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“Emirates Airline Debacle”
Review of Emirates


Reviewed 22 May 2024

Emirates Airline is a well known and well loved airline by many that much is clear. While I was at the hotel in Dubai I realized that they spent millions of dollars in commercials featuring attractive and friendly passengers and flight attendants to appeal to the customer sense of beauty. Clearly this marketing is effective and even their selection of flight attendants from all over the world seems to lineup with their emphasis on aesthetics.

This is a moment where I will point out a lesson I learned many years ago in Sunday school about being outwardly beautiful but inwardly rotten and that we should focus on our heart inside more than how we appear to others. All this is to say that customer service was lacking as a result of the millions spent in marketing. Now in order to make such a statement I should provide evidence and so I shall do my best to do just that. The great Dubai flood of April 2024 was a logistical nightmare for the city with damages and cleanup as well as the airline there is no question. The inability of the airline to handle rebooking and cancellations and the mayhem that was Dubai Airport after the unforeseen excessive rain is not entirely their fault but again I turn back to the lesson. Emirates sponsors football clubs and spends millions more on the aforementioned advertising that when their is chaos due to massive delays that was caused by weather events they seemingly were unable to adequately manage or staff simple lines at their counter. Many people were waiting for several hours in a line to reach the front only to find out the line was closed or wasn’t staffed. Of the 10-15 possible lines only 3-4 in the 3 hours I waited to rebook would be open at a time instead of all 15 which should have been the case. Now at some point during the wait they did provide snacks to people in line which was a nice gesture but due to the massive debacle which was beyond Emirates control it might have made more sense for them to call some of those attractive actresses from the commercial to work the lines so that their image of beauty did not get obliterated due to the breakdown of order that occurred due to so many delays and cancellations.

However, after the three hour wait to get to the woman at the desk it should be noted that in spite having dealt with many irate and unhappy customers that they were still incredibly friendly and helpful for rebooking. The lesson here was that not all the attendants were so helpful and part of that was the obvious frustration many passengers were experiencing over everything but all these issues could have been reduced greatly by opening every line and adequately staffing their airport lines during an unexpected but extensive delay causing event would have helped them avoid many negative reviews especially those from April.

Also, I must say now that the only reason I went to the airport at all was because the live chat system was overwhelmed and it as impossible to get through to a customer service agent and rather than simply provide an email for changing flights that would be cumbersome would eventually alleviate the strain on their live chat and call center folks as well as those at that airport but again one must remember the emphasis on appearance often detracts from substance and not everything that glitters is gold.

Finally the day of the flight arrives and lo and behold it rained again and there were delays going back that was beyond the control of the Emirates and while many passengers were frustrated and grumbling it did nothing by their disregarding requests to return to seats as the delays went on and on whether passengers were seated or standing. In fact nearly 3.5 hours after the flight was supposed to depart which again is no fault of the airline but in all that time water or orange juice was never served to Economy Class. Granted the business and first class passengers paid thousands more so it’s understandable that their food and drink and silverware would be ready for them upon entry and again there are many more Economy passengers than business and first class combined but as a result of the lack of service the whole plane turned into people shouting for water or juice and eventually some Economy passengers who complained loud enough or often enough got drinks but this was a slow and painfully loud process. Also the legroom is awful which even for Economy class could and should be a little better at least.

The food was good but the lack of organizing of Emirates became apparent once again when many people who had requested Vegetarian and or Vegan meals did not receive them initially even though they showed evidence they had selected them when booking tickets. Sadly, the meal size was enough to barely take away hunger for long periods and in between meals there were not often snacks but to be fair to the flight attendants they were ruffled and frustrated from all the exchanges they had with justifiably angry passengers but regardless of the frustration which I shared I was reminded of the need for courtesy from Don Quixote and a life lesson that can help impulsive people is that while the pawns and low level workers are often the most accessible they are seldom responsible for poor planning and execution of service. Anyways, as annoying as it was to have poor service on an airline that spends so much to project a great image one should not forget that most of the flight attendants have struggles in life as well and so more understanding would have went a long way for a quieter flight even if food and drink service was slower than molasses.

I really like the movie selection and music selection on flight and there was enough of both of those to distract from the hunger left from what I would argue were tasty meals but better suited for Oompah Loom-pas than people. So overall would I fly Emirates again? Sure but I would lower expectations a lot and not have high expectations of a luxury airline at least as it relates to Economy Class so unless I become rich soon Economy class with small meals and little legroom will be my fate despite what the attractive commercials Emirates show on the television but lesson learned on my end once again tv is not reality even when they call it reality tv.

Date of travel: April 2024
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
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    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight Entertainment
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
1  Thank Ned L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Reviewed 21 May 2024

This letter serves as a formal complaint regarding the unacceptable service I received on Emirates flight EK 41 from Dubai to London on the 12th of May 2024.
As a loyal Emirates customer since 2009, I was deeply disappointed by the experience, which fell far below the standards I have come to expect from your business-class service. The night before my flight, I specifically contacted Emirates through your chat portal to inquire about the availability of immunity kits on board. The representative confirmed I would receive one, prompting me to leave mine at the check-in desk. Unfortunately, upon arrival in Dubai after a long journey starting at 3 am, no immunity kit was provided on the flight to London. This unexpected lapse caused significant inconvenience, especially considering my lack of sleep.
Due to the aforementioned lack of sleep, I requested a two-hour nap upon takeoff and asked the cabin crew to prepare lunch for me upon waking. However, upon requesting lunch, a male crew member reacted aggressively and offered only a single pie. This behavior was unprofessional and unacceptable. Furthermore, when another crew member intervened, the options presented were limited to a further pie, an unappetizing chocolate cake, and a small box of chocolates. This felt more akin to leftover offerings rather than the high-quality meals I expect from business class. Additionally, the water glass provided was dirty, further diminishing the overall dining experience.
The entire experience significantly detracted from the value proposition of Emirates Business Class. In comparison to other airlines I have flown within the year, Emirates service fell demonstrably short. This is particularly concerning as I have consistently chosen Emirates since 2009 and have never encountered such a decline in service standards. As a business traveler, I prioritize a professional and well-organized environment. The aforementioned incidents demonstrate a clear disregard for such standards. Given that I will be flying back with Emirates later next week, I have serious reservations about the quality of service I can expect.

Furthermore, one week following my flight, I received a response from an Emirates customer case agent acknowledging my concerns. However, the response provided no substantive resolution. The agent simply stated that the crew had been informed and advised me to speak to a crew supervisor on future flights. This response not only fails to address the specific issues I raised, but also reinforces a sense of unprofessionalism within Emirates' customer service department.

This experience has led me to believe that Emirates is experiencing a significant decline in service quality. To this end, I intend to share my experience with other potential customers on various travel review platforms.

Date of travel: May 2024
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight Entertainment
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
2  Thank Isa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 21 May 2024

Very bad start, I was advised that emirates not allowing laptop bags so we only carried 3 cabin bags (3 passengers). During checkin they told child not allowed to carry cabin bag and checked it in (so much hassle). Now after reading reviews of their 777? I am scared to board. I will update the experience after completing the journey. But this airline is charging premium for bad service. They used to be good but now don’t fly Emirates. I could have saved $1500 by booking other airline with low standard of service. We are not flying emirates ever again.

Date of travel: May 2024
    • Customer service
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
Thank vikas r
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 21 May 2024

You change and pay for seats with extra legspace online and once at the counter they are not available. Don't expect a refund, you did this on a volentary basis!
Emirates, never again!

Date of travel: January 2024
Thank Charlotte V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 May 2024

Emirates failed to get us to Dubai, from Auckland, for our connecting flight to London. They put us on a plane 4+ hours later. We had paid for Premium Economy but they said no seats available on that flight and we would be in Economy with two seats some five rows apart. No apology, no alternative, just a downgrade in seating despite it being their fault for the missed connection. The refund is pitiful, nowhere near the sum they charge for the different seats. “Fly better”? No way, we paid more and flew worse.
Premium Economy seats are good, but the Economy seating is similar to a park bench. I think we will look at other airlines for our annual trip to NZ to meet up with family and friends.
Very, very disappointing with the way we've been treated.

Date of travel: April 2024
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight Entertainment
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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