Emirates has launched a new option for economy passengers to purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight.

Empty seats costs from AED 200 to AED 600 (US$ 55 to US$ 165) each (plus applicable taxes), depending on the flight sector.

Note that the seats cannot be pre-booked – they will be offered for purchase at the airport check-in counter subject to availability.

This differs from the recent Lufthansa trial which allowed customers to pre-book an entire “Sleeper’s Row” of economy seats on flights between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo.

Lufthansa trials lie-flat economy seat product

Emirates said that the new initiative had been introduced “on the back of customer feedback”, although the carrier is also no doubt looking at ways to increase revenues while air passenger demand is depressed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The carrier said that the move “addresses the needs of a range of customers seeking extra privacy and space while still flying in economy class”, catering for “couples who wish to have the entire row to themselves (maximum of three seats in same row), parents travelling with in-lap infants, or those who simply want the added assurance of more space while travelling during pandemic times”.

Meanwhile Emirates has also launched discounted rates for excess baggage, “to help customers flying on essential trips take home what they need most”.

The discounts range from 35 per cent to 60 per cent on normal rates depending on the sector, and must be pre-booked and pre-paid up to four hours prior to departure.