Even in business class, lower price = lower service. The Emirates case.

To lower their fares airlines have always cut back on services. This is a common and normal practice in economy class, but now in business class as well where Emirates is removing many of the benefits usually associated with this class of travel.

Unbundling is a common practice in economy class. In order to lower prices and/or improve income, services are eliminated and then sold at a higher price. We have thus seen the arrival of fares without checked baggage, then without catering services, etc. Cheaper ticket for the passenger but additional income for the airline which charges these services to those who want them.

A practice that is now being extended to business class.

The airlines have always practiced “discount” prices on a certain quota of business seats in order to better fill the cabins, but discount prices did not mean, until now, reduced services as it was the case in economy.

Emirates introduces the “business special” fare

A standard that is no longer a standard since Emirates decided to also cut back on the services associated with the cheapest fare in its business class.

This is the kind of screen you would see during the booking process.

Emirates business fares so far

And here is the one you get when the fare class in question (H) is available with the “business special” fare.

What’s changing:

– You can only choose your seat when the check-in is open.

– The driver service is no longer available.

– There is no more lounge access.

– It is no longer possible to upgrade to first class by paying with miles.

– you now only earn the miles of the flex economy.

A limited impact?

To be honest, I had a hard time finding a flight offering this fare, the conditions of which are much talked about. And I didn’t find it from Paris (although I admit I didn’t spend hours looking).

On the other hand I found it without any problem outbound Dubai.

So either the fare is too new to have been deployed on all routes, or it is only available for trips starting from Dubai. In this second hypothesis, it will not concern many people, as most of the airline’s traffic is made up of passengers who have Dubai as their destination or connection, and locals are not in the majority.

A bad signal

Anyway, we can’t think that this is a good signal sent to the market with an assumed degradation of the services in the front classes for a not so significant saving for the customer at this price level.

Photo : Emirates business Class De Dmitry Birin via Shutterstock

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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