Emirates to bring back on-the-ground premium experience as of July 1

Jun 30, 2020

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Emirates announced on Tuesday that as of July 1, it will be reinstating its full premium on-the-ground experience for first- and business-class passengers. Though, as with most things regarding travel and coronavirus, there will be some modifications.

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At the airport, the airline’s signature Chauffeur Drive Service will be reinstated for first- and business-class passengers at Dubai and some other cities around the world — including London (LHR) — as of 10 a.m. on July 1. Drivers in Dubai will wear gloves and masks, and high touchpoints of all cars will be sanitized at the end of each trip. At the end of each shift, cars will be cleaned and disinfected inside and out. In Dubai, cars will be limited to three passengers but larger vehicles will be available on request for groups of four.

Related: Dubai will reopen to tourists July 7 — here’s what you need to know

It’s worth noting that the Chauffeur Drive Service is not available to passengers who booked first- or business-class tickets using points or those booked through its partner airline, Qantas.

(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

As of July 1, just one of the airline’s lounges in Terminal 3, Concourse B at Dubai Airport (DXB) will be open, and eligible first-class, business-class and Emirates Skywards members will be permitted entry. Once inside, passengers can expect a different experience than they might be used to. Passengers will be required to wear masks in the lounge, and there will be a reduced number of seating areas to aid social distancing. Complimentary hygiene kits will be readily available in the airport for those who require masks, gloves, sanitizer or wipes.

The buffet offering will be replaced with hygienically sealed meal boxes. Drinks, including spirits, will be available in single-serve bottles, meaning shared drinks like wine and Champagne will be temporarily suspended.

(Photo courtesy Emirates)
(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

The airline has set out several measures to ensure the safety of passengers and employees. One such initiative will be accessing the lounge using biometric gates and facial recognition technology. Cleaning will be ramped up, too, as tables and chairs will be sanitized by a member of staff after each passenger use and at the end of each day, the lounge will be sanitized and fumigated. More of Emirates’ lounges around the world are set to open in the coming months.

(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

Related: When are the best and worst times to visit Dubai?

Onboard, First Class Suites and lie-flat business class seats will remain in use, but the onboard service has been modified. Social areas, like the bar on the A380, remain out of use. The airline said that crew will wear full PPE and toilets will be cleaned more frequently.

The reintroduction of this ground service for premium passengers coincides with the return of several daily Emirates flights from Dubai (DXB) to Heathrow (LHR), also on July 1.

Featured image courtesy of Emirates

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