(Never fly with) Emirates


I had always thought that Emirates was a “classy” airline, offering good services. This was mainly because of their commercials and the way they had to introduce their company.

I booked a flight for me and my mother from Geneva to Tehran in August 2013. In order to have a minimum waiting time in Dubai (the flight was Geneva-Dubai Dubai-Tehran), I booked on Kayak a ticket with a 2-hour waiting time in Dubai, instead of all the other tickets that had a 7-hour waiting time, but that were much cheaper.

The plane in Geneva was 30 minutes late, I asked the lady in the Emirates check-in in Geneva airport if we would manage to catch the connection as the plane was late, and she replied in a really rude manner (meaning, “of course you’re stupid”):
“Well yeah! 30 minutes is easily compensated during the flight!”

Inside the plane, I noticed in the last hour that we were arriving late in Dubai, I asked the flight attendants who guaranteed me that because our connection was with Emirates, the flight to Tehran would wait for us.

Nevertheless, we sat in first class in order to be closer to the door once it opened, and once it did, we ran out of the plane and ran to the connection gate.

Once at the Emirates desk in Dubai airport, they told us we couldn’t get into the plane to Tehran because our plane was late and they could not transfer our luggage to the new plane and we were not allowed to travel without our luggage for security reasons.

They thus told us to wait for 7 hours in the Dubai airport. I asked them to call their boss. It was a Pakistani guy called Mohammad (maybe written Muhammad) something (he was working there on the 11 August at midnight-12 August 1am).

He did not say hi, did not apologise and did not make a single smile in his speech. He just explained to us that they could not do anything.

After arguing with him for more than 30 minutes, they agreed to book us a hotel for the 7 hours in Dubai but he said very confidently that the immigration would not let us out of the airport because it was for less than 8 hours.

He was wrong. They let us out and we went to a small hotel belonging to Emirates (or which was an Emirates partner) for a few hours. We went to take our flight and saw the other Iranians, who had given up before he would give them a hotel (he refused to give them because he was saying that the immigration would not let them out), and they had stayed for 7 hours waiting at the airport… !

Coming back to Switzerland, I sent a complaint to Emirates, expecting them to at least compensate us for the difference between the 7-hour waiting ticket price and the 2-hour waiting ticket price (which was overall around $500). Other fees included $50 calling costs for calling the family and tell them to not come pick us up at the airport.

They replied apologising but saying they would not do anything. They just put 10,000 miles on my Skywards account. Just to have an idea, the minimum number of miles in order to get something for free is 45,000 miles.

So, I decided to write the experience here in order to let people know what kind of airline they are.

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