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Emirates, worst service even before the flight. Advice needed.

Emirates, worst service even before the flight. Advice needed.

Old May 11, 14, 9:06 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2014
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Angry Emirates, worst service even before the flight. Advice needed.

Good afternoon.

I would like to share my story with you and ask for some advice.
Usually me and my family fly with Singapore Airlines, but this time when I was planning a trip to Europe (from New Zealand) my friends recommended me Emirates. We didn't mind trying something new, especially that I found dates that suited me really well. The thing is that a domestic flight from the international airport to the city where I needed to get to is performed by a local airline and is made not very often. And I didn't want to drive right after the long flight. I understand that it's a risk but I never had problems with flight connections before and delays weren't huge, so I booked tickets with the local airline as well.

And then all of a sudden Emirates changes the flight dates. Not just flight times, but the dates! I have each day of the trip planned. This was more than just unexpected but I understand that there can be a force majeure and I can treat a problem philosophically (this was my big mistake as I should've really cancelled flights with Emirates and gone back to my usual Singapore Airlines). So I contacted every place where I had bookings and changed dates, people who travel a lot can imagine what it cost me. I had the biggest problem with that local company because they couldn't change my booking for free and I had to pay almost a half of a full-price ticket to do this. Anyway, I thought I'd just accept it.

But as the long-awaited holiday coming closer and there's only one month left, Emirates changes my bookings AGAIN. This time they change the flights so that I am definitely late for my connection flights (and I bought tickets with some long stopover to avoid this). I was shocked.

I tried to stay polite and just asked to either change my bookings again (so I would be in time for the local flight) or cancel the tickets. I didn't understand what happened then. I was suggested to move flights to October. Yes, you're right, October. It's their peak season and they don't have any free spaces. Or I had to pay a few thousand, because I was buying tickets more than a half of a year ago and they didn't have tickets of the same class (I don't know much about this). Or I can cancel the tickets and I will lose only one thousand. I was a little bit surprised with this kind of attitude from the Auckland office stuff (New Zealand). Emirates created this problem but I have to solve it, they just don't care about it. You have to read that small text at the bottom. That's exactly what I've been told: you have to read before you buy. Seriously, no one does that.
After that I just didn't know what to say... They are thought to be the best in the world.
I shared my story on Facebook and my friends were shocked and told me to seek for advice on air-transport or tourist forums. So here I am.

Please let me know if there's a chance to get my money for the tickets back? I don't want to deal with Emirates ever again and I will give my best recommendations to everyone who will ask about Emirates.

P.S. I'm currently looking for new flights and counting how much it all cost me and how much more I will have to spend if I don't find anything on the right dates.
Out1and3r is offline  
Old May 11, 14, 10:48 pm
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Hi and welcome to FT.

Can you please elaborate more on those changes, including where/from these tickets were, how you booked them, and how were you informed of the date changes.

This is a first, I have never head of an airline shifting flight dates on a confirmed itinerary, let alone twice, including being advised to shift travel dates altogether!
edy4eva is offline  
Old May 11, 14, 10:57 pm
  #3  
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How far in advance of travel did these changes occur? Was there a reason given, or did Emirates just decide to change their schedule? Are Emirates flights operating around your planned travel dates, perhaps with smaller aircraft?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old May 12, 14, 2:20 am
  #4  
 
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I'm not an expert but I'm guessing that the work they are doing right now on one of the runways is a reason for this change, assuming your flight isn't after July 20th.

To be honest I've been flying with Emirates for two years now and I've never had a problem with them, sadly your first experience with them is very bad!
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Old May 12, 14, 4:51 am
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Emirates, worst service even before the flight. Advice needed.

Sounds completely bizzare. You should complain to EK as a first step documenting what happened and what you want for the trouble. Did you book directly with EK or through a travel agent?
Havoc10G is offline  
Old May 12, 14, 4:51 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by edy4eva View Post
Hi and welcome to FT.

Can you please elaborate more on those changes, including where/from these tickets were, how you booked them, and how were you informed of the date changes.

This is a first, I have never head of an airline shifting flight dates on a confirmed itinerary, let alone twice, including being advised to shift travel dates altogether!
Hi edy4eva,

Tickets were bought in 2 December 2013 and the initial flight date was 27 of May 2014. I bought tickets through Emirates website. Destination: Auckland(New Zealand) - Dubai - Kiev(Ukraine).
Changes:
1. They changed the flight time from Auckland to Dubai. Not really important to me so I even didn't mention this first time. They called me and informed about the change.
2. Flight Dubai - Kiev was changed from 27 May(don't remember exact time but can double check if needed) to 5PM 28 May. So my overall stay in Dubai instead of couple of hours became 34 hours. As the stay was more than 24 hours Emirates doesn't provide the hotel and I have to apply for visa. This change was made silently. No calls or emails. I found it out when I was checking the tickets on the website.
3. Return flight was changed from 17 June to 18 June. Silently again. No notifications.
4. Time for Dubai - Kiev flight was changed for several hours forward. No notifications.
5. Time for my back flight was changed for couple hours earlier. But this isn't important for me.

After a second change I was checking the flight once a week so I noticed all other changes.

First,second and third changes were done in the end March, last two changes were done in the beginning of May.
Out1and3r is offline  
Old May 12, 14, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
How far in advance of travel did these changes occur? Was there a reason given, or did Emirates just decide to change their schedule?
Hi,

In total there were 5 changes. They happened two months before the flight and about 20 days before the flight. For the first change they said that I will be flying Emirates aircraft instead of Qantas. All other times they didn't notify me at all.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Are Emirates flights operating around your planned travel dates, perhaps with smaller aircraft?
Yes, Emirates operate in my travel date but tickets now are in different price and they want me to pay several thousands more to move the dates.

I definitely don't want to have any business with Emirates anymore. I just want a full refund for the tickets without cancellation fees.
Out1and3r is offline  
Old May 12, 14, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Havoc10G View Post
Sounds completely bizzare. You should complain to EK as a first step documenting what happened and what you want for the trouble. Did you book directly with EK or through a travel agent?
Hi. I tried complaining in Auckland office and by phone. When I called support they said that they are very sorry but can't do anything for me and I have to pay cancellation fees anyway. When I came to Auckland office they said that I should read the small text at the bottom and company can do such shifting without a notice. And said that MAYBE they can move the dates to October for free... I also tried to describe my problem on Emirates facebook page but they just ignored me...
Is there any other way I can write a complaint?
Out1and3r is offline  
Old May 12, 14, 6:35 pm
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Must have been a headache!

Thanks for clarifying your trip details. So on 7 April Emirates announced a reduction for their EK171 service to Kiev effective 2 May and said affected bookings will be accommodated onto the remaining 4 weekly services. ( http://goo.gl/16FaMz )

I'm assuming Emirates contacted you to advise you of the changes. In such situation Emirates offer to either: waive cancellation fees providing full refund, or adjust your reservation accordingly. What needed to be done there is to request to depart Auckland the previous or the following day. If Emirates refused then a full refund would be in order.

Now regarding the flight times to/from Kiev, these were changed by 35 minutes for going out and 2hr 45 min on the inbound (departs after midnight instead of just midnight), at least according to the daily schedule released back in July 2013.

I think the major issue you have here is how to get your travel dates adjusted as a result of the service cancellation. The responses provided by the AKL staff do not resonate well.

You need to put this into writing, specific simple point email to their AKL office. Something like: In reference to booking XYZ on 27 May, the new travel dates do not suit I would like a full refund.
Or if the major issue is getting there on the 28th, then either ask to be accommodated onto the WAW flight on the 28th (free of charge, and the flight is wide open) OR have you depart on the 26th.

Now even on the 26th/28th departures from AKL there will be 12 hours in Dubai so hotel accommodation needs to be provided (or last time I checked at least).

Others will chime in with their advice.
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Old May 12, 14, 7:06 pm
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Wow, sorry for your issues.
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Old May 13, 14, 12:17 am
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The OP's experience is absolutely awful.

I do not think much of the staff at the Auckland office.

When I popped in with a simple question about chauffeur drive, I got the distinct impression that it was too much bother to assist me.

As a First Class passenger I expected a better attitude.
Seat64A is offline  
Old May 13, 14, 5:32 pm
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It seems that I've managed to get a refund. That costed me a lot of mental strength.
FYI, if you have some problems in Auckland with Emirates, don't go to their office. The GODS don't care about people from the other side of the table. It was the most unpleasant experience with an airline in my life. Even China Southern and Jetstar treats their clients better.
What was used: a written complaint, policy paragraphs that were violated by Emirates, information that our conversation is being recorded and will be attached to the complaint to the main office.

Perfect experience, hopefully no one will get in such troubles again.

Will update when I get the money.
Out1and3r is offline  
Old May 14, 14, 2:53 am
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Emirates, worst service even before the flight. Advice needed.

Well done. I am glad you got your money back. I hope someone from EK head office has read this thread and looks into what seems like a very shoddy customer set up in Auckland.
Havoc10G is offline  

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