The World’s Favorite Airline Will Start Annoying Customers With New Fees

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Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Upfront in First Class, they’re taking showers.

Soon, those at the back will be showered too.

With gifts, you might think. With plaudits for their good behavior. With free tickets for their next flight and triple air miles for all their loved ones.

No, no. With extra fees.

I speak, you see, of Emirates, the airline so regularly beloved by all.

It’s just announced that it’s ending its long-standing practice of allowing even customers in economy to book seats far in advance without being charged for this privilege.

First come, first served?

Who on earth thought that was a good idea?

As the Associated Press reports, Emirates is now launching fees for booking your seat more than 48 hours in advance.

A short-haul flight? That’ll be $15, please.

Flying a little further with us, madam? Please hand over $40 to ensure that you’ll be, say, by a window and not in a lovely middle seat.

Not everyone who books in economy will be subject to this new pinching of pockets.

It’ll only be those who thought they got a good deal — those who booked Special and Saver fares.

Yes, this fare is special. It’s so special that we’ve added a seat-booking charge to it.

Please don’t worry, though. Emirates still does have a heart.

As its spokesman told Business Insider: “Children below the age of 2 and accompanying passengers on the same booking will be exempted from the fee.”

Aw, bless the little ones. For once they might save you money.

I know that seat selection fees have become a standard feature of the joys of flying.

I had assumed, though, that there were one or two airlines that still held on to a modicum of a We’re Not Going To Gouge Every Single Corner Of Your Credit Card.

After all, Southwest sternly resists baggage fees.

Emirates, though, seems unable to resist the lure of more lucre.

It wants in on the action and the action is at the back of the bus.

There’s a sadness in this. Not only is Emirates the world’s biggest international airline, it’s also regularly voted the best.

It is, therefore, as if the French Laundry suddenly started charging for napkins.

Or BMW insisting you pay extra every time you honk your horn.

Airlines are projected to make $39.4 billion in profits this year. That projection was raised by 8.5 percent in June because things were going so well.

Are things going so well back there in coach?

I project a 30 percent drop in human coach-tolerance by the end of the year.