TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox’s Friends.

April 23 2011


Trottings. Dubai’s Emirates.



HE Emirates airline may not be up to the standards of its generally-high public image. I have noted the following shortcomings on some recent flights. These might not be recorded as shortcomings on some airlines, because the standards are not perceived as high.

[] Entertainment. Wonderful in that there are so many channels and choices. A disaster in that it is so hard to manipulate. Or get reviews – because there cannot be enough space in the printed guide for all that is offered.

[] Dubai airport. Monstrous up-and-down escalator airport. Tiled floors, so cold, and no relief. Reasonably clean but seems of the verge of dirtiness – however bizarre that statement seems.

[] Same for Emirates service. Good, although food poor.

[] Steward said after-meal tea/coffee could not be served because captain said there was going to be turbulence. Flight was smooth at that time. The turbulence never came. And on another sector there was no coffee/tea after-meal service either – although it could be requested. So maybe there is some sort of serving change.

[] I asked twice about IFE (only five channels were available, jumping from say ch9 to ch12). The first time the stewardess said she would ask someone to check for me; she never came back. Another steward about two hours into the flight said that he would reset the system. I did not believe that because we were so far into the flight, and the crew must have known by then that there was a problem. No apology for the faulty system over the PA – not good because IFE is one of the standards that Emirates is proud of.

[] Many (most?) programs the same as when I flew the airline three months earlier. Again, that this does not fit Emirates’ public image.

[] As I boarded, I asked stewardess if there were any magazines on board. She said there were on the top deck and that she would bring me one. I did not believe her because I didn’t want ‘a’ magazine but a specific one, and she had not asked what magazine I wanted. Nor did she ask my seat number. Sure enough, that was the last I heard of it.

Is Emirates becoming like some other once-good airlines, and letting its good public image fool it into letting some standards – which gave it its high reputation in the first place – slip?

Some good points. 1, the three outside-camera channels are excellent. 2, the seat-back screen in the A380 is bigger than the old first-class screens. And the IFE program is running from the time passengers board. For some reasons, most airlines wait until take-off, for as long as a half-hour. My flight was about 45 minutes late (because of an offloaded passenger), but I was watching a movie, so I hardly noticed (I was scheduled for an evening arrival so I had nothing planned for that evening, so a short delay was not a problem).



The Fox’s Friends