A complete guide to Emirates Skywards Platinum

Skywards Platinum status carries with it perks fit for a Sheikh.

By Staff Writers, July 9 2019
A complete guide to Emirates Skywards Platinum

Serious hours in the air are required to earn Platinum status in Emirates’ Skywards frequent flyer program.

So exclusive is this status, it’s essentially out of reach for economy class travellers even on the most flexible of fares.

Even after three return Australia-Dubai-London journeys in business class, while comfortably securing Gold status in doing so, you’ll still fall short of the top tier. 

But, elevate yourself to first class for just one of these three and you’ll be over the line.

 

On the ground, benefits for Skywards such as unlimited first class lounge access anywhere on both the Emirates and Qantas network (where available) are among the offerings.

You also get a 'golden gift' for your partner, boosted lounge guest and baggage allowances and greater flexibility when it comes to using Skywards Miles for points-based bookings.

How to earn Emirates Skywards Platinum status

Unlike Skywards Silver and Gold, both of which can be earned with either Tier Miles or taking a number of Emirates flights in a year, Skywards Platinum can only be secured by accumulating 150,000 Tier Miles with Emirates and FlyDubai flights in a membership year.

Skywards Platinum is the top of the loyalty tree for Emirates travellers.
Skywards Platinum is the top of the loyalty tree for Emirates travellers.

Once reaching that threshold, the 12-month clock to retain this status for another year resets, giving you the maximum amount of time to accrue another 150,000 Tier Miles to maintain your Platinum card.

It's also worth noting that once status has been earned, you have 14 months to enjoy the benefits, even if you don't retain that tier status for a longer period.

The below graphic is the number of Tier Miles earned in a Sydney-Dubai-London return business class ticket in various fare classes.

You'd need six such trips in Business Special or four in Business Flex Plus to attain Skywards Platinum.

Flying Emirates first class is, of course, a far more efficient way to reach Skywards Platinum status: the same Sydney-London return trip earns 62,000 Tier Miles each run, meaning three trips will get you to Platinum.

There are no routes that will net you Skywards Platinum in one simple return trip (unlike Gold), so be prepared to do some long hours in premium cabins, over multiple trips, to get there.

If you've got to traverse the world, it might as well be in Emirates first class.
If you've got to traverse the world, it might as well be in Emirates first class.

The Emirates Mileage Calculator will show you how many Tier Miles you can earn on your next journey.

Lounge access for Skywards Platinum members

The lounge access arrangements for Skywards Platinum members are far better than any of the lower tiers.

At any Emirates-operated first or business class lounge, you are entitled to bring in one adult guest and two children under 17 years of age, as long as everyone is on the same Emirates or Qantas codeshare flight.

Emirates' first class lounges in Dubai are a showcase of delights.
Emirates' first class lounges in Dubai are a showcase of delights.

Thanks to the Emirates-Qantas tie-up, Skywards Platinum is roughly equivalent to Qantas Platinum when flying with the Red Roo. 

Emirates isn't part of the Oneworld alliance though, so don't expect any Oneworld Emerald benefits on other airlines, unless a separate partnership is also in place.

When flying on Qantas-operated flights, your lounge access is upgraded to Domestic Business Lounges and International First Lounges, still with one guest who must also be travelling with you on the same flight. Visit the Qantas Lounge Eligibility page for more information.

Qantas' new-look Singapore first lounge is also open to Skywards Platinum cardholders.
Qantas' new-look Singapore first lounge is also open to Skywards Platinum cardholders.

Emirates Skywards Platinum members can pay to bring more of their buddies to the First Class lounges in Dubai for US$300 (A$460) per passenger, or for US$130 (A$200) at other selected worldwide lounges outside of Dubai.

FlyDubai passengers do have some further restrictions on lounge access, even for Skywards Platinum holders. 

In Dubai Terminal 2 and around the world, you only have access to FlyDubai's business class and partner lounges for yourself - no guests. 

On the flip side, departures from Dubai Terminal 3 means you can access the Emirates First Class lounges in Concourse B & C, along with your usual guest entitlements (1 adult and two children up to 17 years old).

Checked baggage allowance for Skywards Platinum members

Skywards Platinum members get an additional 20kg baggage allowance on top of what's included in their ticket for destinations where the weight system applies, which covers most flights except those to The Americas. 

This is also extended to Qantas-operated flights.

For flights with the piece system, Platinum members have no advantage over Gold, where the special allowance is a flat 2x 23kg allowance on all economy fare types. 

If you need an extra bag, bring it with the boosted luggage allowance afforded to Platinum members.
If you need an extra bag, bring it with the boosted luggage allowance afforded to Platinum members.

This is only a benefit when booked on the cheapest Economy Special fare which includes 1x23kg bag, as all other fares and travel classes already include two pieces anyway.

Perks for Skywards Platinum members

The most prized reward open to Skywards Platinum members is a complimentary Gold Partner nomination, which bestows anybody who is also an Emirates Skywards member with 12 months of Skywards Gold, unlocking business class lounge access and most priority services when they travel.

In addition to all the benefits of Skywards Gold, Platinum opens up first class check-in where available, including with Qantas. With that comes first class priority-tagged baggage and naturally, priority boarding at the gate too.

Members can also redeem Emirates Skywards Miles for a last-minute economy or business class Flex Plus reward seat, even on high-demand flights with restricted availability. 

While Flex Plus tickets require more miles than standard reward seats, there is greater flexibility for changes and cancellations. This benefit needs to be requested through the call centre. 

Platinum perks include the ability to use points for a last-minute business class seat on high-demand flights.
Platinum perks include the ability to use points for a last-minute business class seat on high-demand flights.

For last minute cash fares, Skywards Platinum members can request a business class seat at Flex Plus levels.

Speaking of Skywards Miles, these will never expire while you remain Platinum. However, be very careful as you approach the end of your membership. 

If you drop from Platinum to Gold, any unredeemed Skywards Miles that would have expired during the Platinum-benefit period will immediately expire when your membership downgrades.

While in the air, Platinum members receive free unlimited WiFi when travelling in business class. Your Skywards Platinum number has to be attached to the booking for this to work. 

Putting a Qantas Frequent Flyer number into the booking means the system won't recognise your Skywards Platinum WiFi entitlements.

Through a partnership with Marriott, your status still has some pull after leaving the airport. 

Check in to St Regis Dubai The Palm and your Skywards points balance will continue climbing.
Check in to St Regis Dubai The Palm and your Skywards points balance will continue climbing.

Emirates' Platinum members earn 1 Skywards Mile per US$1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels worldwide. Your shiny card also allows you to enjoy complimentary 4pm late check-out, access to the Elite check-in line and complimentary enhanced in-room WiFi.

Rounding out that list is:

  • 75% bonus Skywards Miles for EK-coded flights
  • Free standard economy class seat selection for you and passengers in the same booking (even where a fee would normally be charged for your booking class)
  • Free exit row economy seats for you only when on a Flex Plus economy fare
  • Highest priority for waitlists and upgrades
  • Priority service through the contact centres
  • Guaranteed Business or Economy Class Seat at Emirates' Flex fare level – even if the flight is full.

Except you don't get a Physical card anymore with EK platinum.


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