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Emirates Will Block Seat Rows – For A Price

As airlines begin fully booking aircraft to recover losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, one carrier is offering flyers the opportunity to socially distance from others on a flight – for the right price. Emirates will allow flyers to purchase the empty seats around them if they are available at the check-in counter.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many airlines began blocking middle seat bookings to promote social distance between flyers. Nearly one year later, only one carrier is continuing the practice: Delta Air Lines. However, Emirates will let flyers get socially distanced from everyone else – for the right price. The Middle East carrier is now offering flyers the option to buy the seats around them at the check-in counter.

Seat Buying Option Introduced for “Customers Seeking Extra Privacy and Space”

According to the airline, the new product was introduced based on customer feedback and demand. The option to purchase seats will only be available in the Economy Class cabin.

Flyers who hold a confirmed booking with Emirates may be allowed to purchase the seats around them at the airport check-in counter, prior to departure. Ticketed travelers cannot pay for extra space ahead of time, as it will only be opened based on availability. The additional seats can be purchased for between $55 and $165 per empty seats, plus applicable taxes depending on where flyers are departing and arriving. Where available, flyers can purchase up to three seats in the row around them.

“Emirates has introduced this new seat product on the back of customer feedback, addressing the needs of a range of customers seeking extra privacy and space while still flying in Economy Class,” the airline explains in a press release. “This includes 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.”

The newest “upgrade” option compliments all of Emirates’ options for economy flyers. They include extra legroom seats in exit rows, twin seats available on the airline’s Boeing 777 and two-class Airbus A380 aircraft, as well as the “preferred” seats.

Emirates Discounts Excess Baggage Rates Up To 60 Percent

In addition to offering a new seating option, the airline is also offering discounts on excess baggage. Flyers who need to check additional bags beyond their allowance can get up to 60 percent off additional bags if they are booked and pre-paid at least four hours prior to departure. The discounts vary based on the departure airport and destination.

Sydneyberlin March 9, 2021

Might as well just book J class right from the beginning which is the better choice anyway.

11277m March 2, 2021

"purchase the empty seats around them if they are available at the check-in counter." Seems a great way to get money for seats that would otherwise be flying empty.

rylan March 2, 2021

Really a meaningless program/gesture, since it is only available at the check in counter. By that point it would be obvious if you're going to have a bunch of empty seats on the plane anyway, and if the flight is crowded then you won't be able to secure any empty seats by then.