DUBAI -- It is with absolute disappointment and dismay I am writing this note with a hope that some change is forthcoming from your organization in terms of training your staff and also to provide your clients a sense of dignity. I travelled from Toronto to Dubai on EK242 on 23 Jan 2013. The flight arrived late and therefore departed 2 hours behind schedule. It landed in Dubai at 21.10 and my connecting flight was at 21.55. I was stopped immediately after disembarking and asked to follow an agent to a counter because I will NOT be able to take the connection even though the connection happens to leave the same terminal A where I landed.
Me and a group of passengers went through a harrowing experience. No hotel accommodation was provided. The wait was for the next flight 24 hours later. Absolutely NO consideration was made even though the missed transfer was on account of Emirates not arriving on time.
The agent/s were very inconsiderate even with passengers with children. They made passengers feel unwanted and we were made to feel like it was our 'privilege' to even spend time at the “beautiful airport” in Dubai. One of the agents quipped "we did not force you to travel by emirates. You came on your own accord” I believe he meant that Emirates is too large to expect business from us.
Even though I could have taken the connection, my boarding pass issued in Toronto for the connection was torn off and was issued a fresh boarding pass for a flight leaving after 24 hours. I was then directed to stand in another line to pick up my “food voucher”. When I reached the agent at the 'Food voucher' counter, I was shocked to be issued a food voucher for 1 meal for the entire 24-hour period. The agent then stamped on my boarding pass “Food Voucher Issued”. When asked if residents of UAE are entitled for one meal a day, the agent was quick to reply that it is “FREE”.
He then went on to say that I can come back and stand in line for the next voucher at the time of the next meal. I then asked him why he stamped “Food voucher Issued” on my boarding pass and the next agent would certainly not issue me another voucher for which he quipped “It is up to the agent”. I have therefore decided not to use the food voucher Emirates has issued, would like to return it with thanks as a sign of protest.
It is my understanding that Emirates is a full-service airline and I have a boarding pass from Toronto all the way to Cochin. It is also my understanding that being a full-service airline, you are responsible for the safe and comfortable transport from the point of check-in till the destination. Essentially you have let me feel so humiliated and in addition to that caused me additional expense and more importantly you have destroyed my entire 24 hours and I was forced to exist for 24 hours in a very hostile environment.
A brief background about myself: I used to fly with Emirates earlier and moved to Etihad. I am an Etihad Gold member and I recently (about 4 months back) moved back to Emirates because a friend of mine suggested I use Emirates due to the radical change over the years and within months I have attained the silver status and heading out to become a gold member, however incidents like this does not help.
The quality of an airline is known only when they show their concern in handling a difficult situation. I happened to read online an article titled “Maurice Flanagan's Emirates Airline: Flying High and Treating Customers like Sheikhs”. Not sure if the author knows the meaning of Treating clients like Sheikhs.
It is understandable that such attitudes are expected from a country where passports of expat workers from the third world are seized by the employer and the employee is deprived of the freedom to travel freely in and out of the country. However, Emirates must understand that airline passengers are paying and travelling and is exactly the opposite of employers paying their employees. I am not drawing parallels or justifying the seizure of passports of expat employees.
There is no contact information provided on the Emirates website and a communication to the Emirates board was returned to me undelivered. I will therefore post this online and I hope this correspondence reaches the right people and hope action is taken to correct situation like this. I am certainly expecting a response from the airline. I don't think I deserve the treatment meted out to me today by your team. I am still waiting at the Dubai airport, I have killed 7 hours this far, and 17 to go.
It was my first time travelling on Emirates and in fact the first and only unpleasant experience in my 20 over years of air travel, using a wide variety of other airlines including many which did not make wonderful advertisement claims as this airplane.
The flight EK432 was supposedly depart from Malta airport at 2.45pm on 23 Nov. It did not as the pilot informed the passengers on board that there would be a delay of few minutes. That few minutes next evolved into 30 minutes and the next announcement was that it would take one to one and a half hours to sort out a technical document with Dubai.
We waited patiently and understandingly only to be told to get out of the plane after past 6.30pm. It is not an acceptable practice. If the engineers sensed that whatever technical fault that grounded the plane was serious enough, the flight should have been cancelled and early intervention to arrange alternate flight should have kicked in as early as possible and not waited till the plane was fully boarded. The indecisive decision has led to all customers on that flight wasted their time and suffered a considerable amount of discomfort for nearly four hours.
While I accept that the fact that airplanes do break down from time to time - especially for airlines that lack a sense of proactive maintenance - what was not acceptable, was the way airline handled standard crisis in such unplanned manner and staff having indifferent attitude in service standard.
What happened next was even more shocking. Instead of realising that the cancelling of the flight would definitely require extra manpower to manage the stranded passengers, only two staff were seen on site, in the terminal and there was no clear direction or instruction as to what we should do except to be told to wait for next possible flight, after nearly another half an hour of wondering and in search of news. Some of us form a line queueing up at a possible counter hoping that we could start the process of registration for the next flight diverted from London - EK 08030 - for those of us heading to Dubai.
But it was not until past 8pm that the process began. So it was an hour of standing, like a student being published for coming to class late. What was more insulting was the so-called food coupon which has a limit of up to Euro 8 and as we soon found out. And many of us were made to paid extra for a reasonable cheap meal from the small cafe (again the direction to go "upstairs" was unclear and many of us went to the wrong place).
For me, I forked out Euro 0.80 more for one pack of (two remaining) sandwich and one small bottle of fruit juice! It is not a big sum of difference that I should really bother to mention but I could not help again finding this bad taste, treating already unhappy customers with insult.
The flight between Malta and Dubai was almost flawless I must say. But again, little information was conveyed to all us who by now have missed our connecting flights to Australia, China, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, etc, etc. I wonder did it not occur to the management that we deserved to be told about our onward journey, esp using the same airline which it should have better control. Nothing was mentioned about arrangement being made, including procedures that we have to follow - such as do we need to go and pick out our check-in luggage and check-in again upon arriving Dubai or where to arrange for a new boarding pass, etc etc.
It is not an acceptable standard in today IT stage that such arrangements could not have been done before landing and during the six hours of flight. Even upon reaching the gate, no one was there to guide those who needed to quickly reconnect their flights out of Dubai.
It was pure luck that I made it in time on the next possible flight (EK404) back to Singapore, arriving 9.20pm (not to mention that it was one hour late due to the plane waited for late customers and airport's poor management of landing and taking off - the plane waited more than 15 minutes in the runway for taking off!). By which time, I have wasted nearly ten hours as I was originally scheduled to land at 1.30pm. And the airline has a statement on TIMELY DEPARTURES, which now I realize is only one way: Only the clients are expected to be on time, but never mind the planes.
Before departing Malta, the airline issued each passenger standard "Dear Sir or Madam" letter expressing "apologizes for any inconvenienced caused". To me it is not a sincere apology as the staff have not tried their best to ease the distress, physical abuse to an acceptable level, at least not have been seen to do so. Needless to say, the airline lost one customer for good and probably more as many more angry clients like me started sharing their bad experience rooted from bad management and handling of customers. But I suppose the airline would not bother either as its website has no such feedback mechanism.
I am writing regarding my family's recent experience attempting to go on holiday. Our family holiday that we had been planning for over 5 months was completely ruined by the negligence of Emirates and incorrect advice given to me by the travel agent.
A few weeks after booking and paying for our holiday tickets and some accommodation (approximately mid-April) we went to the travel agent that we used and asked about visas required for our trip, we advised that we were planning to travel overland from Thailand to Malaysia and then to Singapore and then again returning to Bangkok. We were advised that no visas were required for my wife as she was on a Fiji passport, we specifically asked about my Wife's passport. As we did visit the agency some weeks later and we also asked (about the visas required), we took it for granted that their advice was correct.
I also phoned Emirates and asked their advice regarding a Visa to Thailand, and was told it was not necessary on a Fiji passport for a visa for Thailand. I also phoned EMIRATES before our departure and faxed through our passport copies, we were told this was normal procedure, EMIRATES had knowledge that my wife was traveling on a Fiji passport for many months. I asked EMIRATES if my wife needed a visa, and I was told no visa required. We had booked accommodation, paid for some of it. We had paid for transfers, airline tickets, train tickets, changed currency and purchased travel insurance.
On our departure I checked in online and a question regarding Advanced Passenger Screening came up, I entered the passport details and thought that everything was fine. I know what APS is, it is when the carriers must check that the person entering the country must have the correct documentation. So when we checked in at Emirates Auckland Airport and nothing was mentioned by check in staff, I actually thought everything was fine. If we had been denied boarding I would have understood.
We had a very good flight over, and we must say that the service on the flight from AKL - SYD was exceptional. The food was excellent, the range of drinks offered good. I did not find the cabin cramped or seats any narrower than Air NZ (whom we travel frequently on). The ICE system was excellent and the crew were all friendly and helpful.
Things went wrong when we arrived in Bangkok, the immigration girl said we "need visa for Fiji passport" and "no come Thailand", I said that the travel agent said we did not need visa. We were taken to the immigration section and I explained that we were here for a holiday and showed them out tickets to Malaysia and Singapore. We asked if we could apply for a visa now we were here. We were given no answer. We were taken to the immigration supervisor (I think) and processed with a Chinese passport holder. We explained our planned trip and showed the tickets (again) and asked if we could apply for a visa. We were told to wait for Emirates staff.
I THOUGHT THAT AS WE WERE CUSTOMERS OF EMIRATES THAT THE STAFF WOULD BE OF ASSISTANCE TO US, but NO. As the staff entered the office they greeted the immigration supervisor and completely ignored us. They told us that my wife was to be returned and I informed them as we had a baby with us we would not be separated. As a customer of Emirates we THOUGHT that they would be there to assist us, they were no help at all, they would not interpret to the immigration person when I asked, when I requested that the supervisor see me, he refused.
Only when I asked "who shall I sue?" did the supervisor speak to me over the phone, distancing EMIRATES from my problem, saying it was the problem only of the Auckland EMIRATES staff and that he could do nothing for me. On board the aircraft the announcements referred to Emirates Award Winning Service, there was no service for us on the ground at Bangkok. The Chinese national was seen by the Air China representative and given entry into Thailand, we were not given entry. The EMIRATES staff in Bangkok were of no assistance to us at all, saying it was all Auckland's problem and not their problem.
I explained to them that it is the same company and it is their problem. I am disgusted with the ground service in Bangkok on EMIRATES, all ground staff were completely useless and unhelpful, with the exception of 2 members. The first one being a young boy who was on the international transfer desk that day, he was as helpful and apologized about our bag loss, he was genuinely helpful. The other girl who was mildly helpful was the girl who apologized for losing our pram, but not for the predicament that the airline put us in.
My wife was detained, we were not offered to be put up in the Airport hotel, this was only offered after I confirmed it with a staff member in Auckland, and by that time we had spent over 9 hours in the Airport. We had an immigration and security personal with us constantly. We were treated like common criminals when in fact we were genuine tourists that wanted to contribute to the local economy.
Our bags were searched at the cabin bag screening point. When I had asked EMIRATES staff to check them in for me, I was accused of being a THIEF as we were given 2 packs of baby amenity kits and we had put them in our suitcase and our suitcase was brought to the hand luggage screening point, then I lost my "rag" as the screening people called the EMIRATES staff to check my suitcase, I then explained - with voice raised, that EMIRATES had checked my wife in without checking her documentation and we had been in detention, and now on top of everything we were being accused of being thiefs, because we took what the airline had given us.
Even when the airline staff came over to the screening point the screener tried to accuse us of stealing airline "property". It was only when our guard stepped in and explained our side of the story to EMIRATES staff that they waived us through.
We were waiting for our bags to go onto the aircraft at the gate, the EMIRATES staff did not do anything until I insisted that the bags be stowed in the hold, then I had to check the tag receipt numbers were correct. Because we had not had any sleep in about 42 hours, I did not check the tag destination, only that the numbers matched. If I had not done that we may have never seen those bags again. On arrival in Auckland our bags were missing. Also lost from AKL - BKK was our baby pram. My Wife and I had to carry our child everywhere in Bangkok Airport.
We were frog-marched through the Airport in front of our peers, with deportation papers stapled to the outside of a large A4 envelope for everyone to see. We were absolutely HUMILIATED in front of everyone. In Sydney we were assisted and guarded every step of the way by staff - like a criminal. Why did this happen? Because we were given wrong advice regarding visas by the travel agent and EMIRATES. EMIRATES should have denied us boarding at Auckland, but due to their negligence we have lost out on our holiday.
We were not offered an upgrade on the return flight, even though we asked. We were offered 4 seats across the middle all the way to Auckland - BUT GUESS WHAT?? When we got back on the Aircraft at Sydney, there was someone sitting in one of the seats in that row. DISGRACEFUL! We were even paged when we got back to Auckland. The cabin crew did not have the discretion to look up the passenger list to find us, they just called out our names. DISGRACEFUL.
We have NEVER EVER been so ABSOLUTELY HUMILIATED in our lives. Even when my wife and I were accused of have a marriage of convenience by the New Zealand Immigration Service 11 years ago, they did it with some form of dignity and we were never treated this badly. We are truly disappointed, distressed and humiliated regarding the way we were treated by EMIRATES staff with the exception of 1 person in Auckland. Our long haul trip and last planned long haul holiday for some years has been COMPLETELY RUINED by the negligence of EMIRATES check in staff and advise given us.
What we expected from EMIRATES is full compensation for what we had lost. If we were denied boarding in Auckland I would have changed the flight dates by a few days (costing $100NZD per change per ticket) and we would have applied to the Thailand Embassy in Wellington for a Visa. The $100 per ticket is what I am prepared to concede. EMIRATES have accepted that they were wrong to let my wife board the aircraft to fly to Bangkok. This they have accepted as they have had to pay a 20,000 baht fine. EMIRATES and their check-in staff are liable for costs incurred by us.
Our complaint to EMIRATES took 7 weeks to process and they offered us nothing. They are disgraceful. If I treated my guests as these people treat their customers I would be out of business within 6 months. I must add that the travel agent has helped us, but I feel that EMIRATES is liable as we should have been denied boarding. They are shocking.
SAN FRANCISCO, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- I bought a return economy class ticket Addis Ababa - San Francisco last April. The first leg of my journey through Dubai was quite good. The validity of my ticket was four months, and I was booked on 1 August for my return flight. I was also informed that If I could not use the ticket before or on first August I would be charged fifty Dollars penalty to which I agreed. I am now booked on 22 August to return to Addis. I was surprised to learn from your customer consultant (lady) on 11 August that the charge is now 700.0 dollars instead of 50.0 as agreed before.
That was not the only problem, the lady could not run the credit card through when it came to payment. The process had to take 3 days for she was telling me that my account did not have sufficient funds to cover the cost. So I had to go back to my bank (Bank of America) to check if what the lady was saying was true. But the bank could not find any problem for I could draw up to 15,000.0 dollars on my credit card. On the third day 13 April, this time a gentleman came along and cleared the problem and also kindly emailed the confirmation of my ticket.
I may also have to tell you that the lady consultant did tell me on 12 April while she was having difficulties with the processing of my credit card that Emirates usually don't accept credit cards of passengers of African origin. Strange as that may be, I just could not understand how you could employ someone of that capacity. If you hope to make any headway in the aviation industry, I think you should give serious consideration to such matters. As for me I am not sure if I or my children who live here and also in London will ever chose to fly Emirates.
I would also like to assure you that I will not take this lying down. Instead I would like to bring it to the attention of the general public in Ethiopia. Perhaps I may have to tell you that I am not new to the aviation Industry, for I have worked for Ethiopian Airlines for some years.
NEW YORK -- We purchased returned tickets from Emirates Airline to travel from Philadelphia to New Delhi, India on Jan 14 Dec. 2006. From Philadelphia to JFK was a connecting flight by Delta. We left home 3 pm and arrived at Phila Airport and checked in around 5.30 pm for 7.54 flight to JFK. We were told flight will be delayed for about an hour but we will be at JFK on time. Around 8.00 PM Delta informed all passengers that due to mechanical failure, the flight is cancelled. Delta put us in taxis around 8.30 in order to catch Emirates flight. Delta paid for the taxis.
Taxi driver drove very fast and arrived at the check in counter at 10.30 PM for 11.15 pm Emirates flight. All passengers in front of us were checked in. But Emirates refused to check us in and were very rude and did not provide any assistance and pretended that it was Delta's problem. Emirates manager came stated that he cannot delay the plane.
We could not find any Delta's staff member at this late of night. Someone advised us not to go out of the airport because he was robbed outside. We (my wife has disability) had to spend the whole night sitting on steel benches in cold without any food. Next morning we were checked in Emirates flight to be departed around 10.30 am. We contacted the Emirates personnel and showed him the ticket. He said "Emirates should have taken care of you last night as it was Emirates ticket not Delta. But in Dubai, Emirates will put you in the hotel."
After our arrival in Dubai, again Emirates staff refused to provide us the accommodation but after lots of arguments, finally we were given the hotel room. This flight was late by an hour. On our return journey, my wife requested for a glass of water for her medicine. Hostess told her to get water herself as they are short of staff. This was the only request we made during the whole trip. During our fifty or so years travel, we never encountered this type of ridiculous behavior. We decided not to travel anymore with Emirates or in fact any foreign airlines.
From USA to Dubai, airlines have to abide with USA regulations that is bigger seats and cleanliness but onward connection, plane are filthy with much smaller seats as given to prisoners. We are wondering when our Congressmen will wake up to look for American's interest.
SYDNEY AUSTRALIA -- In April this year my mother and I travelled to Europe and Morocco by United Arab Emirates Airlines. My mother who has previously travelled Singapore Airlines had heard that Emirates Airlines provided high-quality service and additional leg-room and so was very keen to try Emirates. My mother flew home from Italy to Sydney by herself as I was heading off to Morocco. My mother and I both went to Rome Airport together as my flight to Casablanca was an hour after her flight.
Two days prior to my mother's return flight she came down with the flu and was very ill. I was very worried about her flight back to Australia as it was a 33-hour trip with some 8-hour stop at Dubai (see attached copy of my mother's E-Ticket). At Fiumicino Airport I spoke to staff from Emirates airlines about my mother's illness and her need for some care on the flight home particularly her very lengthy stop at Dubai.
The Emirates staff member who I spoke to offered to have my mother collected from the plane by wheelchair at Dubai airport. She advised that if she was collected by wheelchair she would be taken to a room where it would be quiet and comfortable and staff would attend to her needs.
I was horrified to learn that no one came to care for my mother – no one showed up with a wheelchair, no one gave her any assistance and indeed, she spent hours coughing on the plane from Italy to Dubai and again from Dubai to Bangkok and at no stage did anyone come to her aid in any manner. My mother was so ill she sat in the one chair at Dubai airport with no food and no drink for 8 hours!
On the flight from Bangkok to Sydney, one of the airline stewards came to my mother who was continuing to cough and cough and cough as she had done on the flight to Dubai and from Dubai to Bangkok and gave her drinks and aspirin. This member of staff enquired as to how long my mother had been ill, where my mother had travelled from and what assistance she had been given. My mother told this airline steward that I had made arrangements for her to be cared for and that this had not happened. The airline steward was horrified, and with concern, said that this had happened before.
I am truly appalled at the neglect of staff from United Arab Emirates airlines of an 80-year-old woman who was very clearly very sick. And the neglect was widespread over many hours – not only did she not get collected at Dubai airport as I was promised she would be, but she was completely ignored during her flights to Dubai and then again to Bangkok. I wrote to the airline who replied that she shouldn't have travelled alone and that wheelchairs are only available when booked. NEVER TRAVEL EMIRATES.
Cabin Appearance: Clean, extremely spacious so much so that you feel awkward! No amenity packs of any kind by the way for Business Class passengers even though it was an early morning flight and a measly Toothbrush would have helped. Service at departure airport: Pathetic!!! Boarding was late with no exclusive arrangements for Business Class Passengers being informed about it or even given priority while boarding!! Seats: OK / Felt the width of seat was disproportionate with the length. Meals: Dinner meal of chicken with rice inedible! Tasteless, Bland! My son didn't even touch his child meal due to its drabby and colorless appearance!!
In-Flight Entertainment: Good but not great! Why do they have a huge collection of 2-hour movies for a 1.50-hour flight & only 3 short length TV show to choose from!?! Pilot episodes of sooo many series could be made a part of the selection available for short haul flights.
Cabin Staff: Attitude was fine but efficiency left a lot to be desired! Although it's clearly mentioned how many kids are traveling in a flight but had no fun packs or activity bags for my child and to think I booked Business to avoid being ignored!! Summary: A truly miserable experience from start to finish with nothing exclusive for Business Class Passengers except the fare of course!! So save your money for the Duty-Free. Two thumbs down!!
BAHRAIN -- I am an Emirates Skywards frequent flier member residing in Bahrain. A week ago I decided to take a short vacation in Muscat, with my wife & 3-year-old son. We booked our return tickets via Skywards online booking, redeeming my reward points. Our outbound flight from Bahrain to Muscat was uneventful. However, when we tried to check-in for our return journey we were informed that no reservation existed in our names in the system. We tried to show them the print-out of the booking confirmation that we had received by e-mail, but all to no avail.
Finally we were forced to purchase fresh tickets at cut-throat last minute rates, and wait endlessly in the airport till our next flight which was 8 hours away. All this drama happened in the wee hours of the morning, from 2.00am - 10.00am. We were two sleep deprived, exhausted adults, accompanied by an exhausted 3-year-old toddler. We are currently trying to get an explanation for this weird incident and get a refund for the money we spent buying extra tickets. Could someone please tell me who exactly I could address my complaint to, to get fast and responsible action? Thank You.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- In short, if you care for your loved ones, keep them away for Emirates. I regret putting them through hell. My infant cried for 4 hours as we struggled from one gate to other because of flight delays and last minute changes. Of course, no stroller was provided as promised, and no food/beverage for 4 hours in London by Emirates staff. Surprisingly, the staff was Rude and arrogant and kept everyone waiting at the gate. Finally, at boarding (again) everyone was waiting queue for about an hour carrying their luggage (each passenger took about 15 min??).
All connecting flights from Dubai onwards had left for 230 passengers. Accommodation was in hotel, but it took them 5 hours to get us there (First class gets service before infants and elderly). I regretfully say that I owe an apology to my family for all this, had I read reviews posted all over the internet. The flight stats say they are 46% late, and online forums are crowded with similar complaints. The ratings and awards on their website are ridiculously overrated and from people never heard of. Hope this helps and have a good trip.