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.