Emirates introduces seat selection fee

If you’re flying with Emirates and you really want to reserve that window seat with great views it can now be done well in advance – but it is going to cost you.

The Dubai carrier is introducing an advance seat selection fee which extends further than its normal two-day check-in window from October 3.

The fee for an adult taking a short haul flight between Dubai and countries in the Middle East, areas of Asia such as India and Pakistan, and Africa and the Indian Ocean is Dh50. For a child on a short haul destination the fee is Dh25.

For medium haul flights, which includes the likes of South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Kingdom, the fee rises to Dh100 for adults and Dh50 per child.

For long haul flights, to the likes of Australia, the United States and Brazil, the fee is Dh150 per adult and Dh75 per child.

There are also fees ranging between Dh50 and Dh100 for adults for flights between countries other than the UAE, with a 50 per cent discount for children.

A spokesperson for the airline said that the fees are applicable on certain economy class fares.

“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 spokesperson said.

“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 2 and accompanying passengers on the same booking will be exempted from the fee. This charge is also not applicable once online check-in opens, which is 48 hours before flight departure. At this stage, seat selection is free.”

Emirates has been seeking new ways to increase revenues as continued lower oil prices squeeze passenger travel budgets.

In June, Emirates president Tim Clark said that the world’s biggest international airline may start offering premium economy seats to improve fare flexibility.

“There’s clear and present evidence that this is something that we too should take seriously,” Mr Clark said at the time, though was keen to stress that he did not want premium economy to bite into demand for business class travel.


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Ian Oxborrow

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