Old Jan 30, 2013, 8:12 AM
Schaible Schaible is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Default Emirates airlines: Fast growth - bad service

Emirates: Bad management all over!
Emirates Airlines is growing too fast: it is clearly visible to frequent fliers that the service and quality standards do not follow the speed of growth. The management is unable to cope with the rapid network expansion: the result is a big mess. The customer service management is totally unprofessional and useless. No, even one step further: they are destroying the business relationship with previously loyal guests on board. If the airline from Dubai continues like this for the next 20 years they will be the biggest airline in the world but: they will only fly the low-spending mass from A to B in Economy, mostly working class employed in Middle East. The premium cabin segment plus a major part of Western European business will break away and being taken over by other airlines.

Emirates: Bad customer service kills reputation!
I was an Emirates Skywards Gold member for some years, due to my numerous business and private flights. Most of my flights have been in Business Class, a few in Economy and First Class. Unfortunately, as the years went, the high standards on ground and on board disappeared. I came to Emirates because they had a good reputation at that time. Plus it was convenient for me as I had to shuttle frequently between Germany, Middle East and China.
Emirates Airlines have the strategy to expand fast. As a result they have to hire staff in a rush and are not such selective and dedicated any more. In addition employees seem to be directly pushed into operations without proper training. This is how it appears to me as a frequent flier and hospitality professional.

Every time I contacted the customer service having a complaint I was usually replied after two weeks which is too long in the professional service industry. The emails looked somehow all the same, not individual but formatted: “We appreciate your comments as our welcome guest”… “Hope to see you on board again soon …” From that replies I could clearly see that the sender has not even properly read my complaint and does not really bother either.

Emirates: No internal communication!
Sometimes they offered me 5,000 or 10,000 bonus miles which are useless compensations in my eyes. First of all Emirates does not offer tier miles which would be actually helpful for achieving/renewing silver/gold status. Secondly Emirates changed its miles program and policies so the offered miles are not worth even the fraction of an upgrade one-way from Dubai to Beijing.

I cannot understand why airlines always throw around with a few useless miles when there is a complaint. The only explanation is that there is no financial risk and potential loss for the airline: either the disappointed customer will come back and invest again in the airline by buying tickets or will not come back. In that case the “so kindly offered” miles expire after three years. Remarkably most travelers stop thinking and calculating as soon as they see such misleading compensations. As a gold member with Emirates I belonged to the top 5% of their customers but still I was confronted with the miles-game which has a stingy and greedy appearance. I was never a friend of such “free” miles and always would have preferred upgrade vouchers. Those would more likely bring back upset customers.

Regarding my last complaint before stopping flying Emirates I have sent an email to their customer service in Dubai. What made me angry: for more than eight months I have not received any reply, despite sending reminders from time to time. After cancelling all my family´s and my pending flights with Emirates and complaining in person in their Hong Kong office I suddenly got a reply from EK customer service in Germany. According to them all my emails have never been forwarded by the customer service headquarters in Dubai… Do I have to care about Emirates´ obvious internal problems? Not at all! I just fly with one of their competitors from now on. I still insisted to get an answer from their management. As expected I wait for that for more than seven months now … And guess what: for the long waiting time of eight months Emirates offered me 20,000 bonus miles (not tier miles). In return they wanted me to sign an agreement to keep quiet and forget about the case. In fact that comes close to bribery. Not with me! I decided going away from Emirates Airlines with a clean mind and having the “freedom” to publish my story wherever I can. For the time being the Star Alliance has one more gold member…

Emirates First Class: Far away from first class!
Now only a few complaints and negative comments from my past with Emirates:

(1) 02 November 2011: New Emirates First Class Lounge opposite gate 125 in Dubai was disappointing, despite only two other guests have been there during my visit. The male receptionist did his job but was keeping the conversation very short and formal without the “frills” a First Class guest might expect (no nice words, dates/candies on the counter…). The only staff who greeted me properly was a cleaner. The Nepali looked like a contracted staff but still showed me a good attitude and the way to the dining area. Unlike in the regular First Class Lounge there was no A-la-carte service. The buffet offered actually less in variety and quality than a regular Emirates Business Class Lounge. I was not really attracted by the food but took a salad from the buffet. When I found no oil and vinegar, neither on the tables nor on the buffet I approached a waiter. He told me: “Sorry. I will get it in two minutes” and disappeared into the kitchen. Five minutes later he came out again but without oil and vinegar. Finally I was tired to wait and left. All in all, this lounge is worlds behind Emirates First Class standard and not to compare with the regular First Class Lounge. When I found out that my departure gate has changed from 123 to 221 I was upset to myself for walking such a long way forth and back for this disappointment.

(2) Flight EK 306: boarding was according to standard. I was placed in 4K. I was offered a drink shortly after seating and the purser introduced himself. On the table there was a small metal basket with chocolate and crisps. The flight attendant took it away mentioning that she will bring it back after take-off what never happened. Half of the seven-hours-trip I slept before entering the shower which I ordered before. When I tried to turn on the water it did not work. I had to wash my hair in the sink. When I left the shower I addressed the problem to the flight attendant and she also tried without success. After about 10 minutes she came to my seat and offered me to try the shower again. This time it worked. About 45 minutes before landing I ordered a salad from the menu. The food came promptly to my seat with the according mise-en-place, including bread plate and butter. But no bread was offered. This faux-pas should not happen in First Class. Disembarking in Beijing always bad organized: the door on the upper deck for premium customers is opened long after the one on the main deck. As a consequence you will find hundreds of economy passengers from the same flight lined up in immigration in front of you. The "priority" luggage delivery does not work as well: at least half of the economy passengers left the belt with their suitcases before mine even appeared on the carrousel. All in all: nice A380 First Class product but this was no first class service at all!

Emirates Business Class: Can and should do better!

(1) On flight EK48 on New Year’s Eve 2009 from Frankfurt to Dubai I ordered a meal with beef. However the beef was dry as a shoe sole. It was uneatable. At least the purser apologized but no action beyond that. This is no Business Class style!

(2) Prior to a Business Class flight from Doha via Dubai to Colombo in March 2011 I ordered the offered Emirates chauffeur service. Unfortunately the driver never showed up and made excuses days later that I was not a home and so he left again. I checked the security guards´ list of all external cars entering my compound that evening at the given time. As expected nobody entered. Taxis in Doha are impossible to catch on the road on Thursday nights. They do not even stop without reservation. The Emirates office was not occupied in the evening so my attempt to call them was useless. There was no choice but to drive to the airport in my own car. I got my flight just in time. I made a big issue otherwise they would probably not even have refunded the USD 100 parking fee.

(3) The “Orxy Lounge” in Doha is always extremely disappointing in every aspect: Food variety, quantity and quality very poor, beverage offer poor, entertainment and offered magazines/newspapers poor, service poor, ignorant and sometimes rude, cleanliness far from perfect. I have been using this lounge frequently before my Emirates and Lufthansa flights and ever since the lounge operator does not show any improvements. Later on Emirates Gold members could not take another guest anymore inside when flying Economy. However, as I expected, this was neither improving the situation at all from the passengers´ point of view nor the service and product in the lounge. This is the worst lounge in Middle East which I have seen.

(4) Beijing Call Centre: Return flight change on 11 November 2011: The return flight EK307 was originally booked for my wife and me in Business Class for 12 November 2011. As my business in China required us to stay longer I contacted the Emirates Office in Beijing per phone and requested the same flight details for one week later. A lady on the other side of the line insisted that all Business Class seats for EK307 are fully booked until 22 November and tried to put us on the morning flight (EK309). I felt that she tried her best to push us on the more unpopular morning flight on a B777 and vacate our seats for potentially high paying passengers on the more prestigious and better equipped A380. I did not accept that as I am not interested to spend another hotel night for a few hours sleep without breakfast in Beijing for the early morning departure. In addition: I have used the A380 several times to Beijing and back. The special comfort on this aircraft was one of the reasons for me to choose Emirates and not i. e. Qatar Airways.

Emirates Economy Class: Just poor from A to Z!

(1) On a flight from Doha to Dubai a male Filipino flight attendant offered the passengers a “hot face towel” after boarding. However the towel was cold and smelling extremely unhygienic. The answer of the FA with a cheeky smile: “I will fix it, Sir.” I still do not know what he wanted to fix but he did not apologize and never came back with a new face towel.

(2) After a while flying mostly in Business Class my wife, my son and me flew from Dubai to Beijing on 24 April 2012 in Economy. On that flight EK306 I was disappointed by the obvious cut-backs of Emirates: the service was kind of heartless. I was badly surprised that not even amenity kits were offered on this 8 hours night flight. The food was not even worth to mention. We had to remind the flight attendant repeatedly to get some warm water for my son during the night hours. It seemed that all cabin crew except one went for their rest at the same time and the remaining one was acting sleepy and heartless. The service reminded me of one flight with Air India 20 years ago.
bad service, dubai, emirates, emirates airlines

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