TRICK: How to Still Get Free Chauffeur Service on Your Emirates First or Business Class Award

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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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6 COMMENTS

  1. Scott did you notice if the number of passengers was written on the slip? Someone is meeting me at the airport and I’m wondering if I can get the slip then go meet my friend and get the ride. What do you think?

    • I didn’t check. No idea. In a pinch, I think you’d be able to tip the driver, so he wouldn’t mind.

  2. I have a flight on Saturday, SFO-DXB in First and am trying to book the pick up online. It keeps saying there is an error and I see no where to contact anyone?

    • If it’s an award flight, hopefully this post made clear that Alaska awards are no longer eligible for Emirates chauffeur service. This TRICK can get it in Dubai probably, but no guarantee.

  3. Ok but that is hardly a ‘trick’.

    Dubai has chauffeur cars waiting around like taxis, even when I travel on regular F I hardly book as I usually book my hotel very last minute, and then just get a car at the counter. Most of the time they just check the boarding pass and the date on which you flew, print out the slip for the driver and send you on your way. If they check a bit deeper, then you won’t get it. So leaving something up to chance, the same way as it would work in ANY arrival airport doesn’t really qualify as trick.

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