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Flight cancelled: rant and kind of trip report

Flight cancelled: rant and kind of trip report

Old Aug 21, 19, 1:45 am
  #1  
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Flight cancelled: rant and kind of trip report

This reads like a trip report and rant, and asks for advice as well.

I booked MAN-DXB.-GIG as I wanted to have an interesting routing but the stars were not aligned for this voyage.
Check-in
When I arrived at T1 in Manchester, I was surprised by the long queue at the desks. One could say that it is normal, as it was an a380 so lots of people will check-in but the process was very tedious and not helped by the travelers. On a flight with Qantas from Heathrow a few months ago, the process was very smooth. Many people had more bags than they were allowed to take (1 bag should not be difficult to comprehend) and not just small bags but full-size ones. Needless t say that that lead to long discussions and delays. Those were not first-time travelers but included young people who should in this day and age now better about the rules. Besides the many nags, there were many families and people who seem to have never seen a plane from up close. Finally got my boarding pass and went to security.

Security
Having heard that T3 has the worst security, I had somewhat naive hopes for a better security experience at T1 but alas. First you go down a staircase, to end up in a bunker. It was jampacked in a snake-line. It was so full that people could not go through the ticket scanning gate because people were blocking it. When I got to the Xray machines, again, the same rant: why do people in this day and age still have liquids in there. There are more than enough signs. Why don't they prepare their things so they can step through the scanner swiftly? Security staff was worse than at T3: slow and condescending. I was too fast and was not allowed to push my tray on the conveyer belt. Finally got through and ran to the gate.

Boarding
Arrived at the gate, had to wait a bit in a waiting room but ok. It was fairly ok. The only annoying thing was that I was in a middle seat and flanked by two somewhat corpulent people. Still, the a380 seats are wides enough so it was not that much of a problem (it would have been on a Ryanair 737).

Delay and cancellation
We were a bit delayed because of boarding but left the gate and were ready to take off. However, there was a technical problem. The captain kept us informed. THe IFE was one but they had to switch the whole aircraft off at one moment. After an hour, we were towed back to the gate where engineers still tried to solve the problem. After three hours, the crew gave out the breakfast snack supposed to be given out before landing in Dubai. The rest of the bar could not be opened. Finally at 6 pm, the captain cancelled the flight and that is where things took off.

Passport control, getting luggage back, waiting for solution at ticket desk
Passport control was fast, but luggage took over an hour to get back. A crew member told us to go upstairs for solutions and that coaches and hotel would be provided. I was automatically rebooked on the next day flight but because that would give difficulties for the rest of my travel, I went to the ticket desk to ask for a rerouting. Just before I was about to be served, after waiting another hour, they wanted to close and aI stood my ground citing EU261. I got to talk to a staff member but he said that he could not rebook my, only the cal centre could. With no solution in sight, I decided to go to the hotel and call the call centre.

Going to the hotel and checkin in
The coaches were slow and we waited for another half an hour in the drizzle. Finally on teh coach to the city centre, we passed my neighbourhood. Arriving at Premier Inn, we had to wait outside in a long queue as there was only 1 person doing checkin. After another hour I was finally in my room. It was now around 10 pm. Room was really good, so no complaints about that.

Rebooking
I called and the lady at the phone was surprised that the ticket desk slagged me off. I suggested a rebooking on BA but EK has no interline agreement with them so rebooked on KLM. Downside: leaving at 5:55 am so I had a very short night. I am now in Schiphol waiting for the connection. The plane to Rio is a 787 so I hope no issues will arise.

Questions
Even with the rebooking I will still arrive over 4 hours late. Do I still get the €600 compensation or is that void because of the rerouting?
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:01 am
  #2  
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Very unfortunate. Thanks for the nice formatting and clear and concise report, makes this for easy reading.

I don't see any major failure from EK here, but quite a few disappointments, mostly with how the rebooking was handled and the IRROPS transport and accommodation. The issues prior to boarding appear to be mostly airport and other pax related.

I believe you would still be eligible for EC261, yes. And rebooking via KLM is actually a good outcome for EK who are generally very anti OAL rebookings. Giving out the breakfast snack while on the ground was a good idea by the crew
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:17 am
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Yes - EC261 will still be payable.

Am I reading this right? You chose to go to a hotel rather that just go home for the evening?

Regarding T1 security. Generally, you go through security upstairs - however, they sometimes direct people downstairs to the Jet2 security point. It's well worth paying £5 for the Fast Track, as this is always upstairs, and yo'd be through in about 5 minutes.

PS.... good luck with the B787 in Y. I've never done it myself, but it doesn't get the best reviews!
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Old Aug 21, 19, 3:14 am
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Bit confused by your complaint about people having too many bags at check in. From the UK EK uses the weight concept, so it doesn’t matter if you have more than one piece.
Sounds a bit of a painful experience, but agree with the above comment that a lot of the issues are non-airline related (fat people in the waiting area, for example).
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Old Aug 21, 19, 3:43 am
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check in is always a lottery and much depends on your arrival time and things like if they have check in open all day for any flight and i would not draw comparison with Qantas just bad luck on the day.

bags are also a hazard and some flights are worse than others for people pushing their luck in the first place and then arguing the toss

Manchester Airport I am afraid has no concept of customer service and the idea of staffing to reflect demand is less important than leaving people to queue longer. At least you did not pay for the so called "premium " service and find that you end up in the same scrum as economy passengers as you get to the screening

I am sympathetic towards the airline on rest and do not think they did a lot wrong as it can take time to get all the arrangements in place when they cancel a flight like this at the last moment it is not easy to sort out the needs of a full A380

DYKWIA not everyone flying out of Manchester lives in easy reach of the airport and for the early morning flights the chauffeur is vital for me (I stopped flying Etihad when they withdrew the chauffeur) or I would need to stay overnight in Manchester
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Old Aug 21, 19, 3:47 am
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I absolutely agree that a lot of the issues have more to do with the airport, rather than Emirates. Probably I am blowing those things out of proportion but then, I have not really slept properly.

Lots of bags: the hand luggage I meant. There was for example a woman who had a trolley, handbag, backpack and shopping bag.
@DYKWIA: yeah, should have done that as soon as I had my luggage. The naive person in me thought that at the hotel there would be an Emirates person.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by amnicoll View Post
Manchester Airport I am afraid has no concept of customer service and the idea of staffing to reflect demand is less important than leaving people to queue longer. At least you did not pay for the so called "premium " service and find that you end up in the same scrum as economy passengers as you get to the screening
That's not correct in T1 & T2. There is a separate Fasttrack queue. In T3, the Fasttrack and normal share a scanner.

Originally Posted by amnicoll View Post
DYKWIA not everyone flying out of Manchester lives in easy reach of the airport and for the early morning flights the chauffeur is vital for me (I stopped flying Etihad when they withdrew the chauffeur) or I would need to stay overnight in Manchester
I know that... the OP said "Finally on the coach to the city centre, we passed my neighbourhood.".
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Old Aug 21, 19, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by petit_manchot View Post
Bit confused by your complaint about people having too many bags at check in. From the UK EK uses the weight concept, so it doesn’t matter if you have more than one piece.
The OP has mentioned he was talking about hand luggage so not directly related to his account, but I think this statement is wrong. Travelling to/from GIG (Rio de Janeiro) the piece concept is used, so we really can't say if they were in the wrong or not.

https://www.emirates.com/english/bef...d-baggage.aspx
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Old Aug 21, 19, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
The OP has mentioned he was talking about hand luggage so not directly related to his account, but I think this statement is wrong. Travelling to/from GIG (Rio de Janeiro) the piece concept is used, so we really can't say if they were in the wrong or not.

https://www.emirates.com/english/bef...d-baggage.aspx
The person was talking about check in and people do not check in hand luggage, so would seem likely reference to checked luggage

I would posit that most people departing from the UK are going to be on itineraries where the weight concept applies and so 1 checked bag restriction would not be applicable - there indeed can be people with a piece level of restriction but I suspect that they are a small minority

Overall in the rant, there seems to be nothing substantive about Emirates other than flight had issue and passenger got rebooked on a much more direct routing arriving only 5 hours later than scheduled , but with a hell of a lot less time stuck in an aeroplane - plus EUR600 to go with it
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Old Aug 21, 19, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
The person was talking about check in and people do not check in hand luggage, so would seem likely reference to checked luggage

I would posit that most people departing from the UK are going to be on itineraries where the weight concept applies and so 1 checked bag restriction would not be applicable - there indeed can be people with a piece level of restriction but I suspect that they are a small minority
He has already clarified in post 6 that he was referring to hand baggage. Of course most people departing the UK will not be heading to the Americas and the weight concept is applicable, just not all as the OP's routing shows.
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Old Aug 22, 19, 2:38 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
That's not correct in T1 & T2. There is a separate Fasttrack queue. In T3, the Fasttrack and normal share a scanner.
.
[QUOTE=amnicoll;31439064]
Manchester Airport I am afraid has no concept of customer service and the idea of staffing to reflect demand is less important than leaving people to queue longer. At least you did not pay for the so called "premium " service and find that you end up in the same scrum as economy passengers as you get to the screening
[QUOTE].

The fasttrack queues at both T1 and T3 have become longer since the payment option was introduced a few years back (previously for F, J and top level frequent flyers). Also I have found that once I get to the scanner area the staff have often let people from the long standard queue jump in front in order to reduce their numbers.
On occasion I have noticed whole families ducking under the ropes to join Fasttrack. (in the first section where they are out of sight from staff)

Last edited by mjmal51; Aug 22, 19 at 3:04 am
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Old Aug 22, 19, 3:07 am
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Originally Posted by mjmal51 View Post
The fasttrack queues at both T1 and T3 have become longer since the payment option was introduced a few years back (previously for F, J and top level frequent flyers). Also I have found that once I get to the scanner area the staff have often let people from the long standard queue jump in front in order to reduce their numbers.
On occasion I have noticed whole families ducking under the ropes to join Fasttrack.
I travelled through T1 on a weekly basis for a number of years until about 12 months ago. I had Fastrack with Easyjet Plus, and never had to wait more than 10 minutes - normally under 5. I never saw anybody from the standard queue being sent to the Fastrack queue - and I must have passed through > 100 times.

As for people ducking under - again it's not something I noticed, but what can you do if people want to cheat the system?
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Old Aug 22, 19, 3:21 am
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never noticed people ducking through but certainly see people from standard queue being given priority over premium one and no separate scanners for premium
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Old Aug 22, 19, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by amnicoll View Post
never noticed people ducking through but certainly see people from standard queue being given priority over premium one and no separate scanners for premium
Well, Manchester is just one of those rogue airports where the correct priorities don't apply when they should.

Last edited by BadoRas; Aug 22, 19 at 6:55 am
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Old Aug 24, 19, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by amnicoll View Post
never noticed people ducking through but certainly see people from standard queue being given priority over premium one and no separate scanners for premium
Again, that doesn't happen. There is a separate bag scanner for Fastrack - the first one you get to. If the Fastrack queue starts to build, then they hold the normal queue and direct you to the next bag scanner along (which is not a Fasttrack scanner).
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