Emirates offers First and Business Class passengers free chauffeur service to and from the airport. I took advantage with rides to Auckland’s airport and from Sydney’s airport in 2013.

Starting in January 2015, Emirates restricted chauffeur service to First and Business Class passengers whose tickets were issued by Emirates or Qantas.

The best way for travel hackers to book Emirates First and Business Class ticket is with Alaska Airlines miles, meaning Alaska issues the ticket. That means, by the rules, no chauffeur service. But One Mile at a Time reports a trick to get free chauffeur service in Dubai that works sometimes:

Upon landing in Dubai, follow signs for Emirates Chauffeur Drive Services and request a chauffeur there at the airport. Commenters reported some successes and some failures.

I decided to try it out when I landed in Dubai yesterday, having flown Emirates First Class from Zurich (trip report to follow.) After clearing customs, you see huge signs that point you to the right for a chauffeur or to the left to exit. I headed right and to the First Class desk inside the chauffeur area. I presented my ticket with a smile and said I’d like a ride to my hotel.

A minute later she was handing me a slip to hand to the driver for my free ride. Success!

It did seem to take her an extra thirty seconds to print my ticket because someone else showed up next to me after me and had his slip printed before mine. I speculate that maybe she had to override something on the computer on my behalf.

This trick will not work 100% of the time, and maybe Emirates will shut it down completely, but for now, there is a chance to get a free ride from the Dubai airport on an Alaska award ticket. I don’t know of a similar way to get a ride to the Dubai airport, nor do I know of a way to get rides to/from any other airport on an Alaska award ticket.

If you try this out, make sure you have a backup transportation plan. Share your results in the comments.

 

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