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Emirates to introduce fee for seat selection

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Emirates Airline will be introducing a seat selection fee from October 3 this year, according to reports.

But before you choke on your morning coffee, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The ‘minimal charge’, which is only applicable to those who book their seats in Economy Class, will allow passengers to reserve their seat ahead of the standard two-day check-in window.

The new charge will apply to Economy Class Special and Saver fares, and will range from AED50 to AED150. It’s structured to vary depending on the length of the flight – increasing from short to medium and being most expensive for long-haul.

A spokesperson told Gulf News: “Emirates can confirm the introduction of a minimal charge for those looking to select their Economy Class seat in advance, for tickets issued on or after October 3, 2016. The charge is only applicable on Special and Saver fares in Economy Class and will vary depending on the duration of the flight.”

The spokesperson also confirmed that children below the age of two will be exempt from the fee. Older children will get a 50 percent discount on seat reservation fees.

It’s important to note that seat selection will remain free for those checking in during the standard two-day online check-in window. And those travelling in Economy Class Flex, Economy Class Flex Plus, Business Class or First Class will not be subject to any new charges.

Some budget airlines charge fees for seat selection at all stages of the booking, including once check-in has opened. The Emirates seat fee is to allow passengers the option of making sure they are close to their travel companions during busy flights by reserving far in advance.

Price break down
Short: AED50 (Dubai – GCC, Middle East and Indian Ocean)
Medium: AED100 (Dubai – Europe, Africa and East Asia)
Long: AED150 (Dubai – Americas and Australasia)
Short and Medium: AED50 or AED100 (Between two foreign countries)

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