Upgrade complete! How our entire family scored the glorious Emirates A380 Business Class

This flight felt like it came straight out of another chapter in a Crazy Rich Asians movie. Never in my life did I dream of traveling like this again… let alone with my ENTIRE family. I always assumed it was an unattainable fantasy.

Award inventories are at an all-time low. And with all the travel demand surge these days… you be lucky to find two award seats available. How was this even possible? Did we just splurge and spend a ton of $$$$ to book seven passengers in the cabin? No way this could be achieved thru miles right???

This is the epic story of how everyone scored a baller ticket to Dubai on Emirates Business Class


Luck definitely played a huge factor for this high-season flight. Originally, only 3 out of 7 of us were booked in Business with miles. Thankfully, we locked the price in prior to Emirates Skywards devaluation, so we were able to redeem this for 135,000 miles / passenger.

For the rest of us, I decided to do a big gamble and selectively booked us on Economy Flex tickets for the same flight. Not known to many, when you book a “Flex” or “Flex Plus” fare on Emirates, the airline gives you an interesting opportunity to “Upgrade with Skywards Miles” to the next cabin class if it’s available alllllll the way to the day of check-in thru the Emirates Skywards program.

That’s right, Emirates is one of the only airlines that will allow you to redeem miles for last minute upgrades during check-in at the airport. It’s almost a hidden sweet spot in that the mileage requirements are typically lower and you avoid paying the hefty Emirates fuel surcharges/taxes.

Fast forward to the day of the flight… it’s time to roll the dice

We strategically arrived early to Tom Bradley International Airport & asked how many seats were available to upgrade to Business Class. After a few moments of silence… the Emirates gentleman said the magic words that were music to my ears

We have 4 seats left. Our promo is 81,900 miles / seat
Would you like to upgrade your seats with cash or miles?

I was so nervous. I could feel the dream flight almost within my grasp. But there was one huge problem, I didn’t have enough miles in my Skywards account.

Luckily, we had plenty of American Express/Chase/Citi points and they are all instant transfer partners to Skywards. I fired up our laptop… time to act quick and transfer points ASAP

To kill some time, I decided to make small conversation and pretended to be interested in booking the upgrade with cash.

For cash, it’s $3100 more / passenger. Total would be $12,400 for our promo cash price. Would you like to do this instead since you have insufficient mileage on your Skywards account?

It was at that moment, I transferred an additional 328,000 points to my Emirates account. I smirked and politely replied…

We’ll book the upgrade with miles. Check my account again please, there should be sufficient mileage now.

Moments later…

Emirates Lounge LAX

I can’t believe it… it’s actually happening! We felt like giddy little kids on Christmas morning again. Upon entering the Emirates Lounge, the epic reality is sinking in… we are all flying together on Emirates Business Class.

Besides a hearty breakfast, Emirates Lounge also offers quite a premium selection of wine. A notable wine to highlight is the Penfolds 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which pairs well with the brunch.

Emirates A380 Upper Deck

Emirates First and Business Cabin is situated all on the A380 upper deck. For this flight, our family of 7 were seated in Row 11 and the entire Row 21.

It’s almost impossible not to grin from ear to ear in how ridiculous this flight already is. We are taking over the front and the back of the Business Class upper deck cabin.

Can easily cheer drinks with Chai Bear World g-ma

Or move just an aisle over & cheer with the bubbly Chloe

Or wander to the front & see Chai Bear World g-pa comfortably stretch out

Emirates A380 Seat

Everything feels like it’s glittered with money. The seat is glamoured with a huge screen plus an unnecessary extra touch screen tablet to play with.

The amenity kit felt like First Class filled with an assortment of Bulgari toiletries.

With USB and plug-in outlets… your own drink cabinets… and even a HDMI port.

Emirates A380 Sky Bar

One of the best parts of flying Emirates Business Class together is that we can all lounge 40,000ft in the air at its famous Sky Bar. Movies are commonly made out of this. What a glorious way to socialize and travel.

Miki & Paul Bartender in the Sky

Old-Fashioned cocktail coming right up

Dirty Martini… shaken not stirred

To be honest, we spent wayyyy too many hours having fun at this bar. It made 16+ hours of flight literally fly by… even Chai Bear World g-ma stayed up to party.

or you can go back to your glitzy seat to party too

Overall, this was one of the most over-the-top Business Class flights we’ve ever had. Watching everyone pose in front of the Emirates bar definitely made me feel like we were living in an alternate dimension. What an amazing surreal moment indeed…

If this was cash, this flight could’ve easily topped over $25,000+ USD for the 7 passengers. Instead we made it into reality with the magic of miles.

Incredible how a family of seven can all party together like this on the Emirates A380 upper deck. It is definitely a rare treat few families can ever say they’ve experienced…

Here’s a short one minute highlight of this special party flight.

With miles and a sprinkle of luck… this can be your reality too.

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