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Emirates Customer Services

Level Contributor
2 posts
13 reviews
Emirates Customer Services

We had the worst trip of our lives with Emirates on Saturday 22nd February 2014. We arrived in London Gatwick at 11am for our 1.30pm flight to Dubai to be told that the flight was delayed by nearly 6 hours and would not take off until 7pm, due to delays in incoming flight caused by fog in Dubai. We were philosophical about it although the staff at Gatwick and also staff on the flight were unable to give us any information about our connecting flights to India. We landed in Dubai at 6am on Sunday 23rd Feb and although all the passengers on the flight had missed their connections, there were no ground staff waiting to direct us. We were asked to go to the transit desk, and found more than 500 people crowded into a small space with no proper queue. Only 2 Emirates staff were available although there were 16 counters. We stood in the queue for 4 and a half hours with no refreshments. Older people and those with babies were also waiting. Very few bottles of water and croissants were passed around but we didn't manage to get any food or water. Communication was very poor and we had no idea how long the wait would be. Finally after passengers starting complaining and shouting out for information, they sent a security guard who cautioned one of the passengers, but still no clear explanations were given. The security guard tried to take the passenger away but the other passengers rallied around and wouldn't allow him to do that.

At 10.30 am after the crowd became increasingly frustrated and vocal, the Emirates staff started directing passengers to different gates depending on their destination countries. We were asked to go to gate B3 where we found a crowd of people waiting with one staff member who could give no information.

We sat there until 5.30 pm with no information as to which flight we were likely to catch, in spite of repeated requests for information. Although they handed out some food vouchers at 2.30pm, they ran out so not everyone got vouchers. At 5.30pm we were finally given boarding cards for the 9.45 pm connecting flight to Trivandrum in India. Although we waited nearly 16 hours in the airport Emirates were unable to offer us a hotel room or even a lounge as too many flights were delayed. We finally arrived at our destination at 3.45 am on Monday 24th Feb (instead of the scheduled 9.35am on Sunday 23rd) only to find that our bags did not arrive. None of the passengers connecting from London got their bags although we had asked at the gate in Dubai and were assured by Emirates staff that our bags had been loaded, after checking on the computer. The bags arrived 24hours later.

We appreciate that delays due to bad weather are unavoidable. However Emirates had 24 hours notice after the fog on Saturday morning, and did absolutely nothing to prepare for the chaos on Sunday caused by the hundreds of missed connections. Communication was extremely poor and the worst part was being stranded in Dubai not knowing which connecting flight we would eventually catch. Not a single staff member apologised or tried to make the experience easier for us.

My question is, I would like to ask for some compensation for this ordeal - the Emirates website is not allowing me to fill in a form and none of the customer service lines are answered. I need to know how to go about this.

80 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
27,179 posts
29 reviews
1. Re: Emirates Customer Services

If as I suspect you are not due any comp under the eu regs as it was weather related for the London leg, (but I am terrible with the regs) , you could in fact just write a polite letter to them, explaining the situation, I doubt you will get any comp, just maybe an apology and some airmiles.

As for food and drink, you were due duty of care in London, not in Dubai, so anything they gave you there was over and above.

Does sound like a total mess though,,,,sorry.

UK, Mauritius
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
Level Contributor
46,069 posts
132 reviews
2. Re: Emirates Customer Services

Take a look at this thread from flyertalk:

flyertalk.com/forum/emirates-skywards/155428…

Good luck getting through to EK - I still have 2 complaints they haven't responded to for over 2 months following the initial automated responses.

They no longer have an email - I take it this is the form you are using?

emirates.com/english/…

I was delayed 5 hrs last year when the A380 went tech and missed my connection and what you describe sounds familiar though in my case we stood in line for just over an hour and managed to get on the flight a few hours later.

No one offered meal vouchers - we found the desk ourselves.

EK offered me a substantial number of airmiles, but I was told to claim compensation - I didn't.

I don't think you can as EK will say the weather is beyond their control.

Fredericia, Denmark
Level Contributor
37,532 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Emirates Customer Services

Keep your complaint to facts - and leave out emotions.

Level Contributor
2 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: Emirates Customer Services

Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. Yes, that is the form I used (emirates.com/english/) - wasn't loading before but managed to submit it now and am waiting for a reply.

Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
5. Re: Emirates Customer Services

Hi, keep me posted on this as we also were at Dubai airport on that disastrous day and also missed our connection. Also didn't get our luggage until 24 hours later, despite the same promises and reassurances that you seem to have been given. Would be keen to hear from anyone else affected by this, especially the lovely people we met travelling from UK to Male (Maldives) via Dubai who we spent a lot of time chatting to and who were in the same position. Will be putting our experience down in writing this week and starting our claim for compensation.

Fredericia, Denmark
Level Contributor
37,532 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: Emirates Customer Services

Forget about compensation. You are not due any.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,821 posts
71 reviews
7. Re: Emirates Customer Services

Hi,

I tend to agree with the others in that I suspect that you're not due any cash compensation mandated under EU regs - but I'm not an expert in EU regs, so I'd check just to be sure what your specific case entitles you to.

On the Dubai side of the case....

I understand why and agree with EKs decision to "centralize" the rebooking process...

By that I mean if they knew (and I do think they knew) that they would be receiving in DXB, X-nunber of thousand incoming passengers with "busted" connections, I think it's a good overall move to centralize that process/effort- not decentralize it on a gate-by-gate, incoming flight-by-flight basis.

That said, I *also* think by contralizing it, makes it easier to more properly staff that effort...

I don't think the fact that there were X nunber of service desks, but only Y number of staff working is or has any relevance, or is a good measurement of their effort or planning per se... I mean they could have used a much smaller space with say half as many service desks, but with the same nunber of staff, and now the desk to agent ratio would be much more favorable.

The other issue here is there is a limit to the number of staff you can "pull in" to staff these kinds of cases... Yes, you can pull some manpower from other areas, and you can roster some additional staff for that day-- but overall, carriers do have limits as to how quickly and by how much, they can staff "up" for these kinds of events on short (I.e. one day) notice.

I can see where your complaint is in that respect is going.... And I don't think it's entirely without some level of merit... However, I also recognize that there is some limit to how far a carrier can go to "staff up" for these kinds of cases...

However, I also think that since a good percentage of these passengers - like yourself - would be a "known misconnect" enroute to DXB, that EK's ground staff would/would/should be using your flying time while you (and others) are enroute to DXB, to make as many connection rebooking as possible.

So..... When it's all said and done, I see some merit in certain aspects of what they did.. I also see some operational limits which would constrain how/what/when and how fast they might be able to react... And I see some areas that - with only what's currently known - could have been better planned/executed in EK..

I'd write a short, factual letter to them and state your case and see what their reply is.

Travel Safe,

England, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
166 reviews
8. Re: Emirates Customer Services

It seems to me, having experienced their idea of 'Customer Service', that they only give good service when things go well. What sets a good company apart from a poor one is how they deal with problems, and my experience is that they are incompetent generally, as is seen from numerous others who have experienced their 'service'. It doesn't take a lot to a) respond quickly, b) give a free lounge pass or something to ease the pain and c) to apologise with empathy. Yet all we get is a 'tough, we are doing you a favour flying you' type of response followed by a 'that is the end of the matter' reply, with anything further ignored. Let's hope they don't ignore their maintenance staff in the same way. Good job they don't run large retail outlets who seem to be able to deal with complaints in a day or two - a week max.

Watford, United...
Level Contributor
5,038 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: Emirates Customer Services

#8 - So what actually happened?

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
52,771 posts
1,769 reviews
10. Re: Emirates Customer Services

MrMarcoos,

Sounds like an issue with a large retail outlet, but I could be mistaken?

Hunt, puzzling over the issues.

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