Etihad Airways to drop complimentary chauffeur service at Dublin Airport

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Etihad Airways is to end its complimentary chauffeur service at Dublin Airport for Business and First Class passengers. The service will be retained only at the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub. 

Etihad said it was amending its chauffeur policy following a review of usage by premium guests across all major markets” and said the service will be “replaced with a paid option at specially negotiated rates in all other cities. The changes will be implemented from July 3.” The paid option will be available to all passengers and allow Etihad Guest members to accrue miles on their chauffeur bookings.

Guests travelling in The Residence onboard the Airbus A380 fleet will continue to receive complimentary chauffeur services at all A380 destinations – namely Abu Dhabi, London, Paris, Sydney and New York.

First and Business Class tickets issued prior to July 3 will not be affected by these changes and will receive complimentary chauffeur service across destinations where the service is currently offered. Emirates confirmed to Travel Extra that it has no plans to end its complimentary chauffeur service at Dublin Airport, and said Business Class customers in Dubai will be transferred in the BMW 520i Touring, which has wifi access.

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But there are some upsides for Etihad passengers, with the airline now offering the option of paying for a ‘Neighbour-Free Seat’ in Economy Class. Passengers can bid for up to three empty seats next to their original seat –  subject to availability and  cabin configuration. Guests can bid at the time of booking online. Successful bids will be confirmed 30 hours prior to departure.

Economy Class passengers will also have the option to pay for premium lounge access, a move that follows in the footsteps of rival Emirates. Business Class passengers will now have the option to pay to upgrade to Abu Dhabi’s renowned First Class Lounge and Spa.

Etihad Airways Lounge Entrance

Etihad Airways Lounge Entrance

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial for Etihad Airways, said: “This change is being put in place as the airline looks to evolve its product proposition while continuing to match individual customer requirements. Following a review, the chauffeur services we offer will be amended globally, with the exception of Abu Dhabi, where there are a high number of users of the service.

“Many customers prefer to make their own ground transportation arrangements. The decision by Etihad Airways to change its offering has been taken to provide increased choice and to ensure fares remain as low and as competitive as possible, while retaining best-in-class service for all guests, in all cabins.”

Etihad Airways will also offer Economy Class guests paid access to its growing portfolio of dedicated lounges around the world, including its Premium Lounges in Abu Dhabi, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Washington D.C., New York JFK, Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles.

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 Al Bulooki continued: “On the ground, premium class guests can enjoy free access to Etihad Airways’ collection of outstanding lounges. By offering paid access to Economy Class guests, these signature lounges can now be enjoyed by all who desire to experience our award-winning facilities.”

More information on the new chauffeur service changes, neighbour free seats and lounge access policy is available at etihad.com.

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