Historically the Gulf carriers have been known for their full service offerings. While other airlines largely nickel-and-dime passengers, that’s not something the Gulf carriers used to do.
However, over time these airlines have been under increased financial pressure, and have done what they can to improve their bottom line.
Of the “big three” Gulf carriers, Etihad has done by far the most to cut costs and to increase fees for all kinds of things. Emirates has done some mild cost cutting and nickel-and-diming, but for the most part is still pretty full service.
Emirates reducing economy baggage allowance
The airline has recently revealed their latest cost cutting measure. As of February 4, 2019, Emirates will be reducing the complimentary baggage allowance for some economy passengers.
For all travel except those itineraries to/from the Americas and itineraries originating in Africa, Emirates uses a weight concept for their baggage allowance. The following will be changing:
- The baggage allowance on Economy Special tickets will be reduced from 20KG to 15KG
- The baggage allowance on Economy Saver tickets will be reduced from 30KG to 25KG
For itineraries to/from the Americas and itineraries originating in Africa, Emirates uses a piece concept for their baggage allowance. The following will be changing:
- The baggage allowance on Economy Special tickets will be reduced from two pieces of up to 23KG to one piece of up to 23KG, except for travel between North America and Europe (which includes Newark to Athens and New York to Milan)
- The baggage allowance on Economy Special and Economy Saver tickets will be reduced from two pieces of up to 23KG to one piece of up to 23KG on all other routes
There’s nothing here that’s shocking, really. Emirates has four tiers of economy tickets, so they’re trying to do more to differentiate the tiers.
It’s of course a negative development for passengers who seek value flying Emirates and checking bags, but overall the airline still has great economy fares and offers good value.
Could Emirates eventually unbundle business class?
While this isn’t relevant to this particular announcement, I do think it’s interesting to go back to something Tim Clark, Emirates’ CEO, said a couple of years ago. At the time he said that he’d like to eventually look at unbundling business class fares.
In fairness, that was done in the context of possibly introducing unbundled business class rather than premium economy. However, we now know that the airline will be introducing premium economy soon, so it’ll be interesting to see if that still happens.
What do you make of Emirates reducing the economy baggage limit? Do you think Emirates will eventually introduce unbundled premium economy?
(Tip of the hat to Live from a Lounge)