In January Emirates rolled out paid access to its premium lounges in Dubai for passengers flying Emirates (or Emirates codeshares on Qantas).
Paid access is available both to business and first class lounges.
This makes sense as the airline goes looking for revenue, and to control costs. As profits have shrunk they’ve become less generous in the economy cabin (no more welcome towels), more careful in premium cabins (no more onboard showers flying Dubai – Kuwait City) and more aggressive with upsells.
- Passengers flying Emirates Bangkok to Dubai and connecting beyond Dubai
- Flying EK351 (the 6:45am Boeing 777) and EK377 (the 4 p.m. Airbus A380) only and not the other 5 daily flights
- Tickets purchased by March 26 for travel May 1 through November 30
- Lounge access available for up to 4 hours
Access by non-elite frequent flyers traveling economy is a strong perk for purchasing a ticket on Emirates versus a competitor. It could easily overwhelm business class lounges, of course, so limiting the offer to specific flights at specific times is crucial. This could be an interesting trend to goose bookings. Of course if it’s necessary to do so then perhaps 7 daily flights, six on Airbus A380s (3 of which are high density A380s) may be a bit much.