Home Travel Flights: Emirates boosts Economy with new socially distanced seating options

Flights: Emirates boosts Economy with new socially distanced seating options

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Travel could be set to return on a larger scale as soon as May if the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce deems it possible. In anticipation of more global travel, Dubai-based Emirates has overhauled its economy cabin with new options for customers seeking a little extra room and increased social distancing.

Customers holding a confirmed booking will be given the option to purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight.

However, these options will not be available to book in advance as the airline states seats are “subject to availability”.

Empty seats will be offered for purchase at the airport check-in desk based upon how full or empty the flight is.

The cost ranges from AED 200 to AED 600 (approximately £39 to £117)per empty seat, plus applicable taxes depending on the flight sector.

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Emirates says the new move comes in response to “customer feedback, addressing the needs of a range of customers seeking extra privacy and space while still flying in Economy Class.”

The airline suggests this could be of particular use for parents travelling with young children or those who “simply want the added assurance of more space while travelling during pandemic times”.

It comes alongside Emirate’s current Economy class upgrades, which allow customers to amend how much legroom they have, as well as the type of seat they sit in for their journey.

Current add-ons include extra legroom seats; twin seats located at the back of Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft, and on the upper deck of Emirates’ 2-class Airbus A380 aircraft; and the option to select “preferred seats”.

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Passengers can make amendments to their booking, including upgrading their seat, via the Emirates website, by calling an Emirates contact centre or at airport check-in.

Subject to availability, some seating upgrades may also be made once onboard.

In many cases, Economy Class seat preferences are offered “free depending on the customer’s Emirates Skywards membership tier, fare type, time to departure, and other special needs”.

The news comes as bookings for holidays and flights in the summer months see a surge.

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of the UK lockdown restrictions being loosened, many Britons have set their sights on travel.

The Government is set to reinstate its Global Travel Taskforce in April.

The Taskforce will assess how possible it is for safe travel overseas to resume, though it has been suggested this could be as soon as mid-May.

While Dubai is currently on the UK’s banned travel list, with arrivals subject to mandatory hotel quarantine, it is not clear how long this rule will last.

What’s more, travel bans do not seem to be impacting Britons when it comes to booking future holidays.

Skyscanner reports sales for flights to Portugal, which is also on the hotel quarantine list, have been boosted for travel in July since the Prime Minister’s announcement.

There are plenty of other holiday hotspots which are also seeing an uptick in interest.

According to the flight booking platform, some of the most popular destinations for travel in the summer months include Spain, Italy, and Greece.



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