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View From the Wing
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Rated: August 2011- Your attention will not likely be drawn to any one word or graphic with your first glance at the home page. There is a lot going on but it does not scream out at you with bright colors and moving graphics. The Emirates logo is so small in its tucked away space on the left-hand side that you hardly notice it at all. But upon closer inspection, the information available through the site will come into view.
The home page was built around making it easy for members to access all the information they need about Skywards. Links include Membership Tiers, Earning Skywards Miles, Travel Rewards, Journey Management, Personal Travel Coordinator, Skysurfers, Become a Skywards Member, The Emirates High Street (shopping) and Log In to Skywards. These links are featured in the center of the page as well as a list on the left-hand side of the page.
Most people will not automatically know what Journey Management, Personal Travel Coordinator and Skysurfers are referencing since these are unique to Skywards. The Journey Management link takes you to a page that could be more aptly titled Member Benefits, because it displays a chart with the benefits members receive according to their membership level. The Personal Travel Coordinator explains the option for members to elect a person to manage their Skywards account and redeem awards on the member's behalf among other tasks. And the Skysurfers page features information on Emirates' frequent flyer program for children aged two to 16 complete with special award offers.
On the right side of the home page, members can log in to their Skywards account and link quickly to Frequently Asked Questions--there's no hunting through the site's pages to find that most helpful information. The FAQ pages make it easy to find answers to your questions. And at the far right bottom of the page, there's a graphic and link that reads, "Boost your Miles balance with Miles Accelerator" to entice members to earn more miles. This last section rotates offers when you leave and come back to the home page or refresh the page.
When you log in as a member, you're directed to a page that features your account details, such as your mileage balance, tier status and a link to click for special offers or to donate miles to charity. Members can also search for flight or upgrade awards, or flights for cash, as well as access the Earn & Spend Calculator that shows members how many miles they'll earn between two destinations and how many miles they will need for an award between two destinations. The calculator indicates what they'll earn based on distance flown as well as booking class and you can book your flights, either with cash or miles, directly from this page. There is also information available to alert you if there are any bonus offers for the destinations you've entered into the calculator. You can also upgrade an existing ticket through this page.
The Emirates Skywards website is an asset to the program. Care has been taken to make the site functional and easy to use.