Emirates has introduced a new service to its flights, allowing passengers in economy class to purchase empty seats next to them, in order to avoid sitting next to strangers.
More personal space
A row of empty seats is any travellers dream. Not having to sit next to noisy neighbours or strangers makes for an ideal flight. This is now an option on Emirates flights, as the airline is set to introduce a new service, allowing those flying economy class to block the seats next to them. Where there is availability, passengers will be able to purchase and block up to three adjoining seats. Prices will start from around $55, ranging up to $165, excluding tax.
However, the service is not available on a pre-booking basis, and will only be offered at the check-in counter, based on availability. By operating in this way, the airline can ensure it does not prevent another passenger from booking the seat at full price, and can instead make some profit on a seat that was otherwise empty anyway. After the financial difficulties the aviation industry has suffered due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the opportunity to recoup some losses will be hugely welcomed.
A welcome change
The service will also be a relief to many passengers travelling in the current climate and those who still have reservations on travelling. With incidents such as non-compliance to Covid-safe protocols, as occurred on an Israel airline flight, giving people the option to block neighbouring seats and minimise their interaction with strangers will put many passengers at ease. Ensuring passengers are confident that they are travelling in the safest way could also assist in the swift recovery of the aviation industry.
Whilst there is always a chance of bagging a row of empty seats, especially now, this service gives the passenger some guarantee and control over their travel experience. For those still apprehensive to travel, $55-$165 could be a small price to pay for peace of mind.
What do you think of Emirates’ new service? Would you pay to block the seat next to you? Share your opinion below!