Emirates A380 First Class Auckland to Sydney: Chauffeur Service

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Chauffeur Service

Pre-Departure Services and Emirates Club Auckland

Emirates First: Suite, Seat, and Bed

Emirates First: Service and Food

Emirates First: Shower Spa

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My shower-in-the-air, room-service-to-my-suite, bar-on-a-plane trip report starts on the ground with the first part of my trip: the included chauffeur service.

With a few exceptions, Emirates First Class and Business Class passengers are eligible for free chauffeur service to and from the airport. This page lists the rules for every airport. Each has slightly different rules for where the chauffeur service is available for each cabin.

Business class passengers from Auckland to Sydney don’t get the chauffeur service, but first class passengers do from anywhere up to 40 km from the airport. That’s a smaller radius than most airports, but it does include the central business district where I was staying.

The chauffeur service can be booked at the time of the flight booking or later. I’m not sure the cut off, but I booked my cars about three days before my flight from Auckland to Sydney. The booking can be made on the Manage Booking tab of emirates.com.

Once you enter your confirmation number and the booking comes up, scroll down to the chauffeur booking section and click Manage Chauffeur-drive Bookings.On the next screen, select Book a Car for the departure airport.

The form asks for the address of the pick up and your phone number. I put in my American phone number, which I assumed would not be contacted since that would be expensive for a driver in New Zealand.

I put in my hostel’s address. I didn’t know its post code, so I left that blank. The latest pick up option was 3 hours before the flight with the earliest option 4.5 hours before in 30 minute increments. I chose 3.5 hours before because I wanted to spend a while in the lounge.

I repeated the same steps for the Sydney car. I put in the address of a hostel I thought I’d stay at, but I actually forgot the address I had entered. When I tried to check on the day of the flight to see where I’d be dropped off, the online form said the drop off address was “On File,” but wouldn’t actually tell me where I was going. I asked the agent in the Emirates Lounge Auckland, and she was able to tell me where I had entered. She also told me that as long as I had reserved a car, I could tell the driver to drop me anywhere inside the drop off radius without issue.

About 24 hours before the flight, I received a text message reminder to my American number, but I don’t think this had anything to do with my chauffeur service.

My pick up was scheduled for 3:10 PM. At 2:30 PM, I was outside my hostel reading and waiting. At 3:05 PM a white Ford pulled up and parked across the street and a driver got out.

I had read that the driver will call the passenger, sometimes the day before to reconfirm. But I didn’t get a phone call–probably because I had no local number. At 3:10, I walked up to the driver and asked if he was from Emirates. He asked if I was Mr. Grimmer and away we went.

The car was a spacious sedan–plenty of room even for a giant. I had planned to read during the ride, but the driver was very interesting. He had been to the Aussie Open before, so we talked about what I should expect in Melbourne.

When we got to the airport, he parked around the corner from the entrance closest to the Emirates check in. He handed me two New Zealand departure cards, which was nice though not necessary, since they are right at the Emirates desk.

I tipped him 20 NZD (~$17) for the 30 minute ride.

Sydney Chauffeur

I blew through immigration and customs in Sydney as the first one off the plane. As I walked out of customs, there were three chauffeurs holding Emirates signs.

My driver waited while I went to an ATM and restroom, then walked me to his car parked just outside the arrival area.

The car was spacious inside, and I had plenty of room. The driver was a chatty Filipino immigrant, who assured me that Australians would be very friendly to me. I told him that I wanted to be dropped off one block away from the address I had entered online, and he said it was no problem.

The ride was about 15 minutes, and I tipped him 10 AUD (~$11).

Overall Thoughts

I really enjoyed the chauffeur service. I’ve never had a door-to-door car service when flying, and I quite liked it.

I didn’t save much money. I tipped more than I would have spent on Auckland’s convenient airport bus. And I tipped only a few dollars less than Sydney’s convenient airport train would have cost. If I had had more bags, such that I would have taken a taxi to the airport then the chauffeur would have been a big money saver. But I travel with one bag, so I would have taken public transportation.

I probably saved about 25 minutes total over public transportation, which is worth some amount of money too.

It was fun to have the car service, but it was a luxury I won’t miss on my next trip.


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26 COMMENTS

  1. Why get dropped off a block from the hostel? I assume so people don’t see you as a target for theft while at the hostel?

    • No, I went to a different hostel than I initially planned. The new one was one block from the old one, which was the address the driver had.

  2. Love it! Chauffer’s and hostels’ Mr. Yin, please meet Mr. Yang.”Why get dropped off a block from the hostel?”

  3. I am surprised an A380 flies AKL-SYD. I thought the economics of that bird was such that it lost money unless on longhaul flights — usually transpacific. What am I missing?

    • The A380s go AKL-SYD-DXB and AKL-MEL-DXB. There are a couple tag flights like this on the A380 you can get on cheaply.

  4. Tipping isn’t really done in Australia and New Zealand, except for a nominal tip in a good restaurant. So there was probably no need to tip.

  5. Yes people, seriously please research on tipping cultures in the countries you visit. It may even be considered rude in some cultures (as crazy as it seems)

    • Had an Aussie taxi last night. The fare was $14.10, and we gave $15. The driver who hadn’t said a word yet said, “I love Americans. An Aussie would have his hand out waiting for 90 cents.”

  6. Can you tell us your experience of booking this flight? How much it will cost? Where did you buy the ticket? Where to find a better deal?

  7. Thats the way it is . I gave a front desk lady (paris) 20 Eu for watching my laptop for 3 days during the day . I came down next day for Hi End Instant coffee (great never had better) she gave me a WHOLE box (20 Eu at least) . Then the whole staff took better care of me .. Yes they LIKE YANKS !!! and I like them …

    Cj

  8. {No, you can book with Alaska, Korean, and JAL also. I’ve been meaning to write a series about this.}
    Any update

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