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skippy777
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Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Company : Emirates

Destination : Amsterdam - Dubai - Singapore - Dubai - Amsterdam
Date: 07 February 2014
Plane: Amsterdam – Dubai A380
Class: Economy Class
Seat: Amsterdam – Dubai 86J
Flight number: EK 148

Date: 08 February 2014
Plane: Dubai - Singapore A380
Class: Economy Class
Seat: Dubai - Singapore 86J
Flight number: EK 354

Date: 13 February 2014
Plane: Singapore – Dubai B777
Class: Economy Class
Seat: Singapore – Dubai 48K
Flight number: EK 405

Date: 16 February 2014
Plane: Dubai - Amsterdam A380
Class: Economy Class
Seat: Dubai - Amsterdam 86J
Flight number: EK 147

This article starts with lots of complains that we received about the service from Emirates over de last 4 years, complains in the Business Class and Economy Class.
Something that was hard to believe for me, but in the summer of 2013 I also had a bad experience with Emirates on our return flight from Dubai to Amsterdam.
Btmagazine.nl writes about First - and Business Class concepts, but on this flight we want to check the service from the cabin crew in general.
A Business Class passenger gets better food, drinks and an excellent seat comfort.
The service that the cabin crew provides to the business class passenger should also be given to the Economy Class passenger, if you claim to be the best airline in the World.

What do we know about Emirates:
* Nice new aircrafts including many of the A380's
* Business Lounge at Dubai Airport is a very nice Business Lounge
* Lovely Airport DXB

So the "hardware" is fine with Emirates.
But what about the "software" the human factor ?

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

It all begins back in 1999, as a journalist I was invited to fly to Dubai, to learn about the fast growing airline Emirates.
Emirates invited me to explain why they would become the BEST AIRLINE in the world and how they would manage to do so.
The first of 17 new generation Airbus A330-200's had arrived in Dubai and from a small local airline, they wanted to become the biggest and best airline in the world.
Emirates started to order so many aircrafts, the sky was the limited for Emirates, money enough.

I was invited to the Emirates Training College, a building in the shape of an aircraft.
They explained us how they would become the Best Airline in the World over the next 20 years.

The way the cabin crew had to smile, that they always should be service oriented  to the passengers, avoid discussions, they way the make up had to be applied, how the emirates look must been shown.
I was impressed about the idea behind the concept Emirates showed us.

A friend of mine was flying those days with Emirates as a stewardess and she told me, we have to have a certain size for clothes, they could only work for 4 years and than had to stop.
They wanted a young cabin crew staff with a purser that could be a little bit older, but the size of the clothes was a must.
There was a maximum weight, if you where getting close to that maximum weight, you had to follow a diet and they where checking you every week.
Over the maximum weight was the end of your job as a cabin crew member and you could leave Emirates.

Till about 2005, Emirates became known as the Best Airline in the World, Emirates was proud about this and they advertised it it worldwide.
The marketing department worked so hard in promoting to be a 5 star airline, everybody in the world should remember that Emirates was the BEST AIRLINE.
Large advertising campaigns could be found everywhere.

In 2007 Emirates became too big and the service was not consequent anymore.
From a great airline they became a log and large company and lost the touched of providing an excellent service.
You can have the newest planes, best seats, best business lounges in the world, but you need the best staff to work with all the instruments.
The best staff in the world was impossible to find in such a large numbers and they had to work with less qualified staff and lowered the qualifications for hiring.

But Emirates was happy that all over the World the travellers still remembered Emirates as the Best Airline in the World.
The results from the start of the airline and lots of money used for advertisings.
But they got down grated by all the media worldwide.
They became a 4 star Airline with Skytrax and lost the famous 5 star ranking, that they always where so proud of.

As from than the Journalists where not welcome anymore, they had to protected the name from the past , Emirates the Best Airline in the World.
Many times I have asked them if I could make a special about Emirates and if I could visit the head office and Emirates Training College for a special.
Dubai returns the requests to a local PR company and they will told me, Sorry but this is not possible.
Journalists where banned.

This is how Emirates protects their good name from the past, but are the still the best Airline ?

It's time to find out for myself, and on a holiday break, I had the opportunity to buy a cheap airline ticket from Amsterdam to Singapore and fly the flagship from Emirates the Airbus 380 on 3 sections and 1 segment in a Boeing 777

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

It was a rainy day on friday the 7th of February 2014 as we departed from Amsterdam Schiphol.
This time I flew with my wife and two friends, so enough input about the service that Emirates would provide.

We boarded the plane and we had a full flight.
They must have been overbooked, because a few days before the flight would leave, we got an e-mail from Emirates that it was possible to upgrade your Economy class tickets to Business Class.
The price € 537,00 a person, for only the section Amsterdam - Dubai.
Lets make some money must Emirates have been thinking, instead of free upgrades, there will always be a few fools that will pay for the upgrade.
But I think it was too expensive for only one section so we declined the offer.

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE  EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

I always like to sit in the back of the airplane, as you have the best option to have empty seats around you.
That is why our group was seated in row 85 and 86 near the tail section of the plane.

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

Before we took off, the stewardess offered us a warm soft tissue to freshen up.
The seats where great, enough space available onboard the A380 and the Inflight Entertainment System was promising with all the features.
Until a few years ago they also handed an amenity kit to the passengers, I asked the stewardess and she told me, sorry but we stopped providing this a few years ago.

The plane got airborne and we where waiting for the first beverage service.
But also this service was stopped, we got our first drink when they provided us with the first meal.
We had to wait for over 1 hour as they start serving the meal service  at the beginning of the plane, row 1.

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

The Meal service had an option between 2 warm dishes, there was a choice between Salmon or Chicken.
My wife likes fish so she ordered the Salmon.
The stewardess told us: "Sorry but we do not have salmon anymore only chicken".
I looked up and was not expecting this at all, the best airline of the world runs out of choice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That was not good at all.
Anyway, fine Chicken will do for me, answered my wife.

My wife and I had the same meal and with the first bit, the food was cold.
Really cold, not even a little bit warm but just cold.
I think the temperature was bearly 20 degrees C.
The food on all the A380 flights was terrible, also on the second section we ran out of option between the 2 choices of warm meals as well.
The food on the second section was a bit warmer, but still not hot enough.
The food onboard the Boeing 777 on section 3 was much warmer.

I also notice that onboard the A380, Emirates is using different ways for cleaning you airline meals.
On one section, the cabin crew cleaned your table by taking the tray to the kitchen area, on the other two sections they placed the dirty trays in a trolley.
That was not what I remembered about the Emirates Training College.
There is only one way to clean the table they explained to us, so the service is not consequently.
Emirates for sure has become a different airline than back in 1999.

It was time to relax and listen and watch the Inflight Entertainment System.

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

I noticed that they have at least two different IFE systems onboard the Airbus 380.
For planes that are not that old it is quite amazing that they use different IFE systems.
For the first two sections the IFE system worked fine onboard the A380, but during the last section from Dubai to Amsterdam the sound was to soft.
Nobody could here anything, so I think the master volume was set too low.

During one of the flights onboard the A380, I was just stretching my legs in the tail section of the A380 and walked to the stairs at the end of the aircraft.
I noticed that two cabin crew members where heaving a big argument about flights onboard the A380.
The one blamed the other stewardess for always to fly on certain sections and taking here flights.
It kept going on for about 5 minutes and I walked back to my seat.

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

This remembered me about the words spoken at the Emirates Training College back in 1999.
Be always a professional cabin crew, you are the ounces who represent the company.

The time that Emirates earned always Gold and took lots of awards, can still be found onboard the aircrafts.

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

Your write Emirates with Gold letters, but Emirates is not a golden Airline anymore.
It has become an average airline with a standard service, not better than KLM and far worse as Qatar Airways, one of the best Airlines in the World.

Is Emirates still the best Airline in the World?

NO, they have become an average airline and the traveler should know that Emirates by far is not the best Airline in the world anymore.

Emirates is an average airline with an average service and a bad quality of food service.
They have great aircrafts, normally a good Inflight Entertainment System and a good Business Lounge.

If you still want to see how Emirates was back in 2000, you should fly Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways is a true 5 star airline and one of the best Airlines in the world and the Best Middle East Airline. I am very happy that Qatar Airways soon starts flying from Amsterdam.

You should fly Emirates if you have a great ticket deal and like to fly in an Airbus A380.
Dubai is a great stopover destination, but only in the winter period.
Qantas started their joint venture with Emirates in 2013, but lots of friends who where used to make a stopover in Singapore, now have to switch aircrafts in Dubai.
In the summer it is way way way to warm for a stopover in Dubai with temperatures reaching over the 50 degrees Celsius.

SO EMIRATES, SORRY TO SAY BUT YOU LOST THAT TOUCH IN BEEING THE BEST AIRLINE OF THE WORLD.

We left Amsterdam in the Rain, but we where very pleased that we could leave the Airbus A380 in Singapore in the sun.

A flight never to remember, and my friends where not happy at all.
They told me, you where jocking about Emirates the Best Airline in the World.
I smiled and told them, they where in the past...........................................

EMIRATES INFLIGHT SERVICE

 

 

 

 

[Edited 2014-03-02 03:47:53 by SA7700]
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:45 pm

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
I always like to sit in the back of the airplane,
Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
The Meal service had an option between 2 warm dishes, there was a choice between Salmon or Chicken.
My wife likes fish so she ordered the Salmon.
The stewardess told us: "Sorry but we do not have salmon anymore only chicken".
I looked up and was not expecting this at all, the best airline of the world runs out of choice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That was not good at all.

Sitting all the way in the back in a full plane, you usually don't have the usual choice, unless you expect the airline to carry over 700 meals. Guess what, it happens on the best airlines.
I was flying on SQ in C and they didn't have my choice of meal.
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
richcandy
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:02 pm

Hi

Thanks for the report.

Unfortunately airlines running out of a choice of meal happens all the time. On another site there is a trip report from a passenger flying Lufthansa in first class, both his first and second choice for lunch were not available.

I guess these days its all about money and budgets so they just don't carry anything spare!.

Alex
 
mfc
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:04 pm

Hi! Very interesting report, but I disagree with you in some aspects. Today, I have returned from a trip to Thailand and I have flown Emirates in Economy (MAD-DXB-BKK and back flying a mix of 77W and A380). My overall impression is good. Ok, Emirates is not 5 star, but I think it's pretty good. None of my meals were cold and service was fine.

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
I looked up and was not expecting this at all, the best airline of the world runs out of choice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, that's something that can happen in every airline, and it's more likely if you're seated in the back of the plane.

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
Qatar Airways is a true 5 star airline and one of the best Airlines in the world and the Best Middle East Airline.

I flew to Dubai via Doha from Madrid in August and I can't disagree more. On my flights service was nothing special and food was more generous on EK. Amenity kits were a good feature, but they were only handed out on the DOH-MAD night flight. The worst about QR is Doha Airport, it is an awful place, and I won't fly QR again until they move to the new airport.

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
In the summer it is way way way to warm for a stopover in Dubai with temperatures reaching over the 50 degrees Celsius.

How that can be relevant? You don't have to notice the heat during your stopover as you probably stay inside the terminal at all times. The climate in Doha is the same, and there you will suffer from heat as there are no jet bridges at DOH...


I think there's no need for Emirates to be the Best Airline in the World, they are still a good option and I think they are better than many other airlines in some aspects.
So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:49 pm

As a journalist I have been invited many times at different Catering facilities. An airline does not have to run out on the choice. Even on a A380 there must be enough different food choices available. I have been told that you can take more food with you, what is left over you can take with you on the flight back. Amsterdam - Dubai - Amsterdam has a turn around schedule of twice a day. It is possible, but an airline wants to save on fuel and does not want to take on to much weight, and yes meals are also be seen as weight. So any airline can take enough different food choices onboard. If they don't it's for saving fuel costs and the pax will be the one who who has no option. So service wise the problem is with the airline and not the number of pax. I was thinking the same as you, but after my meeting with the head of catering from Gate Gourmet it has become very clear to me.

In C class I never have heard that there are not food choices available, and I fly a lot in C and a few flights a year in F class. It looks more like a loading problem.

I fly Qatar about 4 times a year and it has always been a superb airline for me in C class

I was not saying that Emirates is a bad airline, but personal I think even KLM is better service wise.
Emirates is just an average airline and yes there will be many airlines who are better than Emirates but also many airlines who are much worse than Emirates.

But the clue for this article is: How that an airline can go down the hill, referring to the start and intentions of EK back in 1999. That wanted to become the biggest and best airline in the world. They where the Best back in 2002, they properly will become the biggest airline in the world, but they will not remain the best airline of the world.
 
Shudu
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:14 pm

Hi Skippy777,

Thanks for putting up the report.

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):

I've flown on EK quite a number of times and flying out of JNB and we always get an initial drinks service with biscuits before the first meal.
I also find it strange that on your flight they served meals row by row from Row 1 to the back of the aircraft. Usually on my flights the crew splits the cabin into different sections with each section getting a dedicated crew to serve meals. It must have been horrible waiting so long and getting your meal cold.

Running out of food choices happens all the time to all airlines. It's happened with me on Emirates, Air France, SAA, BA. It's not distinct to Emirates. I find it helps on EK, as most of the flights I've been on leaving JNB are full, to preorder my meals.

I'm sorry for had such a bad experience on EK, but it's not all flights that go so badly. I also don't like the inconsistency on board EK jets, it's perfectly normal to board a B77W out of JNB with great service and connect in DXB to another B77W and have a not so good service. It's comes with such a rapid expansion and their size.

Regards,

SHUDU
 
AT
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:56 pm

Whether Emirates is or was the world's best airline is really a subjective thing. Sure they've established a supremely impressive operation in just a few decades and Dubai but there are also hit and miss aspects about the Emirates experience.

As the other posters above have said - the running out of your preferred meal is directly correlated to your choosing to sit in the very back, as they (and most airlines) serve front-to-back. I don't like sitting at the back for a different reason: turbulence is often worse there.
 
lychemsa
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:29 am

They look a zillllion times better than our US airlines and many European airlines.

In addition they seem to offer 32" legroom compared to 31" on BA and most European airlines and US airlines. I believe they are also generous with baggage weight.
 
ozark1
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:48 am

"We had to wait for over 1 hour". Oh my goodness what is the world coming to? You sound like someone who has absolutely unrealistic expectations . Emirates may have been 5 star back then (did you only have to wait 30 minutes?), but the reality is, the world has changed. There are too many people who want too much for too little.
You were in row 80 and you had to wait over an hour for service? Perhaps a flight attendant for every 10 rows? Get real.
 
AyostoLeon
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:44 am

Shame about the cold food, especially if you were looking forward to something warm after the rain. But apart from that, what was the service like? Did you have any problems checking in on line, or did you check in at the airline desk? How were you received and were the crew polite and engaging? Did your flights depart and arrive on time and how efficient were the transfers? What was the condition of the aircraft - were the seats and tables clean and were the toilets clean and well-stocked?

On any airline you can expect that some passengers will not receive their preferred option. The airlines work on historical averages to determine how many of each meal option to load. On some flights it work out fine, but on others you may find that more passengers than expected pick one, resulting in others having to have whatever is left.

It is true that Emirates does suffer from variations in the quality of service, although I have been fortunate to have received good service on all my flights with them. Part of the problem stems from rapid growth, the ability to retain staff and the reduction in ab initio training. It is also true that Emirates is facing more competition in the region resulting in additional pressure to reduce costs. All of this can translate to a reduction in the quality of service, which is something that Emirates needs to address.

As to the Skytrax Five Star Rating, quite apart from the actual quality of service whether in the air or on the ground, Emirates can no longer expect 5* due to the rule that says no carrier operating 777s with 10 abreast in economy can be considered a 5* airline. As a journalist this something that you would surely know.

[Edited 2014-02-25 22:16:15]
The person with no dignity eats his dinner twice
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:07 am

The food choice is not really a big issue, but if the food is cold it can be health issue.
Maybe it has not been warmed up correctly.
Especially with chicken you have to be careful.

They should start in two sections handing out the airline meals.
As the food on the first section was really cold ( I mean less than 20 Celcius )
Section two and 4 where a bit warmer but still way to cold.

The only thing Emirates should do is getting consequently in the way of service provided.
That must not be a big thing for Emirates.
The last year I flew Emirates 11 times and every time they serve you different.

On a flight from Dubai to Bangkok the service was great ( also a A380 )
Maybe it was a training flight but that was how I was told back in 1999 that they would serve the pax.
Why is the service different every time you fly with them.
I mean, cleaning the tables, providing beverages, also making photo's with a captains head and stewardess head piece.
And they do not make photo's from children but adults with the headpieces on.

Sure I will fly Emirates more often as they have sometimes great bargains but it amazes me how different the service can be.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:15 am

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 4):
I have been told that you can take more food with you, what is left over you can take with you on the flight back

Once its been warmed up in the oven its either eaten or thrown away. Airlines aren't in the business of mass poisoning. Airlines are generally fairly good at getting the meal mix right, but its not an exact science.

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 4):
In C class I never have heard that there are not food choices available,

Its happened to me enough times.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:47 am

@Bongodog, Taking it with you onboard, not warm it up and keep it cool. You can keep it cool during the flight. That has been told to me
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:59 pm

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 12):
@Bongodog, Taking it with you onboard, not warm it up and keep it cool. You can keep it cool during the flight. That has been told to me

Whats the use of that ? When the cabin crew ask "Chicken or fish" they do so n the knowledge that they have both to hand, not "if you want the fish we'll take it out of the fridge and pop it in the oven it'll be with you in 30 minutes" Additionally most airlines seem to offer a different menu on the return sector which would mean that the spare meals would have to make the round trip before being offered again. At that point consideration has to be given to stock rotation in order to use the oldest first.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:18 pm

But the food always should be at least 60 degrees celcius.

Maybe they should not warm it up all at once if it takes too long to hand out.
Now you don't know if it has be warmed up properly
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:15 pm

If you sit at the back of the aircraft, you'll definitely not get your choice. Period. Unless they start the next service from the back to the front.

I think Emirates ICE and food is great, better than any of the airlines out there, but when it comes to in-flight service from the cabin crew, it's really a hit and miss. There are some really dedicated crews who love their jobs (and two thumbs up to them), and some who are just there for the lifestyle that Dubai has to offer and the perks of travel that come with the job, no intent of doing their job for what they were hired. Just my observations.

Yes, as you say Emirates might have been a star once, but now it's just a mega bus service in the sky, moving people from A to B. Things might be different up front in J and F, but that is something I don't think I will ever know.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
musapapaya
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:11 pm

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 10):
Sure I will fly Emirates more often as they have sometimes great bargains but it amazes me how different the service can be.

I do not make comments on how good or bad EK is, one thing I agree is that they do lack consistency. Hence I try to stick with the airlines that I know what I can expect from each and every flight.
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:23 am

EK is more concerned getting good looking 20 something year old flight attendants than actual service delivery...I had a similar experience on a 16hr flight from SFO to DXB and I got the operational excuse. I'd been loyal to them for a long time and spent plenty of money in F & J, but no more! The service is too sloppy and I am not willing to subject myself to the mess that is DXB.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:01 pm

@musapapaya, Yes that is what I don't understand. in 1999 was that the number one rule do everything the same way. Now the just do what they like

@Qantas007 as I have also lots of friends in Australia and myself also a Qantas FF member, it must be hard that Qantas is now using DXB as a hub instead off SIN. My friends always used SIN as a stopover destination and they liked it very much. They find DXB to busy and Dubai is to warm in the summer as a stopover destination. But flying from Europe to Australia takes too long do do it all at once . My older friends need a stopover as it is too far to fly it at once

[Edited 2014-03-03 04:04:49]
 
theaviator380
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:55 pm

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 17):

Are you serious? I have had some senior crew members on one of my BA long haul flight and customer service was pathetic. When Airline expand with this much of pace, you bound to get inconsistency in customer service.


No Airline can be perfect and you bound to get some negative and positive experiences.

@ Author

Did you write to EK about your bad experience ? Don't you think you should?

Cheers.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:33 pm

@ theaviator380 I also send the report to the press contacts of mine in Dubai and Europe. 7 persons in total and I did not get any response back from them So you can write to EK but I don't think they will take it seriously. They only have an eye for being the airline that they want the world to see.
 
nethkt
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:44 am

Thank you for the trip report.

As other people have mentioned, food choice can be limited due to wrong percentage prediction.

But then a true 5 stars airlines will tell their F/As to promote the other choice that still have plenty on cart mid-way along the aisle, not just give out what they ask for and realize 5 mins later that they run out of one option mid-way.
Also some airlines serve their royalty pax (gold member) with their preferred choice first, even in Economy class.
One airlines I know for certain is THAI airways.
This could create a better in-flight experience for pax of course. To get what you'd like to eat!!

To me, M/E carriers are all overrated. By having newer aircrafts, over-the-top IFEs and lots of freebies in-flight (plus a lot of money paid to SkyTrax) doesn't make one a 5 stars "to me". Personal touch and consistency from flight to flight play a larger part.

I still love Singapore Air, THAI and Malaysia. They may have slipped here and there (due to fierce competitions) but they are my 5 stars airlines.
Cheers,
net-hkt
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
B777LRF
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:57 am

In essence, you were served a cold meal - which is not cool at all - and witnessed a couple of crew members having an argument.

If that is sufficient for you to mount the outrage bus and go driving off a cliff, then I'd hate to see what would happen were you to encounter poor service for real.

You claim to be a journalist, yet your language is a minefield of grammatical and spelling errors, often requiring one to have a second read just to get a clue of what you're on about, and makes one seriously wonder what kind of journalist you supposedly are. And still your 'review' does nothing but putting you across as someone who's got an axe to grind with EK. I do not know why they don't fancy your company anymore, perhaps they too found that no editor in the world could make your gibberish worth reading?
Signature. You just read one.
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:20 pm

Quoting theaviator380 (Reply 19):
Are you serious?

yes, when was the last time you flew EK? honestly, I would be a little worried if the plane encountered an emergency, some of the crew I've flown with are more worried about their appearance than actually doing the job properly, and that should be a concern to anyone flying EK.

When I flew from SFO-DXB (nearly 16hrs!) and they swapped all the special meals for ordinary meals, it lead to disaster for those who only wanted ordinary meals, yet when you complain they have the cheek to say it is "operational".

it's bad management onboard and nothing less.

Quoting theaviator380 (Reply 19):
When Airline expand with this much of pace, you bound to get inconsistency in customer service.

when an airline feels it needs to be everything to everyone, it eventually loses it's way. EK lost it's way on the service front a long time ago.
 
flyingthe757
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:16 pm

Interesting trip report. From the tone of the thread, and the starting lines, I feel you went on board looking for issue and mistakes, and took pleasure win posting them and stating how the airline has changed. You of course have that right, but...........

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
They must have been overbooked, because a few days before the flight would leave, we got an e-mail from Emirates that it was possible to upgrade your Economy class tickets to Business Class.
The price € 537,00 a person, for only the section Amsterdam - Dubai.
Lets make some money must Emirates have been thinking, instead of free upgrades, there will always be a few fools that will pay for the upgrade.

As any airline would do, not just EK. Why not try and get rid of those empty premium seats with some last minute paid upgrades instead of giving them away free. Airlines are in business to make money are they not?


I don't see this as a normal trip report as such. More of an EK is failing thread.
 
theaviator380
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:01 am

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 23):

I am flying on EK every year since last 8 odd years and I haven't noticed any major issues tbf. Recently I flown in Jan-Feb EK long haul and it was fantastic.


I would be a little worried if the plane encountered an emergency, some of the crew I've flown with are more worried about their appearance than actually doing the job properly, and that should be a concern to anyone flying EK.
____________

This comment is nothing but exaggeration in my honest opinion.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:12 pm

@flyingthe757.

No I think you are wrong, if Emirates would be given a great service I would have reported about that as well.
There is also a thread about Qatar at A.net and they gave a perfect service.

What I want to report with this trip report is that they do not have one standaard of serving.

I still will fly Emirates if they provide great bargains from Amsterdam.
But they are not different than any other airlines like KLM, Lufthansa or Air France.
The Best M/E Airline for me is Qatar and I have to say a true 5 star airline
 
j77w
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:45 pm

To say "an airline does not have to run out of choices" is a bit of a stretch.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an Emirates fan(I've never flown them so I cannot comment) - but what you are asking, whilst dare I say possible, the sheer economics would be nothing short of mad. An EK380 accommodates up to 407 pax in Y. Assuming a full flight, with 2 choices that would mean 814 main meals. If the flight was sufficiently long enough to have a second service run, again, another 814 main meals. That's, what? Up to 1,618 main meals on the assumption that a few people will want more of one over the other. Which means over 400 (single service) or 800 (double service) would be wasted. And certainly does not make for good economics.

The leftovers cannot be simply loaded then reheated on the return flight - as you know, once food has been heated in cannot be reheated (and I don't know about now, but there was a time here in MEL when Australian Quarantine used to have all leftover food items incinerated). And to "keep half of them on ice in the galleys" would not make sense - the time it would take to heat up a batch of extras would mean waiting even longer to get your choice, by which time, other pax are finished with their meals .....

The reality is that on most flights and on most (dare I say all?) airlines - 3 star or 5 star - someone is going to miss out on their desired choice. Economy Class is just that. Economy. You get what you paid for.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:30 am

No reheated food can't be used again, but there is enough storage to store the cold food in a A380.

A A 380 can fly up to 16 hours.
Amsterdam - Dubai is only 6,5

They can store up to 4 meals so on a flight from Amsterdam - Dubai there should be enough storage space.

But running out of choice is not god but not the worse thing that happend.
The food was cold and they should handle that in a correct way.

If the had warmed it up, and it got cold on the way, they should not have warmed everything up at once
A good Cabin crew would have warmed the second part up about 15 minutes after the first part.

or

It got not heated properly and that is a major health issue
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:06 am

Interesting report. Apologies but I have a few bones to pick.

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 4):
As a journalist I have been invited many times at different Catering facilities. An airline does not have to run out on the choice. Even on a A380 there must be enough different food choices available. I have been told that you can take more food with you, what is left over you can take with you on the flight back. Amsterdam - Dubai - Amsterdam has a turn around schedule of twice a day. It is possible, but an airline wants to save on fuel and does not want to take on to much weight, and yes meals are also be seen as weight.

I HIGHLY doubt the veracity of this claim. We can do double uplifts of catering, which we sometimes do for various reasons, sometimes related to a lack of quality control at destination airports (only if aircraft turnaround time is within certain limitations) or for cost reasons. If you choose to sit in the back of the aircraft because you feel as though there's more chance of an empty seat next to you, the trade off is that you might not get your meal choice.

The airline will also NEVER use the same food brought over from Dubai on the return leg back to base. First off, whatever temperature its been stored and/or reheated in, it will be tossed at the end of the flight. Secondly, people usually fly round trip - as you did - so most airlines will offer different offerings on outbound and inbound legs so people don't have to eat the same meals. If you are proposing that the airline brings the food back to home base and serve it out another outbound, that's not realistic given logistical constraints and anyway, its simply not hygienic.

Also, it is outright wrong that Emirates serves from row 1 on the A380 and works backwards to the aft cabin. Firstly, that would imply that there's one cart working its way back with two cabin crew working each aisle serving 300+ passengers. Secondly, the service protocol is divided into zones on the aircraft which is literally one of the most basic things about the meal delivery process so you might have been mistaken in your assumption that the cart started from the first row of Y. Regarding the food being cold, its unfortunate and not acceptable if it indeed was cold.

The A380 might be a big aircraft, but no airline double caters for one meal service - that is again basic industry practice. Even SQ does not carry double the meals they require for a given flight, just so that every passenger has their choice in meals. Its simply not realistic. And don't get me wrong, the airline STILL over caters for flights, just that they have no way of knowing if a statistical anomaly will occur on any given flight that would mean that the salmon is more popular than the chicken. The only way to guarantee to get the specific meal of your choice is to book a special meal, of which Emirates offers a wide range of, even in Y.

It is always disappointing not to get the meal of your choice, but to think that an airline is skimping on costs because of this and to expect them to carry double meals is out right ridiculous.

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 10):
They should start in two sections handing out the airline meals.
As the food on the first section was really cold ( I mean less than 20 Celcius )
Section two and 4 where a bit warmer but still way to cold.

Apologies, I find it hard to believe that the food was 'way too cold' on ALL 4 sectors of your Emirates flights. One flight might have been a subpar crew that didn't warm the meals properly. But all 4 is hard to believe. Not impossible, mind you. But highly unlikely. Think we'd have a very high instance of food poisonings that would have garnered some attention by now, especially given the scale of Emirates' operations. The airline has manuals and instructions to reheat meals using galley ovens to a certain temperature that makes the food safe to eat - keep in mind the food is mostly cooked on the ground.

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 14):
Maybe they should not warm it up all at once if it takes too long to hand out.

How long do you think the meal service would last if the meals in Y were heated in small individual batches?

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Yes, as you say Emirates might have been a star once, but now it's just a mega bus service in the sky, moving people from A to B. Things might be different up front in J and F, but that is something I don't think I will ever know.

Think thats a fair judgement - though I do hope one day you get to experience J or F on EK - its not industry leading, but it is an enjoyable experience I think  
Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 28):

No reheated food can't be used again, but there is enough storage to store the cold food in a A380.

A A 380 can fly up to 16 hours.
Amsterdam - Dubai is only 6,5

Okay so this makes me doubt your validity as an aviation journalist because I don't even know how to begin with how illogical this comes across to me. The same A380 you flew on your 6.5 hour flight to Amsterdam might return to Dubai and do a 12 hour flight to Sydney or to JFK, or do a quick regional hop to Saudi Arabia. What do you propose the airline does to cater A380 flights to these destinations, or to LAX?

I don't mean to be overly harsh on your trip report - and its perfectly fine to criticize the behavior of your cabin crew, the state of the aircraft, the quality/taste of your meal, the IFE and such - I just find some of your observations extremely unreasonable and questionable, and your suggestions to remedy them even more so.

I should also add that this is coming from an ex-EK cabin crew, and not someone who represents EK in any shape or form.
Keep Discovering
 
bill142
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:13 am

Quoting flyingthe757 (Reply 24):
I don't see this as a normal trip report as such. More of an EK is failing thread.

More like a 'journalist' is jilted they didn't get an upgrade.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:22 am

Sorry @bill142, If we want an upgrade we will pay for it.
This is just a flight transport from a to b to c for us

@sk_ek_freak
All the food on all 3 sections with the A380 were cold, the first section really cold section 2 and 4 a bit warmer, but still to cold

I wonder of more people have problems onboard the A380 with cold food. especially in the last rows ( 85, 86 and up )
I asked people around me ( not only my group ) and they where all complaining

EK can find it out for them selfs, I provided all the details and the people around me would also complain in written.
 
Cipango
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:26 am

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 28):
They can store up to 4 meals so on a flight from Amsterdam - Dubai there should be enough storage space.

If you are willing to pay for EK to have 600 meals cooked and 300 thrown out then by all means give them an email before your next flight.

If not, then just sit towards the front of the aircraft. You'll have a better chance of getting your first meal.
Let's fly! Unless it's on a CRJ 200, then I'll stay down here.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:45 am

@Cipango that is just the other way around. 99% of the airlines serve the food in two or 3 sections. Starting at the end , front , middle or from the Galley sections and than to the back in 3 sections.

That way you can say, I have only chicken or fish, can you wait until I have the other meal.
Most of the people who also like fish will say ok that is fine give the meal you have.

That is the idee behind it and works great, more happy customers.
If you start from the beginning to the end you don't have those options

[Edited 2014-03-17 02:45:57]

[Edited 2014-03-17 02:46:33]

[Edited 2014-03-17 02:47:13]
 
groomyjl
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:38 am

@Skippy777: i'm sorry to learn your bad experience with EK. However, I couldnt agree more with you. I myself was subject to the crew's harsh treatment a couple of years ago. I just cant believe they got voted as the best airlines in 2013 by you-know-who.

Whenever one flies with EK, they should expect nothing. Treat the flying experience as a...hmmm luxury bus trip and you won't be disappointed thereafter.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:07 pm

@groomyil, Good to hear that I am not the only one who has a similar experience
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:43 pm

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 29):
I HIGHLY doubt the veracity of this claim.

I highly doubt what you say..I'd suspect that 3 different people saying the same thing regarding meals is likely to make it true.

I had it on a 16hr nonstop flight and I was appalled with the handling.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:01 pm

All the people arround me were complaining about the service @sq_ek_freak
Maybe the A380 s too big too handle for the crew !
 
acabgd
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:58 am

I wonder a bit why you take the year 1999 as your starting point, as if Emirates didn't exist before that. Yes, they were just a local carrier with rusty old B727s when I first visited Dubai back in 1986, but they started improving both fleetwise and servicewise soon thereafter.

I've had bad experiences (well, not really bad, but definitely not 5*) way before, when they were still considered a 5* airline. Actually, one of the most memorable flights was the introductory ZRH-DXB flight for the B777. I suppose the crew was handpicked for this inaugural journey and that was truly a 5* experience.

However, I've had some very good experience with Emirates more recently, flying the DXB-CPT legs. Especially the outgoing leg was very good, the crew very dedicated and the service was excellent.

I know one may expect a constant performance from all the crews on all the flights, but with the current size of Emirates it is simply impossible to have that. I would say you expectations of Emirates were a bit too high for the current airline market and you've come out dissapointed - or OTOH you were looking for bad/subpar service and that's exactly what you've got.

Lastly, you mostly mention and highlight the very negative things in your trip report which somehow feels incomplete. It is as if you've chosen to highligh the negative aspects of your trip and leave the rest of it out of your report.

[Edited 2014-04-16 19:00:24]
CSud,D9,MD8x,D10,Trid,BAC1,A30,31,319,320,321,33,346,B71,72,73,74,75,76,77,L10,S20,A42,A72,T13,T15,F50,F70,F100,B146
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:56 pm

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
We had to wait for over 1 hour as they start serving the meal service at the beginning of the plane, row 1.
Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
I looked up and was not expecting this at all, the best airline of the world runs out of choice
Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 31):
All the food on all 3 sections with the A380 were cold, the first section really cold section 2 and 4 a bit warmer, but still to cold

All of these issues are consequences of

Quoting Skippy777 (Thread starter):
I always like to sit in the back of the airplane, as you have the best option to have empty seats around you.
That is why our group was seated in row 85 and 86 near the tail section of the plane.

If food temperature was an issue, I think asking the FAs to warm it up a bit wouldn't have been a problem. Especially if you're sitting in the back, which would pretty much mean that service is over and they would be starting to get the bags out or refill drinks.

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 4):
In C class I never have heard that there are not food choices available, and I fly a lot in C and a few flights a year in F class. It looks more like a loading problem.

Unlike the Y passengers, these guys fork over some cash or are loyal to the airline and get rewarded. It's only logical that C and F carry meals to satisfy all their passengers and not run out of a choice.

Quoting flyingthe757 (Reply 24):
I don't see this as a normal trip report as such. More of an EK is failing thread.

  

To me, it seems the OP set himself in the position such that everything that could go wrong DID go wrong. It's common sense that sitting in the back will equal being among the last to get a meal. I was surprised you didn't report on how the last row of seats doesn't have much recline. After all, "the best airline in the world" should have all seats that recline.

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 28):
If the had warmed it up, and it got cold on the way, they should not have warmed everything up at once

And if you complained that it took an hour to serve food, imagine how long it would have taken if they started service as you suggest?
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
Sean-SAN-
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:48 pm

As a journalist, you should know better than to make sweeping generalizations based on anecdotal experience. EK operates hundreds of flights per day. Meal mishaps and crew disagreements happen. To make an accurate evaluation you should take more than a single return flight.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:01 am

@ sean-san, it where 4 segments, one was good three where way below average and one segment was terrible
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:23 am

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 41):
sean-san, it where 4 segments, one was good three where way below average and one segment was terrible

1 good + 3 below average + 1 terrible = 5 segments  
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
AyostoLeon
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:58 am

@ SOBHI51
1 good + 3 below average + 1 terrible = 5 segments 

First rule of "journalism": never let facts get in the way of a story. To be fair though, the one terrible sector could also be one of the way below average ones.  
The person with no dignity eats his dinner twice
 
infinit
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:32 pm

I have never been a EK fan simply because their business model was a near carbon-copy of SQ when EK was founded in the 1980s but also because their crew are pretty inconsistent- probably as a result of how big they've become. On my previous flight, DXB-SIN, the crew hurriedly did the meal service and disappeared to the galley until it was almost landing time. I also got a tad bit of attitude from a male FA when I walked to the galley to ask for a glass of water. Nothing that would make me hate them but I felt EK isn't anything special.

For the OP of this thread, I guess his disappointment comes from the point of him having the understand that EK is THE BEST. From a market strategy point of view, it can really backfire to market yourself around a best label because it sets the bar too (often unrealistically) high. It is always better to set a good standard and then aim to exceed it rather than setting it too high.

I guess the reality of the matter is there is no best airline. I prefer SQ, but can I don't think SQ is necessarily the best. You might get a nicer meal on TG, maybe NH sometimes. In Economy, the catering standards don't vary that much. EK's IFE (I've only seen the older one) is still excellent and while the crew definitely aren't as consistent as SQ, I don't think they will ever be terrible.

To the OP, I can understand your disappointment but I think it's just that EK has set an unrealistic expectation- that's definitely a poor choice of marketing strategy but had you took the flight without any expectations at all, I think it would have come across as a generally good product (minus the cold food!).

Thanks for sharing though
 
j77w
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:56 pm

Quoting infinit (Reply 44):
it can really backfire to market yourself around a best label because it sets the bar too (often unrealistically) high. It is always better to set a good standard and then aim to exceed it rather than setting it too high.

How so very true. An unspoken rule of customer relations, especially in the customer facing, frontline realm (no, I don't work for an airline, but I think it can be applied to anything where expectations are set, especially from a customer contact point of view): UNDER-promise; OVER-deliver. Nothing like giving - or getting, for that matter - the "wow!" factor.
 
hz747300
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:23 pm

I've flown EK four times now, and I am always impressed. The wait staff are always extremely nice, and the food was not cold. Ok, all four flights were between HKG and BKK.

I notice on CX, which I fly long haul very often, they do the first meal from the front of the section and the second meal from back of the section. And if you are status, occasionally, they will ask you before take off for your meal choice.

For me, it's safety first, then the sanity of the people flying the plane, then the cabin, lastly the food and IFE. After reading PPRUNE Fragrant Harbour, I am close to having reservations about the CX crew  

Back to EK, it's just a good experience. I know they are seat dumpers, but that's ok, they are spurring demand and thinning out the herd of airlines.
Keep on truckin'...
 
AF1565
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:58 am

I've flown EK four times now and every time I'm still impressed by the level of service they provide and how attentive they are. Service is always delivered with a smile. The meals served were delicious and piping hot. The staff at DXB helps you with your transfer. However sometimes you can have meal mishaps and bad cabin crew members. If you want to have you meal first seat at the front of the economy cabin and not at the back.
 
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skippy777
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Wed May 14, 2014 3:01 pm

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 42):
Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 42):

Quoting Skippy777 (Reply 41):
sean-san, it where 4 segments, one was good three where way below average and one segment was terrible

1 good + 3 below average + 1 terrible = 5 segments  

1 was good, 3 below average and one of those three segment was really terrible.
I had to Fly Emirates last week again and still the same onboard the A380 from Dubai to Amsterdam.
Lucky I flew from Dubai to Sydney with Qantas
 
imray
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RE: Emirates From A 5 Star To A 4 Star Airline

Sat May 17, 2014 11:14 pm

Having flown EK for the first time last months I'll add my 2 cents worth....

I flew MEL-SIN-CMB-DXB-ADL all on EK.

Overall I am a big big fan of Emirates, I read this report and some other EK bashing here so naturally felt a bit apprehensive flying them. I was pleasantly surprised and extremely content with their product (i am 6'5 so seat pitch is always a point of concern for me) and service.

MEL-SIN, sat in the forward section of economy, we got the first round of drinks post take off, meal served in a timely manner and the service from the crew was nothing short of friendly and enthusiastic. This was evident on all subsequent fligts.

SIN-CMB, I had a one hour connection in SIN, get to the CMB gate and be told I am up-graded to business class. It was the older business class product on this particular flight but I couldn't care less. I queried the possible reason for up-grade with a FA onboard prior to top of drop, she thought it might be due to my QF FF status (mind you I wouldn't even call silver with QF a status haha). EVEN QF DON'T UPGRADE ME BASED ON THEIR OWN FF STATUS!!!! Now I wasn't feeling 100% on this flight so as soon as the seatbelt sign was off setup the bed and went to sleep, FA seemed show genuine concern for my well being asking to assist in anyway he could. (I'd just had a long few days leading up to the flights so just a bit fatigued)

CMB-DXB-ADL, did these sectors with my fiance so decided to pick seats on the back of the economy cabin due to the 2-4-2 seating. First sector they ran out of the chicken option and only had fish remaining, as I had a meal prior to departure I politely declined the fish option. The FA's exact words "I cannot leave you here without providing a meal for you", I kindly explained I had a meal prior to departure so not to worry. 10min later she returned with a crew meal. I felt bad so I just ate it haha! I've experienced the lack of choice on TG and CA in the past, I accept the fact a choice may be unavailable however EK was the only airline who showed concern and did something about it.

In the past few years I've flown QF on many occasions, TG, BA, SQ and CA (and airline I vowed never to fly again), and EK has been without doubt the best I've experienced.

I don't really know what the "golden years" at EK were like, however if what I experienced is considered 4 star I am looking forward to flying on a 5-star airline!

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