Bumped by Emirates when travelling with a baby

(31 Posts)
Jolovesoz Wed 27-Mar-13 17:59:15

I wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience. I flew alone with my 15 month old from Manchester to Sydney. At Dubai we were denied boarding for our onwards flight to Sydney. I was left with a distraught child and a long wait at a transfer desk before being sent to a dirty hotel with no water. Emirates will not even discuss this complaint with me! Please let me know if anything similar has happened to you. In the meantime here's a poem about the experience!
My little emirates rap.

I wrote this Emirates rhyme
To help you save some time
To help you make a choice
And give us mums a voice

Emirates think it's fair if they resell your chair
They get more for your seat, but wait here comes the treat...

When you get to Dubai
For your Sydney onwards fly
They'll refuse to let you board
Your pleas will be ignored

Instead you'll get to queue
For hours, quite a few
Waiting to be told what delights they have to hold
They promise you a bed to rest your weary head, but first another wait as the transfer bus is late

You get to the hotel, which is grotty and has a smell
No water or any food unless your in the mood
to finish off the scraps left by the last unlucky chaps
No cot for your bubba therefore no rest for mother, no opportunity to shower or even sleep for an hour because straight away it's time to up and rise and shine. Back to Dubai to see if they'll let you fly

Emirates shame on you
Have you not got a clue?
Do you really not care, it just makes me despair!
My pleas are just ignored
But I have time and am bored
So wanted to let other families know the horrid tale of woe.
If you can make a choice, to make them hear our voice then choose not to fly with these cowboys of the sky!

From what I can now see, this hasn't happened just to me, our friends at emirates like to bump... It helps their profits jump. It's a regular thing they do to people just like you. They really just don't care what they make us bare

Please 'like' my tale of woe and help tell emirates where to go!

MOSagain Thu 28-Mar-13 08:49:28

I have to say I'm very suprised.
I've flown with Emirates numerous times. We flew 16 times with DD before she was 2 and never had any problems like that.

We you late checking in/arriving at gate? Did they say why you were bumped? Was it just because they were overbooked? I know that does happen somtimes but in my experience you are normally offered financial compensation and an upgrade on next flight.

Jolovesoz Thu 28-Mar-13 09:54:19

We were on time and checked in. I've complained but had no response. I've tried to speak to them but they won't even discuss it. We fly back tomorrow and I'm terrified about putting the welfare of myself and my baby son in their hands again.

Barbie1 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:02:17

Having lived in Dubai for four years and travelled extensively in that time I'm very surprised at what has happened.

So you checked in and then went to board but they refused to let you on the plane?

Which hotel did they put you up in? Even the most basic ones have foo and water.

Have you phoned emirates and asked to speak to someone?

MrsMeeple Thu 28-Mar-13 10:20:50

That's really scary given the new QANTAS Emirates alliance! Are you on FB and Twitter? Get complaining!

MOSagain Thu 28-Mar-13 15:14:16

I'm suprised they didn't put you in the nice hotel in the 'new' Emirates terminal in Dubai. We've stayed a number of times and it is very nice. They should have also provided a meal allowance. Something very odd here hmm

Jolovesoz Thu 28-Mar-13 16:55:54

It was horrible. They said that they would send us to the copthorne which I understand is their hotel. After being made to wait for 2 hours at the transfer desk we were sent to a bus stop. At this point the complimentary stroller was taken away (as we were leaving the airport).

Without the buggy I struggled to carry my baby and all my stuff. It was the middle of the night, my baby was distraught and I was frightened. After another long wait I boarded an unmarked minibus and was taken to the abajari grand. There was no drinking water in the room and no cot. We were only there an hour before returning to the airport.

I've complained and they've told me they will respond in 30 days. I've wasted 2 hours on the phone trying to discuss it but no one from the complaints department will speak to me. I'm flying back in 16 hours time and in terrified it could happen again. I've contacted emirates for reassurance but been ignored.

I would urge anyone travelling long haul alone with little ones not to fly emirates. I felt very vulnerable at Dubai. They showed a complete disregard for our safety and welfare.

Barbie1 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:04:23

I have many friends who work for emirates and have pointed them I this tread. All of which say they have never experienced this nor would expect that from their company hmm

Surely they must if given a reason for not letting you board?

MOSagain Thu 28-Mar-13 17:08:46

I'm sorry but I think you are over-reacting in advising people never to fly Emirates with little ones. Just because of one experience, which I must say sounds more than a little fishy, you cannot simply write off an airline. As said above, 16 trips with DD in under 2 years and no problems. A number of flights since then with DD and DS and no problems. This sounds like an un-explained one off, not a reason to avoid one of the best airlines.

I hope your return flight goes ok. I'm sure if you get to the airline and check in on time you will not have any problems.

Jolovesoz Thu 28-Mar-13 21:48:21

I was not given a reason for not being allowed to board. I had travelled from Manchester to Dubai and followed the emirates representative to the gate for my Sydney flight. I had a boarding pass for the flight. No one from the Manchester flight was allowed to board but other people were still boarding. Barbie1 thanks for pointing Emirates to this. My complaint reference is LON/X/200313/6848780 but I've had no response. I'm just terrified this could happen to is again.

Mosagain I'm sorry you think I'm over reacting. I've put this on mumsnet because I researched my travel here and I wish id known that this could happen as I was utterly unprepared. Because we had such a bad experience we certainly wouldn't travel emirates again. Anyone who does should at the very least be prepared to be delayed overnight and not let their buggy go in the hold. My experience was made far worse because emirates assured me of a stroller at Dubai. When this was taken away I really struggled to carry everything and my baby and felt very vulnerable to being mugged.

MOSagain Fri 29-Mar-13 07:35:57

This is all very very odd. I don't understand why they would send you to an off airport hotel for 1 hour. That doesn't make any sense. Also, when they 'mispaced' DD's buggy on one leg of our flight they allowed us to borrow one of their buggys and take it from the hotel. We only had to ask.

Why on earth would they not give a reason for refusing boarding? Was your flight from Manchester delayed meaning there was not enough time for the transfer?

I do think telling everyone to never fly Emirates due to a problem with one flight is over-reacting somewhat. It sounds like you had an awful experience and I'm sorry you had to go through that, however, Emirates are, on the whole an excellent airline, particularly when travelling with young children. I hope your return flight goes ok

MadCap Fri 29-Mar-13 07:44:50

MOS have you got some interest in Emirates or something? I think you're being unduly harsh on the OP. I've certainly recommended that people not fly with small children on other long haul carriers for much smaller offences.

Good luck OP. Try twitter. It is a public way of shaming the company into behaving properly.

MOSagain Fri 29-Mar-13 08:22:10

Madcap no, I have no 'interest' in Emirates or any other airline for that matter. I just think that telling everyone to never fly with Emirates with children is a little over dramatic. There was one issue and to be honest, I don't believe that the OP was not given a reason for not being allowed to board. Emirates on the whole have probably the best customer service out of all the airlines I've flown with. Please explain how you think I'm being 'unduly harsh' with the OP. I have sympathised with her, I have often travelled alone with young children and it must have been a terrible position to be put in. However, I think there is more to it than has been posted here.

I lived in the Middle East for many years and have probably flown through Dubai with Emirates in excess of 50 times and never heard of anything as odd as this.

I think if everyone listened to all the recommendations not to fly with a specific airline due to a 'small offence' then one would be extremely limited in options and would probably end up staying at home. Of course people do experience problems. I had a 23 hour delay with BA last year. That doesn't mean I'm going around telling people never to fly with BA, in fact we are in the process of booking our next flight with them.

desertgirl Fri 29-Mar-13 20:15:19

Doesn't sound right to me either - people with children are very low on the list of 'bumpables'; particularly in between two sectors of a single booking. It sounds ghastly but also sounds like part of the story may be missing.

And - you flew UK to Sydney, with a 15 month old, within the last few days and are flying back in 16 hours time?? blimey, you're brave.

4everhopeful Fri 29-Mar-13 23:07:48

OP i had something similar happen to us on return from our honeymoon 6yrs ago, although did find Emirates a fantastic airline on the way out, we stayed in Dubai in a beautiful hotel for a week, then went on to the Maldives for another week, however on the way home we flew on a seaplane from our Maldives resort, to the main airport, but then our Emirates flight back to Dubai was delayed by about an hour, we still made it with nearly an hour to spare to get the connecting flight from Dubai to Heathrow, however were told this was not enough time to transfer baggage so would have to get a later flight, which was actually 10hrs later, they then sent us off to a hotel which was a bit grotty by Dubai standards, but did give us a food voucher for a meal there, though not great, we were also given the option of a flight the following day, which in hindsight we wished we had taken as by the time we got back to the Uk we had been traveling about 24hrs with no sleep (just cannot sleep properly on planes) however Emirates were very apologetic when we complained and did offer some compensation... The worst bit was the tiredness and ending our blissful luxury honeymoon in a not so luxury hotel for a few hrs, however there were several other people in the same boat inc an extremely pregnant lady, but we did accept that obviously delays do happen, but did all think they could of possibly done a little more and probably could of got us on the original flight.... Hope your journey home wasn't too bad! You are brave going so long haul with a little one!

Crutchlow35 Sat 30-Mar-13 09:16:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 30-Mar-13 09:26:15

Crutchlow35 - so why give her ref no when told someone was looking?

pixiegumboot Sat 30-Mar-13 09:27:27

not as bad but our first flight with emirates, 8month old. they changed planes to a smaller plane, therefore all 1st class passengers were put in bulk head seats so no cot for us. hours with 8month old on lap and very hard to bfeed with someone else's seat in your face! we've not travelled with them since. sad

Jolovesoz Sun 31-Mar-13 17:02:14

I am quite offended by the comments from mosagain and crutchlow. Why on earth you think I might fabricate this story I have no idea. However more importantly I would urge you to think about the effect comments like yours have on mn more generally. I believe mumsnet is a fantastic online community used by mums everywhere. I have used it for many issues since becoming a mum. Probably much like most people I have never posted until now. I posted this experience because I thought it was helpful. Travelling with little ones is hard and I think we all need all the help and advice we can get. I think another mum reading your comments would also be put off posting their experience because of your comments. No one wants to be accused of lying or missing out part of a story. Please think about the damage you can do to this fantastic community by making such unfounded and unhelpful comments.

On the subject of advice I would also urge you to stick to the point of this thread and not debate whether or not I'm unfair to advice you not to travel emirates. I've had a bad experience so of course that is my advice. However we are all adults and can make up our own minds. I think it would have been much more useful to discuss the issues relating to travelling long haul with children.

I'm now back at home after a sleepless but uneventful return flight. Emirates have told me I shall have a response to my complain within 30 days. It was made on 16 march so I expect to hear within a couple of weeks. I do not intend to post it here as I do not wish my integrity to be debated further. However if you are interested please pm me and I shall let you know the outcome.

If you have had a similar experience the following link may be helpful as it sets out compensation payable for denied boarding.

europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/protection_of_consumers/l24173_en.htm

OloeufiaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 31-Mar-13 17:25:02

Jolovesoz

No one wants to be accused of lying or missing out part of a story. Please think about the damage you can do to this fantastic community by making such unfounded and unhelpful comments.

Indeed. We would remind people that our talk guidelines ( helpful link here ) state clearly that we don't allow troll hunting.
Many thanks
MNHQ

harryhausen Sun 31-Mar-13 17:37:14

I have flown emirates many times with Young dcs as my dsis lives in Malaysia. She has also flown many times with Emirates, alone with her 3 dcs. Neither of us have ever encountered any problem whatsoever. In fact I would recommend them to anyone.

I'm pretty sure I've read the whole thread but I seem to have missed the exact reason they gave you for not allowing you to board. They must have discussed a reason with you. Or did they just say "no" when you tried to board. I don't get this?

Jolovesoz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:07:44

They just said boarding was closed. They refused everyone from the Manchester flight I was on but other people from other flights were still boarding. They haven't given me a reason. The flight was due to land at 22.30 and I understand Sydney has a no fly after 23.00 so I do wonder if there had been a delay with the bags and the plane couldn't wait.

My issue with emirates is not really the denied boarding. It was appalling treatment at the airport and during the wait. Emirates set out their commitment to supporting family travel on their website but the way I was treated was very unhelpful and made for a horrid experience for myself and my little one.

kelly14 Thu 18-Apr-13 04:14:47

Yes this happened to me and my daughter on way home from Dubai at new year. Have flown with emirates literally hundreds of times as parents lived in Dubai for 9 years and I used to live in Sydney.

Emirates is a great airline but they have defo gone down hill in recent years! Saying that I still fly with them.

I was denied boarding even though I checked in online and was at airport 3 hours before flight, basically flight had been overbooked!
We had given hotel straight away ( the first one y nentioned I believe) and free lunch and dinner, it wasn't great but we was immediately given a voucher for return flights to Dubai to be used whenever we want within a year at the desk as it happened ( great for me as I go lots and the Xmas flights were very expensive)

Our next flight was 12 hours later so whoever the time is a factor I don't know but the emirates complaints email is useless and the times I have had to complain for various issues their attitude has not been good and never had a positive outcome.

thistlelicker Thu 18-Apr-13 04:25:28

Go mnhq !!!

DottyboutDots Thu 18-Apr-13 05:18:44

I think the title is misleading, is it more 'my connecting flight landed too late to meet for home leg flight' There are some logistics that need to happen which includes your luggage. Is that why you were all bumped (not just you, if I read it correctly).

That sort of thing happens in the flight INDUSTRY all the time. I'm sorry you were scared though. Were you by yourself or where there several people, who had also missed the connecting flight, with you as you travelled to the hotel?

Dubai hotel standards have a full range, but the 5* ones start at £250 a night, local rate, so hoping to be put up in one of those was a little naive. Did you check with housekeeping for a cot?

I was once stuck in Nairobi airport with my eldest son (2) for 11 hours, with a food voucher which i thought i couldn't use until hunger wiped all trace of gastrosnobbery from us. That was with BA, birds in the engine. Oh, <waves fist> so don't fly them people...

Jolovesoz Thu 16-May-13 07:21:31

See my experience in The Guardian money section here:
m.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/may/13/emirates-delayed-flight-sydney

BedHanger Thu 16-May-13 07:50:57

So sorry about your horrible experience - and that others above didn't believe you! How is your compensation claim going? You were treated awfully.

Bunbaker Thu 16-May-13 07:58:20

"I just think that telling everyone to never fly with Emirates with children is a little over dramatic."

I don't. If I had had that experience I would have said the same. The OP was treated appallingly. Have you no empathy?

I hope you are compensated accordingly Jolovesoz.

Jolovesoz Thu 16-May-13 18:29:20

Thanks bunmaker and bedhanger. I've submitted a claim to The Civil Aviation Authority. The Guardian contacted them and they have already indicated that my claim should be successful.
The Guardian said they've had a huge response to the article and they are following up the article this Saturday.

Bunbaker Thu 16-May-13 19:23:57

That's brilliant news. OH travels with Emirates quite frequently and now has a silver loyalty card. I told him about your experience and he thought it was appalling as well. I warned him about the short changeover time in Dubai because he changes flights there.

Good luck.

Jolovesoz Sat 18-May-13 20:40:33

Looks like quite a few people have been put in the same position by Emirates. The Guardian report that the CAA agree they should pay compensation. m.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/may/18/more-reports-emirates-delays

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