Will Emirates Charge Business Class Passengers For Its Onboard Shower?
The last few months have been somewhat turbulent for the previously soaring Dubai-based Emirates. In November the airline announced a 75% drop in net profit for the first half of its fiscal year, and the following month reports emerged that the carrier was reviewing the size and responsibilities of its workforce. Emirates has also made attempts to increase its revenue — it implemented fees for optional advanced seat selection in economy, and access to the Business and First Class Lounges in Dubai can now be purchased for $100-$200 by passengers in any cabin.
But it appears the airline isn't done making changes. According to cabin crew website Paddle Your Own Kanoo, Emirates CEO Tim Clark informed the airline's staff that multiple factors — including overcapacity, price wars and a strong US dollar — had damaged the carrier's financial results and he was prepared to move aggressively to fix the airline's issues. "Hyper-change is the only constant," proclaimed the chief executive to his employees in his quarterly update.
So if Emirates wants to improve its finances, what can it do? Paddle Your Own Kanoo reports that options for enhancing the airline's ancillary revenue stream are rumored to include charging for premium meals and beverages available to order, chauffeur car service for economy passengers in Dubai for a fee... and offering business class passengers the opportunity to pay for use of the A380's onboard shower.
The Emirates A380 Shower Spa is one of the more famous features of the aircraft's first class cabin and the shower lavatories already get a decent amount of usage during flights. While there's no word yet on how much Emirates would consider charging for the service, adding business class passengers to the mix could theoretically create heavy demand for those facilities.
Business class on the Emirates A380 already gets stellar reviews — TPG Associate Editor Emily McNutt flew in the cabin from Dubai (DXB) to New York (JFK) just two months ago and reported that "from the seats to the service, the meal and the lounge at the rear of the aircraft, this experience was like none other I’ve had in the sky." Extending a perk like shower access to business class passengers, even for an extra fee, might very well push more people toward purchasing business tickets instead of first.
So is this a good idea? Would you pay as a business class passenger to use the onboard shower? Or is it only worth it if it's included in the ticket price?