Emirates: Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets
Published by Anne McDermott at August 12, 2011
Emirates: Different from Other Airlines
Emirates is a little different from other airlines. Just ask the loyal passengers of the Dubai-based carrier and they'll tell you the biggest difference is the pride Emirates takes in its luxurious air travel experience.
Even coach passengers enjoy individual seatback monitors with more than 600 channels of on-demand programming, phone and email service, plus complimentary cocktails with free multi-course meals. Perks for first and business class travelers include airport transport in chauffeur-driven cars. As Emirates likes to say, "We want you to enjoy the journey as much as the destination."
Find Cheap Flights on Emirates
Finding the best airfare deals on Emirates depends on your route and the time of year you want to fly. See the tips below, and when you're ready to buy, shop the FareCompare flexible search calendar; it allows you to look at multiple websites at once, including Emirates website, so you know you'll find the best prices every time you shop.
Dubai is Emirates' hub and all U.S. flights connect through there; the airline serves New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco as well as Toronto and scores of cities around the world on six continents. The airline also serves over 100 cities directly and hundreds more through a variety of partners.
If you fly from New York (JFK) you can partake in the mega-jumbo Airbus A380 experience: a sight to behold and a flight to remember.
Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets on Emirates
In general, international airlines start to release their cheapest seats about six months before departure and Emirates fits this mold. That six month mark doesn't mean buying necessarily, but it does mean you can start shopping for airfare and kicking the tires (so to speak.) When you are ready to buy, purchase your airfare at least 30 days before departure (if at all possible) to avoid being treated as a last-minute business traveler who can afford the hefty upcharge.
Best Time to Fly on Emirates
U.S. flyers will be hard pressed to find a ticket on Emirates for under $1400 round-trip since as mentioned, all flights from the states transit through Dubai.
A good rule of thumb: First, you have to think in terms of flight distance. For example, a flight from New York to Dubai is over three times as far as a flight from New York to Los Angeles, so a decent airfare deal for a NY-Dubai flight would be about four times the price of a typical $400 coast-to-coast airline ticket.
Unlike flights to Europe, where mid-week rates can be about $80 cheaper (round-trip) than flying on a weekend, flights to the Middle East don't have such big day-of-departure differences.
However, most of the cheapest Emirates fares have a Saturday night stay requirement (and a four month maximum stay requirement) so you should plan to enjoy your destination for at least seven nights to get the cheapest ticket prices.
On Emirate's Dubai route, the priciest airfare is for travel in early June through late August and during the three weeks before Christmas. The cheapest fares on this route are for travel in November and again beginning the day after Christmas through the end of March.
Fly into Dubai Airport
Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the United Arab Emirates is a major aviation gateway to the Middle East and is located less than three miles from the city.
If you will be connecting through the Dubai airport, you'll find plenty to do in Emirates new Terminal 3. Some ideas:
- Shopping: Try a little retail therapy at the 20+ duty-free shops featuring designer names like Armani, Gucci, Hermes and Rolex plus electronics from Sony and Apple.
- Pampering: Three spas offer everything from massage, hair and nail care and more.
- Dining: Enjoy tapas, sample Arabic cuisine or load up on steak, seafood or pasta while enjoying your favorite cocktail (yes, they serve alcohol). Or get a taste of home from Starbucks.
- Meditate: Choose from two lovely Zen gardens to relax in.
- Sightsee: Want to explore Dubai during a lengthy layover? Emirates will store your bags for a fee while you enjoy this vibrant city.
Focus: Emirates Flights to Cape Town
Earlier this year, Emirates began its second daily flight to Cape Town from Dubai due to strong demand. The South African city, which hosted the 2010 World Cup Games, boasts that it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Africa. See FareCompare's Cape Town Travel Guide for the best things to see and do there, and enter our contest to win tickets to travel to Cape Town on Emirates.