Free no more: Emirates to charge for advance seat selection

 20 Sep 2016 - 13:20

Economy class seats inside an Emirates Airbus A380. Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The Mideast's biggest airline, which touts luxuries like onboard showers and an extensive movie selection, is adding something a bit more down-to-earth for those in the back of the plane: charges to pick your own seat ahead of time.

Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that the new fees will apply to its two lowest fare categories of economy-class seats on tickets issued after October 3.

The change brings Emirates in line with what many other international carriers have done for years, generating a new revenue stream for the government-owned airline.

The new fees range from $15 for short-haul flights from Dubai to $40 for long-haul destinations such as the U.S., Canada and Australia.

"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," The National newspaper reported.

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.

Picking seats will still be free for passengers checking in online two days before departure.