Emirates over rated?

Old Oct 9, 15, 6:26 am
  #151  
 
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Originally Posted by Hugo1975 View Post
In general I am very satisfied with Emirates' service (I flew both economy and business class) but they are heavily overpriced for those who reside in Dubai. They are probably competitive if you travel between West and East with connection / stop-over in Dubai, but any ticket with departure in Dubai is on average 50-100% more expensive than market rates outside the region (Etihad and Qatar Airways charge very similar rates).

I work for a large multinational (European roots) with big office in Dubai, which allows to convert the annual return ticket to the point of original into a cash equivalent. So the majority of my Western colleagues are using alternative options especially when it comes to the summer holidays. The most popular version is to purchase initially a single way ticket out of Dubai and they purchase an annual return ticket with departure in USA/Canada/Europe. Last summer I paid 550 euro per person (family of 6) for a return-ticket from Europe (return scheduled 30th of June 2016) whilst the same route with departure from Dubai with Emirates was 900 euro. I even heard from English colleagues that a return ticket London-Dubai via emirates.co.uk is on average 30-50% cheaper than a return ticket Dubai - London.

They probably get away with it as many companies in the region just pay an annual return ticket for their employees, so people cannot be bothered as they don't pay for it themselves. But few of my expat friends/colleagues with children use Emirates for their private holidays.
Unfortunately this is not something that is confined to EK - every airline charges more from their hub because of a combination of a captive market (as you say, employers buy the direct, easy option) and that being based at the hub all (most!) flights are of course direct non-stops, which in the airline world attracts a premium.

To put it another way, EK offers a discount to travellers in order to make the extra distance and time more attractive. As airlines like to argue, and I have quite a lot of sympathy for this view - they are selling transport from A to B, not a series of connected segments. The total duration of the journey and connection hassle has a cost, which is compensated with through a discount to quicker journey possibilities.

This is only really an issue when people argue about dropped segments though - the point is rather incidental when talking about O&D flights from the hub!

This is less an EK thing, but more a hub captive thing, I think. Not to say I don't think EK gouge DXB residents, but then you get the same thing living in any major hub. After all, LHR-JFK on BA can cost 15k USD in F (non flexible but excellent timings), and that's only a 7hr flight! You can do a one stop in Europe for only 8k USD. There are infamous BA ex-EU fares which offer substantial discounts to the direct options.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 6:32 am
  #152  
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Originally Posted by Hugo1975 View Post
In general I am very satisfied with Emirates' service (I flew both economy and business class) but they are heavily overpriced for those who reside in Dubai. They are probably competitive if you travel between West and East with connection / stop-over in Dubai, but any ticket with departure in Dubai is on average 50-100% more expensive than market rates outside the region (Etihad and Qatar Airways charge very similar rates).
The J prices from UK-DXB have gone up a lot of the last year or so.

You used to be able to get a flight for around 1800. Nowadays it's around 2400 - at least from MAN.

But you can get MAN-BKK/HKG etc for < 2000.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 6:42 am
  #153  
 
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Originally Posted by RadioGirl View Post
eternaltransit and Suiteflight, thank you both for your thoughtful posts. I really do appreciate it and I'm not arguing with you (really!). Some more thoughts, though.

TBH, in the experiences I described, it's difficult to distinguish (at the time) whether what I'm asking for is reasonable or not. For example:

I understand that reasoning completely. But Qantas had been operating for years with the opposite approach - that it was better business to move a passenger, regardless of fare class, onto the earliest possible flight and open up a later seat which might be sold. Then, obviously, some bean-counter had worked out that leaving me with the Shiraz for three hours in the Qantas Club whilst hoping my boss would pay $70 more for the flexible ticket in future was a more effective financial strategy. Perhaps (over all customers) it was. As you say, QF makes a profit.

But after years of "would you like the earlier flight?" when I'm told "we can't move you", I don't know whether (a) the policy has changed, (b) whether the previous staff were wrong, or (c) whether this agent is wrong. The fact that FT has the acronym HUACA is testimony to this uncertainty!

When the EK J lounge attendant wouldn't let me in with the QC membership, I was sure I was right. She was sure she was right. She wasn't.

With the QF lounge/EK Gold issue, I still don't know who's right. And the part of the airline that says "yes" refuses to talk to the part that says "no." So I keep trying.

But in every case, the airline employee - right or wrong - has the power. They can refuse to change the flight or refuse entry to the lounge. This is where I think a Dept of Common Sense might help customers.

Actually that's pretty much what she said: "If we allowed changes on the cheap (!!) tickets, no one would buy the expensive ones."

Well, with QF you get that part for free.

Now that is news to me and no, I don't think most airline staff would know or be willing to explain it.

But in the most recent example I had already flown the first segment (that morning) and was trying to change the return flight with the QF staff at the airport so I'm not sure whether this applies. And most of the years when they were eager to move me to earlier flights were after e-tickets were introduced.

I'm grateful for your insights and I don't want to prolong this if you feel we've covered all the ground we can. But in summary I wish airlines had someone I could call who could (a) explain in more detail and (b) resolve these conflicts when the rules have become too convoluted.
Nothing wrong with arguing at all, as long as we are all civil! I mean you and I both know the threads that descend into mudslinging

Was the policy changed perhaps around the time Alan Joyce completed his initial review of QF operations? You do raise a point that many travellers think doesn't make sense at all - that by not allowing the change you will just consume x amount of F&B in the lounge which will not make it worth it, but this is all fully factored in to their calculations (and of course, F&B costs are split across all users of the lounge, not directly into the costs of tickets). The argument is that the revenue gained by revenue protection minus any additional F&B costs is worth the hassling of customers. It seems that the the bean-counting strategy is vindicated through annual results, so I suspect it may continue!

As you say though, the whole reasoning behind the change is irrelevant to the point, which is what happens when you get an agent sticking to the script when he/she might be wrong. But I think that is much more a service thing, which is, "how to politely decline requests" and furthermore: "how to not waste airline time explaining the arcane intricacies of policy". However, some staff are much better at face-saving white lies than others!

You're right in that airline employees, or at least, one or two direct reports up the chain, have pretty much the power to do anything: they can put someone on a plane (with or without a ticket!), take someone off (for any or no reason), let someone into a lounge (flyer or not), give people unlimited baggage, etc. etc. etc.

The problem I think is that airlines know this, and so have strict controls over that power. They need to formulate a policy to protect themselves, but it's got to be quite complex (or naked self-interest) to cover the myriad of scenarios out there. Too much discretion and you're going to lose lots of money (or at least see significant cost creep), not enough and you're a bunch of robots (but not quite robots enough to replace staff with automated systems), which isn't so good for customer satisfaction.

So when someone falls through the cracks, I can see the reasoning for fobbing off a customer with a computer says no response, because it saves everyone the time and hassle of explaining technical issues that take time, or might descend into, "you aren't that important to us, the airline" (guaranteed to stop future business!), but the critical thing is to get staff who can do that tactfully enough. Some airlines and cultural backgrounds are certainly better at this than others.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 9:19 am
  #154  
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
One final point : IF - after the level of criticism you have aimed at Emirates (and the sort of action you categorically stated you will be taking as a result) - you continue to use them just because of the prospect of a shiny card, then please don't be surprised if your posts are never again taken seriously by anyone here on the forum.
I would have thought that taking his posts seriously had already ended after 'handlotiongate'.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 10:34 am
  #155  
 
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The loungegate will be raised after he's gold :-)

I enjoy reading quality threads by eternaltransit and other knowledgable members that are expanding my knowlegde level on the airline industry. Thanks for detailing insights of the booking, check-in and mechanisms that normal travelers don't know.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 2:44 pm
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Recently, I have been informed that Kuwait Airways will commence operating its new A330 fleet to Asia next month for Bangkok and Manila, and soon to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta (destinations where I usually travel to.) Kuwait Airways new business class cabin is similar to Cathay Pacific A330 business class cabin with their 1-2-1 configuration (which I consider to be far superior to Emirates J-class 2-3-2 configuration.) With this in mind, it seems that experiencing Qatar Airways would no longer be necessary, as not only my sitting next to a stranger concern in J class has been resolved (something Emirates should do something about,) but also Kuwait Airways flies directly to the destinations I usually visit for much lower prices than what neighboring airline are charging. For example, their competitive J-class fares are (193KD to CMB, 383KD to BKK, and 334KD to KUL.) I also wanted to mention that Kuwait Airways claims to have wi-fi onboard their new fleet. Here is a nice picture of their new cabins: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo....main/6422408/

And this is a video of its business class cabin to Asia: https://instagram.com/p/4cns6CkaG6/?...by=q8_bluebird

I will simply conclude by not taking any further flights with Emirates anytime soon, as I have already found my new favorite airline with its super competitive fares. Thank you all for your patience, I appreciate it ^

I felt I needed to do justice by responding to one of the posts here:

Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
I would have thought that taking his posts seriously had already ended after 'handlotiongate'.
If my memory serves me right, I believe I saw my precious hand lotion in the lavatory on Kuwait Airways fleet This is my review about Kuwait Airways:

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...d.main/262119/

And here is a very nice picture which I wanted to share: (check the last item on the left in the picture )

http://i60.tinypic.com/xbd3jm.jpg

Now can we please drop the hand lotion thing since I managed to find it on other airlines?

Last edited by aceboy44; Oct 9, 15 at 2:58 pm
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Old Oct 9, 15, 4:18 pm
  #157  
 
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post


I will simply conclude by not taking any further flights with Emirates anytime soon, as I have already found my new favorite airline with its super competitive fares. Thank you all for your patience, I appreciate it ^
It brings out the old romantic in me to see freshly minted love like this. I wish the new couple every joy and hope that they have a long and happy future together.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 6:13 pm
  #158  
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Originally Posted by missingmanager View Post
It brings out the old romantic in me to see freshly minted love like this. I wish the new couple every joy and hope that they have a long and happy future together.
I look forward to knowing that only the forum for Kuwait will have to suffer tantrum posts in the future
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Old Oct 9, 15, 6:43 pm
  #159  
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post
I will simply conclude by not taking any further flights with Emirates anytime soon
^^^
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Old Oct 9, 15, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post
With this in mind, it seems that experiencing Qatar Airways would no longer be necessary . . . .
Party in Doha tonight I would think.
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Old Oct 9, 15, 10:19 pm
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did AB actually believe most posters here would readily know USD - KD or GBP - KD rates?

furthermore Kuwait is a horrible and joyless destination
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Old Oct 9, 15, 11:37 pm
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Hi aceboy

I was delighted to see from your most recent post here that Kuwait Airways been officially appointed as your new preferred carrier.

It's clear that you're feeling really good about KU, and I do hope it proves to be a long & mutually rewarding relationship.

You say that you believe you spotted "my precious hand lotion in the lavatory on Kuwait Airways fleet", so that's obviously great news too.

To be honest, my only area of concern (in what was otherwise a very positive post) is your closing request ..... "Now can we please drop the hand lotion thing .........". I have to say that 'dropping' the subject could prove easier said than done.

Whilst I obviously can't speak for all members here, I for one was always interested in the many trials & tribulations of ensuring ready access to hand lotion supplies, and I could see how important this was to you. And let's be honest .....we all have different priorities when travelling the world (personally I have a thing about planes arriving on time, courteous immigration officials, and comfortable hotel rooms, but hey .... that's probably just me !).

Meanwhile best of luck aceboy and - regardless of any unwarranted criticism you may see - do please keep the forum updated on any significant developments where hand lotion is concerned ^
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Old Oct 9, 15, 11:38 pm
  #163  
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post

Meanwhile best of luck aceboy and - regardless of any unwarranted criticism you may see - do please keep the forum updated on any significant developments where hand lotion is concerned ^
Or even better still, don't
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Old Oct 10, 15, 1:56 am
  #164  
 
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Aceboy my only advice to you is if you cut down on the high friction things that your hands partake in you will need far less hand lotion. ^
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Old Oct 10, 15, 2:50 am
  #165  
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Originally Posted by Firemansam View Post
Aceboy my only advice to you is if you cut down on the high friction things that your hands partake in you will need far less hand lotion. ^
That was almost a mouthful of coffee over my keyboard!
^
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