Would you pay for Emirates Home Check In?
It's a handy way of eliminating luggage hassle, but is it worth the money?
As Christmas rapidly approaches, Emirates has launched a promotional push for its Home Check In service (originally launched in April this year). Home Check In lets you check into Emirates flights originating from Dubai up to 48 hours before departure. The big sell isn't the check-in, but the fact that your luggage will be picked up from anywhere in Dubai and taken to the airport, saving you the need to interact with anyone prior to heading through passport control.
I can see how that might be handy if (for instance) you've got a lot of meetings on your last day before flying out of Dubai. However, it isn't particularly cheap. The promotional fee is AED 250, which converts to roughly AUD$100. If you have more than seven pieces of luggage, it's an additional AED 25 for each extra piece. At launch, it was even pricier, charging AED 350 up front and then AED 35 if you go above that magic seven. (If you have more than seven pieces of luggage, you're not doing travel right, incidentally.)
This isn't a totally unique service. In Hong Kong, for instance, you can check your luggage in at Hong Kong or Kowloon stations and have it sent to the airport on the day of your flight (and you don't have to pay for the privilege). There are also similar paid services in London and elsewhere.
I'm a professional cheapskate, so I'm not sure I'd be signing up even at the newly-discounted rate. The ability to send your luggage more than a day in advance is only really useful to Dubai residents, because you'll need access to your luggage up until the day of the flight. If you're flying business class, you'll also get an airport limousine transfer anyway, and the check-in queue won't be that long.
I don't have any current plans to pass through Dubai, largely because Qantas has rerouted its Australia-Europe flights to go through Singapore instead. But that doesn't mean regular passengers to the area won't be tempted. What do you think?
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.