Emirates has begun sending emails to travellers offering the opportunity to pay for access to its Business or First lounges in Dubai. In addition to paying for access, the rules also offer the opportunity to upgrade from the Business Lounge to the First lounge.
This marks quite a change, as to date access to the Emirates lounges have been based on either class of travel, or status in an eligible Frequent Flyer program.
On first blush, the charges seem quite steep. Emirates is offering access to its business class lounges at a rate of US$100 for four hours. The first class lounge comes in at double the rate at US$200. If you want to upgrade from the business lounge to the first lounge, then this comes in at US$100.
The full set of fees for 4 hours of lounge access are as follows:
- First Class Lounges = USD 200 / AED 720
- Business Class Lounges = USD 100 / AED 360
- Emirates Lounge = USD 100 / AED 360
- Upgrade from Business Class Lounge to First Class Lounge = USD 100 / AED 360
As you’d expect, there are several condition that need to be met in order to take advantage of this offer. Firstly, you will need to be a member of the Skywards program, which is free to join.
You will also need to be travelling on an Emirates service. Generally the flights will also need to be operated by Emirates, with codeshares being excluded. There is one exception for members travelling on Qantas operated codeshare services.
Also, at this point in time, paid access is only available for Emirates lounges in Dubai.
So, is it worth it? Well, I guess that depends. Perhaps for a longer transit, approaching the four hours it may be worth it. Upgrading from the Business to First class lounges may be worthwhile to try out the lounge. It really is a personaly decision you need to make for yoruself.
Further details, and full terms and conditions may be found here.