My first trip to the United States needed last minute booking thanks to our family getting a last minute Visa.
From the outside, I always had a very good impression of how this airlines operated. Born and brought up in Kuwait, I have been flying predominantly Kuwait Airways and Air India for much of the last three decades. I have travel experience also in Gulf Air, Oman Air, Tiger Air, Air India Express, Air Arabia, Al Jazeera, Silk Air, Air Asia, Tiger Air and Malaysian Airlines.
The reason why I never traveled in Emirates is primarily because it has a halt in UAE and I never really traveled that way. Emirates if I remember was one of the early trendsetters in luxury air travel, now well superceded by colleagues like Etihad and Qatar airways.
The reason why I opted for the Emirates flight was the shorter duration of transit considering traveling with a 6 month old. As i type this, I am yet to complete my last leg of the return journey.
The onward journey flight was peaceful and on time. That left me satisfied. The only glitch was, my baby’s stroller came broken. I registered a baggage damage claim in the San Francisco Airport Emirates office and they said they are eligible to only reimburse 50$!!! My baby is 6 months and the stroller even younger. So they said they will send the message back to Kuwait and I have to get the claim sorted there.
Whilst returning my family took the Air India to travel to India whilst I returned on the same aircraft.
The aircraft arrived late in San Francisco and a result also took off later than expected. At the time of take off, the ETA showed a 30 min delay. From my long experience of travel, especially with Kuwait airways, I have seen them always catch up on travel time mid air. So towards the terminal fourth of the trip, I got up to head to the loo.
On the way back, I stopped by the cabin crew station designated for my zone of seating. According to US Security, no passengers are allowed to congregate within the flight nor use lavatories not designated for them.
I was surprised to find 6 cabin crew cramped up in zone C station (EK 226 22 July 2019 SFO to DXB). Here’s an excerpt of the conversation that ensued.
Me: Hi there, could I have a glass of water please?
Cabin Crew: (no response, finds a glass, hands it out to me).
Me: Thanks. I had a query. I have a connecting flight that leaves within half an hour of our estimated landing time. Will I be able to make it?
Cabin Crew: This flight will land at 8 45 pm. (chuckles). (Actual ETA: 7 25 pm, eventually landed 7 51 pm).
Me: (optimistic) Is there any chance we might be able to catch up on some lost time mid air?
Cabin Crew: You could try praying. (All giggle together).
Me: (Sarcastically) tough luck then, cause am an atheist.
In my experience of interactions on travel, I have never met a more arrogant bunch of human beings.
With no offence to Americans, I was actually surprised by how cordial my interactions had been all throughout in the United State of America.
It is a shame that the final leg of the trip has to be defaced by classless elements in the aircraft. Emirates should shoulder responsibility. I for one would never tolerate such behavior at my workplace, but for first timers like me, Emirates, I would rather never travel with you guys again.
Having been held up, I did eventually miss my connecting flight. I was offered a food coupon. Airlines policy for long distance travel only permits food coupons after a long journey around the globe like this. I went to McD outlet with the coupon only to find that some limited burger options are only provided in the coupon. Thankfully Giraffe stop had a nice rice bowl option to eat while I write this piece.
Have officially submitted a complaint in this same sitting. Will wait for their response.