This Top Airline Now Offers Free Chauffeurs for Its Economy Passengers

Now's the time to book a last-minute summer vacation to the UAE

Etihad 787

Courtesy of Etihad

There's still time for a summer vacation, and if you haven't booked one yet, you might want to think about the United Arab Emirates. One of the country's two national carriers, Etihad Airways, is offering economy passengers a pretty great deal, not on ticket prices but also airport transfers.

Though swanky Etihad flies into the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the airline is providing free airport transfers to and from neighboring Dubai for economy passengers flying to or from 37 of its destinations, including Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.

“With Dubai just an easy one-hour drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport, we’re committed to making travel as easy as possible for guests traveling to and from Dubai this summer," Fatma Al Mehairi, Etihad's vice president of UAE sales, said in a statement. "The Etihad Wellness program also means guests can travel with Etihad with complete peace of mind.”

Interestingly, Dubai is traditionally the territory of its competitor, Emirates, which makes this airport transfer deal more than a little unusual. (Although, to be fair, Etihad has always offered this service to premium-cabin passengers.) But as with all things travel-related, the pandemic has changed the game quite a bit.

Previously, each emirate had different COVID-related entry requirements for international travelers, with Dubai having more lenient quarantine rules and Abu Dhabi having stricter ones. That would explain why Etihad would be willing to shuttle passengers to Dubai—to entice travelers from restricted countries. But that's actually no longer the case as of July 1, when Abu Dhabi lifted quarantine requirements for many travelers, including Americans.

So why would Etihad launch this program now? Honestly, we're not entirely sure—maybe the airline had the deal planned before the government knew it would ease quarantine restrictions in Abu Dhabi. But in any case, it's a sweet perk for economy passengers traveling to the UAE.

To take advantage of the free Dubai transfers, book your Etihad flight by Aug. 11 for travel by Sept. 30.