Have been flying with Emirates for years only because it is the only direct flight between my local airport on the UK and DXB. I moved between Blue, Silver and Gold tiers and downwards.
A few years ago I can redeem 36000 for a return ticket which includes a 10% discount for online bookings. I would pay no more than £70 taxes etc. I used to earn 7000 miles on paid for UK-DXB flights. Since them and gradually the following happened:
1) Most flights are saver even though their cost have increased significantly, meaning that you earn only 3000 miles for return journeys.
2) Even Flex flight which are noticeably more in price earn 6000 miles instead of 7000. The cost difference is not worth paying for the extra miles.
3) You need 45000 miles for saver reward ticket which is has a ridiculously LIMITED availability (maybe one flight out of 30 flights maximum).
4) You need 77500 miles for flex flights (which surprise surprise is the majority of the flights).
6) Inflated and substantial charges with redeemed tickets: instead of the maximum £70 I used to pay, I now have to pay around £290 for each ticket that is in addition to the 77500 miles! In terms of miles worth: say for a £600 ticket you will be saving £310 pounds, meaning that in real money 77500 miles = £310 so that is equal to £0.004/mile. You can use this rate to check if paying for Flex tickets is worth the increased difference. It never is. If you pay a typical £200 more for a flex ticket to gain 3000 miles more, you will be paying £0.067 per mile (compare that to £0.004)!!!
7) Upgrades? In your dream unless you are flexible by +-3 weeks or more. Very limited flights to upgrade. What's more, it is impossible to know when booking online if the flight is upgradeable. Also, when trying to upgrade an existing flight it keeps giving you messages that "try again nearer to the flight time" and even then still without avail.
Find the cheapest flights, don't worry about their higher tier benefits. I remember both my husband and I were denied the lounge in the UK while we were Gold members because our 3 year old child who was travelling with us was Silver and not Gold!.
My strongest tip: stop chasing Skywards scam miles and save your money.
Product or Service Mentioned: Emirates Airlines Flight.