Emirates to charge fee for seat selection from October 3

From October 3, Dubai-based Emirates will charge an advance seat selection fee (for selections made ahead of its standard, two-day check-in window) for some economy fares.

The new fee will range from AED50 to AED150 and apply to economy class special and saver fares with charges to vary depending on the distance of the flight.

“The charge is only applicable on Special and Saver fares in Economy Class and will vary depending on the duration of the flight,” a spokesperson said.

  • Passengers travelling on economy class Flex, economy class Flex Plus, business or first class will be exempt.
  • Children under the age of two and accompanying passengers on the same booking also will be exempted from the fee.

The charge is not applicable once on-line check in opens, which is 48 hours before flight departure.

Advance seating selection fees

  • Short Haul: Dh50 between Dubai and GCC countries, Middle Eastern countries, Indian Ocean
  • Medium Haul: Dh100 between Dubai and Europe, Africa and East Asia
  • Long Haul: Dh150 between Dubai and Americas and Australasia
  • 5th Freedom (Short and Medium Haul): Dh50 or Dh100 when Emirates flies between two foreign countries.

A child discount of 50 per cent applies on the seat charges, as provided in a table with the charge breakdown.

Applicable on Economy special fares

The Special fare is the airline’s lowest fare, with some restrictions that apply, while the Saver fare is slightly more flexible than a Special fare.

According to Emirates, the main differences between the fare types are the changes that could be made to a ticket, the number of Skywards Miles one can earn and the upgrade options available.

The extra fees come along a wider trend by premier carriers to adopt some elements from low-budget airlines’ business model.

Just recently, British Airways announced plans to charge for food on short-haul journeys.

For years, budget airlines have charged for extra services such as on-board food and drinks, in-flight entertainment, baggage fees and other services.

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