Emirates reinstates chauffeur drive service

Emirates has done a 180 on the decision to suspend its popular business class and first class chauffeur drive service.

By David Flynn, June 2 2020
Emirates reinstates chauffeur drive service

Emirates has reversed a decision to suspend its complimentary chauffeur drive service for first class and business class passengers until April 2021.

“In response to the latest developments in travel restrictions and customer demand around the world and for the safety of our passengers, Emirates Chauffeur Drive service was temporarily suspended," an Emirates spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.

"The safety of our customers is always our top priority and after a full review with our service providers, we are pleased to resume Emirates Chauffeur Drive Services from July 1st. Any further updates will be announced when available.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

PREVIOUS [May 21, 2020] | Emirates is suspending its complimentary chauffeur drive service for first class and business class passengers until April 2021.

The service, which has become a hallmark of Emirates' premium travel experience, was put on ice last month when the Gulf airline resumed flights to a limited number of destinations – although with the UAE's ban on transit passengers in place, those flights were more for bringing the nation's citizens home.

"Following a recent re-assessment of Chauffeur Drive Service, a decision has been made to extend the discontinuation of the complimentary Chauffeur Drive Service," Emirates is now advising some passengers. "Effective 20th May 2020, Chauffeur Drive Service  will no longer be available to book on any EK routes, class of travel or customer profile until April 2021."

As previously reported, Emirates has also scaled back several aspects of its inflight service for first class and business class travellers, and is also looking to slash the size of its Airbus A380 fleet to suit heavily-reduced demand.

Read more: "The A380 is over" declares Emirates president

In mid-2019 Emirates launched a ‘business class special’ airfare which removed core components of the business class proposition, notably chauffeur drive and lounge access.

Several other airlines have also dropped their chauffeur drive service in recent years, including Emirates' neighbour and competitor Etihad Airways  and Virgin Atlantic.

Last month saw Qantas pull the plug on its chauffeur drive service for business and first class flyers.

The free ride was originally offered to premium cabin customers bound for London, Dubai and the USA, but over subsequent years was scaled back to include only the London route.

Also read: Emirates delays premium economy launch, won't retrofit older jets


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

I have a feeling Chauffeur Drive won't be returning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 361

This didn't age well...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2012

Total posts 73

I would like to think that business fares would reflect [reduce] the withdrawal of the services that are usually included in the price of the J fares. Otherwise it seems that the only benefit is the seat..... which is super on long haul but surely not the complete picture.

Any thoughts?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 126

It's likely that the flight will also change from an A380 to the 777-300ER. If this occurs then it's a substantial downgrade in service. Angled flat bed isn't ideal for 14+ hours. If they retain the A380 (or refurbished 777-200LR), and reduce by about 10-15% it could pass. Their competitors have more aligned onboard products so you don't have to worry too much about this.

27 May 2020

Total posts 1

Yes, that's very unfortunate for First and Business class travelers. However, being a chauffeur and host and having driven numerous Emirates passengers in Auckland, New Zealand, I'm pleased to offer the similar impeccable service to travelers who come to visit New Zealand at very reasonable rates. Titanium is one of the accredited service providers for Emirates through Blacklane. Please feel free to inquire direct if you're planning to come to Auckland, New Zealand, when the borders open again: www.ldititanium.com. Please stay safe and hope to welcome you in Auckland in the (near) future.


03 May 2013

Total posts 673

I wont set foot on EK if they revert to only flying 777. Horrible pax experience.

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