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Checking in for delayed flights - Puzzling situation

Checking in for delayed flights - Puzzling situation

Old Jan 14, 20, 12:44 am
  #1  
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Checking in for delayed flights - Puzzling situation

So i faced a couple of situations, 13 years apart exactly (January 2007 and again yesterday) : ) on the same route -DAC-DXB, and i am somewhat puzzled as to what it all was about, and whether it was the EK station at Dhaka playing BS or it was my fault ....

First situation - January 2007

I am flying on EK 583 with STA of 1130 am from Dhaka, the inbound leaves from DXB around 4am DXB time. It was foggy in both Dhaka and Dubai, and i was following the flight status, and the inbound flight took off 4 hours late, which means there was no way my flight could take off before 3pm .

So i waltzed into the airport at Noon, only to find the check in counters closed. the agent i meet started scolding me in a not-so-aggressive style by saying i was late. i told him i came late as i followed the flight status and there was no way the flight would take off before 3pm. He said unless EK actually informs me there is a delay, i am supposed to follow the original plan, which was to check in at 9am, then wait 6 hours in Dhaka airport (and looks like 99% passengers did the same thing) . He checked me in though but i learnt my lesson

(Note: EK checkin staff at DAC are actual Emirates outstation employees, and not contracted Dhaka airport staff)


Second situation - January 2020

Fast forward 13 years and I am flying EK 587 which has been taking off at 7pm-ish since the last few years.

There are huge delays at DXB because of rain, and while i am following my delayed inbound flight, i am trying to ensure i dont make the mistake i did back in 2007 and go to the airport as planned unless i get a message from EK.

Sure enough at 4pm i get a sms and an email from EK saying my flight will now depart at 1am, i.e. 6 full hours late.

Since i got an official notification, i leave home at 9pm (still early as a huge Islamic convention had just ended, and roads in Dhaka were even more packed than usual which is saying something)

I reach airport at 11pm with the family, and when i am about to ask an EK ground agent about the chances of a paid upgrade, she panics and asks me how on earth i am so late when my flight was supposed to be at 7pm (!!)

I took my phone, showed her the sms Emirates sent, but she is unmoved , and says that 300+ passengers had checked in by 5pm and they were waiting in the boarding are for the last few hours (!).

What she implied was that the sms was supposed to be a notification for me when i am already checked in that my flight was delayed 6 hours, it was not meant for me to come 3 hours before the ETA of 1am

She checks me in though (after some walkie talkie calls to baggage staff etc)


When i am leaving the check in area, i see a staff shouting for any remaining passengers in my flight to move to the front of the check-in queue (Fun fact - there were passengers from EK 585 with an original time of 1am checking in along with me and they actually took off 8 hours late at 9am!). Looks like i was the last one as no one else responded out of 150+ people, who were all about to wait for 8 hours in the airport, poor them


When i reach my boarding area, i see disgruntled and angry passengers moaning about having to wait for 5 hours in a cramped area. I cant help but feel grateful , as we were with our 5 year old girl, that we did not have to endure the same.


So what confused me -

Now i have flown the DXB-DAC-DXB sector 10-15 times, and only twice i faced delays, and my flights to other sectors have never had weather-caused delays, so is this something that is common in other cities with Emirates, when there are few hour delays for flights returning to DXB ?
Are passengers expected to check in based on their original time, and suffer in the airport as opposed to following a flight delay officially communicated via EK?

I am inclined to think the ground staff were just BS'ing, and what i did was perfectly acceptable, as evidenced by them promptly checking me in (and not having to ask a supervisor for permission and so on)


(Another puzzling fact - once we were in the boarding area, there were further delays and at 1:30 am we got a dozen passengers entering, all of whom probably followed the sms EK sent, but it did not make sense why they would come even later than the time EK announced

EK also had crew issues as a spillover of the Dubai rains, half the J cabin had deadheading EK crew (which is why i could not get even a paid upgrade) )
LonghornDXB is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 1:09 am
  #2  
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If the airline sent a text message to confirm that the new departure time would be 6 hours later than scheduled, then I would expect to be able to arrive at the airport in time for the revised schedule and not have to turn up in time for the original departure time

Given that you arrived 2 hours prior to newly listed departure time, I am not surprused that there were people arriving later than that , especially if they were not checking any luggage in
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 2:59 am
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Are passengers expected to check in based on their original time, and suffer in the airport as opposed to following a flight delay officially communicated via EK?
Unfortunately, yes I think they are.

I'm going along with Emirates' approach even though I wouldn't like it happening to me. The contracted check in staff could have other duties when your original scheduled check in period finishes so they would be gone. I think the text message probably was a wrong move even if it was sent with the best of intentions as it led you to asssume check in was delayed when actually it was only the flight.

I had a similar situation a couple of months ago with QR when I knew my flight was being delayed and chose to go 24 hours later rather than turn up at the airport and sit there for 6 hours or so. Mine was exacerbated as it was leading to a missed connection, and a further 6 or 7 hours in DOH, and this probably made them more amenable to change the entire itinerary as it was going to be changed in some manner by the missed connection. If it was just the one leg I'm not sure a change would have been possible.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 3:19 am
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Not EK - but with a group I was just dealing with, a couple of flights had longish delays

I received an automated text message regarding the delay and what time it would now be leaving together with details of what time checkin would clsoe ( which was now based on new departure time )

If the airline has informed passenger of rescheduling, then cannot see why it would expect people to turn up based on the original time

In a case where no communication is made to confirm a delay, then I would aassume normal checkin time requirements
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Old Jan 14, 20, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
I received an automated text message regarding the delay and what time it would now be leaving together with details of what time checkin would clsoe ( which was now based on new departure time )
I think that's the difference. Unless the message explicitly says that you can check in later, I would assume that check in times would not have changed.

I had it a couple of times when flying on BA from DXB. I got a phone call advising of a long delay, and saying that I shouldn't arrive too early at the airport.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 4:32 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
I had it a couple of times when flying on BA from DXB. I got a phone call advising of a long delay, and saying that I shouldn't arrive too early at the airport.
Likewise on a couple of delayed flights on EK out of LGW. Received an email + follow-up call saying the flights had been delayed and to adjust my arrival time for check-in. Unfortunately for us we / EK was unable to change the chauffer service at last minute, so had to turn him away.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 6:47 am
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In my opinion in out stations it's complicated by the fact that check in counters are not owned by the airlines but pay for them on a hourly rate in some cases. The same with the staff. It's easier for the handling staff to check in all the passengers and baggage and close the flight and vacate the counters or reduce the number of counters open if they have a huge delay.
But I agree with you in that if they inform you then they should respect and expect passengers would come in time for the check in for the new departure time.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by dav662 View Post
In my opinion in out stations it's complicated by the fact that check in counters are not owned by the airlines but pay for them on a hourly rate in some cases. The same with the staff. It's easier for the handling staff to check in all the passengers and baggage and close the flight and vacate the counters or reduce the number of counters open if they have a huge delay.
But I agree with you in that if they inform you then they should respect and expect passengers would come in time for the check in for the new departure time.
In Dac, the checkin staff are Emirates Bangladesh office employees, and not external staff

As for check in counters, in the recent case, it should not have been an issue, as the entire area was open for a later flight at 1 am scheduled (and which would actually depart at 9am).
Either ways, the staff did not act difficult, they just rebuked and then took care of checking us in. The bd behavior we got was from the guy handling the queues and other passengers of the later flight who thought we were jumping the line when we were ushered to the front . I felt angry but later realized those poor people would have to wait 10 hours in the airport because of the delay in their flight
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Old Jan 14, 20, 9:52 am
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A few years back when we had a crazy winter in Boston, the EK flight was rescheduled to leave 90min earlier than scheduled as a snowstorm was going to hit that night. My partner was the one flying and we received no email/call/text from them. We turned up at the airport on time for the original flight and were told check in had closed and she would considered a no show?!? We complained that no email was sent and they said we called the number on the reservation which was her home number which was not on roaming in the USA (kind of mind boggling to assume that is the best way to reach someone knowing they are not in their home country) but surely an email should have sent as well. No official reschedule was ever posted on the EK or BOS websites. A lady from Australia had the same experience and we exchanged info in case either of us made headway arguing our case. I had to spend an hour on the Gold Line arguing to waive change and fare difference and they caved at some point getting a flight four days later.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 3:36 pm
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I guess if inbound flight is late and they can inform all passangers the only purpose of earlier checkin would be for an earlier depature if it's possible. I may be wrong but I recall BA is it, expect you to check in at original time but again could be wrong

I think it comes down to the station and it's interpretation of the rules. LHR when I have had a delay advised (rare) have sent a new text and while I can't remmeber the wording now, I believe it says your flight is due to depart at x, If I was to be challanged. I think I would simply show the text and show the EK website showing checkin at airport 90 mins before depature. Depature has been moved and therefore expect not to spend a day at the airport.

I guess the safe option would be to call EK and have them confirm, that way if they dispute, the station can argue with EK staff in Call Centre
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Old Jan 14, 20, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by kq747 View Post
A few years back when we had a crazy winter in Boston, the EK flight was rescheduled to leave 90min earlier than scheduled as a snowstorm was going to hit that night. My partner was the one flying and we received no email/call/text from them. We turned up at the airport on time for the original flight and were told check in had closed and she would considered a no show?!? We complained that no email was sent and they said we called the number on the reservation which was her home number which was not on roaming in the USA (kind of mind boggling to assume that is the best way to reach someone knowing they are not in their home country) but surely an email should have sent as well. No official reschedule was ever posted on the EK or BOS websites. A lady from Australia had the same experience and we exchanged info in case either of us made headway arguing our case. I had to spend an hour on the Gold Line arguing to waive change and fare difference and they caved at some point getting a flight four days later.
Had you booked via a third party website or was it directly on EK. Sometimes the third party agents do not pass on your details properly to EK.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by ukdoctor View Post
Had you booked via a third party website or was it directly on EK. Sometimes the third party agents do not pass on your details properly to EK.
No; the ticket was booked and paid for at the local EK office. I was just stunned they didnt think to email the address on file. I've always had great EK customer service including IRROPS handling so this was very much an outlier
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