An Emirates Skywards Gold card is your key to unlimited lounge access across Emirates and its partner airline networks, including whenever you travel domestically or internationally with Qantas. Other perks include boosted luggage allowances and even unlimited free WiFi onboard.
Australia Business Traveller dives into Skywards Gold membership and the benefits that come with it.
How to earn Emirates Skywards Gold status
Simply rack up 50 eligible flights or 50,000 Tier Miles on Emirates, FlyDubai and EK-marketed codeshare flights in a year to earn Skywards Gold status.
Think of Emirates' Tier Miles as 'status credits'. These are only earned on EK-coded flights depending on the distance flown and fare class.
Here is an example of the number of Tier Miles earned in a Sydney-Dubai-London return business class ticket in various fare classes. You could nearly reach Skywards Gold with a single return trip in Business Flex Plus or after two return trips in Business Special.
If you've done that and find yourself just a few thousand Tier Miles short, consider Emirates' unique Sydney-Christchurch hop in business class return or Melbourne-Singapore journey in economy class return to bridge the gap.
It's even possible to lock-in Skywards Gold after one return trip – Melbourne to Dubai to New York 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.
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.
Skywards Gold members have access to any Emirates and partner business class lounges in the network, along with one guest (which includes children), when travelling on an EK or Qantas codeshare flight. The guest must also be travelling with you on the same flight.
When flying 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$105 (A$150) for themselves and their one eligible guest. Further guests can be added outright to the Business Class Lounges for US$105 or to the First Class lounges for US$210 (A$300), per passenger.
In other selected cities apart from Dubai, Skywards Gold frequent flyers can add extra guests for US$100 (A$143) each. Everyone must be travelling on the same flight.
Travelling with FlyDubai instead? In Dubai Terminal 2 and around the world, you have access to FlyDubai's and partner lounges for yourself only. This is relaxed slightly when you depart from Dubai Terminal 3, where lounge 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 2x 23kg allowance on all economy fare types. This is only a benefit when booked on the cheapest Economy Special fare which includes 1x 23kg bag, as all other fares already include two pieces anyway.
Perks for Skywards Gold members
As expected, your Gold card opens up check-in at business class counters worldwide, including when flying on Qantas. With that comes priority-tagged baggage and priority boarding at the gate too.
Skywards Gold members have priority at the call centre, and can also request a guaranteed economy Flex Plus seat on sold-out flights if requested 48 hours in advance.
Free unlimited WiFi is offered where available in any class of travel, although that roster also includes all business and first class passengers, so speeds and congestion may be an issue. Your Skywards number has to be attached to the booking for this to work. 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 for EK-coded flights (these are miles for redeeming reward flights, not Tier Miles for status), 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.