution."

"Less than 1% of the Silver membership base received this offer, and a handful have taken it up."

The spokesman elaborated that this "was a limited one-time offer" and that the airline has "no intention of making this a mass product."

The move follows recent decisions by the Gulf airline to allow economy passengers to buy their way into its business class and first class lounges.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

Sounds like they're desperate for additional revenue.

One would expect this will lead to more people in their lounges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 112

Seems a cheap way to have status if you have lots of flying coming up, if it's anything like QF gold , to attain gold would cost a lot more than $800 of flying

03 May 2013

Total posts 400

Cheapens the whole idea of 'status'. It's now recognition of how much money you have to blow and not your loyalty, which is ironic and distasteful. Emirates is going down the path of the designer Pierre Cardin many years ago and slowly cheapening the brand to the point one would go out of their way to disassociate themselves from it. Myopic to say the least.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

22 Nov 2016

Total posts 3

this is prostituting. How much would it cost for platinum then? What's the point of flying and giving your loyalty when everyone can enjoy benefits by paying for the status? Where is the exclusivity when everyone can go in to the lounge at any time? How crowded would the lounge be? 


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Anyone right now can buy Business or First ticket and have all those perks. Is it also "prostituting"? Or may be "prostituting" is to give access to lounge for gold-status holders who not flying Business/First? They decided that it is good for them to sell "status" and I would buy one if I have plenty of incoming flights. Fail to see anything wrong with that.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 72

This makes sense. If you fly often enough you will reach gold without paying the $800 fee. If you don't fly enough to reach gold then you won't have that many opportunities to use the benefits and therefore you will have minimal impact on 'lounge crowding', etc.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Apperently EK has been sending the email out to only members who are very close to Gold, members who have enough future bookings to reach gold or members who have been Gold for several years but recently dropped to a lower tier.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Exactly. This is a great way for EK to get easy revenue by luring those Silver members with upcoming travel to pay for Gold which they'll likely attain in the next few trips anyway. The benefits may be worth it for those passengers.

Since hitting Gold with Star Alliance and Emerald with oneworld, I've become obsessed with not letting it go. LOL  


03 May 2012

Total posts 113

Instinctively it upsets fliers but it is not markedly different to Qantas selling Qantas Club memberships, except it is more expensive.  If you earn QF Gold, your major benefit is lounge membership, but someone who rarely flies can join you in the lounge by paying an annual fee, as well as receiving some other benefits such as extra luggage etc

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 140

It's not even really much more than Qantas club at the full public rates (yes there are significantly cheaper corporate memberships available). And qantas club only get lounge - they don't get priority security or boarding (not that QF knows how to do that properly anyway), they don't get any extra FF bonus points, they don't get the extra reward seat availability, extra baggage of gold, international lounge access outside of AA/QF lounges etc. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2016

Total posts 11

What's better value...this (~$1000/year) or Qantas Life Time Gold, which they were effectively 'selling' for ~$35K during the last double status credits promotion in March (less whatever status credits you might have already earned, of course). 

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

This offer may not be given every year to the same passenger. You can't rely on getting an offer like this. Also EK doesn't partner with QF for travel to/from the US so if you fly to the US on QF then EK status isn't going to help. When the EK partnership ends at some point in the future then EK status will be of no help for flying QF.

If you mainly fly QF then QF LTG is a lot better than EK Gold.

Whilst you could go from 0 Lifetime status credits to 14000 on one DSC promo I think very few/none would do that. The DSC promo can certainly help with retaining your tier or levelling up to the next level.

I'd rather put $1000 towards attaining/retaining SG (or above) status on QF.

I'm still some years away from locking in LTS but every bit helps towards locking in LTG in the future.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jul 2016

Total posts 52

Yet another company falling into the trap of watering down its privileges, without considering the longer term implications. Status is a reward for travel spend/loyalty and shouldn't be able to be bought. I'd certainly be pee'd-off if I was a loyal Emirates FF and they did this. Very pleased QF won't do the same.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

05 Jun 2017

Total posts 29

I totally agree. It's a betrayal of loyalty and EK needs to ensure they don't reap the whirlwind of their actions. I'm platinum with Emirates and my loyalty to EK up to now has been based on the benefits accruing from that tier. Those benefits have been generous. I particularly like the quiet of the DXB first class lounge. On my current and recent trips I have noticed a general increase in numbers. Emirates, if you spruik such benefits as exclusive, don't disillusion loyal members by watering down the exclusivity that many like and appreciate! We have flown hard to reach the top tiers. Value our commitment

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

05 Jun 2017

Total posts 29

And value the real reasons we fly with you

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