When you buy or redeem an airline ticket in Business or First class, you’re not just buying a better seat. As well as improved on-board service, some airlines offer additional benefits on the ground. In fact, the premium travel experience with some airlines begins before you even arrive at the airport! Qantas, Virgin Australia, Emirates and numerous other airlines offer a complimentary chauffeur drive service to and from the airport for Business and First class passengers.
Emirates Chauffeur Drive
Emirates’ Chauffeur Drive service is perhaps the most well-known. Emirates passengers flying Business or First class are entitled to the complimentary transfer service at both the origin and destination. You can use the Chauffeur Drive service to travel anywhere within a certain distance of the airport – often 60km – as listed on the Emirates website. If you’re flying in or out of Dubai, you can travel to anywhere else in the UAE – including Abu Dhabi.
Most Emirates Business and First Class passengers are eligible to use Chauffeur Drive. However, from 1 March 2019, the service will no longer include award tickets booked using Emirates Skywards miles or Qantas Frequent Flyer points. The service is also not available when travelling between Australia and New Zealand. The service is free; you’ll just need to book at least 48 hours before departure.
Read more about Emirates Chauffeur Drive on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Emirates chauffeur entitlement question
Qantas Chauffeur Drive
Qantas also offers a complimentary Chauffeur Drive service for Business and First class passengers on selected international routes. The service was introduced when the Qantas-Emirates alliance first began in 2013 and originally covered most Qantas international destinations. Nowadays, the Qantas Chauffeur Drive service is only available for passengers travelling between Australia and London.
Read more about Qantas Chauffeur Drive on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas Chauffeur service – General Questions/Advice
Etihad Airways also offers a complimentary chauffeur service, but only in Abu Dhabi. The Etihad Chauffeur service is also available at most other Etihad Airways destinations, but for a fee.
First and Business class passengers are eligible to use the service, including passengers booked on Virgin Australia codeshare flights operated by Etihad Airways. But Etihad award flights booked using Etihad Guest, Virgin Velocity, American Airlines AAdvantage or are any other airline’s miles are ineligible, as are Business Saver fares.
Virgin Australia Complimentary Limousine Service
Virgin Australia Business class passengers travelling between Australia and Los Angeles can use Virgin’s Complimentary Limousine Service. The service is only offered to Business class passengers booked on full-fare Business tickets (J and C class). Business Saver fares and reward bookings are not eligible.
The Virgin Australia Complimentary Limousine service will pick up and drop off up to 60km from any Australian airport, and within 50 miles of Los Angeles International Airport.
Read more about Virgin Australia’s Limousine Service on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Do Virgin offer Complementary Transfers for Pax Traveling in Business/First?
Hainan Airlines Limo Service
Hainan Airlines offers a complimentary limo service for long-haul Business passengers on paid airfares. Award bookings are excluded. This service is available at both the departure city and destination, except on routes to/from Australia and New Zealand. On these routes, the service is available only at the Chinese destination. Hainan Airlines flies from Australia to Xi’an, Shenzhen, Changsha and Haikou.
Several other airlines also offer chauffeur drive services to some of their passengers…
- Air India – available only on certain routes (e.g. to London or North America) and fare types
- Virgin Atlantic – available only for full-fare Upper Class passengers
- Turkish Airlines – available only on flexible return Business class tickets between North America and selected destinations across the Middle East and southern Asia. (Strangely, Istanbul is not on the list of eligible destinations!)
- Lufthansa – available in Dubai only
- Qatar Airways – available only for an additional fee