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Tue 17 Feb 2015 05:11 PM

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UK businessman slams Emirates after lost luggage court battle

Dubai airline is ordered to compensate Abrar Khan who criticises carrier for 'failing to address his pleas for assistance'

UK businessman slams Emirates after lost luggage court battle

Emirates Airline has been ordered to pay £1,200 ($1,842) to a UK businessman after the carrier lost his luggage en route to Dubai.

Abrar Khan lost everything but the clothes on his back during a planned eight-day business trip which he was forced to cancel and has criticised the airline for its response to the incident.

He said: “After a number of weeks, Emirates failed to locate the suitcase and declared it lost – but they also advised that they would not be able to compensate me because the contents were of an unreasonably high value. Considering I only had two suits and six shirts and associated accessories in the suitcase, I found this hard to believe.”

He said the dispute continued for weeks, with more than 100 emails exchanged between Khan and Emirates. Khan said he sent receipts and proof of purchase for all of his belongings, but Emirates didn't offer an apology or any form of compensation so he took the issue to the small claims court in the UK.

But the day before the trial was due to commence, Khan received an offer to settle to the maximum value. The settlement did not amount to legal fees, which had risen to around £3,000.

Small claims lawyer Nisar Ahmed Khan, a senior partner at BRM Legal, a Coventry law firm, who took up the case, said: “This is a clear case of a very large organisation ‘bullying’ a passenger that they left in a foreign country with nothing but the clothes on his back.

"They failed to address his pleas for assistance and blamed him for the loss. Although my client has been awarded the maximum amount for his claim, I feel legislation should be re-written to provide better protection for passengers in foreign countries.”

An Emirates spokesperson said: “Emirates has handled Mr Khan’s matter diligently and this case has been settled in a UK Court of law and is now closed.”

Despite winning compensation from Emirates, the businessman said: “Lost luggage can be a nightmare. I was relatively lucky that my suitcase had items that were all replaceable – I know other people who have lost expensive gadgets, sentimental keepsakes and other important possessions that can not been replaced. Airlines must take responsibility for their passengers, supporting and compensating them when one of their processes fails.”

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Frank 5 years ago

The fact that Emirates had to make their customer take them to court when its clearly their fault is disgraceful. For Executives at Emirates, this must be something they need to address as they must spend millions on advertising the Brand, only to let it shabby by small minded executives. Thats why , I personally fly Virgin.

Melvyn Vaz 5 years ago

I had bad experience with Emirates twice and what upset me is that they took some 2 months to reply Their ground staff are not courteous
EK is getting arrogant and this will lead to their failure I suggest that their senior managers hang around incognito at the departure check in and see for themselves the attitude of their ground staff Their town office staff are worse
Having said that I must add that this rot has thankfully not spread to the service in the air

salman 5 years ago

I agree with Frank. That is disgraceful to make someone take you to small claims court and make them spend the money on the court fees when they lost the bags. I will think 3 times before flying Emirates after this. All the tens of million on marketing down the drain if you ask me.

Non-Muslim 5 years ago

From my very own experience, Emirates' behaviour is just in line with many other "high profile" airlines around the world. They are all the same. And it's very obvious that the various conventions (Warsaw, Chicago, Montreal) restricting claims amounts to ridiculouly low amounts need an urgent overall update - not only for the maximum amount that airlines have to reimburse, but also the procedure.
BTW: same is valid for insurance companies and banks - their behaviour is in line with airlines - and they all call themselves "service providers"...
Congratulations to Mr. Khan for holding on and finalising his case.

Xyz if 5 years ago

Emirates is getting too arrogant on the back of continuous success. Recently their marketing has gone really bad where they made an offer for 50% miles redemption and didn't give proper information. Most of the cities were excluded from the offer. Also useless marketing emails and useless offers claiming that they are offering deals but actually it's all crap. Being a well wisher of Emirates I would like the management to shake up the marketing department and also get sharper otherwise years of goodwill will gradually get eroded.
After flying Emirates for over 20 years, I am now considering switching to another airline.

ABC 5 years ago

Emirates (or perhaps Dubai airport) are incompetent. I have avoided flying on it since summer 2011. If anyone from Emirates reads this, they will surely know the story (that never came out ofcourse). In brief terms, their airplane was in transit and put on the tarmac in mid-june, with the doors open and the scorching heat flowing in for at least an hour. In addition, an elder man at some point asked to get aspirin, he was probably taken too much by the heat, and unfortunately did not make it. Mind you, it took 45 mins for the ambulance to arrive since he fell ill. He passed away, and that's when the passengers were finally allowed to go rest in the terminal before catching their continuing flight. What's more, given the frustration of the passengers being stuck for so long, once they were off loaded (like baggage, not too far from reality in this story), the airport staff had the nerve to give a bad attitude, as if inconvenienced. Shame on them. Worst experience ever.

Geg 5 years ago

No surprise here. Emirates act above everything and everyone else with their deluded everything Dubai 'IS' syndrome. It is incredible arrogance and it descends to check-in staff too. The subsidiary Fly Dubai is equally arrogant, even when blatantly in the wrong. Oh unlike Emirates, they answered the complaint, but like a stuck record continuously spouting; 'It is company policy". Who cares what their company policy is, we are the paying public.

Having never been allowed to use my thousands of emirates points for upgrade - ever! They eventual expired. Then after being forced rather rudely to endure a somewhat large maid with two kicking kids on her lap, being forced into the seat next to me (in a 2 seat only row) on a cramped and rattly trip from Niece, with huge entertainment boxes under the seats impeding leg room, I complained 3 times. Not even as much as a 2 finger salute came back from this over privileged clan.

Adil 5 years ago

I prefer Emirates, I hope after this incident they will be more supportive on customer services.

Will 5 years ago

I always fly Emirates and have always had the best of service - but on the other hand they have never lost my suitcase either.

Polo4pp 5 years ago

Here, here, I fully agree they are getting too arrogant. I was told by one of their attendants "if you don't like it fly with someone else" and they took no action whatsoever and offered no apology. I do not fly with them any more and take my business to Qatar airways.