‘Fly Better’…is what the Emirates airline says about choosing to fly Emirates. That could be true only if they let you board the aircraft & fly. Apparently some of their ground crew staff double hat as ‘Immigration’ & justify their salaries by over interviewing passengers for no reason at all.
I was over prepared for my flight to Barcelona via Dubai. All my documents were neatly filed in a digital & a print folder: passport, visa, vaccination report, invitation letter, cover letter, RT PCR report, the works.
At the time of collecting boarding pass, the crew staff noticed my immaculate preparation and the fact that all my documents are in order…and got suspicious. Because who prepares all their documents in advance while flying international?! I should have forgotten one or two docs at home.
The lady at the Check-in counter & the shift supervisor looked at my tickets, passport & visa and asked the million dollar question, “When are you flying back?”
Of course I brought their attention to the return ticket which was scheduled for 7 days later, on a visa that was valid for 90 days.
“But ma’am this return ticket is not booked by Emirates. It’s Air France.!”
“So?”, I asked because it’s started to get ridiculous
At which point, they all sort of ganged up on me and told me that I can’t board the aircraft. Because the return is booked via Air France. Unless it’s booked via Emirates, they can’t confirm my ticket’s validity, and until then I can’t board the aircraft.
Wohoooo! What the fish!
I was about to explode like a mini bomb but I had promised myself that I will keep my anger in check on this trip, and solve problems like an adult.
I asked them one question – where is it written that my return has to be booked via Emirates if I am flying via Emirates too. Of course, they didn’t have any answer to it but a host of weird facial expressions. Post that, they frisked my digital identity so much that it amounted to harassment. They asked me to produce every single document that I possibly could…and it just kept getting more & more ridiculous. When they couldn’t find anything wrong with the documents, they behaved like immigration and asked me questions on the purpose of my visit, why ‘me’, what’s the reason behind my existence and why was Earth created in the first place.
It didn’t end here by the way. They kept calling me even after I had checked out from Security and immigration to ask information that I had already given.
So far, the experience sucked!
Why was it unnecessary:
As a person, I am all for processes, checks and balances. Yes, airport crew staff should check documents before issuing boarding passes. But within the limits of decency and respectful behaviour.
It’s downright disrespectful to hold a passenger in the queue and question the ‘bejesus’ out of them…just because they are allowed to do that.
I would have preferred if they would have told me what was missing from my documentation. And if they had to cross-check my return ticket, they could have done that while I completed the rest of my boarding formalities. My flight wasn’t going to take off for the next 4.5 hours which was enough time for them to check the validity of my ticket.
But no, ‘foolishness’ knows no boundaries even if passengers get massively harassed.
What does ‘fly better’ REALLY mean:
This episode of stupidity continued till I boarded the aircraft. I kept receiving calls from the ground crew who kept asking stupid questions.
Training department of Emirates – please teach some etiquette to your employees.
All’s well that ends well…and all’s shit if it starts like shit…for no apparent reason. All the ‘premium’ experience inside the aircraft & good food couldn’t compensate for how it started.
Fly Better or not, but to be able to ascertain, one has to fly…no?! 😀 I would take some liberty here & put my experience in words…Fly Better after going through Shit during boarding, with Emirates!