I consider the disclosure of the following information as being fair towards EK passengers and towards ground staffs who are still struggling to charge excess baggage at Dubai International Airport.
Passenger at the DXB International Airport can notice huge baggage belts which can be rarely seen at other airports. This is because excess baggage is usual in DXB, especially with Asian travellers who are going back home after long and hard work in UAE.
When I had the training for check-in my trainers told me that I can wave off maximum 2 kilos of my passenger’s excess baggage, but only if I consider it safe and necessary. By practising this “2 kilos off” rule in years, EK has promoted forgiveable excess of 2 kilos; so allowed 30 kilos in economy class became allowed 32 kilos over the years.
Suddenly, in just one day, everything changed for staff and, which is much worse, for passengers. Check-in agents got the instruction to charge EVERY kilo and to give NOTHING for free and there was an obligation to check and tag hand baggage and this obligation didn’t exist before. We supposed to charge absolutely every kilo of excess with no mercy and average price of one excess kilo is 25 euros.
This is a regular procedure at the other airports, but let’s not forget: DXB airport is specific because many people have excess baggage, including big and overweighted hand baggage, and they were allowed to carry it for years. Sudden decision of the management to charge every kilo brought a lot of headache to check-in agents who were getting accusations on a regular basis that they are “rude”, “discriminative”, “racist” and “malicious” for not allowing two additional kilos or big hand baggage. The job of a check-in agent, which was unbearable and exhausting anyway due to tiring shifts with no breaks and awful management treatment, became a nightmare once all of these “fights” with passengers occurred on a daily basis.
Understandably, passengers who are loyal to the company for years and who are used to travel with few kilos extra, suddenly felt betrayed and robbed, and, understandably, the first points of expressing their anger were check-in counters.
While staff had to charge excess kilos, passengers were facing unannounced and unfair impost on their few kilos more, especially on the hand baggage, since management ordered measuring every single piece of hand luggage that passes through the immigration point. This is not only aggressive but also very humiliating for the passengers, as every customer has to stand in the long line to check-in first and then in another line to weight their hand luggage. Passengers certainly feel like they are criminals who want to smuggle something past the strict staff who have to either weight the baggage or face the harassment of their bosses because they let excess weight baggage to pass the immigration.
This inconsiderate and greedy decision of EKAS management made the lives of check-in agents even more miserable and customers disappointed and angry and I was surprised to find out that nobody actually cares! Staff is in every day problem of how to explain the customer that they HAVE to pay the excess, without being punished when customer complains on them, because almost every customer’s complaint on the staff is almost an automatic punishment for the staff. These are unendurable conditions for work, and management didn’t care neither for angry passengers nor staffs who were exhausted and totally demotivated by this new situation where they were controlled every day (like in prison) if they are charging the excess and tagging the hand baggage.
This is just another example of Emirates Management incapability to implement good customer service strategy or to motivate its staff to do good job with the customers.
Eventually, this situation turned into a circle of frustrated passengers, indifferent and numb check-in agents and furious managers.
Emirates Airline management is simply failing to provide an excellent customer service and has no contact with the airport reality.