Guide To Emirates’ Chauffeur Drive Service

Guide To Emirates’ Chauffeur Drive Service

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Airlines compete with one another not just on price, but also in terms of passenger experience. That’s especially true in first and business class. This doesn’t just apply inflight, but also on the ground, and sometimes that extends beyond airport lounges.

I’ve written before about how some airlines offer complimentary chauffeur service. While there are several airlines offering chauffeur service in some capacity, no airline is quite as generous as Emirates in this regard, with the carrier’s chauffeur drive service. In this post I wanted to go over all the details of how this program works.

Basics of Emirates’ complimentary chauffeur service

With Emirates’ complimentary chauffeur service, select premium passengers can receive a complimentary car service to and from the airport. This doesn’t just apply in Dubai, but also at a majority of Emirates’ outstations. Let’s take a look at all of the details of how this program works.

Who is eligible for Emirates chauffeur drive?

Emirates chauffeur drive is available to Emirates first class and business class passengers booked on eligible fares:

  • Chauffeur drive is not available on Emirates Skywards first and business class awards, as well as on tickets upgraded from economy to business class
  • Chauffeur drive is not available on any award tickets booked via partner airlines, or on any tickets booked via Qantas, even if they’re codeshare flights
  • Chauffeur drive is not available on Emirates’ “basic” business class fares

As you can see, while there are some exclusions, a vast majority of passengers with paid first and business class fares on Emirates qualify for this service.

Most Emirates first class passengers receive chauffeur drive

Which destinations are eligible for Emirates chauffeur drive?

Emirates’ chauffeur service is available both on arrival and on departure at a majority of Emirates’ stations globally. This includes at most airports in Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. You can find the exact details of the service by searching your relevant airports at this link.

Note that you can use chauffeur drive at both your origin and destination. If you have an itinerary with a stopover of over 24 hours in Dubai, you can also use the service on arrival and departure there.

There are a couple of exclusions worth noting:

  • Chauffeur service isn’t available at many short haul destinations within the Middle East (like in Jeddah, Muscat, Riyadh, etc.), as well as at select destinations in Africa (Accra, Harare, Lusaka, etc.)
  • Chauffeur service typically isn’t available if you’re traveling exclusively on one of Emirates’ short haul fifth freedom flights (between Bangkok and Hong Kong, between Christchurch and Sydney, etc.); however, it is available on Emirates’ longer fifth freedom flights (between New York and Milan, between Newark and Athens, etc.)

How do you book Emirates chauffeur drive?

You can book Emirates’ chauffeur service directly through emirates.com, either at the time you book, or after the fact by managing your reservation.

Note that you need to book at least 12 hours ahead of your flight. The one exception is that in Dubai you can typically just go up to the chauffeur drive desk in the arrivals hall and get a transfer on the spot, should you have an eligible ticket. That’s because there’s a huge queue of chauffeur drive cars waiting there.

Emirates chauffeur drive office at Milan Airport

What are the limitations on Emirates chauffeur drive?

The exact limitations on how far you can drive depends on the airport, and you can find those rules by looking up where you’ll be using the service at this link.

For example, at Dubai Airport you can be driven anywhere within the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile at airports in the United States, you’ll most commonly find that chauffeur drive is available for a distance of up to 50 miles from the airport, and you can pay extra if you need to travel beyond that distance.

As far as other restrictions go, the driver will wait for you a maximum of 15 minutes after your scheduled pick-up time (this applies when you’re being picked up from your home or a hotel, and not if you’re at the airport, since of course your flight could be delayed).

Furthermore, the maximum capacity per sedan is four people, with a luggage limit of two suitcases plus one carry-on bag. So in theory you could take someone with you, if you happen to be traveling with a passenger who isn’t eligible.

What kind of cars does Emirates chauffeur drive use?

Generally you can expect that first class passengers will get more premium cars than business class passengers.

In Dubai, Emirates typically uses a BMW 7-Series or Mercedes S-Class for first class, and a BMW 5-Series or Mercedes E-Class for business class. In some cases it won’t work out that way, depending on availability.

At outstations, you can generally expect cars along the same lines. Emirates typically contracts to professional companies, so you can count on a proper limo-style experience, rather than an Uber X.

Emirates chauffeur drive cars at Dubai Airport

How & when does Emirates chauffeur drive pick you up?

How do the logistics of Emirates chauffeur drive work? It depends on whether you’re being driven to the airport or from the airport, and whether you’re in Dubai or at an outstation.

When you request chauffeur drive to the airport, you can specify during the booking process how long before departure you’d like to be picked up. The chauffeur service company will then reach out to you a couple of days before travel (assuming you booked that far in advance) to confirm all the details.

When using the chauffeur service from the airport after a flight, it’s also a pretty straightforward process. In Dubai (and select outstations), there’s a chauffeur drive service office in the arrivals hall, where you can go to find your driver. Meanwhile at other outstations without an office, you can expect that the drivers will just be waiting in the arrivals hall.

It’s not usually tough to spot the Emirates chauffeur drive team, since there are often dozens of people there waiting for passengers.

Emirates chauffeur drive office at Dubai Airport

Should you tip with Emirates chauffeur drive?

Officially, Emirates chauffeur drive includes all tips, tolls, and taxes. Many people still choose to tip, especially in the United States. Keep in mind outside of Dubai this service is contracted out to third parties, and often the drivers will have a different take on the tipping situation.

Bottom line

Emirates offers the world’s most extensive complimentary chauffeur service for first and business class passengers, as this service is available at a vast majority of the carrier’s destinations. If you’re flying on a revenue first or business class ticket (except “basic” business fares), you can expect that you’ll get door-to-door transportation throughout most of your journey.

This is a great service, so hopefully the above answers any questions OMAAT readers may have about it.

If you’ve used Emirates’ chauffeur drive service, what was your experience like?

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  1. Devina Misra Guest

    I have been offered complimentary chauffer driven cab for my upgraded business saver ticket from london to dubai. I am unable to book as the pick up location cannot be entered . Please,help

  2. Pam Guest

    We are 97k from Sydney airport (outside the 80k limit for complimentary chauffeur service ).
    If we only need the service one way, using public transport to get there, would we have to pay the $22 per 10k excess on our homeward trip?

  3. Miami305 Gold

    "Emirates chauffeur drive includes all tips, tolls, and taxes."

    Why would ANYONE tip on a tip?
    When you tip Uber as part of the transaction on a cc, do you then tip again in cash? Of course not!

    Only a real dope would tip on top of a tip,

  4. E Simmons Guest

    I am trying to discover if Chauffeur drive is available to & from Manila airport & if so what type of cars are used?

  5. Campbell Weekes Guest

    The last time my wife and I flew Emirates the Chauffeur drive was not a good experience.When departing we were picked up in an Audi 7 series which was very nice however the driver told us on our return don't expect a hire car as it will probably be a taxi.!!Sure enough on our return we were met by an Emirates rep who told us no HC and gave us a taxi voucher for A$120.00.We...

    The last time my wife and I flew Emirates the Chauffeur drive was not a good experience.When departing we were picked up in an Audi 7 series which was very nice however the driver told us on our return don't expect a hire car as it will probably be a taxi.!!Sure enough on our return we were met by an Emirates rep who told us no HC and gave us a taxi voucher for A$120.00.We went the long way home in a smelly taxi cost me another $20.00 as well. Not a great experience especially after a long flight and expecting to go home in a Chauffeur driven car. !!

  6. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Slightly OT...one thing I'll note is that EK has upped its game in Dubai with the hotels it uses for connections that are >8 hours. For FC, they no longer seem to be using the grisly Le Méridien and are now using the JW Marriott, a HUGE improvement. I'm sure there are other hotels they use as well, but the JW is a HUGE step up from the LM. Apologies if this has been covered before.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Devina Misra Guest

I have been offered complimentary chauffer driven cab for my upgraded business saver ticket from london to dubai. I am unable to book as the pick up location cannot be entered . Please,help

0
Pam Guest

We are 97k from Sydney airport (outside the 80k limit for complimentary chauffeur service ). If we only need the service one way, using public transport to get there, would we have to pay the $22 per 10k excess on our homeward trip?

0
Miami305 Gold

"Emirates chauffeur drive includes all tips, tolls, and taxes." Why would ANYONE tip on a tip? When you tip Uber as part of the transaction on a cc, do you then tip again in cash? Of course not! Only a real dope would tip on top of a tip,

0
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