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Final 3 Greens
31st May 2008, 03:37
On my last 3 business trips (6 flight segments) to the Middle East/Asia

1 - the chauffeur drive car never arrived

2 - the chauffeur drive car arrived late on 2 occasions

3 - the long transfer hotel was not booked on 2 occasions

Is anyone else experiencing patchy service levels or was I just unlucky?

traymat
1st Jun 2008, 17:47
Off to Sana'a via Dubai (10 hour transfer wait) with Emirates end of June. Will post my experience. Noticed that it is "only" 500 difference between Buisness and First, worth it? In order to make decent flight connections, I will be flying out of LGW and returning to LHR, live in Southampton, does anyone know when one can expect the chauffer service?

Also in Dubai, I aiming not to leave the airport and stay at a airport hotel during my transfer time. Hoping I will not need a Visa, any recommendations on hotels?

mutt
2nd Jun 2008, 05:02
Suggest you get EK to provide the Airport Hotel.... its basic, but for 10 hours the chance of a shower and proper bed is worth it. Their hotel is actully outside the airport but they will sponsor your visa.

Mutt

tezzer
2nd Jun 2008, 06:31
I used it this week, for a quick holiday in Dubai / Abu Dhabi.

All manchester flights were full, so had to go from Newcastle. We live out of the chauffer drove range for both airports, excess for manchester is 21, but from Newcastle it's 62 each way.

The NCL flights use A330-200's with the non ICE system, very poor, certainly NOT J class service / accomodation.

The flight out was OK, chauffer drive service this end, spot on (albeit expensive), but despite having pre booked in DXB, we waited 30 minutes for our car, at "peak time" of 00.30.

Coming back, both lounges at DXB were like a zoo, (07.20 flight), no seats, horendously packed, so much so that my wife decided it was nicer outside of the lounge, amongst the sprawled sleepig masses that litter the floor.

Flight back was full, and there were no less than 9 children in J class, so getting any rest, or God forbid trying to do any work was impossible. Same crap in flight entertainment, or lack of it. Most of the kids came on with "economy" tags on their hand luggage, so guessing that they were upgraded. Thanks EK.

I used to use Emirates a lot, but haven't bothered this year. Skywards Gold is too easy to get, meaning there are too many with lounge access etc. and in no way does it make any diference. My two seats to DXB and back cost a fortune, and was it worth it ? No. Outdated product, so so service, and more kids "up front" than on a charter flight to Benidorm.

Tonight I have to go to malaysia, and am going KLM. I feel sure that the service on this flight will be to KLM's usual impeaccable standard. (And I get a free china house !).

traymat
2nd Jun 2008, 07:59
Thanks guys for sharing.
Doesn't look to promising, however probably still the better option than going with Egyptair via Cairo or Yemen Airlines!?

I fly alot but not with Emirates so far, always been under the impression that they where a reptuble company in regards of service. I can see that it is not always the case.

thnx
JM

Final 3 Greens
2nd Jun 2008, 11:07
Traymat, if you are a British citizen, you will not need to apply for a visa for UAE, your passport will be stamped on arrival with a 60 day stay permit.

Final 3 Greens
2nd Jun 2008, 11:11
Tezzer

I tend to agree with you.

My next long haul trip is to Brasil and I have booked it with another airline, as I am running out of patience with EK.

If you think the 330 seats are bad (agree about the IFE), try one of the older 777-300s, I am well under 6 feet and my feet touched the seat back in front when I fully extended the leg rest:\

Nobend
2nd Jun 2008, 12:06
Tezzer (bit late I know) you should use Etihad to Malaysia via AUH. I can't think of any problems or gripes after my last dozen or so flights up front with them..... only praise.

As for Emirates... I have experienced the lateness of their cars which does cause a slight problem if you consider I'm up in Abu Dhabi

manintheback
2nd Jun 2008, 12:43
Just one recent flight - 5 hour delay (can happen to anyone tho) Moved twice in first class from pre-booked seat as crew re-arranged couples to sit together. Personally didnt think that as I was a single traveller I should have been continually asked to accomodate others - once maybe?. Good service once we took off. Big seats - not beds.

Biz class looked not that much different to Virgin premium but I understand that EK have new planes with completely different and better cabins coming on-stream.

Overall - unimpressed but ticket was cheap.

Final 3 Greens
3rd Jun 2008, 07:05
Manintheback

You said " Biz class looked not that much different to Virgin premium"

I think you have hit the nail on the head with the A330 and older versions of the 777.

The food is better and it still represents a good deal, but it ain't business as we know it.

The newer aircraft, like the 345 and the 773ER have far better J accomodation, although with EK's prediliction for putting 7 across the cabin, still not as good as their competitors IMHO.

Having flown roughly an equal nuber of sectors in EK F and J, I regard F accommodation as being a proper J and J as W, if that makes sense.

Having said that, I find the onboard service and food generally very good and inline with the class sold. e.g. LX first has great seats, but I found the service amateurish compared to EK (albeit only 2 sectors flown), e.g. the crew insisting on explaining, in a loud voice, the contents of the menu to the one person eating at 0300, when everyone else had their heads down trying to catch some zzzzzzs.

And in fairness I have not had my travel plans disrupted on multiple occasions, unlike my experiences with a certain big airline that I now avoid wherever possible.

MrSoft
3rd Jun 2008, 07:24
F3G is bang on. Personally I avoid EK despite working out there, because (1) seat config is totally unpredictable, and (2) like the OP I am left with the feeling they have gone downill. In truth they are just another airline now. The problem is, people have (had?) raised expectations where Emirates is concerned. Who raised those expectations in the first place? They did. All that hard-won advocacy has been frittered away in the last 5-6 years.

As for the limo? I had it once - no-one from EK even confirmed the pick up was arranged, so I had to chase them. The guy turned up half and hour early and waited in the lobby. Instead of sitting there reading a book he got reception to chase me, just as irritating as turning up late. Climbed into an old banger of a Volvo, probably the crap*iest car in the whole of Dubai.

I just heard that Qatar are already planning to demolish and re-build the premium terminal at DOH with something even better. Now that's planning for success. By contrast EK can't even harmonise their business class product across the fleet. I realise that's not an easy thing to do, but they seem to have no interest in doing it. Emirates could easily be just another Gulf Air.

FairlieFlyer
3rd Jun 2008, 10:28
Funny you say Gulf Air - with the descriptions above it sounds exactly like GA .... just before I stopped flying with them

Monkeytoo
5th Jun 2008, 13:09
I was also one of Emirates most loyal customers up until about 18months ago when I decieded that enough was enough! I had a 'run' of bad service and seat problems which left me (at the end of the long trip) feeling deciededly unhappy so after some polite complaints to them nothing happening - I said that I am not wasting our hard earned money on them anymore. I think they are still trading on their reputation earned 5 years ago and todays product just doesn't live up to the hype.

Monkeytoo
5th Jun 2008, 13:13
Traymat - there is a 'transit' hotel within the Dubai Airport building. It is comfortable but can get booked up so it would pay to pre-book it if at all possible.............sorry I don't have the email address for you but do a 'search' on Dubai Airport.

traymat
5th Jun 2008, 14:58
Monkeytoo, thanks, have found it on the net. Looked forward to the travel before as never flown with EK. Now expectations are low, I might enjoy it. Will expect nothing.

Final 3 Greens
5th Jun 2008, 15:56
Hi Traymat

If you feel like spending an extra 500, you will have more chance of a good inflight experience, as the F seats tend to be more uniform in style and also generally more comfortable; food is better, too.

If you travel in F or J and your layover is between 6-24 hours, EK will provide you with free B&B in a decent hotel, but they won't offer this - you must request it in the same way that you request the chauffeur drive.

I wish you a good trip, if EK are on song, you will enjoy it.

traymat
5th Jun 2008, 16:53
Greatful for advice. Will post experience once back which is end of June. Recently have had some good (longhaul) flights with BA, SQ and LH in J class, so will compare.