Emirates now allows economy passengers to buy empty adjoining seats

Mar 1, 2021

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On Monday, Emirates announced its economy passengers now have the option of purchasing up to three empty adjacent seats. The move aims to give passengers the option of a more spacious, private and socially distanced economy experience.

All economy class passengers with a confirmed booking will be eligible to purchase extra seats. No extra or exclusive availability will be given to Emirates Skywards members.

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Seats will only be bookable at airport check-in counters and will not be available to reserve in advance — Emirates would rather fill its cabin up with passengers rather than just empty seats.

Passengers wishing to buy empty seats can expect to pay from as little as AED 200 up to AED 600 (£39 to £117). Additional taxes will be charged and vary in price depending on the route. Return flights from London (LHR) to Dubai (DXB) in November start at £388. Depending on the season, prices can rise into the £700s, so even paying £117 for extra space when paying just £388 for a ticket could be a great investment to maximise comfort and social distance when flying.

Related: When are the best and worst times to visit Dubai?

Emirates economy seating on one of its Superjumbo Airbus A380s (Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)

The extra space could benefit all travellers: solo travellers who like their own space, couples who want to ensure they have a row to themselves as well as those travelling with children.

Emirates said it introduced this new economy offering after receiving feedback from passengers who wish to have more space in economy while travelling amid the pandemic.

Related: What it’s like flying Emirates first class during the pandemic

Similar moves have been made on the other side of the Atlantic, with Delta currently blocking middle seats until 30 April 2021. The U.S. airline has been at the forefront of COVID-19 passenger safety measures, even winning the TPG Spotlight on Safety Award during the 2020 TPG Awards.

Featured photo courtesy of Emirates.

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