One of the great benefits of flying business or first class on Emirates is the ability to order complimentary chauffeur service to take you to and from the airport. This service is available at both your origin and destination and can be arranged online (under “manage a booking”) up to 48 hours prior to departure. But what happens when you book a last-minute ticket? Can you still reserve a driver?
The website seems to suggest passengers are out of luck:
Enjoy our exclusive Chauffeur-drive service in over 70 cities worldwide. Book online through Manage a booking 48 hours before your flight.
The terms and conditions of the chauffeur service are even more explicit:
Chauffeur-drive service must be booked at least 48 hours in advance of travel.
But high-value tickets are often booked last minute. To punish those who book so close to departure is to disincentivize walk-up purchases that can push a flight from red to black.
Thankfully, my experience suggests that Emirates does not strictly follow the 48-hour rule.
I booked a last-minute ticket for a client today and although it was too late to book car service online, I was able to reserve a chauffeur by calling Emirates Reservations (+1.800.777.3999). It took the agents a few minutes to set up, but she was able to confirm pick-up just over 24 hours in advance. That makes me 3/3 in ordering last-minute car pickups.
Success is not guaranteed — this is an unofficial policy — but just because you cannot order a car online does not mean you are out of luck: give the phone center a call if you book close in or just forgot to order a car and chances are Emirates will still be able to accommodate you.
I know many savvy travelers book Emirates premium cabins awards through Alaska Airlines and note that the complimentary chauffeur service is not available for bookings ticketed by Alaska.
photos courtesy of Emirates