When comparing Business Class airfares from New Zealand to the UK and Europe there is quite a range in pricing. Emirates recently provided us with an estimate of the value of its free chauffeur service for Business and First Class passengers to the UK and Europe, and the total is actually surprising.
Before we jump into the calculation, it's important to explain the scope of the Emirates offer. As you'd expect there's a lot of fine print (read in full here) but the most relevant points are:
- The service is only available to and from Auckland and Christchurch airports.
- The included distance in New Zealand has recently (2019) been increased to 80 kms (from 40kms) per transfer. If you live further away than this you can still use the service, but an additional charge applies.
- If you stopover in Dubai you'll be driven to and from your hotel.
- When you arrive in the UK / Europe you'll be driven from the airport to your preferred destination and then back to the airport when it's time to fly home (subject to the service being available in the city you're travelling to / from).
- The included distances in the UK and Europe differ by city. At the time of writing the limit for London Heathrow is 70 miles and Amsterdam is 65 kms.
Calculating the value that the chauffeur service adds to an Emirates Business Class or First Class airfare to the UK / Europe depend on whether you look at it as a saving or an additional value add.
If you would normally / otherwise catch a taxi (or a rideshare like Uber) to and from the airport and could instead take advantage of the free chauffeur service, then the Emirates chauffeur service would save you that outgoing (you could effectively deduct the cost from the airfare when comparing options).
Emirates calculated the additional value of a chauffeur service to a Business Class passenger flying from Auckland to London, with a stopover in Dubai to be almost $1,400 calculated as follows:
- Return 40 km drive from Albany to Auckland Airport at an average value of $440.52 ($220.26 each way)
- Return 5 km drive from Dubai Airport to the JW Marriott Hotel at an average of $125 ($62.50 each way)
- Return 70 ml drive from London Heathrow Airport to Brighton Central Station at an average of $830.56 ($415.28 each way).
Overall, Fine Travel clients almost always avail themselves of the Emirates chauffeur service. For Business and First Class travellers deciding which of the premium carriers to fly with to the UK / Europe, the value of the chauffeur service should not be overlooked.