Old Jan 6, 2016, 6:45 PM
stikekar stikekar is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2
Angry Terrible Customer Service - Emirates

We decided to take a family vacation to Africa we decided to fly with Emirates, business class (4 travelers) from USA to Kenya and back via Dubai. We were hoping to have a wonderful time for the entire family, but unfortunately this was the most terrible travel experience we have ever had. We were scheduled to fly from Nairobi to Dubai in business class on December 23rd 2015. Stay and enjoy Dubai, meet family members travelling through Dubai as well for 3 days and proceed to Seattle, USA.

Here is what happened:
1) The Nairobi to Dubai flight had scheduled departure 10:50 pm Nairobi time. After checking-in and clearing security check around 9pm, we were asked to wait for boarding. All passengers waited for almost 1 ˝ hr in the boarding area. At 10:50pm the scheduled departure time the staff wasn’t even boarded. Obviously the flight was delayed but yet there were no announcements made. The ground staff did not provide any information as to how much delay to expect or what the holdup was.
2) Finally around 11 pm the flight staff boarded and an announcement was made informing us that we will soon board and take off.
3) The staff continued to board passengers (who were late) all the way until 12:10 am. Some of the local passengers informed the cabin crew that the airport has strict regulations and shuts down the airport at 12am until 6 am in the morning. In spite of being well aware that no flights will be allowed to take off between 12 am- 6 am the staff continued to board more passengers.
4) At 12:15 finally the doors were closed and there was announcement made that we will be taking off. Another half hour later the pilot made an announcement that the airport was closed and hence Emirates was negotiating with airport authority. Finally at 2 am in the morning the pilot made an announcement that we will not be taking off and all passengers have to dis-embark.
5) Since Nairobi airport has a very small lounge and could not accommodate the passengers, I requested the cabin crew if we could stay on-board and let my kids sleep (11 yrs. old) in their seat. I was told that they couldn’t allow us to sleep in our seats since the staff needs to sleep and they will be in the aircraft in the night.
6) We were dis-embarked and sent to the lounge. The lounge was very small and my daughters had to sit in one chair all night long, while me and my husband DID not have even a chair to sit on let alone something to sleep on.
7) We were standing the entire night. During this whole time not a single person from the cabin crew or the ground staff bothered to come and check on us. They didn’t care.
8) We were supposed to reach Dubai early morning 4 am Dubai time and were instead going to reach at noon. The staff did not offer any assistance to contact our family/friends in Dubai and letting them know we would be delayed. There was no inquiry if anyone needed any medical or any sort of assistance. NOTHING at all
9) Finally we were asked to board the flight again and again the Captain did not even bother to come out and make an apology for the mismanaged situation, the inconvenience caused. He just made an announcement “We are sorry for the delay” and proceeded to regular announcements.
10) Even after we finally took off the cabin staff did not compensate with higher level of service for people who had been standing all night. Completely unacceptable level of service and responsibility from Emirates staff.

We do understand that flight delays and other service interruptions, though regrettable, are unavoidable occurrences in travel.
What is in-acceptable is the following:
1) No communication was provided by the ground staff even after multiple enquiries
2) The rule that the airport is closed between 12 am – 6 am wasn’t a new one. It was in-effect for months and the emirates staff was well aware of it. Hence it is total in-competence that they couldn’t board before they hit the deadline. Also there was no contingency plan for passengers to stay anywhere in case of such a delay.
3) No effort was made to accommodate the passengers in hotels in the airport vicinity to spend the night
4) The lounge was extremely small and in-adequate, yet no effort was made by Emirates to contact Air Kenya which has a larger and better lounge at the Nairobi airport so that people could be accommodated in that lounge.
5) While cramped up in the small dingy lounge not a single Emirates cabin crew or ground staff member came to check on us or offer any assistance
6) No effort was made by staff to contact/inform family/friends in Dubai of the delay. They had to just wait and worry about our arrival
7) No effort was made by the Emirates ground staff in Dubai once we landed to help us with arrangements or changes needed to be made to our plans

Here is what we had to go through:
1) The entire night both my 11 year old kids had to sleep in ONE chair, cramped up
2) Me and my husband had to stand the entire night since the lounge did not have any more chairs to sit on
3) Since we were landing in Dubai at 4am Dubai time we had booked an hotel for extra night which we didn’t even make it to. So we paid for an extra night w/o even making it to the hotel that day.
4) We were meeting and spending 2 days in Dubai with family members travelling from NY,USA to Mumbai, India (some travelling on Emirates flights). Since we landed a whole day late we had to cancel all our plans in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. As a result the whole idea of making a break journey in Dubai was useless. Our entire Dubai hotel charges were wasted. We had tickets to Ferrari world in Abu Dhabi which we didn’t make it to and lost all money on that (it costs $520 for Ferrari world for 4 people).
5) And what is completely un-acceptable is the fact that NOBODY from Emirates made an effort to even reach out to us via email/phone call or in person at Dubai airport to even offer a simple apology.

I want a response from Emirates regarding this matter at the earliest and would like to know what Emirates will do to take care of this matter. I have attached copies of our boarding pass from Nairobi to Dubai, Dubai hotel booking receipts, Ferrari world tickets copies. I have travelled with multiple airlines and in all different classes from economy to first class and I can tell you this travel was the single most horrible experience I have had.

Flight Number: EK722
Date of Travel: December 23rd 2015
Passengers travelling: 4 business class full price tickets

Our Ref No: NYC/X/CT/020116/7089171

06 January 2016

Dear Ms Tikekar,

Thank you for completing an Online Booking Query Form.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience you and your family experienced due to the delayed departure of flight EK722 from Nairobi to Dubai, on 23 December 2015n due to runway closer at Nairobi airport.

I do agree that passengers are inconvenienced when flights are delayed. Although every effort is made to achieve on-time departures, which is an integral part of our product, there are occasions when flights are delayed due to circumstances beyond our control.

Whilst we fully understand your concerns and disappointment on this occasion, I regret we are unable to consider your request for compensation or refund as the circumstances surroundings this delay was beyond of our control.

Thank you for allowing me to explain and for your understanding. We look forward to welcoming you and your family onboard our flights again soon.

Yours sincerely,

Dimitrios Sotiropoulos
Customer Affairs Officer
customerservice, emirates, noresposibility, terrible service

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