News

Emirates to ‘unbundle’ business class fares

13 Jun 2019 by Alex McWhirter
Emirates business class Champagne-lounge

Nowadays many if not most airlines around the world sell unbundled economy class tickets.

But Emirates has taken matters a step forward. It has announced it will start selling unbundled business class fares too.

What do I mean by an unbundled fare?

It’s simply providing a lower-priced ticket without some of the amenities one would normally take for granted if travelling business or economy class.

It means an airline can charge less and, as we all know, in today’s marketplace the lowest headline price attracts the customer.

So what does it mean?

It means that on selected routes and flights business class customers will be offered a choice of fares.

There will be Flex and Flex Plus offered for flights on most routes, as there is currently.

But on some, perhaps less busy, flights and/or routes travellers will also be offered even cheaper tariffs which Emirates brands as “Special” and “Saver”.

The latter two come with fewer benefits. It isn’t known on which routes the Special fares will be introduced.

On some routes you will already find a cheaper Saver fare. I must stress the “some.” On still others, in the future, the Special fare will be offered, which ‘should’ be priced below Saver.

As pointed out on FlyerTalk and in the comments to this piece, the new Special Fare does not include:

  • the chauffeur drive;
  • lounge access (if you don’t have status with Emirates Skywards);
  • upgrades to first at any time;
  • restricted seat selection.

Additionally passengers may earn fewer Skywards miles.

EMirates fares

We can see this by looking at the Emirates website (see above).

When you select a Special fare, you are notified of the following:

“Business Special fare is not eligible for Chauffeur-drive and lounge access. However, your Skywards benefits apply and eligibility is based on your tier. You can select your seat 48 hours prior to your flight.”

Of course if the fare is reduced accordingly, then passengers may well think it is an interesting innovation.

However if it is simply a case of moving the various fare categories so that the ‘old’ price for the least expensive Saver Fare is now a Special fare, then this will be regarded as removing what previously was included, for no reduction in ticket price.

An Emirates spokesperson told Business Traveller: “After carefully reviewing the evolving travel preferences of our valued customers, Emirates will introduce a new “Special” fare for business class, thereby expanding our existing fare options (Saver, Flex and Flex Plus) with even more choice and flexibility depending on their travel requirements.

“Our business class special fares will be offered on certain routes based on seasonal trends in travel demand.

“Passengers booked on a Special fare will continue to enjoy our award-winning services and products on-board, a generous baggage allowance of up to 40 kgs and priority boarding at their convenience.”

At present, it would appear that Emirates has yet to update inventory with these lowest fares.

When we asked Emirates for further details we were simply told to visit emirates.com.

So we did.

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