The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


Trottings: Down-rating Emirates.

I was disappointed by a recent Emirates flight – this one Malta-Dubai with a stop in Cyprus. I have two complaints:


Safety remonstration

A serious malfunction. During the transit stop in Cyprus, passengers are asked to identify their hand baggage. Any that are not matched with a passenger are offloaded. Cabin crew do the checks with passengers, and also climb the seats to visually ensure that no bags are left in the overhead baggage-bins.


On my flight, my section of the plane was not checked during the Cyprus transit stop. Passengers were asked to take their bags down from the baggage bins, but there were no further checks.


That means:

-no check was made to link bags with passengers.

-no visual check of baggage bins to make sure they had been cleared.


I noticed that the other side of the aisle these checks were done thoroughly – and some checks, such as the baggage bins, done twice.


(As part of this procedure, albeit not a safety matter, the crew should check that the empty seats were prepared for joining passengers. This also was not done on my flight; as a result the seat next to me had no earphones, and the cushion was not in its place.


Inflight containment

The aircraft was an A330 but its IFE seemed to be from the time even before Emirates was established. Not one screen in the main cabin for all passengers, but not much better.


For instance:


-Small screen, and mine happened to be out of focus.

-The programming did not start until about 20 minutes after take-off, whereas I and I presume many other frequent Emirates passengers expect service-on the moment I board the aircraft.

-Worst was the programming. It ran to a fixed time schedule, so if the film you wanted to see was third in the programming, you would have to wait about four hours for it to start. If you wanted to watch the sports program on rugby, you might have to watch hours of golf, football, or whatever. Same for all programs.

-Also bad on my flight was programming of movies – unless you wanted to watch all the old Star Wars films. I didn’t, so there were just two channels of films left for me. And the film I wanted to see was No 4. So I never saw it.


In addition, the food service operation needs reworking. I got my meal, but drinks service came when I had just finished my dessert. Surely Emirates has been around long enough to organise this properly? Or is this sloppy crew service?


The A330 operating the Malta flight is not a leased-in aircraft. It is part of Emirates’ fleet. The crew said there are just a few routes with this old IFE system. And says they should be converted, but by putting B777s on the routes, by this October. And the route changed – to a circle route Dubai-Tunis-Malta-Dubai.



The Fox

Trottings = Trip Jottings