Tuesday, April 17, 2007


My Bitter Experience with Emirates Airlines

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: KM Abdulla <kma43@rediffmail.com>
Date: 17 Apr 2007 18:15:52 -0000
Subject: My Bitter Experience with Emirates Airlines
To: jawad@alumni.washington.edu, EKINDIA <ekindia@emirates.com>

Has any one got the e-mail ids of Sheikh Ahmed bin Al Maktoum, Maurice
Flanagan and Tim Clark, the Chirman, Vice Chairman and President
respectively of Emirates Airlines. I want to write to them about the
bitterest experience my wife and I had during our last trip from India
to US and back, telling them in particular how totally insensitive and
uncouth their Customer Affairs Department is, since they just do not
do anything to redress the customer complaints.
I would like to share with all our friends our travails and tribulations:

I had booked our (mine and my wife's) round trip from Bangalore
(India) to San Francisco (US) via Dubai and back through Emirates

All the legs of the journeys were fully confirmed before we commenced
our journey from Bangalore on 21 June 2006.

On 12 July 2006, as per my request, Emirates office at Dubai had made
a slight change in our itinerary - DXB-JFK was rescheduled from 22
July to 27 July 2006 and JFK-SFO was rescheduled from 25 July to 31
July 2006, with all other legs of our journey remaining unchanged.
After making this change (with the same Emirates Ref No. BMCGM2), I
also received a computer printout.

While the DXB-JFK journey on 27 July 2006 went off smoothly, we had a
very harrowing experience thereafter for every leg of our remaining
itinerary, as described hereunder:

(1) When we went to check-in for JFK-SFO trip by DL 1489 of 31 July
2006, Delta official told us that while I held reservation for that
flight, Emirates had cancelled my wife's reservation unilaterally.
Since DL 1489 was going full on that day, there was no way my wife
could take that flight. When I showed the Emirates' computer printout
about our reservation to the Supervisor of Delta, he simply shrugged
his shoulder and arrogantly told us: "Any one can have that kind of
paper printed, which is of no value to me; you should go and break
your heads with Emirates".

(2) In that sordid situation, we had to move along with our entire
luggage from Terminal I to Terminal V to locate Emirates counter. The
kind lady at the Emirates counter checked the position and told us
that some mistake has happened. After spending about 20 minutes, she
finally told us that she had booked for both of us the next day's
American Airlines flight AA015 of 1 August 2006. She was also kind
enough to book a hotel room for us in Holiday Inn for the night.

(3) Going by our bitter experience at JFK, we wanted to make sure that
the rest of our journeys did not pose any problem. So, while in US, we
called up Delta to re-confirm our flights SFO-JFK by DL1886 of 12
January 2007 and JFK-DXB by EKZ204 of 13 January 2007. Again, we
received another shock! Delta told us the same story that while my
reservation for SFO-JFK by DL1886 of 12 January 2007 was in tact,
there was no trace of my wife's reservation for the same flight. We
then called up Emirates. The person who attended the phone abruptly
disconnected the line thrice stating that Emirates did not require
re-confirmation except for the Saudi sector. We had to waste half a
day over telephone to finally get to the right person who could listen
and understand our problem. Finally, he also admitted that some
mistake has happened at Emirates. After spending some more hours over
the phone, Emirates finally had to do a fresh booking, with altogether
fresh PNR numbers (3JSHUW for Delta and P50MWM for Emirates).

(4) When we called up Emirates Dubai office from our Sharjah camp on
27 January 2007 to re-confirm our reservation for DXB-BLR by EK518 of
03 Feb 2007, we were in for yet another shock! At Dubai, Emirates
could not trace any sign of both our reservations (mine as well as my
wife's) for Dubai-Bangalore flight. Search by name, PNR number, Ticket
numbers, etc. yielded no results. So, we were asked to go in person to
Emirates counter at DNATA Building in Dubai to sort out the matter. On
reaching there, it was revealed that EK518 was not flying on 03 Feb
2007 and therefore, we had to choose another date. Finally, the polite
gentleman at the Emirates counter helped us to do a fresh booking for
EK 516 of 05 Feb 2007 under yet another PNR number (CCAWKJ). Thus, we
had to extend our stay in Sharjah by two more days.

(5) When we finally arrived in Bangalore on the hope that we were free
from the mess created by Emirates, we were in for yet another rude
shock!! Two out four of our checked-in baggages (bearing luggage tags
numbers EK289674 & EK289675) were missing. After waiting for over an
hour at Bangalore airport till the last piece of baggage came on the
carousel, there was no trace of our two missing baggages. Upon duly
lodging a complaint (No. 25229), these two missing baggages were
restored to us only after two days, and that too with the locks of
both of them opened (presumably by the ground staff at Dubai Airport).

The above-narrated bitter and unfortunate experiences with Emirates
had caused so much mental stress and agony to both of us (I am aged
64) that the very next day after our arrival here, we both fell
seriously ill. We were so exhausted that we didn't have even the
feeble energy to open our two missed baggages and see what all items
have been pilfered/damaged from them. It was only after 16 days that I
mustered the energy to narrate full details of our ordeal with all
verifiable facts and sent it to Emirates' Customer Care Department.

My immediate thoughts were to make the details known to wider public
through media and file a suitable compensation suit in the consumer
court. But, in fairness, I thought the Emirates should be given an
opportunity to settle the matter amicably without my having to make
undue publicity to damage the reputation of Emirates. However, their
Customer Affairs Department is so hopelessly insensitive and uncouth
they do not show the elementary courtsey of replying to the several
reminders I had sent to them.



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