Unveiling Emirates iO: The invite-only club for the ultra frequent fliers

Aside from Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum Emirates Skywards memberships, there lies a secret, invite-only tier – Emirates iO.

This super premium service is restricted to 300 Emirates VIP passengers across the world, each of whom are handpicked and endorsed by the President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark . No amount of flying can guarantee that coveted upgrade. Only a personal bump from the airline’s President, Sir Tim Clark, can get you into the club that otherwise ‘doesn’t exist’.

Emirates iO is reserved for high-profile figures, such as politicians and celebrities, of whose identities are known to a select few at Emirates.

How can passengers upgrade to Emirates iO?

It is not possible to upgrade to Emirates iO using Tier Miles. However, to become a member, flyers must follow these steps:

  1. Spend with Emirates: iO memebership, is reserved for Emirates’ most frequent and valued flyers. There have been reports of cases that saw travellers with low Tier Miles earn their iO status, however, according to sources, the eligibility criteria requires passengers to have a travel history of at least 50 trips per year, with flights taken in Business or First Class. Travellers must reportedly spend $1 million or above annually with the airline.
  2. Build a rapport: Meeting the spending requirements or flying frequently may not be enough, even though it increases your chances to be part of iO. Travellers must also maintain a strong commercial relationship with the airlines. As per sources, Emirates’ main office holds the authority to recommend potential candidates for an invitation.

Becoming an iO member

Emirates reportedly present their iO members with a welcome package that includes an exclusive enrolment card, a new Mont Blanc wallet, an extra Gold card for any chosen individual, and a personalised welcome letter – all of which are hand-delivered to the member’s doorstep.

The iO membership card holds a two-year validity, which is subject to a review process for renewal. This process is conducted three months ahead of the card’s expiry.

iO members can also expect first-class service such as being escorted out of the aircraft first, a chauffeur or even a helicopter ride from the airport to the member’s destination.

iO members and 10 guests can also reach out to an Emirates relationship manager for personalized assistance.  iO members have priority wait-listing, and seat(s) on an overbooked flight, and will be served food from a favorite restaurant.

Speaking to a few iO members, it’s reported that members have shared that non-iO members can get bumped from First Class to Business Class if the iO member prefers to get upgraded on a fully booked flight.

Members also hold the power to board the plane at their convenience, or have the pilot hold the plane for a few extra minutes, in case the member is running late.

Members are also receive complementary tickets to sporting events sponsored by the airline such as Formula 1, football games, golf tournaments and festivals.

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