By Foster Obi
Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, has marked 20 years of excellence, innovation and unmatched rewards. It is also celebrating a milestone of 27million members. From a million members in 2005, the loyalty programme has increased to 27 million members worldwide in 2020, of which, more than 32,000 are founding members who joined the programme in 2000 and are still active.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Emirates Skywards is offering members double Tier Miles on any flight booked by 10 December, for travel until 31 March 2021, while founding members can earn double Tier Miles and double Skywards Miles on any flight booked by 10 December, for travel until 31 August 2021.
Over the past two decades – the loyalty programme has continued to grow its membership base by offering value and rich, personalized experiences to its members around the world. The programme has continually invested to diversify its brand partnerships, and utilize innovative digital technology, so that it can offer its members across the globe with more ways to earn and enjoy rewards, conveniently and via new touchpoints.
With continued travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Emirates Skywards is offering its members reassurance and flexibility during this difficult time.
Emirates Skywards members come from more than 180 countries, including: 3.5 million members in the United Kingdom, 2.7 million in the United States, 2 million in Australia, 1.9 million in India, and 1.9 million in the United Arab Emirates.
Emirates Skywards has expanded its range of partners over the past 20 years to create new, exciting and exceptional value offerings for its diverse membership base. The loyalty programme currently has nearly 200 partners, including: 16 airline partners; more than 100 hotel partners; 33 financial partners, 22 retail and lifestyle partners, 7 car rental partners.
Earlier this year, the loyalty programme launched skywardsmilesmall.com – introducing over a thousand new ways to earn Miles while shopping online with popular UK and US brands. Expanding its financial partnerships, the loyalty programme has launched the Emirates Skywards MasterCard® in partnership with Barclays – its first Emirates branded credit card in the U.S allowing customers to accumulate even more Skywards Miles on their everyday spend and travel purchases.
‘My Family’ programme, which launched in 2018, has enhanced its features to now accept family members pooling up to 100% of all Skywards Miles earned, not just on Emirates flights – allowing customers to redeem rewards even faster than before.
Members can also earn thousands of Miles with Emirates Skywards Hotels at over 400,000 hotels, in over 900 destinations worldwide – and up to 2,500 bonus Miles per night, when using a co-branded Emirates Skywards credit card for payment.
Emirates Skywards’ introduction of personalized offers integrated within the booking flow is an industry-first loyalty benefit, whereby logged-in members can avail enhanced Cash+Miles redemption rates and discounted Miles Upgrades when booking flights directly on emirates.com and the Emirates app. These exclusive offers are tailored to suit each member’s preference – offering vast opportunities to save on travel costs.
Members can enjoy more personalized offerings at their fingertips through four Skywards apps – Emirates app (Skywards section integrated within), Emirates Skywards Go (offering dining and leisure offers in 160 destinations), Emirates Skywards Cabforce (booking taxis in over 100 cities in more than 25 countries), and Skywards Everyday (allowing members to earn Miles instantly when shopping at beauty and wellness stores, dining, groceries, luxury, leisure and entertainment outlets, as well as other services across the UAE). Members can download the Skywards Everyday app from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
Emirates Skywards also has a partnership with The Dubai Mall, rewarding members with Skywards Miles when shopping at over 1,300 brands, dining at over 200 outlets and visiting attractions at the world’s largest shopping destination.
Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members have had their tier review dates extended to enable an additional 12 months at their current status.
The loyalty programme has also extended the validity of any Skywards Miles due to expire from April 2020 until 31 March 2021. Members can also redeem Miles up to 11 months in advance for an extensive range of rewards.*
As a pioneer in the industry – Emirates Skywards has scooped more than 50 awards over the past 20 years including Best Frequent Flyer Programme from Business Traveller Middle East (2019) and Middle East’s Leading Airline Rewards Programme from World Travel Awards (2019). This year, Emirates Skywards was ranked top 10 Best Frequent Flyer Program by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice 2020 – recognized for its industry leading initiatives and innovative product offerings.