Lost in translation..

1. While booking my Emirates flight from SFO to Mumbai via Dubai, i, deliberately or due to oversight, got into a situation where i had to be at the Dubai airport for 18 hours in transit. I didn’t waste my time though. I managed to get rid of some of the jet-lag. I finished reading Gandhi’s autobiography. I saw 3 TED talks. And sharpened my cubing skills. Not to mention, i did a bit of shopping at the Duty Free; which is highly over-rated, in my opinion.

2. Initially i was a bit bored, but then i realized what was missing. I took a walk along the entire terminal, and then found what i was looking for. A nice looking girl who was reading a book. I plopped myself beside her and thus, having found a constant source of motivation, i easily finished the autobiography. In case you haven’t read The Story of My Experiments with Truth, i suggest you do. Although i should warn you, its a bit of heavy reading.

If there is one single point that i liked page after page, is that, Gandhi first changed himself. Be it his diet, his dress, his mode and  language of communication, Satyagraha.. everything began with himself. Others simply followed his actions. So, thats what i want to do, Be the change myself. Period.

3. I wrote a long letter of grievance to the Emirates Customer Affairs. I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong, but i was unhappy by the way i was treated and i decided to tell them what i thought.

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am very unhappy that I have faced unexpected inconvenience during my travel with Emirates and wish to bring it your notice. I hope you understand that if it was some other airline, i wouldn’t have bothered to express my feelings, but since I expect the highest standard from Emirates and i chose it specifically due to this long journey, i was severely disappointed.

My itinerary is as follows: itinerary.jpg

I have the following issues to bring to your notice.1. It was my folly that i did not realize that the connecting flight from Dubai was with a halt of 18 hours. This is the first time I’m traveling. But why is it not clearly mentioned on the ticket that the transit is 18 hours. Don’t you agree that it is as much my responsibility as is yours to clearly mention that? I’ve booked tickets via other Web sites and they clearly specify the TOTAL duration of the journey. I’m very unhappy that Emirates doesn’t feel it necessary to bring it to their passengers notice.

2. What is Emirates policy regarding passengers who have >12 hours transit. All i could gather from the officials here at Dubai airport is that i should have taken a voucher in advance and that would have allowed me complimentary stay in the lounge. But another official tells me it is not complimentary. Another tells me that Emirates gives free accommodation for passengers with >12 hours transit. But to my surprise, they refused to give me any accommodation / access to lounge. The only thing that seems to be available is a free meal.

One free meal for 18 hours? Why are these things not clearly mentioned on your Web site? Why is the complimentary meal not mentioned on the Web site? I had to ask 3 officials after i finally garnered this information. This is absolutely ridiculous. I know from other passengers that they received free accommodation if they had a long transit period. Why was i denied this?  For your information, i slept a much sleepless night in the airport chairs.  I am saddened by this lack of information on your Web site. And its not as if i chose a discounted ticket. I could have chosen other airlines and saved a couple of hundred dollars and gotten this rotten service. Why do you think i chose Emirates? To pay more and get treated like shit?

I am not writing this to you in lieu of any compensation. I just want to inform you of my intention that i will not be traveling by Emirates any more. I have no reason to chose it over other airlines. It is unfortunate that my return journey is booked on Emirates, but that shall be last one.

A very unhappy and unsatisfied customer.


They replied back in a couple of hours with


Dear Mr Bhamla,

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

The events that you have described are being looked into and one of our Customer Affairs Officers will write to you once our investigations are complete.

In any future correspondence with us, please quote the above reference.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write to us.

Yours sincerely

Customer Affairs

Emirates Group Headquarters

P.S. The next book that I’m reading in this break is Barack Obama’s, Dreams from my Father. (N recommended and lent it)



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