Emirates Complaint - Emeriates: an airline not what it is claimed to be...
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 airpline.
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 q-ing 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 Euror$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 re-connect 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 Mdm" 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 clinets like me started sharing their bad experience rooted from bad management and handling of cutsomers. But I suppose the airline would not bother either as its website has no such feedback mechanism.