Last Chance: Reserve Emirates Chauffeur For Award & Upgrade Tickets

There are some airlines that offer a complimentary chauffeur service to premium cabin passengers. The exact policies vary by airline, with some airlines restricting this only to full fare passengers, and others making it available to all premium passengers, regardless of how they booked.

It’s an interesting feature for an airline to offer, since it’s quite costly (airlines are paying out of pocket for this), and in general you’d think it’s something that’s a limited value-add for business travelers, since most business travelers can expense transport to/from the airport for a business trip.

So it’s something I love, but I’m always surprised by how many airlines still offer it.

Anyway, we have slowly seen some airlines cut back this feature as they get into cost cutting mode, and Emirates is no different. Emirates has traditionally been one of the most generous airlines when it comes to offering chauffeur service to first and business class passengers.

Then over four years ago they stopped offering this to premium cabin passengers who redeemed miles through partner airline programs.

This January the airline announced a further cut to their chauffeur service, as we noted at the time. As of March 1, 2019, Emirates will no longer offer complimentary chauffeur service to passengers who either upgraded their ticket with Emirates Skywards miles, or who redeemed Emirates Skywards miles for Classic rewards.

Emirates chauffeur service

This post is intended to be a reminder, because this policy change is based on when you request your chauffeur, and not when you travel. So if you have an upgraded or award ticket on Emirates (using Skywards miles) and are traveling on March 1 or later, make sure you reserve your chauffeur now.

I’m actually in exactly this situation. I booked an Emirates economy ticket from Beirut to Dubai and upgraded it to business class using Skywards miles.


Emirates’ 777 business class

So I really need to reserve my chauffeur by tomorrow.

The thing is, I’m not sure yet where I’m staying in Dubai. My plan is to just pick a hotel I’m likely to stay at, and I’m thinking that as long as I reserve it I can still change it (at least since this is for a Dubai chauffeur, and in Dubai you have to go to a desk, they ask for your destination, etc.).

Emirates’ chauffeur drive center Dubai

So if you’re in a similar situation to me, make sure you reserve your car!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the reminder. Is chauffeur service provided at both getting to the originating airport and again following arrival?

  2. I thought the service was currently limited to 1st class awards and not 1st and biz awards. Does it currently include biz awards, and if so will they chauffeur from mxp to the train station?

  3. @Dean: “Sadly no service in Colombo or Maldives’s when I will need it.”
    When you will visit Maldives the first time, you will see why Emirates does not offer a Chauffeur there. Maybe take a look into a world map.

  4. The advantage to the airline is that they find out who will really show up for a flight. This is especially valuable knowledge for paid tickets where a ticketed passenger does not show up and the cabin is full (although not sure how often this happens with Emirates), and the seat could have been resold. Some people who might be no-shows will cancel their ticket when they will not use the ticket after a service contacts them to confirm the pickup.

  5. Also, sadly no chauffeur service in HK for the Emirates flight between Bangkok and Hong Kong that is their fifth freedom route.

  6. How has everyones experience with the service been?
    I only tried this out once in the Munich area and they failed quite shockingly -> booked the service for a pick-up, but they would not tell me a certain time besides “there will be enough time for you at the airport”.
    An hour and a half before boarding, I ordered a taxi -> I never found out if any chauffeur actually came to pick me up…

  7. A week ago, I booked an EK award from BKK to HKG, on EK metal in Business via QF points and was able to reserve a chauffeur service from my BKK hotel to BKK airport.

  8. Used the chauffeur service in Milan and it was brilliant Three years ago.

    Arriving Denpasar Bali on Monday with paid J fare and – surprise – no chauffeur service! Don’t understand the concept of only allowing in certain locations. Transfers can be relatively expensive if you choose a high end vehicle and taxi’s are a bit of a risk taker for obvious reasons.

    Sad that the service does not exist in a very popular destination.

  9. @LP Our Milan hotel was across the street from the train station and the service was well inside their mileage limits. Unless there has been a change in the last 3 years you should be good to go.

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