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Old Dec 3, 08, 11:42 am   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Thumbs down Lounge access update for Skywards Gold and Silver members

I just got this in my inbox a few min ago:

"Given the exceptional growth of Emirates, our lounge facilities at Emirates Terminal 3 can no longer accommodate Skywards Gold and Silver members travelling in Economy Class. However, members are invited to enjoy the Emirates Business Class lounge near Gate 122 in Terminal 1 of Dubai International Airport."

Thoughts?????
krazykat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 08, 12:05 pm   #2
 
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What's the point then!
Didn't they forsee this? or is this just another way to skim the benefits out of EK's loyal flyers?!

At the rate they're bumping Gold/Silver members at check in to J/F, it would be interesting to see if this rule will mean anything in the long run
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Old Dec 3, 08, 12:07 pm   #3
 
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krazykat, you're fast... :-) i was just posting and noticed your thread...

this is ridiculous. their ability to 'project growth' has been abysmal and nothing short of pathetic. they eliminated silver guest access a while ago and now they are getting rid of this. what next?

having members that may have gone the extra mile to meet silver/gold renewal requirements sit in a lounge in terminal 1 cant be great for business.

if anything, maybe move silver to t1 and leave gold at t3. the ratio of gold/silver must be 1:20 or so?

-t.
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Old Dec 3, 08, 12:30 pm   #4
 
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is this the old skywards lounge or the old emirates bizclass lounge at Terminal 1?

I am very disappointed, as a student, getting gold status was hard enough, and they treat us like thrash after those extra miles i earned.....im trying qatar this summer then!
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Old Dec 3, 08, 12:31 pm   #5
 
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Just saw this in my inbox as well.

I'm normally inclined to give EK the benefit of the doubt - but this just plain sucks.

Emirates knew its expansion plans, had years to plan T3, and knows its Skywards membership numbers.

There is no good excuse for this, and it really smacks of EK being cheap. Especially for Silver members, there just aren't that many benefits now - so why bother seeking out EK?

Etihad is starting to look more attractive by the day.

(Of course, at this rate Emirates may become Etihad - or vice versa - so lord knows what would happen then...)
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Old Dec 3, 08, 5:45 pm   #6
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This is indeed extremely disappointing news. There would have been many options such as the one stated above, i.e. moving Silver Pax to T1..

Might thinking building up my status with EY now ..
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Old Dec 3, 08, 6:46 pm   #7
 
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I was just in the Business Lounge on Sunday and I have to say that it seemed just as crowded as the former lounge in Terminal One. Actually the whole Terminal 3 was a zoo and there seemed to be even less space than the other terminal. The lines in the lounge for mens restroom were literally out the door. Three stalls in each bathroom--with at least one already out of service. There was also less variety of food. All of the Arabic food choices were eliminated. There was more space but a lot of it is taken up with tables that take a lot of space and don't seat very many people. The internet connection on the computers in the business center was also so slow I was happy to have printed out my connecting boarding pass out at the hotel as it never would have printed in the lounge.

I can't believe that the terminal has been open for a few weeks and they are already overcrowded. What is it going to be like when all of the A380s come online and they all depart in the early morning or late at night? Terminal 1 is not really an option either---hardly worth the trek over there to then trek all the way back to catch one's flight.

I thought the luggage would be faster coming out as well. The baggage belt was a bit nicer but the luggage--even with priority tags took the same amount of time to come out as before when the plane was parked in a remote location kilometers from the terminal. At LAX it also took at least 1 hour to get my 1 piece of luggage that was priority tagged. Nearly every other bag came out before the Skywards Gold/Business class tagged luggage which all came out at the very end. I guess top priority means that they should be held until the very last moment to give premium passengers plenty of time to stand around and wait after clearing immigration.

The Korean Air lounge at LAX was terrible too. Hardly any food, nothing except from a few chairs and Korean newspapers--so I just waited by the gate.

Anyway compared to most terminals at LAX, DXB is far better and the e-gate pass works great.

I did see the Ethihad staff having their annual staff retreat at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Too bad Ethihad won't be flying from SFO anytime soon.

Last edited by sfozrhfco; Dec 3, 08 at 7:58 pm..
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Old Dec 3, 08, 11:21 pm   #8
 
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I would agree with your analysis. There are definitely some problems. Going to both restrooms and finding a huge line and then having to go back down the escalator through the duty free area to use the regular one, then come back up the escalator and recheck in should not happen in a premium lounge. I do miss the days before JFK service started at least as far as the lounge goes. Taking a mid-day flight to Beirut or Damascus on the Arabian Airpass in First, there would only be a handful of people in the lounge and it actually was relaxing. SwissAir used to use the GulfAir lounge which also was nice and often empty. Now there are masses of people passing through DXB every day so I guess lounge crowding should be expected.

For O/D passengers, the lounge is not that big of a deal. The food was not that appealing and they feed you enough on the plane. The atmosphere was not incredibly relaxing either. As I have an e-gate pass and can check in relatively quickly, I will simply arrive at the airport later and just go to the gate and board. If I have a long transit in Dubai, I just take the flight the next day and sleep at a hotel so again I don't care too much. With a 4-5 hour layover, it may be a pain--but then again I guess I would have the 40 minutes to walk to and from terminal one.

With the introduction of the ULH flights, it does not take much to get to Silver which I'm sure has increased the number of both Silver and Gold members. You get over 16,000 miles in coach from LAX/SFO to DXB return. If one flys RT LAX/SFO-CPT-LAX/SFO, then for less than $1500 that is more than enough miles to qualify for Silver. Travelling in First, it already brings a Gold Card. With more members, the benefits have to be trimmed I suppose.

I still prefer EK because of the young, multi-cultural staff, the route network, the location of its hub, quality inflight product, and flexibility in changing coach tickets. It is nice to see airline employees that are excited about travelling but are not on a treadmill flying from ORD to DSM everyday for 30 years. I also couldn't imagine flying all the way from SFO to DXB on any American carrier no matter what class of service I was flying.
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Old Dec 5, 08, 5:12 am   #9
 
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Angry Dubai T3 Business Lounge

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazykat View Post
I just got this in my inbox a few min ago:

"Given the exceptional growth of Emirates, our lounge facilities at Emirates Terminal 3 can no longer accommodate Skywards Gold and Silver members travelling in Economy Class. However, members are invited to enjoy the Emirates Business Class lounge near Gate 122 in Terminal 1 of Dubai International Airport."

Thoughts?????
As a Gold Card holder for 3 years and frequent flyer to Dubai I have already told them what I think of their decision. The lounge in Terminal 3 is double the size of the one in Terminal I and the offer to continue using this lounge is absolute rubbish if you have already booked in at T3.Perhaps all card holders should complain. Might get them to re-think but not holding my breath
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Old Dec 6, 08, 12:07 pm   #10
 
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Does anyone have a customer service email? Let's start complaining. Most top tier airlines allow their top customers into the lounge. I can understand Silver being restricted, but Gold, come on Emirates.

Do they really think we are going to truck our asses down to T1 to go into some out of date lounge. One point, You walk past all the competitors airlines on the way. Maybe it's time we forget Emirates.

One P.O. Gold member (3 years)

Billman
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Old Dec 6, 08, 12:40 pm   #11
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People complain that the lounges are too crowded, and then complain when Emirates do something about it.

It's not exactly miles to the old lounge, and it wasn't too bad a lounge.

Is the old F lounge still open?

Cheers,
Rick
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Old Dec 6, 08, 2:07 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
People complain that the lounges are too crowded, and then complain when Emirates do something about it.

It's not exactly miles to the old lounge, and it wasn't too bad a lounge.

Is the old F lounge still open?

Cheers,
Rick
It's not that they've done something about it - it's that they didn't plan ahead to eliminate the problem altogether.

It's about managing expectations, ultimately: prior to T3 opening, I (and I would imagine most other thinking EK pax) believed the lounge problem would be solved by the move to the new terminal, and larger, better-planned facilities. I put the problems down to Emirates' success, and kept my mouth shut accordingly.

Now we have T3 - and the problem hasn't gone away. The fact that Emirates shut off lounge privileges AFTER the T3 move demonstrates this is an emergency measure, and not a strategic decision.

(A strategic decision would have been to restrict access waaay back when lounge overcrowding first became a problem, and/or rejig Skywards tiers to allow an appropriate number of non-premium pax to have access.

Can I also point out that we now have the surreal situation of Gold members allowed into foreign lounges, but not DXB? Yeah, that's not a thought-through policy...)

My frustration with Emirates is not that they've made this decision, but that they've HAD to make this decision - and that there's no realistic way it can be reversed, without a major lounge rethink.

As for using T1 lounges, for me it's not an attractive option - I travel handbaggage 90% of the time, and while my bag's not large, it is heavyish, and I have no wish to wheel it 20-30 mins through the terminal, then 20-30 mins to the gate, for the benefit of fighting with a couple of hundred other Skywards members for a seat and the last dregs of orange juice.

I think this is definitely the time for a Platinum tier - if Gold is so popular they can't let them into the lounges, then it's time to rethink the whole programme. Just wish I had the slightest chance of getting on it - maybe next year...

Eliot
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Old Dec 7, 08, 4:51 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliotbeer View Post
It's not that they've done something about it - it's that they didn't plan ahead to eliminate the problem altogether.

It's about managing expectations, ultimately: prior to T3 opening, I (and I would imagine most other thinking EK pax) believed the lounge problem would be solved by the move to the new terminal, and larger, better-planned facilities. I put the problems down to Emirates' success, and kept my mouth shut accordingly.

Now we have T3 - and the problem hasn't gone away. The fact that Emirates shut off lounge privileges AFTER the T3 move demonstrates this is an emergency measure, and not a strategic decision.

(A strategic decision would have been to restrict access waaay back when lounge overcrowding first became a problem, and/or rejig Skywards tiers to allow an appropriate number of non-premium pax to have access.

Can I also point out that we now have the surreal situation of Gold members allowed into foreign lounges, but not DXB? Yeah, that's not a thought-through policy...)

My frustration with Emirates is not that they've made this decision, but that they've HAD to make this decision - and that there's no realistic way it can be reversed, without a major lounge rethink.

As for using T1 lounges, for me it's not an attractive option - I travel handbaggage 90% of the time, and while my bag's not large, it is heavyish, and I have no wish to wheel it 20-30 mins through the terminal, then 20-30 mins to the gate, for the benefit of fighting with a couple of hundred other Skywards members for a seat and the last dregs of orange juice.

I think this is definitely the time for a Platinum tier - if Gold is so popular they can't let them into the lounges, then it's time to rethink the whole programme. Just wish I had the slightest chance of getting on it - maybe next year...

Eliot
Spot on Eliot! As I said on another thread, I fly PER-LON about 8 times a year and have stuck with EK in part on the promise of the new improved T3. I have a mix of mostly J and some Y travel - but when I travel Y I expect (with over 100K tier miles) to be able to use a lounge in the same terminal as I am transiting - especially having tolerated the bus transfers, crowded T1 for longer than I otherwise would have done, had T3 not been on the horizon.

I feel conned and I want someone senior to complain to - and for anyone else who is unhappy to do the same ASAP to let them know how this is going to cost EK just when they need loyal pax like me who are on routes with plenty of other carriers we could change to.

Anyone with the head of Skywards' email address?
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Old Dec 7, 08, 5:50 am   #14
 
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Working with Big companies for years and understanding how things tend to work, here is my take o EK's approach:

1- EK has an over crowding problem, solve it by restricting Silver/Gold access. Members get furious for a few weeks, they send a slew of complaints and emails which customer service shud "try to manage to the best of their abilities", until the storm subsidies (which it all ways does), and the new rules sink in.

2- Monitor the effect on business over the coming 3 months. If no substantial change in revenue is seen, The plan is a success.

3- If there is a fall in numbers, run an attractive promotion for 30 days and make up for the lost business (if any). The plan is a success.

4- If points 2 and 3 above do fail, then, EK announces that due to customer requests, and its commitment to listen to its customers feedback, it had decided to allow Gold members back in. End of the day, all is good and happy.

Thinking about the big picture, Skywards, was an added perk which EK had just cause most other international airlines had them, and EK wanted to compete. With its current loads, I wudnt be surprised if they make it more difficult for getting Silver/Gold, along with reducing mileage earnings.

Just my 0/02 cents.
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Old Dec 7, 08, 6:09 am   #15
 
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Any reply defending Emirates will fall on deaf ears for most passengers. The facts are Emirates has shown very little forward vision with T3. How they can screw up this badly is anyones guess. I really don't understand the praise and admiration for this airline when these sorts of things are decided.

SQ had the vision to create a Gold level lounge in its new T3 at SIN dedicated to Gold card holders traveling in Y. First and Business class have their own separate lounges dedicated to them. Y pax in T2 also use a separate lounge, the SATS lounge in SIN. If SQ could do it, then why can't Emirates? Dubai is trying to live up to being some kind of paradise in the middle east, but the airline based there seems to have no idea about what its customers want? Dated business class and 10 abreast Y seating in 777-300ERs serving Australia - and now you have to walk 20 or 30 mins if you hold a gold card to get to a lounge after being stuck like a sardine in 777 Y class to Dubai.... Get real Emirates
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