Worried about social distancing on a flight?
Emirates Airlines now allows passengers to buy up to three empty adjoining seats on a flight to appease health concerns.
The seats are subject to availability and are up for grabs to all flyers holding economy-class tickets.
However, these can only be purchased at the airport check-in counter prior to departure and can cost between 200 dirhams to 600 dirhams ($55 to $165) per seat, excluding taxes.
The long-haul operator introduced the new option after receiving some feedback from customers who want extra privacy and space while still flying in economy class.
Among those who will benefit from the offer are couples who wish to have the entire row to themselves, parents travelling with in-lap infants, or those who simply want the added assurance of more space while travelling during pandemic times, Emirates said.
Airlines around the world continue to feel the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), carriers will continue to haemorrhage money this year, estimated to be around $95 billion, as travel demand remains weak.
Airline bookings for the coming summer season, July to August this year, are currently 78 percent below the levels seen in February 2019, according to IATA.
Emirates was one of the first airlines in the Gulf to resume international flights after the lockdown in March last year.
To entice consumers to fly again, the airline said it would keep middle seats empty for free so that passengers won’t sit next to each other on their flights. The airline later said that keeping planes half-empty is not financially viable after all.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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