This just in. The attempt to monetize it’s offerings has reached a new high at Emirates. Earlier on, Emirates started, sort of in a small way, nickel and diming economy class customers, making them pay for seat assignments, amongst other things. Recently, Emirates also stopped serving refresher towels and seafood meals in all economy flights. Some of these are cost-cutting measures, others are revenue generating measures, but they all point in the same direction of Emirates trying to make a more balanced P&L out of each customer.
Cue to the second part of this act, where on ground facilities will now be monetized. Emirates has just put out an offer where non-status, non-premium cabin travellers will be able to access the Emirates Lounge in Dubai on payment of a fee.
Here is the description on the Emirates website. I describe below how it works.
- If you are an Emirates Skywards Blue tier member, you can pay to get access to the Emirates Lounges, and also bring along friends and family if you please. You would be paying USD 100 for access to the Business Class lounge per person, or USD 200 for access to the First Class Lounge.
- Silver and Gold members of the Skywards program will get the option to bring friends/family along into the Business Class lounge at USD 100 per head.
- If a Silver or Gold member wants to get access to the First Class Lounge (usually allowed into the Business Class lounge), they will be able to do so as well, by buying up (paying USD 100).
It seems if you don’t have an Emirates Skywards membership, you won’t be allowed in. You do need to be flying Emirates to be able to benefit from this new offering. The only exception is a Qantas flight, being operated with an Emirates codeshare. The lounge access on paper is valid for 4 hours, but given the vastness of some of the Emirates lounges, you could hide behind a chair and be missed when the Lounge dragon comes to waive you out
I’m sure this move is not going to have people queue up outside the Emirates Lounges. The pricing is rich, and it would perhaps only make sense to those who are perhaps already heading into the First or Business Class Lounges but can now bring friends/family along rather than going alone or skipping the lounge altogether.
Would you use this new offering from Emirates as an economy traveller with no status? I’m curious to know.