A complete guide to Emirates Skywards Gold
Gold status in Emirates’ Skywards is undoubtedly the 'sweet spot' in terms of the many useful benefits it provides.
Emirates Skywards Gold status is the middle ‘elite’ tier of the Gulf carrier’s Skywards rewards program, sitting between Skywards Silver and Skywards Platinum – but for many travellers it’s the sweet spot of Skywards.
Yes, it takes enough flying to make you a familiar face to some Emirates cabin crew, but in recognition of this comes a suite of perks to make that travelling easier and more enjoyable.
How to earn Emirates Skywards Gold status
Tally up 50 eligible flights (a hard slog by anyone’s reckoning) or 50,000 Tier Miles on flights with Emirates, FlyDubai and Emirates-marketed codeshare flights in a year to earn Skywards Gold status.
Think of Emirates' Tier Miles as 'status credits'. These are only earned on flights carrying an EK code (even if operated by another airline) depending on the distance flown and fare class.
Once reaching Gold, the clock on another membership year resets to zero and you need to earn another 50,000 Tier Miles or complete 50 flights within that time to maintain your Gold membership for another year.
Otherwise, you’ll have 14 months – from the moment you earn that status – to enjoy the benefits, even if you won't retain it for a longer period.
Here is an example of the number of Tier Miles earned in a Sydney-Dubai-London return business class ticket in various fare classes, based on an entry-level Blue member. You could nearly reach Skywards Gold with a single return trip in Business Flex Plus or after two return trips in Business Special.
Note also that while the number of Tier Miles is the same for all members irrespective of status, the number of Skyward Miles earned increases when factoring in status bonuses (25% for Silver, 50% for Gold and 75% for Platinum).
If you've done that and find yourself just a few thousand Tier Miles short, consider Emirates' Sydney-Bangkok hop in business class return or Perth-Dubai journey in economy class return to bridge the gap and get you across the line.
It's even possible to lock-in Skywards Gold after one return trip – Melbourne to New York via Dubai return in Business Flex or higher will do the trick, earning from 50,926 Tier Miles.
Head to the Emirates Mileage Calculator to see how many Tier Miles you can earn on your next journey.
Perks for Skywards Gold members
In addition to all the benefits of Skywards Silver, your Gold card headlines with lounge access plus check-in at business class counters worldwide – including when flying on Qantas – alongside priority baggage handling and boarding.
Skywards Gold members also have priority in call centre queues, and can request a guaranteed economy Flex Plus seat on sold-out flights if done at least 48 hours ahead of departure time.
Once you’re in the air, Skywards Gold members enjoy free unlimited chat over the Emirates inflight WiFi system using the likes of Apple iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other text services; just make sure your Skywards number is attached to the booking.
Your entitlements won't be recognised if you hold Skywards Gold status but credit your booking to Qantas Frequent Flyer, for example.
Rounding up that list is 50% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates flights, plus free economy class seat selection for you and passengers in the same booking, even where a fee would normally be charged for your booking class.
Lounge access for Skywards Gold members
Emirates isn't part of any airline alliance, so it relies on individual partnerships instead. Through the Emirates-Qantas tie-up, Skywards Gold is roughly equivalent to Qantas Gold when flying on QF-numbered flights.
This isn't extended to other Oneworld member flights though since Emirates has no affiliation with the alliance, unless Emirates has its own partnership with said airline beyond the Oneworld link.
Skywards Gold members may access any Emirates and partner-operated business class lounges across the airline’s worldwide network (not just in Dubai International Airport as with Silver), along with one guest (which includes children), when travelling on an Emirates or Qantas codeshare flight.
The guest must also be travelling with you on the same flight.
When travelling on Qantas-operated flights, access to domestic Qantas Clubs and International Business Lounges is also granted with one guest in tow, who must also be travelling with you on the same flight. Visit the Qantas Lounge Eligibility page for more information.
Emirates Skywards Gold members can add a dash of luxe to their trip by upgrading to the Emirates First Class lounges in Dubai for US$150 (A$230) for themselves and their one eligible guest.
Further guests can be added outright to the Emirates Business Class Lounges for US$150 or to the First Class lounges for US$300 (A$460), per passenger.
In other selected cities apart from Dubai, Skywards Gold frequent flyers can add extra guests for US$130 (A$200) each. Everyone must be travelling on the same flight.
Travelling with FlyDubai instead? In Dubai Terminal 2 and around the world, Skywards Gold members have access to FlyDubai's and partner lounges, but for yourself only.
This is relaxed slightly when you depart from Dubai Terminal 3, where access is for the Emirates business class lounges with one accompanying guest.
Checked baggage allowance for Skywards Gold members
Where the weight system applies, which covers most flights except those to the Americas, Skywards Gold members get an additional 16kg baggage allowance on top of what's included in their ticket. This is also extended to Qantas-operated flights.
For flights with the piece system, Gold and Platinum members get a 2x23kg allowance on all economy fare types.
This is only a benefit when booked on the cheapest Economy Special fare which includes 1x23kg bag, as all other fares already include two pieces anyway.
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