How Emirates Airline lost one (maybe four) customer(s) ?

They say that the success mantra for any business to excel over its competitors is to treat its customers like a king. It is a metaphor, no doubt. But the management gurus at Emirates do not seem to believe in it. Not even a bit of it.

I traveled to Europe for a couple of months. Emirates was selected for the cause. I was quite excited to travel with them because I had heard quite a few positive reviews about them.

I will mention three incidents below which made me dislike their services. Individually they are more than three, but I have grouped them into three to save them some embarrassment.

Incident 1:

This was on my way to Frankfurt. The origin was Dubai. The date was September 22, 2014. According to the booked tickets, I was expecting to be served with an Asian Vegetarian meal. But the flight attendant apologized for not having such an option on that flight. He offered me to accept either chicken or fish. I was disappointed, but didn't think much about it since only the main course was non-vegetarian. I happily ate the rest of the meal, and didn't give it much thought.

Incident 2:

This was on my way back to Bengaluru. The origin was Dubai. The date was November 22, 2014. Their in-flight interactive screen featuring ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) was not working for my seat. I reported the issue to the attendant. She assured me of resolving it at the earliest. When nothing happened, I re-inquired about the issue. I suggested her to reset the console from the main control. They did follow my instructions, only that they were not done for my seat. The lady passenger next to me found her screen being reset. I burst into laughter. I called the attendant for the third time, explaining her how she did the right thing, but for the wrong passenger. She somehow agreed to what I meant to say, and then re-assured me and left. After a lot of waiting, I got really pissed. When I called them again, one of them came up to me and blamed me for interrupting the reboot process by pressing the buttons on the remote control. I was furious. They actually never rebooted my screen, but she wasn't ready to budge. I decided not to bother them anymore.

Incident 3:

This was in the same flight as before. It was time for dinner. As before, I was expecting to be served with an Asian Vegetarian meal. But the attendant felt sorry, stating that such meals were over. Already furious about the screen not working, I was getting angrier. In fact, this time I was not the only one. The lady on my right, the gentleman one ahead on my left, and the gentleman two ahead on my right had the same issues. They were also conveyed that the meal was over. They only had chicken meals left. This made me remember how the same happened on my flight to Frankfurt. (Maybe at that time also there were more unhappy customers; maybe I just didn't notice.) When you commit a mistake once, it's a mistake; when you do it again; it's a choice! At least, that's how it appeared to be. We were all wondering whether they really counted the different kinds of meals required on the flight before they took-off. After all, they knew it at the time of ticket booking.

Given the female nature, the lady passenger started shouting at the top of her voice. There was chaos all around. To calm her down, they served her with a vegetarian meal. Everyone wondered where it came from; it was supposed to be over. The gentleman one ahead on my left was promised to be served with vegetarian pasta, which was on the stove at the time of promising. Needless to mention, he never got that pasta! It was clear enough that they were trying to somehow keep the situation under control.

If there were four unhappy customers (including me) in such a small area of the flight, I kept wondering how many people went unhappy that day. That is when I decided to write this post.

I am not sure about those three, but Emirates has definitely lost me as their customer. I will happily go for other not-so-popular airline services over Emirates, given my poor experience with them.

Did you also face such a situation ever? Was it with Emirates?

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