Emirates now allows economy passengers to buy empty adjoining seats

Mar 1, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Monday March 1, Emirates announced its economy passengers now have the option of purchasing up to three empty adjacent seats. The move aims to give passengers the option of a more spacious, private and socially distanced economy experience.

All economy class passengers with a confirmed booking will be eligible to purchase extra seats. No extra or exclusive availability will be given to Emirates Skywards members.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

Seats will only be bookable at airport check-in counters and will not be available to reserve in advance — Emirates would rather fill its cabin up with passengers than empty seats.

Passengers wishing to buy empty seats can expect to pay from as little as AED 200 up to AED 600 ($55 to $165). Additional taxes will be charged and vary in price depending on the route.

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

Emirates economy seating on one of its Superjumbo Airbus A380s (Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)

The extra space could benefit all travelers: solo travelers who like their own space, couples who want to ensure they have a row to themselves as well as those traveling with children.

Emirates said it introduced this new economy offering after receiving feedback from passengers who wish to have more space in economy while traveling amid the pandemic.

Related: What it’s like flying Emirates first class during the pandemic

Similar moves have been made on the other side of the Atlantic, with Delta currently blocking middle seats through April 30, 2021. The U.S. airline has been at the forefront of COVID-19 passenger safety measures, even winning the TPG Spotlight on Safety Award during the 2020 TPG Awards.

Featured photo courtesy of Emirates.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.