Emirates was the first airline to offer Mixed Class airfares from New Zealand to the UK and Europe and their latest airfare innovations expand that offering with a new mixed Business / Economy Class airfare and a new mixed First / Business Class airfare.
New Business / Economy Mixed Class Airfares
One of the most common explanations we hear from Fine Travel clients as to why they are travelling Business Class to the UK / Europe is access to a lie-flat seat for such a long journey. The lounge access, complimentary chauffeur transfers (with Emirates) and better cuisine onboard, while appreciated, are frequently not the major considerations.
With the direct flight from Auckland to Dubai being one of the longest flown by any airline, Emirates appreciated that passengers may look to fly Business Class on the longer flights and then save some money by flying Economy Class on the shorter flight between Dubai and the UK / Europe (and we published this article in 2016 on the savings offered by those Mixed Class airfares).
In 2019, Emirates launched a further innovation with an airfare we have referred to as the Emirates "H Class" Business Class airfare. These Business Class airfares were released on limited routes and offered a further discount for guests open to a reduced service Business Class experience (most notably with no chauffeur service or lounge access).
Emirates has now taken the next step of combining the discounted H Class Business Class airfares between Auckland and Dubai with an Economy Class airfare between Dubai and the UK and Europe. Fine Travel clients therefore now have the option of the original Mixed Class (which provides the traditional Business Class benefits on before the Business Class flights, and the cheaper H-Class Mixed Class fare.
Our Experience to Date
Although the H Class Business Class airfares are cheaper than the full Business Class airfares (resulting in the new H Class Mixed Class airfares being cheaper than the standard mixed class airfare) the overall difference to the Mixed Class airfare, relative to the benefits that the guest will potentially forgo (primarily lounge access and chauffeur service) may make the appeal marginal.
For a Fine Travel client who books the Emirates complimentary chauffeur service and enjoys taking a moment to unwind before the flight in the Emirates lounges, the savings between by the standard Mixed Class airfare and the H-Class Mixed Class airfare may not be worthwhile.
However, for Fine Travel clients who don't use (or are unable to) the chauffeur service, and who generally don't spend much time in the lounge, they may prefer not to pay for something they don't use.
Overall the Mixed H-Class Business / Economy Class airfare introduces more flexibility and a choice for Fine Travel clients looking for a lie-flat seat on the flight to the UK and Europe.
First Class / Business Class Mixed Airfare
A further innovation released by Emirates is a Mixed First Class / Business Class airfare from New Zealand to the UK and Europe. Following a similar philosophy to the mixed Business / Economy airfare, this new airfare provides Fine Travel clients with the ability to experience the remarkable Emirates A380 First Class between Auckland and Dubai and then, on the shorter flights between Dubai and the UK / Europe, fly Business Class.
This new airfare category, which prices between a discounted Business Class and Discounted First Class is likely to appeal to Fine Travel Business Class clients who have wanted to fly First Class on the long flights between Auckland and Dubai, but have been reluctant to spend almost the same amount again for a the full First Class experience.
Currently Emirates has released the mixed Business / Economy Class and mixed First Class / Business Class airfares as part of a specific special offer campaign so we are yet to see whether Emirates will also offer them as long life options throughout the year.