Emirates First Class Champagne

You’ve heard “you get what you pay for”, but how you pay may soon make all the difference in what else you might get, at least with Emirates.

Pesky credit card processing fees cost the airline industry billions each year, and Emirates is the first airline to create its own payment processing solution, via a unique partnership with Deutsche Bank.

Ahead of the payment system rollout, the UAE airline is teasing out perks from extra bags to upgrades, for those who give it a whirl.

a woman standing in a plane

Emirates IATA Pay

Emirates has a new way for customers to pay, which it hopes will save the airline millions each year, if not more. Since the new system is unknown to customers, the company is actively looking at ways to make it more enticing, and to make people feel better about potentially missing out on extra credit card points.

Emirates is the first airline to launch its own payment platform, which is based on a system from IATA, the airline industry trade body which streamlines a variety of issues for global airlines, while championing the business. IATA created the solution with help from Deutsche Bank.

The idea is to convince people to use the Emirates real time payment interface, rather than process payments through third parties, which cost the airline anywhere between 1%-3% of the transaction, depending on the airline.

According to the FT, Emirates is playing with a variety of ideas to convince people to go with the new system, including incentives like extra baggage allowances, special flight discounts and the much loved “upgrade”.

Special fares, which can only be booked by using the ‘Emirates Pay’ system are said to be an early move to attract ‘fever pitch’ customer interest and acceptance, so exciting Emirates flight deals may well be on the way.

Photo of Emirates a380 flying

Other Airlines To Follow

As airlines recover from the pandemic, a focus on finding new ways to reduce costs, without necessarily reducing in-flight service is the key focus. Fuel savings from new generation planes are a help, but millions back in the bank which would usually go to credit card transactions is a big deal.

Since IATA is the pioneer of this payment solution, it’s expected that after Emirates, other airlines will follow suit, launching their own versions which cost only a few cents per transaction, rather than a meaningful percentage of sometimes large transactions. It could be an exciting time for customers, as airlines tease perks out to get people to buy in.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. This sounds very interesting except for one crucial issue, you would loose all payment protection provided by credit cards!

  2. But who would trust / rely on some airlines IT systems where there is a track record of repeated failures and data breaches?

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