Emirates Delayed Me 24 Hours
The following articles can be found from The Guardian website and was written by Bachelor, on May 13th 2013. The extract is about a customer who was waiting 24 hours for a delayed Emirates flight. This is a classic example of poor customer service and as evident, this story has received a lot of attention and in turn, bad media for Emirates.
I flew from Manchester to Sydney in March. I was travelling alone with my 15-month-old baby.
I arrived in Dubai on time and followed an Emirates representative to the gate for my onward flight. I was denied boarding and the staff refused to tell me why. I waited two hours and, eventually, I was given a hotel voucher and boarding passes for a flight the following day. This was the limit of the assistance offered.
I was then sent to wait for a transfer bus. I was made to hand over the buggy so I had no option but to hold my baby for over an hour. Eventually, an unmarked minibus arrived (no baby seat) and took us to a hotel which was not the hotel we expected.
I had been given an absolute assurance by transfer desk staff that there would be water and a cot for my baby. I made further requests on arrival but neither were ever made available. The hotel room was dirty with half-eaten food in the fridge.
By this time only one hour remained before we travelled back to the airport. I had no opportunity to shower since I could not leave my baby asleep on the bed. By this time, I was in a state of utter distress with an exhausted baby and a feeling of total helplessness.
The entire experience was frightening and exhausting and has impacted heavily on my first few precious days in Sydney with my sister. I chose to fly with Emirates partly as I was assured of support while travelling alone. JL, Sheffield
If you are delayed when travelling with an airline based in the EU, or with a non-EU-based airline flying from an EU airport, then you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation which states that the airline has an obligation to offer you assistance if your flight delay is expected to go beyond a certain point. You are also entitled to compensation, which varies depending on the length of delay and distance travelled.
Although Emirates is a non-EU based airline, the delayed flight originated from an EU destination (Manchester) so you should be entitled to compensation. We put this to Emirates and it argued that the delay was less than three hours – which it said means you can’t make a claim. We checked this with the Civil Aviation Authority, which confirmed our view that under EC261 (Delayed Boarding Regs) the delay is measured by the arrival time at the final destination, which in this case was Sydney, not Dubai. You were 24 hours late reaching Sydney and are therefore entitled to compensation.
Quite aside from this, is the issue of the way you were treated. There is also a question mark over Emirates’ flight schedules. It admits that you need a minimum of 75 minutes to change in Dubai – yet its schedule only gave you 75 minutes. So even a five-minute delay would have put you, and all the other passengers who were transferring from the Manchester to Sydney flight, in the same position. We put all this to Emirates but it ignored our latter point about the schedule and is sticking to its guns on the former.
It said in a statement that it did everything “in accordance with Emirates policy” and that it had previously responded to you with a gesture of goodwill (some air miles) “to apologise that the care and assistance provided did not meet with the customer’s expectations”. We suggest that you contact the CAA directly to pursue your case for compensation. You should be entitled to the minimum €600 (£507) for seriously delayed flights of more than 3,500km between an EU and a non-EU airport.
It’s a shame that Emirates will not, meanwhile, recognise its apparent poor customer care and offer you something more by way of apology.
As you say, air miles that you have no intention of using don’t cut it. It tarnishes the reputation of what is supposed to be one of the world’s better airlines.
Here the woman in question has clearly been treated without any concern or respect and as a result, this woman is likely to never travel with emirates again. The situation here was elevated from bad to worse. Flights are delayed all the time but the sign of a good airline is how they deal with their passengers when this happens. If Emirates had simply attended to her needs and offered the assistance required/obligated, this customer would likely fly again with Emirates, not raise this complaint and therefore not advertise the issue to other customers who were potentially looking at flying with Emirates.
For all queries with relation to Emirates customer services, visit the Emirates customer care number
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