When Emirates made the global announcement that it would be launching a "reduced service" Business Class offering, we were eager to see it in the New Zealand market. Emirates has now launched the new "H Class" Business Class airfares between Auckland and Bali, selected South East Asian destinations and Johannesburg, so we review the changes.
What Does "H Class" Exclude
When it comes to a full service Business Class experience, Emirates arguable leads the way. With dedicated Business Class lounges in most airports they service, the onboard bar in the A380 aircraft from New Zealand, a complimentary chauffeur service in selected cities, it is a comprehensive experience.
The introduction of the H Class Business Class airfares provides a "Business Class Lite" experience for travellers who are primarily focussed on the onboard experience. These new airfares are cheaper than the other Emirates Business Class discounts we offer, but importantly guests forgo:
- Complimentary chauffeur transfers
- Lounge access
- The ability to use Skywards points to upgrade to First Class
- Advanced seat selection (only available 48 hours before departure)
Once at the gate (priority boarding is still available) and onboard, guests will not see any change to their usual Emirates Business Class experience. Meals, seats and baggage allowances are the same as the regular Business Class fares.
How Much will H Class save Me?
This is a little fluid and will depend on the booking class available at the time. As an indication from a recent Bali sale the H Class fares were $250pp cheaper than full Business Class which was also on sale.
Is "H Class" Available on All Emirates Flights?
Emirates is rolling out H Class to selected destinations. H Class is currently only available to Bali, Johannesburg, and the following cities in South East Asia:
Bali has proven to be a popular destination since Emirates released its direct service from Auckland. The H Class offering makes particular sense on this route as the Business Class seat is the angled lie-flat configuration (pictured above), which not all Fine Travel clients like, often choosing instead to upgrade to First Class.
What Does the "H" Stand For?
We've taken to calling the new Business Class offering "H Class" as that is the internal booking class code assigned to it. With such a variety of names already in the market for various Business Class offerings, H Class makes it easier to identify this unique Business Class product.
Will it be Popular?
The popularity of the H Class fares will provide an interesting insight into the value that Business Class passengers place on the chauffeur service and lounge access. Taking the $250 saving to Bali as an example, passengers who just want a more comfortable seat and aren't concerned about the chauffeur service or the lounge may take the view the $250 is better in their pocket than Emirates'. Someone heading away for a special treat, or squeezing a Bali holiday into a busy schedule may prefer to "spend" the extra $250pp for the full experience and benefits.