Emirates and Alaska Airlines are now working together with a shared mileage plan.

Emirates and Alaska Airlines are now working together with a shared mileage plan.

During an Emirates press conference today held in Seattle, WA, Alaska Airlines announced a mileage partnership with the Dubai based airline. Passengers will be able to earn and redeem miles on either airline, plus miles accumulated while flying on Emirates will count towards Alaska MVP elite level program. From March 1, 2012 to May 31st Alaska will offer double miles on any Emirates flight.

“As part of our commitment to Seattle, we are launching our service by partnering with Seattle’s hometown airline to offer customers the convenience of a frequent flier partnership as well as one-stop check-in and through checked baggage,” said Nigel Page, Emirates Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Americas.

As reported previously, Emirates will start non-stop service from Seattle (SEA) to Dubai (DXB) starting on March 1, 2012. The new flight will help connect the northwest to the Middle East, Africa and India. Emirates new flight (#’s EK229 and EK230) will depart daily from Seattle and Dubai and take 14.5 to 15hrs to complete. Emirates Boeing 777-300ER will we set up in a three class layout and the price for a first class suite will cost $15,279.00, while business will cost $9479.00 and economy will be around $1448.00. With Seattle having so many large companies and a decent demand for people to visit their families in the middle east and India, the airline expects their new route to do quite well.

When asked if Emirates might be interested in upgrading their 777 service to Seattle to an Airbus A380 Nigel stated,  “As we build the business up we will certainty look at that.” However, he stated that they have not been in talks with the Port of Seattle about bringing the A380 to SEA. Previously, Perry Cooper with the Port of Seattle communications told AirlineReporter.com that, “We can handle the A380 in emergencies, however we do not have facilities for regular use, such as the multiple gate loading ramps, for the aircraft. At this time, if an A380 were to arrive and need to access a gate, safety guidelines would require all traffic to stop until the aircraft stopped at its gate, due to the width of taxiways and safety zones next to the runways.”

Currently, the Airbus A380 is not able to make it from Dubai to Seattle non-stop and Emirates stated that they are working with Airbus to increase the range to handle cities, like Los Angeles non-stop.

Emirates will also be starting service to Dallas starting February 2nd and has voiced interest in expanding to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The fact the airline has so many aircraft currently on order (70 Airbus A350s, 70 Airbus A380s and 87 Boeing 777s), my guess is all these cities will be seeing Emirates service soon.

Emirates by Robin Bilgil
Alaska by Leezpics 


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

Cockpit Video from inside An Airbus A320
Kris Ziel

If people knew how Emirates is so big, most wouldn’t fly them. The city is built on slave labor (the dark side of Dubai is a great article to read), and without the glitz and glamor of Dubai, the airline wouldn’t be nearly as big. They also get deals on planes that no US and EU airlines can compete with.

I read the story and yes, it sounds like there are some not so nice things going on, but that is true with almost every society — including in the US.

Dubai has changed from a third world country to a first world in one generation, which is not easy. Think of some of the atrocities that happened (manifest destiny, slavery, etc) and many could argue that we still use illegal workers to keep our economy afloat today.

Not that I want to get into a big historical or political discussion, just I am not sure it is that fair to blame an airline (even if owned by the government) for some of the issues that a society might still be working out.


As bad as slavery was, that was 150 years ago, and at the time is was the norm, and while slaves didn’t have the choice to be enslaved, they weren’t lied to and told they would be making a ton of money. I don’t disagree that illegal workers help our economy, but they come here knowing full well what they are getting themselves into, and they can go home at any time. The workers in Dubai are conned into going to work in Dubai and then can’t leave for years.

But the US also has a large population of sex-trade workers who are promised things, forced to do things that they do not want to do and not allowed to leave and/or made to pay off some debt. That happens today.


But our government doesn’t benefit at all from the sex trade and they don’t turn a blind eye or outright support it.

All our own issues aside, is really not flying Emirates Airlines going to alter how some workers are treated?


If people know of atrocities committed to build the city, fewer people would go and it would be even less financially feasible than it already is to build new stuff. Just like I won’t fly WN because I don’t want to give the scam artists over there any money, I won’t fly Emirates because they are supported and support an emirate that is built on slave labor. Obviously not everyone holds those views, but far more would if they knew “the dark side of Dubai.”

Kris, by that definition you also eliminate flying to Mumbai, Johannesburg and any city with an Apple Store.

The Apple Store example is so incredibly flawed.

At my last Emirates Sales Conference in Dubai before I retired in 2005, they showed a world map on which almost every major city worldwide was highlighted as a destination to be achieved by 2020. Emirates is a very forward looking airline with good customer service in all cabins and with the aircraft they have on order I think that’s achievable.

Kris, every city has it’s darker side and Dubai is no exception. Also every airline gets good deals from manufacturers by bulk buying, the bigger the deal, the bigger the discount. I’m sure Continental/United, American and Delta would also say that’s true on their bulk B737NG deals.

I’m talking about the deals they get on loans, which are backed by the US taxpayer. The US ex im bank can’t back US or EU loans, so those airlines pay 8 or 9% interest while emirates pays 3%, and when you are spending billions of dollars, that adds up very quickly.

Kris, I agree with you completely about US Exim Bank loans. I too think there should be a level playing field and all airlines should be treated equally. However, in the case of Emirates, they have enough cash reserves not to need Exim Bank guarantees and usually arrange their own finance through European or Islamic Banks in the Middle East, as do Qatar & Etihad.

Emirates was formed by the Dubai Government in 1985 with two B727’s donated by the Dubai Amiri Flight, two leased B737-300’s and an A300 (leased from PIA). They are probably unique in that they have shown a profit every year since year two. Although they are owned by the Dubai Goverment they are not subsidised by them. In fact they support the Government by paying them a huge dividend each year. All the staff also benefit from their ‘Profit Share’ each year. In the 15 years I worked for them we regularly received anything from 6 to 14 weeks salary bonus. All this is achieved by a policy of having new aircraft, the latest hi-tech on board equipment, excellent customer service and reasonably happy staff.

US Legacy carriers on the other hand (and many of the European legacy carriers too) have suffered from complacency for far too long. Most also regularly make a loss each year and don’t have the cash reserves to update their fleets. US Airlines also have the unique fall back of Chapter 11 Bancruptcy Protection. All of the US majors have used it, sometimes more than once. Without Chapter 11 protection they would all have gone out of business long ago leaving the smaller better prepared airlines to expand and continue. Instead, the legacy carriers cry ‘foul’ to their Governments when these new airlines (Emirates, Qatar, Etihad etc) arrive on the scene with their emphasis on customer service and modern equipment. Air Canada is a case in point, always complaining to their Government whenever other airlines want to provide a better service.

I’m going to be booking on a flight to Dubai next year. I am waiting for some additional information from Alaska before I do though since I probably have enough miles to do a round trip flight from Seattle to Dubai =)

Always, ALWAYS wanted to flight on a 777… the 5 abreast seating will be a bit odd but manageable I think

Hey Brian,

I think Emirates will operate the 777-300ER with 6 across in first, 7 across in business and 10 across in economy. Economy looks to be set up in a 3-4-3 layout, so no worries about the uber middle seat.



That’s awesome! That makes me want to book now than later! I still can’t believe one could fly to Dubai for $1200 round trip…. Just baffles my mind.

And earn 7425 mi (well twice that until May 31st) Alaska miles to boot :).

Just the $1200 is if you fly between 3/1 and 6/9. After that economy will go up to $1448.00.

It really is a pretty amazing deal and if you have wanted to do it!


PS and no I am not getting any kickbacks for people getting tickets :).

i was working in Emirates Airlines for a long time,and i never felt that
i was a slave.
no other airline could treat there passengers as we do in Emirates.believe me i traveled with all kinda of airlines and the most of the time i regret!

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