Reserving a seat on Emirates now comes with a new fee
It’ll now cost you up to Dhs150 to bagsie that prime window spot…
We told you it might be happening, and now it’s been confirmed – Emirates are going to start charging passengers who want to guarantee the seat of their choice.
The Dubai-based airline have announced they’ll be introducing an advanced seat selection fee for passengers from October 3.
It’s only going to affect those flying on Economy Class Special and Saver fares, and the extra cost will range from Dhs50 to Dhs150 per person, depending on the length of your trip.
Short-haul flights, for example to the GCC, will incur a Dhs50 fee, medium-haul journeys to places like Europe and Africa will cost Dhs100 for seat selection, and you’ll be looking at a charge of Dhs150 if you’re going further afield, such as Australia or the US.
It’s worth noting that this change hasn’t opened up access for the glorious leg room of an exit seat. You won’t be able to pre-book the prime spot, even at the added-fee stage. These will still be allotted by ground staff at check-in.
“Emirates can confirm the introduction of a minimal charge for those looking to select their Economy Class seat in advance, for tickets issued on or after October 3, 2016,” the airline confirmed in a statement.
However there are some exceptions.
“The charge is only applicable on Special and Saver fares in Economy Class and will vary depending on the duration of the flight. Children below the age of two and accompanying passengers on the same booking will be exempted from the fee,” Emirates said, adding that children will also qualify for a 50 per cent discount.
And don’t worry – you don’t automatically have to pay this extra cost. You can still select your seat when online check-in opens, which is 48 hours before your flight departs.
This, however, holds no guarantees – if you’re desperate to sit with friends and family, or avoid the dreaded middle seat, and then it turns out the flight is full, too bad.
And that’s not all…
Emirates are also looking to introduce a ‘premium economy’ class on their planes as they battle falling financial returns.
What is premium economy? It consists of a few extra luxuries, which tend to include extra legroom, wider seats and seats which recline further.
President Tim Clark told an airlines conference in London that Emirates are also considering introducing charges for additional baggage.
“We cannot sit back and wait for things to get better,” he said of the possible changes.