This is where I, the site author, detail all my own problems. Its a story of death (not joking) broken promises, wasted time, wasted money, lies and ineptitude. I will also be detailing my process as I take Emirates to court.
My Emirates Story (In a Nutshell)
Earlier in the year, my father in law died. As part of the final sort-out of his wishes, he ashed for a small amount of his ashes to be taken to Australia. So once the funeral was over, we booked a return trip to Australia, stopping off at some relatives homes in Dubai and Singapore so that a smal sample of his ashes could be given to his remaining brothers who live abroad.
So via Expedia, we booked the flights for the following year (to co-incide with my father in laws Birthday and his brothers birthday) with Emirates. And all was good in the world.
Then it all went wrong…
1) On Saturday 17th June (2 months after booking the flights, and 9 months before we fly), we received an email from Expedia that one of the been removed from service. As part of the email, we were given several (unacceptable) options from Emirates including the option of a partial refund covering the cancelled flight.
2) After speaking with Expedia, we booked alternative flights – on the understanding that if we delayed a decision, the cost of the flights would increase as other people purchased seats
3) Whilst trying to secure a refund, Expedia spoke to the Expedia agents, and Emirates changed our original booking to the same flights we had just booked (despite us asking for a refund). This left us booked twice on the same flights – once on the original booking and once on the new booking.
4) So we again spoke to Expedia who spoke again to one of the Emirates agents, and a cancellation for the 2nd, additional booking was made.
5) I was then informed that:
a. There is a 2 persons x £114 ‘administration fee’ for the cancellation (so £228 in total)
b. That the refund will take around 12 weeks to process (yet Emirates managed to take payment for the 2nd booking in 15 seconds)
c. That Emirates would not be able to confirm the cancellation in writing
6) Ten minutes after cancellation the extra booking I then received an email saying instead of cancelling the double booking, Emirates have in fact cancelled the flight back to the UK.
7) I called Emirates, they said they could not help me and I was told to speak to Expedia. I spoke to Expedia and they said it was Emirates who had made the change and it was their problem.
8) I raised a complaint via the god-awful Emirates on-line form , but speaking with an Emirates support person, they have suggested that I should not expect a response for around 30 days. Houses are built in 30 days! Companies are created and go under in 30 days. Yet it takes 30 days to pick up a phone?
So at this point, clearly I am not happy that I am being forced to pay £228 for a cancellation instigated by Emirates. Nor am I happy about having to wait 12 weeks (3 months, a quarter of a year) for you to process a refund.
But worse is not knowing what is happening with the flights home (which Emirates are suggesting cannot be re-booked). The wife is in tears – and continues to be in tears for over a week.
Now it could be said that the problems may have been caused by Expedia, but they have gone on record (noth written and verbal) clearly laying all problems at the Emirates door including:
1) Confirming that Emirates originally cancelled the flight – but they could not understand why
2) That the extra booking was suggested Emirates agents
3) That the refund and cancellation fees are directly from Emirates, and nothing to do with Expedia
4) That Emirates are the ones who incorrectly cancelled the flight back to the UK
My Position and Legal Proceedings
For any sane and rational person, the above would be unacceptable. But rather than sort the issue out or appologise, Emirates so far have either been totally silent, or where I can speak to somebody, have started stating that all of the above is as per their Terms and Conditions.
Therefore, my intention is to take Emirates to the UK small claims court for the £228. I will also be seeking interest charges, late payment fees, cancellation charges (similar to Emirates own charges in scope and reason) and other fees incurred.
A typical Emirates Chat
To show what it is like dealing with Emirates support, below is a copy of a ‘typical’ chat with Emirates. In this chat, one of the the offical Emirates support staff suggest the best way to deal with the double booking and cancelled flight is not to sport it out by correcting the error, but actually to WAIT until the scheduled flight has happened (with us not being on it), and then make a complaint.
Now I ask you, what kind of F-ed up logic is that?
Enjoy (provided in full without editing):
00:00:01 Jaffa : EK Error code : [Contact us – On Trigger] Custom Message : [If you need some help or want to let us know something, please get in touch. We can offer help with flights, tickets, check-in and more in our help centre. – Emirates ]
00:01:31 Sandrine : Hello Jaffa,
00:01:37 Sandrine : How can I help you today?
00:02:16 Jaffa : Hi
00:02:32 Jaffa : Can I please have an email adress for a complaint letter
00:02:51 Jaffa : Sorry – I mean complaint
00:04:16 Sandrine : You’ll need to fill a form online.
00:04:27 Sandrine : Here is the link to access the form.
00:04:32 Jaffa : Sorry – need an email address
00:04:39 Jaffa : The form has a mandatory ticket number
00:04:52 Jaffa : But I dont have a ticket number – only a booking reference number
00:05:28 Sandrine : We don’t have any email address, all the complaints are submitted via the form.
00:05:36 Sandrine : May I know what the complaint is about?
00:07:15 Jaffa : We have reservations for flights in June next year, emerates canclled one of the many flights forcing us to rearrange, and when we booked alternatiuves, we have been charged for YOUR cancellation, and just received confirmation that as part of the new tickets, they have incorrectly also cancellaed another leg of the trip
00:09:05 Sandrine : I am sorry to hear that. In that case, I’d suggest you to put the booking reference / ticket number from the original booking.
00:10:21 Jaffa : But I dont have a ticket number – it checks its number – on the email confirmation, againmst ticket number it says its “to be issue”
00:10:30 Jaffa : I assume becuase its 7 or 8 months in the future?
00:11:29 Sandrine : They are requiring a ticket number and booking reference because complaints are to be done after the trip is completed.
00:11:49 Jaffa : Well, this is a complaint before the trip
00:11:58 Jaffa : So, whats the form or email address for that?
00:12:46 Jaffa : Or do you suggest I wait till June next year to complaign about a problem from this year?
00:13:52 Sandrine : That’s right. I’d suggest you to do it post travel.
00:14:11 Jaffa : DO you work for emirates?
00:14:45 Sandrine : Yes sure.
00:15:52 Jaffa : Ok – Just checking that the offical response from emirates when I tell them they have cancelled the wrong part of a flight, is to sit and wait, and when the trip has passed (bearing in mind I cant make the trip becuase you have incorrectly cancelled it), its to then complign
00:16:06 Jaffa : Thats the summary of the above conversation