Emirates looks at ancillary fees

Charges likely for better meals or sitting together
As with other airlines, Emirates is under pressure from the global traumas that have happened over the last 18 months or so. So it is having to think about other revenue sources, its president Tim Clark reveals in an interview.
Paradoxically, lower oil prices have not helped major airlines. The global economy as a whole is faltering because the oil and gas sectors that drove so much of the economy have fallen away. Other factors are hitting profits too, such as Brexit, the euro and the state of the European Union, Clark says.
So Emirates is now “having to look and see whether we can extract more value through the ancillary revenue stream. It’s somewhere we’ve never traditionally gone, but the digital world tells us that that’s the way people are thinking,” he explains.
The airline is considering a number of different options.
“You might go after a second bag, or a weight allowance supplement. You may go after seat selection. We have a lot of families and groups travelling, and they all want to sit together. […] You’ve got hen parties, stag parties, golfers, footballers. […] They really don’t want to be all over the aircraft. They want to be together. They’re willing to pay for it.”
There are other areas the airline is looking at, for example if economy passengers want a better meal than Emirates is offering, or a glass or a bottle of champagne.
“It’s a bit like [British Airways] has done recently. You get the standard meal, but if you want to lift that, for any reason, you can pay for it.”
He adds: “You could offer premium check-in. You can offer expedited [security] search. [We can offer] our chauffeur drive, on a pay basis. [Let’s say] you’re in the rural part of Germany, and you want to get to Frankfurt, and the choice is a taxi, or a train, and a bus. We’ll give you a Mercedes, but you pay for it. We’ll put a margin on the cost to us [and] everybody’s happy. The trick, then, is to be able to deliver that, operationally and logistically, to make sure that you deliver what they paid for.”
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