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Is EK Neglecting Its Africa Sectors?  
User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1424 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 7 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

A couple of months ago, my parents announced that they are going to cape town for a legal conference. I was mightily excited because I thought I could make them get me a couple of die cast models from the onboard sales. The easied connection from DEL was on EK as it flies directly to South Africa from Dubai.

Anyways, they were looking forward to the journey because they had flown EK a couple of times before but never in first class. Its on their departing from Dubai that their problems started. First of all they reported that the plane (773) from DXB to JNB seemed to be very old and unlike EK standards! That however is not a very big issue since the condition of the plane is really no important if you have a good first class service. However, that was their second disappointment, being frequent travelers on SQ and CX, etc, they were most unimpressed with the service they received on EK first to JNB. This was really surprising because on all other sectors EK is supposed to be absolutely SUPERB! They said that the F/A’s were much slower than usual and took eons to respond to any requests they made. However, the food and drinks were excellent!

The most shocking part of their experience was on the way back, they reached JNB from Cape town for their return flight, and walked up to the checking agent. She informed them (to their horror) that their names were NOT on the list and someone has cancelled their bookings all the way up to DEL. My parents were extremely shocked and naturally asked her to recheck and talk to her manager. She sweetly talked to her boss who also had the same reply. At this point they were very upset with the whole ordeal because they had paid good money for EK first tickets. Eventually my parents got a little flared and wished to complain, at this moment, the EK checking lady told them that there were 2 Business class tickets available which she could give them.

Again, this was unacceptable because of the huge price paid for first class tickets!! Anyways, the ordeal continued and the manager returned saying that 3 first class passengers had not shown up and they were free to get those seats. Because of this problem, the whole flight took off 45 mins late, much to the other passengers distress.

Anyways, while they were boarding the bus to go to the aircraft, there was this South African man who was sloshed out of his brains , sure enough, while getting off the bus, he didn’t notice the steps and tripped and fell straight on his face!!! As a result, he broke 3 of his front teeth and was bleeding profusely from the nose. This was noticed on board by a F/A who went to him with first aid. It was at that time that they realized that he was pissed drunk and decided to deplane him and take off without him!! That was a cause for a further delay!

All said and done, they were on their way to DXB (8.5 hour flight). There was another problem! My moms foot rest would not come up!! She reported it to the F/A, who tried her level best to fix the problem, but to no avail. She resolved the problem by placing a cardboard box infront of the seat and put a pillow on it!! LOL

Finally they reached DXB and the next morning their flight to DEL was normal and uneventful! What was shocking was that EK is so good (or atleast they are supposed to be) a few questions arose in my mind:
1. Is the old aircraft and not up to the mark service especially for flights headed to Africa?
2. Was this just a freak incident of bad luck or is EK really over rated?

Regards
nitin


I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

hey this post just got lost somewhere!! very strange

nitin



I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
She informed them (to their horror) that their names were NOT on the list and someone has cancelled their bookings all the way up to DEL. My parents were extremely shocked and naturally asked her to recheck and talk to her manager. She sweetly talked to her boss who also had the same reply. At this point they were very upset with the whole ordeal because they had paid good money for EK first tickets.

Obviously they did not reconfirm their flgihts.

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
Again, this was unacceptable because of the huge price paid for first class tickets!! Anyways, the ordeal continued and the manager returned saying that 3 first class passengers had not shown up and they were free to get those seats. Because of this problem, the whole flight took off 45 mins late, much to the other passengers distress.

I can hardly believe that they would have a 45min boarding delay, because they had 3 No-shows.

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
My moms foot rest would not come up!!

That a bad luck, but seats can always have some functional failure.


EK is by far not the mega super carrier some people are talking about. They good but but def not superior.


User currently offlineDkny From Ethiopia, joined Mar 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
Is the old aircraft and not up to the mark service especially for flights headed to Africa?

I think that is the case with most non African Airlines operating into Africa.

Most non African service in Europe, Asia and North america will never be compared with the service offered in Africa.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2577 times:

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 2):
Obviously they did not reconfirm their flgihts.

Do you still have to RR flights on EK ? How very last-century.


User currently offlineFlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2530 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
Is the old aircraft and not up to the mark service especially for flights headed to Africa?

If the aircraft was a 773, then they also operate flights to Asia, Europe, and Australia, so they are hardly left in bad condition for flights to Africa. However, according to the Ek schedule, both daily JNB flights are operted by 77W aircraft, which are far from old and in bad condition.

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
Was this just a freak incident of bad luck or is EK really over rated?

Well there's a couple of incidents, which I don't think sould be combined as an overall bad experience on EK. The seat not working: Airlines seats, especially in J and F, are very high tech. They can break easily and often do, so it's just bad luck that you'r mum's seat broke. The same happened to my mum when we flew DXB-SIN-BNE earlier this year in J.

Delayed departure..Well, we can't be sure if it was all related to the incident to check in. There could of been a number of other factors which you parents were not aware of. And besides, if they checked in early, say 2 hours, then the whole issue would of been sorted out before boarding, no? And the drunk guy on the bus: there's nothing EK could of done before boarding, as he might of got sloshed in the lounge before boarding. The crew did the right thing by removing him from the flight, however I don't think you could call this a bad experience with EK, as the guy didn't stay on the flight and cause a scene mid flight.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 4):
Quoting OHLHD (Reply 2):
Obviously they did not reconfirm their flgihts.

Do you still have to RR flights on EK ? How very last-century.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but don't a quite a few airlines require reconfimation of flights from certain countries? I recall seeing on an EK ticket that stated reconfirmation was necessary for flights departing African destintions, aswell as Bangladesh I believe.

And no JGPH1A, reconfirmation is not required on all EK flights.

flyingKangaroo



QANTAS-- The Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineTinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2516 times:

Easy answer. They are overrated.

User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2382 times:

Quoting FlyingKangaroo (Reply 5):

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but don't a quite a few airlines require reconfimation of flights from certain countries? I recall seeing on an EK ticket that stated reconfirmation was necessary for flights departing African destintions, aswell as Bangladesh I believe.

To be honest, both my parents and myself have flown quite a bit and we have NEVER had to reconfirm! They had paper tickets booked by the American Express Platinum travel people!

Never heard of re confirming in this day and age.

As for the 45 min delay, i mentioned it was because of my parents that the plane was delayed!! Because they were figuring out how to find seats for them.. thats why they were feeling really sheepish.

Yes, the EK website also showed a 77W on that route, i did all my research, but they said it was not the same as the pictures of the first class on the 77W as i had shown them prior to their departure.

regards
nitin



I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1736 posts, RR: 39
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2361 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
She informed them (to their horror) that their names were NOT on the list and someone has cancelled their bookings all the way up to DEL

Jet Airways has done that to me. However in this case I had reconfirmed my flight. However there were no empty seats on my flight. I had to fight tooth and nail to get put on Air Sahara which had empty seats.

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
However, that was their second disappointment, being frequent travelers on SQ and CX, etc, they were most unimpressed with the service they received on EK first to JNB.

EK never has been nor ever will be in the same league as CX, SQ, or MH!

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
This was really surprising because on all other sectors EK is supposed to be absolutely SUPERB! They said that the F/A's were much slower than usual and took eons to respond to any requests they made.

EK has consistency issues for as long as I can remember, I started flying them back in mid 90's. I don't think it has anything to do with select routes. Some of my best flights has been on a DXB-KWI and BOM-DXB sectors while one of my worst has been a FRA-DXB flight. Everyone always tries to look at "geographical" reasons for EK's lapses in service. Truth is, it just depends on the F/A's, not where you are flying to.

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
2. Was this just a freak incident of bad luck or is EK really over rated?

I wrote a trip report in 2004 about my latest experience on EK and it received a lot of criticism. The title was Emirates--How Over Hyped Can One Airline Be?

SR 103


User currently offlineMainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2086 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 10 hours ago) and read 2231 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
That however is not a very big issue since the condition of the plane is really no important if you have a good first class service.

I think you've got this the wrong way round! You can safely assume all EK planes are excellently maintained, but maybe one or two are showing wear and tear by now.

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
There was another problem! My moms foot rest would not come up!! She reported it to the F/A, who tried her level best to fix the problem, but to no avail. She resolved the problem by placing a cardboard box infront of the seat and put a pillow on it!! LOL

Sounds like good First Class customer service to me. A pillow on a cardboard box....I'd be happy with that.

Still, I can't believe EK would just cancel 1st class passengers like that, and try to deny their responsibility to them, especially if it appeared somebody had made a mistake.........in other words.....The first class passenger is ALWAYS right! This is really bad.


User currently offlineFlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 4 hours ago) and read 2153 times:

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 8):
I wrote a trip report in 2004 about my latest experience on EK and it received a lot of criticism. The title was Emirates--How Over Hyped Can One Airline Be?

SR 103, I remember reading your trip report after you posted the link in my in my trip report on EK F class. I must admit, I did agree with alot of what you said. However, since then I travelled EK alot more to Europe and even to JFK, and like you said, service really does differ depending on your FAs for the flight. Most of our DEL-DXB-DEL flights in F/J were nothing to write home about, yet the service we recieved on JFK-DXB was great, as the FA serving us was the same one that we had on the DXB-JFK flight 2 weeks earlier.

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 7):
To be honest, both my parents and myself have flown quite a bit and we have NEVER had to reconfirm! They had paper tickets booked by the American Express Platinum travel people!

Never heard of re confirming in this day and age.

I totally agree that reconfirmation is something from, well, ages ago. However, I did check the Emirates website, and it states reconfirmation is still required for flights departing Dubai to Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh. So looks like something was amess with your parents booking being cancelled, and you should definately write a letter of complaint to Emirates.

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 7):
As for the 45 min delay, i mentioned it was because of my parents that the plane was delayed!! Because they were figuring out how to find seats for them.. thats why they were feeling really sheepish.



Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
Because of this problem, the whole flight took off 45 mins late, much to the other passengers distress.

Ok, well, if the delay was due to the fact of your parents reservations being cancelled, shouldn't they be glad that EK held the flight for them? If my reservations were cancelled, I would be incredibly happy that the check in agents accomodated me in F and held the flight for me. However, once reaching my final destination, I would write to the airline asking for an explanation as to why my reservation was cencelled.

But what confuses me is this: The flight was delayed by 45 minutes, however your parents still saw the guy fall on his face geting off the bus, and then new he was removed from the flight. So was boarding delayed as the gate agents were wating for your parents, or was everyone already onboard and your parents were last to board? If the former is your answer, then I must ask, wouldn't the removal of the drunk guy of caused a further delay?

flyingKangaroo



QANTAS-- The Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 3 hours ago) and read 2116 times:

Quoting FlyingKangaroo (Reply 10):
But what confuses me is this: The flight was delayed by 45 minutes, however your parents still saw the guy fall on his face geting off the bus, and then new he was removed from the flight. So was boarding delayed as the gate agents were wating for your parents, or was everyone already onboard and your parents were last to board? If the former is your answer, then I must ask, wouldn't the removal of the drunk guy of caused a further delay?

yup .. while they were trying to resolve the issue, everyone else boarded the plane, except the business and first class passengers who were still waiting in the bus! the whole ordeal of finding them seats took 45 mins. Once they were clear, they boarded the bus to the plane where they saw the drunk man.

Once they were de boarding the bus to board the plane, the drunk man tripped and hit his face on the tarmac. But drunk as he was, he got up and boarded the plane, was sitting in his seat until the f/a noticed he was bleeding. Then when she came to him with first aid she noticed he was pissed drunk. Then they very swiftly told him to leave, capt made an announcement that "one of out passengers is not fit to fly so we are de boarding him sorry fro the delay".

the whole flight in all was delayed by around 1.5 hours from its ETD.
regards
nitin



I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 226 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 1 hour ago) and read 2055 times:

I dont see how this could cause a 45min delay? At the close of check-in, there were the available seats in First Class which you mentioned due to no-show. Simple solution is to put them into those seats. It takes 2minutes .. not 45 minutes.

SR103 -- if Emirates are so over-hyped perhaps you can explain why you choose to travel with them? Then it might explain to us what is the attraction about why people fly Emirates. Is it their schedule, pricing, service (although im sure you care to differ on that) or another reason.

[Edited 2006-09-21 09:40:05]

User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1736 posts, RR: 39
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months ago) and read 2022 times:

Quoting FlyingKangaroo (Reply 10):
However, since then I travelled EK alot more to Europe and even to JFK, and like you said, service really does differ depending on your FAs for the flight.

I agree, EK can have some great F/A's. I just wish there was more consistency. If other leading airlines can do it, why can't EK?

Quoting EK773 (Reply 12):
if Emirates are so over-hyped perhaps you can explain why you choose to travel with them?

I don't anymore, have not flown them since mid 2004.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 12):
Is it their schedule, pricing, service (although im sure you care to differ on that) or another reason.

There were a number of reasons I started flying Emirates. Initially it was their "reputation" that made me want to try them myself. After a couple flight I realized their reputation differed somewhat from what was actually experienced, not once but on numerous occasions. The only reason I flew them again was I was not paying for my tickets, someone else was at the time so I had no real choice but go along with it. The last time I was in Dubai, I opted to fly a European airline and I don't regret that decision one bit. So to answer your question, I no longer fly Emirates when I have a choice.

Now don't get me wrong, EK can be a very nice airline to fly. However from past experience they just seem to have some quality issues. You don't have to agree with me, everyone has their opinions and I certainly respect that. I just added my two cents here as the original poster asked if this was a "one off."

SR 103


User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1988 times:

Quoting EK773 (Reply 12):
I dont see how this could cause a 45min delay? At the close of check-in, there were the available seats in First Class which you mentioned due to no-show. Simple solution is to put them into those seats. It takes 2minutes .. not 45 minutes.

Well, first of all the EK staff in JNB were very confused, they kept saying that sorry we cant do anything about your reservation since it is not showing up on the computer. At that point my parents would have been damned if they had paid upwards of 3,00,000 INR for first class tickets and then be told that your name is not on the computer (despite HAVING paper tickets issued to them).
The flight got delayed because the staff was running around talking to their head offices trying to get any information. Then once the seats became availalbe, they couldnt make any changes to their tickets, so my parents insisted that they MUST give them something in writing saying that the seats are confirmed again. This was because their bookings all the way home to DEL from JNB via DXB had been cancelled.
EK probably had to delay the flight for those 45 mins cuz the ground staff waiting to move ALL the business and first class passengers at the same time. Enevitably, all the other F and J passengers were angry that they had to sit in the bus for so long waiting for two passengers!
And i am pretty damn sure that EK or anyother airline for that matter would NEVER take off leaving all its J and F passengers behind.

Mind you, i have extreme regard for EK! I have never flown them personally and will LOVE to one day. Its just a small incident which i wanted to know they over look because they are merely flying to africa.

regards
nitin



I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
User currently offlineFlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1961 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 14):
Its just a small incident which i wanted to know they over look because they are merely flying to africa.

I wouldn't say they're over looking it. They did accomadate your parents at the ed of the day, so you should be thankfull for that. Like I said earlier, they should definately write a latter to Emirates, and then they can tell if they are overlooking the incident. The whole thing about Africa..I don't think that holds any thruth. The DXB-JNB flight, like you said, is around 8.5 hours. That is combarable to DXB-Europe flights, on which most people rave about their service. If you parents flew F, they got F class service, no matter if they were flying to Africa or if they were flying to New York. And judging by EK's services to Africa (2 daily 77W to JNB, 2 daily A343 to NBO, daily 77W to LOS), the African market is incredibly important to EK. Therefore, I think if anything, EK should be giving African routes their highest level of service. The incident at the airport could have occured anywhere, so saying that EK is neglecting Africa is wrong.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 12):
I dont see how this could cause a 45min delay? At the close of check-in, there were the available seats in First Class which you mentioned due to no-show. Simple solution is to put them into those seats. It takes 2minutes .. not 45 minutes.

Thats what I as trying to understand in this post:

Quoting FlyingKangaroo (Reply 5):
And besides, if they checked in early, say 2 hours, then the whole issue would of been sorted out before boarding, no?

And I presume what OHLHD was trying to explain in this post:

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 2):
I can hardly believe that they would have a 45min boarding delay, because they had 3 No-shows.

flyingKangaroo



QANTAS-- The Spirit of Australia
User currently onlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4480 posts, RR: 72
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1913 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 14):
Its just a small incident which i wanted to know they over look because they are merely flying to africa.

I don't think that the Africa factor plays any role in this discussion. EK has been putting quite some resources into its African network, and the airline plans to expand its presence there even further. With twice daily service to Johannesburg and Nairobi, daily service to Lagos, and quite an extensive list of other destinations in Africa, not to speak about the growth plans for the region, I believe Africa is not getting the cold shoulder of EK.

I concur, though, with what some in here have been saying. Emirates is quite a bit overrated, and while service on some very premium routes, likes the ultra longhauls operated with the A345 seems to be pretty top notch, other routes can be hit or miss depending on the crew, with particular routes being more often miss than hit. I have yet to take a really great EK flight out of Jakarta or Bangkok - and I have taken quite a few - yet I enjoyed 2 superb flights between Dubai and New York.

Emirates should deal with these issues, yet the fact that it has been going on for a couple of years now, tells me that something is lacking with their cabin crew recruitment and training. People close to EK also tell me that the turn over of the cabin crew is among the highest in the industry and that at several points in time, they were so desperate for new crew that the standard for recruitment have considerably dropped over the years.

Quite obviously, the experiences of some of us here are likely a reflection of the airline's crew situation. I would hope EK would put more effort in dealing with this situation, and until they do so, I believe that EK is indeed very much over rated.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 14):
Well, first of all the EK staff in JNB were very confused, they kept saying that sorry we cant do anything about your reservation since it is not showing up on the computer. At that point my parents would have been damned if they had paid upwards of 3,00,000 INR for first class tickets and then be told that your name is not on the computer (despite HAVING paper tickets issued to them).

NOREC's do happen, but it does sound perhaps as if the segments were cancelled because they hadn't been reconfirmed. A lot depends on the system in which the booking was originally made, and whether they communicate things like ticket numbers and reconfirmations to the airline or not. Without this information, airlines can and do sometimes cancel itineraries, although if they have a half-decent revenue integrity system this shouldn't be the case without a valid reason.


User currently onlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4480 posts, RR: 72
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1856 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 17):
NOREC's do happen, but it does sound perhaps as if the segments were cancelled because they hadn't been reconfirmed. A lot depends on the system in which the booking was originally made, and whether they communicate things like ticket numbers and reconfirmations to the airline or not. Without this information, airlines can and do sometimes cancel itineraries, although if they have a half-decent revenue integrity system this shouldn't be the case without a valid reason.

Although, according to the OP, the tickets were paper ticket and not e-tickets, this couldn't have been a case of NOREC as they were not experiencing any trouble during the outbound journey. Also the autocancelation because of lack of ticket number doesn't apply for the same reason. So, I guess that only leaves the reconfirmation issue and I thought that EK didn't require that.


User currently offlineNzrich From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 1515 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1824 times:

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 13):
I agree, EK can have some great F/A's. I just wish there was more consistency. If other leading airlines can do it, why can't EK?

I personally believe its because they have grown too quickly.. And there standards have dropped a little to keep employing and putting all the new crew through training so the airline can continue to keep expanding..



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