Friday, November 03, 2006


A Troubling Experience with Emirates airlines - exasperated by Emirates Customer Service NY.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arif Khan <>
Date: Nov 1, 2006 10:26 PM
Subject: A Troubling Experience with Emirates airlines - exasperated
by Emirates Customer Service NY.




My family and I recently flew with Emirates from JFK to Pakistan via
Dubai. The flight experience was good until we started boarding on
return flight to Dubai. This bad experience was exasperated by the
horrible customer service from the Emirates NY office
(, when I complained about it.

Irony is, dealing with the Emirates NY customer service office was
worse experience than underlining problem itself. I will try to be as
brief about both of the problems, as I can.

1) A horrible Customer Service Experience:

Once I reached US, I contacted the Emirates NY customer service and
chronicled the entire episode for them. The customer service is very
hard to get a hold off, They usually don't pickup the phone and hardly
return a phone message. After numerous attempts, I was finally told to
talk to Michael Calegio (might be misspelled) to address the issue.
Initially I used to get busy signal every time I dialed his extension.
After few days I was able to get to his answering machine. I left him
three messages over the course of one week, but her never returned my
call. I wrote 4 e-mails in the last 3 weeks, after the initial
complaint, and never received any response to them. I had a heck of a
time finding out any other contact info beside extension 250 and 251,
for NY reservation office of Emirates. The initial customer service
Rep, Carolyn Forneas, also exasperated the problem by promising to
call back by Friday and never following up with it. I left her 3-4
messages also in the last 2 weeks, but didn't hear back from her.

2) Initial Problem: My confirmed return flight from Islamabad to Dubai
to JFK was cancelled with a pretext that I had changed my previous
flight from Dubai to ISB.

My Arguments: For any change in my itinerary, I was supposed to pay
Approx $150 change fee. It also means that if I don't pay fee, the
airline WILL NOT cancel my reservation.

It is a two way contract, one baring me from a change with out penalty
and other baring the airline from cancelling without extraordinary
circumstances (emergency).

I never requested change in my itinerary from ISB to Dubai, on the
contrary, I specifically requested NOT to change anything in my return
flight. What happened to Emirates side of the implied contract arising
from change penalty?

Secondly, I had provided Emirates my contact numbers, why was I never
contact before cancelling my flight.

Consequences for me: After realizing at the airport that all of our
three seats were cancelled, I contacted the Emirates airline customer
service person in ISB airport. He said that he can not put me back on
the flight, since it is full. I did not want to wait for two more days
for the next Emirates flight from ISB due to my work commitment here,
in the US.

I was informed that another Emirates flight is leaving from Karachi
in 10 hours. I requested to be flown to Karachi so I can catch the
flight. My request was declined. Ultimately, I bought tickets myself
from ISB to Karachi to catch the Emirates Flight. I went through the
headache of being stuck in ISB airport for almost 7 hours with two
little children. It was a nightmare. I am not requesting any thing for
the pain and suffering, All I want is to be reimbursed for the tickets
from ISB to Karachi, since Emirates wrongly cancelled my flight.

Arif Khan


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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