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 vast 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 vast 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.

It’s worth noting that in Hong Kong, Emirates’ chauffeur drive service is only available to first class passengers, and not to business class passengers.

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 a paid 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?

Conversations (26)
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  1. Lila Guest

    Melbourne Emirates chauffer drive are plain old uber drivers and not the same as in the past. We have had 4 cars and all have been uber.

  2. David Guest

    I’ve just been told Emirates does not offer the chauffeur drive service to/from Narita. Is this correct? If so, does anyone know why?

  3. Mavis Skill Guest

    It was great to be collected at such an early time of day by a cheery gent. Thank you Danny

  4. Eva Hatfield Guest

    There's two of us travelling in Business class with a daughter in Economy - do you think the driver will be ok to take the daughter along with us?

  5. John Buckels Guest

    Why s the car no longer available in London?

    I want to travel in December and it doesn’t show, regardless of the fare I select.

    Why is it available again next February??

    What’s going on??

  6. Linda Nodari Guest

    I booked business class flights from Kuala Lumpur to Athens , not the basic fare a high one, and return from Milan to Kuala Lumpur. The only part of my trip with the chauffeur was from Milan to airport. I phoned Emirates and was told that there was NO chauffeur in Kuala Lumpur even though I paid the higher ticket price to get this service.

  7. Dipsy Guest

    Would be grateful if anyone can help answer my questions .
    My elderly parents are both arriving next week to London Heathrow vi Business class and both in wheelchairs . It’s the first time they are using this service . Will they have help with their luggage and getting to the car with the chauffeur service ?
    I have been trying to ring the airport emirates office but no one picking up .

  8. Christine Hartley Guest

    This is a fabulous service,we have used it several times. Always impeccable and prompt,a lovely way to start your trip .
    The booking site is a little hard to navigate but persevere .

  9. Sal Guest

    Just curious, I have a fifth freedom flight from BKK to HKG in first class. I cant for some reason, select the chauffeur service. Do they offer for these routes also or not?

    1. Michael Taylor Guest

      Unfortunately the service isn't offered to or from Hong Kong.

  10. TC Guest

    Great service. Cars are of a high quality in most destinations. The only city we have had sun- standard vehicles is in Sydney. Everytime!

  11. Brenda Chowdhuri Guest

    Excellent service particularly for elderly with mobility issues, driver always pleasant and helpful
    Brenda Chowdhuri

  12. Michelle Guest

    I love having the service. Been extremely pleased with the drivers. I'm a bit of a nervous passenger, I don't like fast aggressive driving. And none of my drivers were like that.
    I just had one issue on one way that we disagreed on the mileage. But it seems to have been taken care of and they ended up not charging me anything.
    I recently had to get tickets for Japan on ANA. It has turned into a nightmare. I wish I could cancel and rebook with Emirates.

  13. Ali Guest

    Try the pick up and drop EK Chauffeur service in Venice.
    Im surprised not a of of people talk about it.
    For Arrivals into Venice, you get picked up from the arrivals hall in a Mercedes to an area where they ask you to get on a private boat to your hotel. Mind u a boat private drop off is a few hundred euros in Venice.
    For Departures from Venice,
    The...

    Try the pick up and drop EK Chauffeur service in Venice.
    Im surprised not a of of people talk about it.
    For Arrivals into Venice, you get picked up from the arrivals hall in a Mercedes to an area where they ask you to get on a private boat to your hotel. Mind u a boat private drop off is a few hundred euros in Venice.
    For Departures from Venice,
    The private boat picks you up straight to a separate area in the terminal building, which is a 5 min walk to the EK check In.

  14. Leo Liang Guest

    In the prime days, CA, ZH and WY all offer free transfers for its J pax, even if its booked on saver.... Too bad these days are gone

  15. Mike OMAAT

    There is an additional exclusion for Australia and New Zealand:

    "Itineraries which are exclusively between Australia and New Zealand are not eligible for Chauffeur-drive."

  16. 0504Traveller Guest

    I have used the Emirates Chauffeur service many times - in the U.S. and in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They are a great service, very reliable with really nice cars and service. We were staying in Abu Dhabi and our flight was from Dubai and the service does pick up from Abu Dhabi so we were able to get picked up by the service and dropped off in the Business/First terminal - it was a great and wonderful service!

    1. Larry Guest

      I asked a questions within a comment below (or maybe above), and Ben wasn't 100% sure in his answer. Wondering if a "cash" business class ticket booked via AMEX would qualify. When you used the service many times, did you purchase tickets directly from Emirates or from an OTA such as American Express or Expedia? And if so, when was the most recent time you utilized the service?

  17. TravelinWilly Diamond

    I’ve always had an SUV to and from IAD when flying EK 1st.

    In JNB and CPT it’s varied from a Toyota (not kidding) to a Merc. E class.

    In DXB it’s always been a Merc. S class.

  18. UMAIR FAISAL Guest

    I see it mentioned u cant book with classic skywards rewards does that mean all skyward reward tickets or what if u have a flex or flex plus reward ticket

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ UMAIR FAISAL -- Sorry, I should have been clearer there. You also can't get the chauffeur service on Flex and Flex Plus awards. However, the terms really aren't clear with that based on how it's phrased. You'll find that it's not possible, though, both online and at the chauffeur drive desk at Dubai Airport.

  19. Larry Guest

    You did not indicate that booking a ticket through a third party site such as AMEX Travel would impact ability to use. Thinking of booking a JFK--MXP business class flight through AMEX travel (and since I have a business card, would get 35% back). A Roundtrip would have four chauffer rides !

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Larry -- Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see anything in the T&Cs indicating the ticket has to be on Emirates ticket stock, as long as the flights are operated and marketed by Emirates.

    2. Edward Simmons Guest

      I am trying to discover if business & first class with Emerites have free chauffeur drive cars to & from Manila airport, their chat service is useless!

    3. Eric Guest

      I booked a IAD-DXB Business Saver flight through AMEX's International Business and Chauffer Drive and Lounge was included.

    4. J Farese Guest

      Hi,
      Amex tickets will still be on Emirates stock. I think they only thing you need to be careful on is not to book the Discount Business or Business Special fare, which is H class. Other than that, tickets booked thru Amex Travel should def qualify!

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.

Brenda Chowdhuri Guest

Excellent service particularly for elderly with mobility issues, driver always pleasant and helpful Brenda Chowdhuri

1
Ali Guest

Try the pick up and drop EK Chauffeur service in Venice. Im surprised not a of of people talk about it. For Arrivals into Venice, you get picked up from the arrivals hall in a Mercedes to an area where they ask you to get on a private boat to your hotel. Mind u a boat private drop off is a few hundred euros in Venice. For Departures from Venice, The private boat picks you up straight to a separate area in the terminal building, which is a 5 min walk to the EK check In.

1
0504Traveller Guest

I have used the Emirates Chauffeur service many times - in the U.S. and in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They are a great service, very reliable with really nice cars and service. We were staying in Abu Dhabi and our flight was from Dubai and the service does pick up from Abu Dhabi so we were able to get picked up by the service and dropped off in the Business/First terminal - it was a great and wonderful service!

1
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