Meet Emirates’ New Basic Business Class Fare

Meghan CoyleJuly 9, 2019

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Step aside, basic economy. Basic business class fares are here.

Emirates has introduced a new, cheaper type of fare that gives passengers a seat in business class but limits some of the typical extras. It's the first major airline to offer a so-called unbundled ticket for a premium cabin.

Purchasing a basic business fare means giving up on the following perks that are included in other business fare classes:

  • Lounge access.

  • Chauffeur service to or from the airport.

  • The ability to upgrade to first class using miles.

  • The ability to select a seat prior to check-in.

Once onboard, passengers still have access to the same spacious, sports-car-inspired business class seat, which can convert into a fully flat bed. Each seat also comes with its own minibar and entertainment screen. Unlike a lot of basic economy fares, these basic business class fares do not have any special baggage restrictions.

These fares will only be available on select routes based on seasonal demand. On dates we checked, basic fares were about $545 cheaper in each direction between Dubai and Los Angeles. If you're searching for yourself, look for "Special" fares, as Emirates calls them.

The bottom line

For those who want lie-flat seats for long international flights but don’t care about certain fringe benefits, this new fare makes a premium ticket look a lot more attractive. If the rollout of basic economy fares is any indication, we can expect to see to see unbundled business fares start to appear on other airlines as well. After Delta introduced basic economy fares in 2012, many major airlines followed suit, including most recently JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines.

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