Chauffeur drive inflexibility

Old Jun 18, 14, 11:35 am
  #1  
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Chauffeur drive inflexibility

I have a flight at 915am tomorrow. Chauffeur drive booking on the website gives 515am as the latest pickup time option.

I called the call center to try and set this up for 630am instead, but despite multiple calls and arguments they are insisting that due to the ongoing runway maintenance works, I need to be at the airport earlier (how exactly does runway maintenance work have anything to do with passengers showing up ridiculously early at the airport?).

I am already OLCI, have e-Gate and traveling in Biz with only carry-on. It's a 45 minute drive to the airport, so I'll be in the lounge within an hour of leaving home.

Why do they insist on making me waste 3 hours napping in the lounge instead of being even slightly flexible about it and letting me leave home at a more reasonable hour? Annoying!
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Old Jun 18, 14, 3:43 pm
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I know, it's terrible. I share the same frustration. I usually leave with only hand luggage, have egate, and use the J/F Class separate check-in area. From home (Marina) to lounge 60 minutes max, usually more like 45. So I leave around 90 minutes before departure, which usually leaves enough time for unforeseen delays (traffic on SZR), breakfast/lunch/dinner at the lounge, at a comfortable boarding.

Since "they" are unwilling/unable/indifferent, the only solution is to make the driver wait. He calls you when he arrives, just tell him that you'll be a little longer. You may get another call from the EK dispatcher with all kinds of silly warnings and telling you that it's at your own risk. Just say yes yes and leave at a time that you think makes sense. I feel a little bad to make the driver wait, but then several of them told me that they don't give a toss about whether they wait at the airport to drive someone to a surprise destination or whether they wait at a pickup point or whether they drive. All the same to them.
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Old Jun 18, 14, 5:27 pm
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Chauffeur drive inflexibility

I thought you could have a later pick up but accept its at your own risk. I would call them again and say that you want the pick up at xx:xx time basta and you accept liability if you miss your flight. Completely stupid system otherwise.
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Old Jun 18, 14, 8:52 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Havoc10G View Post
I thought you could have a later pick up but accept its at your own risk. I would call them again and say that you want the pick up at xx:xx time basta and you accept liability if you miss your flight. Completely stupid system otherwise.
This used to work, but evidently not during this runway closure period (again, the runway closure did not affect traffic on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road last I checked).

Sure enough, I get the text message at 455am this morning that my chauffeur was here, followed by a phone call at 505am to remind me he was here and then another call at 514am to check that he was at the right building since I wasn't yet downstairs for my 515am pickup.

On the road by 520am, arrived at 6am, in lounge by 615am - and now posting here while I try to kill 3 hours that I would have been much happier spending in bed.
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Old Jun 18, 14, 10:26 pm
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I take it you are in Dubai, B747? Earlier this month I was allowed a pick up of 4.5 hours in advance of my flight, and I was being picked up at Yas Island. I like having a bit longer in the lounge, but based on traffic, 4 hours would have worked. This was for a 14h55 departure. Yas Island to DXB was barely 1h15, and the driver was doing a decent speed.

I did a 3hr pick up yesterday from Dubai Marina for a 9h45 departure. No traffic problems at all.

The only 'delay' in both cases the non F pax at F check-in who cause a queue. Sigh.
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Old Jun 19, 14, 12:00 am
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T-4 hours pickup from Dubai? That's complete nonsense!

I often don't bother with the chauffeur pick up leaving Dubai for that exact reason (especially early morning) - my ride is typically 15-20min max.

(although today I was allowed a T-2 hours pick up from downtown - 14h30 flight)

In the past, I've used MMB and clicked Pick Up in "Garhoud" which allows a slightly later pick up and then just enter my regular address. Worked.
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Old Jun 19, 14, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by extramileage View Post
T-4 hours pickup from Dubai? That's complete nonsense!

I often don't bother with the chauffeur pick up leaving Dubai for that exact reason (especially early morning) - my ride is typically 15-20min max.

(although today I was allowed a T-2 hours pick up from downtown - 14h30 flight)

In the past, I've used MMB and clicked Pick Up in "Garhoud" which allows a slightly later pick up and then just enter my regular address. Worked.
I too live in downtown - you end up tipping nearly what a cab costs anyway! They insist on t-3! At Xmas t-3 was good as it took an hour to get to the airport at midnight but not at the moment.

I have a flight to KUL coming up but given that its at 3.50 am I may just go to the lounge at 12 and have a few glasses of fizz.

I'm sure you can call them to agree a tighter pick up. I guess they don't want the liability of being responsible for you missing a flight.
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Old Jun 19, 14, 3:29 am
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They expect construction vehicles on the roads to the airport, which ...sorta makes sense, but 4 hours is overkill.

Except on Thurs/Fri evenings, Dubai has a <10 minute pickup time for Uber, so you could also just use their service - better cars than the blue Volvo.
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Old Jun 19, 14, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by extramileage View Post
In the past, I've used MMB and clicked Pick Up in "Garhoud" which allows a slightly later pick up and then just enter my regular address. Worked.
That's a good plan! Will try it next time.
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Old Jun 19, 14, 10:21 am
  #10  
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Happened to me last week, in F with hand luggage and I really didn't want to be in the lounge for 2 hours at 1 am so I kept trying till I got hold of a useful chap at the call centre who changed my pickup to T-2 hours but that was the most he would go.

As a general note, they have become very inflexible. Last month I booked a last minute J flight and called them for pickup at DXB T-12 and they completely refused to even try and accommodate, now I understand that T&C state 48 hours but its Dubai and cars are lined up in their 10s in Dubai so they could have sent one.
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Old Jun 20, 14, 10:19 am
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At the risk of being flamed, if the conditions and time of pick up is not to your liking and cannot be changed, why not book a taxi instead?
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Old Jun 20, 14, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Enzokk View Post
At the risk of being flamed, if the conditions and time of pick up is not to your liking and cannot be changed, why not book a taxi instead?
In one sense you make a seemingly fair point ; and Dubai taxi rates are hardly amongst the most expensive in the world.

But I do have a good deal of sympathy with the dissatisfaction being expressed by posters above - their view, quite understandably, being that Emirates should show greater flexibility in tailoring the service to the (reasonable) wishes of customers using it, rather than imposing an arrangement more convenient to the airline.
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Old Jun 20, 14, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Enzokk View Post
At the risk of being flamed, if the conditions and time of pick up is not to your liking and cannot be changed, why not book a taxi instead?
Because this is a service included in the price of my fare and I'd like to be able to take advantage of it on reasonable terms.

And it CAN be changed, except that some ill-conceived policy does not permit it to be changed unless you keep calling and eventually get lucky.
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Old Jun 20, 14, 6:20 pm
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I sympathise with the OP and other posters about the inflexibility of the terms for the service and understand their frustrations. But this is Emirates, who are generally inflexible with their rules. There is an alternative for those wanting a different pick up time, although they would have to decide themselves whether the money they spend on a taxi is worth the extra time they would have by not taking the Emirates chauffeur.

Does anyone know if the terms, here, have recently been changed in regards to the following?

"Chauffeur-drive pick-up time should be strictly adhered to, without exception. Pick-up time is not negotiable. Drivers will wait for a maximum of 15 minutes, after which the driver will advise the passenger that he can wait no longer and is being released to the next assignment."
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Old Jun 20, 14, 9:02 pm
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Chauffeur drive inflexibility

All I know is you used to me able to change the time at your own risk, you still can as an io traveller, but now it seems for unrelated runway reasons you cannot. It makes no sense that a J class traveller has to adhere to this in an EK car where a least EK knows his/ her location vs someone just turning up any time on their own and most likely later than the chauffeur drop off.
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