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Why can't I upgrade with Miles in advance for certain flights?

Some Emirates tickets have restrictions about when they can be upgraded with Miles - these tickets can only be upgraded with Miles when checking in, including at online check-in.

When booking on emirates.com, any itineraries with this restriction will show the message “Check-in reward upgrade only.” When checking in for your flight, you can use your Miles to upgrade (subject to availability) as usual.

Note that this applies only to upgrades with Miles; paid upgrades are unaffected.