Emirates over rated?

Old Sep 1, 15, 4:53 pm
  #1  
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Emirates over rated?

I have an upcoming international conference in Cape Town, ZA. We will be flying from Denver. I have heard that Emirates is wonderful, but on several blogs the seats don't appear to be anything extraordinary. My question is this: Is it worth flying somewhere that Emirates services so to be able to fly them on the longer flights? Or is it better to use and american carrier that I can just book straight up?
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Old Sep 1, 15, 4:58 pm
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EK is a good airline in my opinioon, but for going to South Africa would not take a 3000 mile detour if there is something more direct ( e.g. DEN-LHR-CPT is 2000 miles shorter )
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Old Sep 1, 15, 5:06 pm
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I think it would also depend on the price differential between the itineraries you're looking at - do I think EKs hard and soft product is better than most US carriers? Yes - but there's a limit at the $$$$ value I'd pay

Do you have an itinerary/carriers/alliance in mind?
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Old Sep 1, 15, 7:28 pm
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EK for sure is a mass market product, grossly overated for service and product. I speak with considerable experience in flying F and J on several airlines to make that statement. My frame of reference is in international flights with SQ and CX.

EKs J tends to be very cramped, perhaps only slightly better than CX Premium Economy. EKs F is a copy of SQ's suites (plus the shower, of course). Examine the amenities closely and they are very cheap products (i.e., stationary, etc..) meant for that WOW!! factor. The gilded trims, bling Dollywood style lights are quite useless. Dinks cabinet - how much can you really consume during any flight - if you need something, you could always ask the FA. The space taken up by somewhat useless amenities is what you are paying for. I have verified that the FAs only get a few weeks training and then sent on the job - SQ/CX invest heavily into crew training for several months. Much else to be said will be critical ad nauseam...

In 2014, I took a flight LHR-SIN with a 2 hr transit stop at DXB. 1st segment in F and connecting to SIN in J. Family of 2A and 2 very young children. The A380 arrived and dropped everyone off at the tarmac, app noon time with searing heat. Hauled away by bus and dumped at the terminal. No one assisted us with guidance to our connecting flight despite repeated requests. We finally made the very long journey to another terminal. Denied access to the F lounge..!! (SQ/CX permits F if you arrived in F and connecting to a lower cabin). With barely 45 mons left, we prepared to board the connecting, all hot and sweaty. That was the last time I've ever flown EK - at least it was an expensed flight (and not my account..!).

Overall, ground staff were rude, hostile, unpleasant and unhelpful - this is Emirates for you..!!! Please do not believe those Discovery channel documentaries - they're pure Dollywood performances.

Another significant negative is their FF program - redemptions rates for premium cabins are more that twice that of SQ/CX.

Those who claim the merits of EKs premium cabin are those who really travel mostly by LCCs or cheap economy tickets or US carriers - they get very impressed with anything better that their usual mode of travel.

Never again, EK...!!
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Old Sep 1, 15, 7:44 pm
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Outlined above is one flight experience on Emirates, hardly a long history of dealing with EK. Flights are often only as good as the crew

I know a couple FAs from Singapore who work for Emirates and I asked both of them why they do not work for SQ and they both said they preferred to have a job that was fun

Both SQ and CX have a good product but I find them both to be rather sterile and not FUN

That said, I am not overly impressed with Emirates service to certain African destinations but I have flown EK a few times a month for the past 10 years and I have enjoyed it overall

If you can catch a decent connection through Dubai to Capetown at a competitive fare, I think you should go for it and will likely be impressed overall, particularly if you go on the A380 (and note Emirates now has new American flight partners)

Last edited by saint77; Sep 1, 15 at 8:14 pm
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Old Sep 1, 15, 8:06 pm
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I would avoid Emirates 777s in any class. Coach is packed like sardines and the business class product is woefully outdated.

If you can stick with their Airbuses, it will probably be a good ride compared to the US / European alternatives.
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Old Sep 1, 15, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by gbcflyer View Post
EK for sure is a mass market product, grossly overated for service and product. I speak with considerable experience in flying F and J on several airlines to make that statement. My frame of reference is in international flights with SQ and CX.

EK J tends to be very cramped, perhaps only slightly better than CX Premium Economy. EKs F is a copy of SQ's suites (plus the shower, of course). Examine the amenities closely and they are very cheap products (i.e., stationary, etc..) meant for that WOW!! factor. The gilded trims, bling Dollywood style lights are quite useless. Dinks cabinet - how much can you really consume during any flight - if you need something, you could always ask the FA. The space taken up by somewhat useless amenities is what you are paying for. I have verified that the FAs only get a few weeks training and then sent on the job - SQ/CX invest heavily into crew training for several months. Much else to be said will be critical ad nauseam...

In 2014, I took a flight LHR-SIN with a 2 hr transit stop at DXB. 1st segment in F and connecting to SIN in J. Family of 2A and 2 very young children. The A380 arrived and dropped everyone off at the tarmac, app noon time with searing heat. Hauled away by bus and dumped at the terminal. No one assisted us with guidance to our connecting flight despite repeated requests. We finally made the very long journey to another terminal. Denied access to the F lounge..!! (SQ/CX permits F if you arrived in F and connecting to a lower cabin). With barely 45 mons left, we prepared to board the connecting, all hot and sweaty. That was the last time I've ever flown EK - at least it was an expensed flight (and not my account..!).

Overall, ground staff were rude, hostile, unpleasant and unhelpful - this is Emirates for you..!!! Please do not believe those Discovery channel documentaries - they're pure Dollywood performances.

Another significant negative is their FF program - redemptions rates for premium cabins are more that twice that of SQ/CX.

Those who claim the merits of EKs premium cabin are those who really travel mostly by LCCs or cheap economy tickets or US carriers - they get very impressed with anything better that their usual mode of travel.

Never again, EK...!!
I'm not sure you cold call EK first a mass market product? All airlines business class is mass market. Private jet is what you need if you want to avoid the masses.

I'm not sure anyone would pick cx pe over EK J who had a clue.

EK first crew have to do a lot of training to get the j and then more training to get to f.

You experience on the ground - the rules are clear, lounge access is dependent on the onward ticket so it does not matter what class you fly in on in your next sector is j then you unless statue permits will be invited to the j lounge.

I'm not sure if you flew EK more than once, however of the price is right to South Africa and the schedule works it's a great option. The bar on the 380 and the ife in all classes is superb (and soon to be refreshed again). I don't mind the 77w seats and I would not describe them as cramped, the only real issue being the middle seat so avoid that one.

Happy to answer any more EK questions.
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Old Sep 1, 15, 11:25 pm
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Wouldn't it make more sense to cut that insanely long journey short by flying South African or Delta? Instead of flying the huge detours of LHR and DXB?
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Old Sep 2, 15, 12:16 am
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All depends on the crew

I won't say that Emirates is overrated, I just think they are not as good as they used to be a few years back.

That said, the flight really depends on the crew. I had flights going to Dubai - Barcelona and LAX - Dubai that felt so impersonal and the crew seemed like they didn't want to be there.

But at other times, the crew was great and made every passenger feel welcome. No request was left unanswered for more that 15 minutes, which I think is good if you have a full business class.

The only thing I think that needs improving is the quality of food - after traveling on Qatar, food served in Emirates J Class is very mediocre (stale bread, sad looking croissants, and meh main meals)

Last edited by Alfa_f; Sep 2, 15 at 2:14 am
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Old Sep 2, 15, 1:14 am
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totally agree on comments from Alfa

now that they finally opened the new airport in Doha, flying on Qatar is a great option
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Old Sep 2, 15, 2:39 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by gbcflyer View Post
No one assisted us with guidance to our connecting flight despite repeated requests.
You're an extensive traveller, but can't work out how to connect at a modern airport? Hmmm......

Originally Posted by gbcflyer View Post
Denied access to the F lounge..!!
Correctly so. You were travelling in J class on your connection.

Originally Posted by gbcflyer View Post
Overall, ground staff were rude, hostile, unpleasant and unhelpful - this is Emirates for you..!!! Please do not believe those Discovery channel documentaries - they're pure Dollywood performances.
Maybe that had something to do with your attitude to them? I've never had any issues with the DXB staff.

Originally Posted by gbcflyer View Post
Those who claim the merits of EKs premium cabin are those who really travel mostly by LCCs or cheap economy tickets or US carriers - they get very impressed with anything better that their usual mode of travel.
And a snobbish finish. Well done.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 2:42 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by saint77 View Post
totally agree on comments from Alfa

now that they finally opened the new airport in Doha, flying on Qatar is a great option
Yep - I did a MAN-DOH-DXB trip a few months ago. The food in QR J was the best I'd had on a plane - in any class!

I'm hoping they'll switch the MAN-DOH flights to an A350 at some point.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 2:56 am
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I agree the food is average.

The Wine list more than makes up for that.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
And a snobbish finish. Well done.
Not very surprising.
I always found people flying with very young children in F having a very DYKWIA attitude. (not referring to you)
I'm very happy if those people don't fly EK.
Don't get me wrong : I love children, as long as they behave.

Still, it is true that there are highs and lows in crew quality, and it needs more consistency.
And also true that F/J cabins need a revamp (that should come soon).
And ... remote stand is a real real real real pain ... especially under 120F after 10+ hours of flight.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 3:33 am
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It depends which class you (OP) will fly. I always fly Y (with some experience in J on LH, TG and UA). My opinion is that the Emirates Y feels better than LH, close to OS and far better than UA. I could say that UA was the worst I experienced (FRA-SFO in Y; same route back in J was completely different story). The EK's IFE is far superior than LH and UA. Even without any status, I got the emergency exit row seat whenever I asked (which was never possible on LH, for example).
I don't mind the food on any carrier, one can live without food for a month ;-)

I particularly enjoyed B773. I don't like LH's A343 or 346. I'm used to the crowd in Y :-)

So far, no real bad experience with EK, only remote parking in DXB is annoying.
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