Emirates offering miles, money for "downgrades" from Airbus A380

By John Walton, March 23 2012
Emirates offering miles, money for

Have you booked a flight on one of Emirates' Airbus A380s but ended up travelling on a Boeing 777, Airbus A330 or Airbus A340 due to those aircraft being substituted for the superjumbo?

Then you're due a stack of Skywards miles or a partial refund on your ticket as compensation -- and that's a ruling from none other than Emirates CEO Tim Clark.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Clark reveals that Emirates is now offering free miles in its Skywards frequent flyer programme, and in some cases money, to travellers affected by Emirates' decision to send its A380s back into the hanger for repair work to fix small cracks in supporting wing structures that resulted from a manufacturing defect.

“Those airplanes are always full, they’re always popular" Clarke tells Bloomberg. "We’ve had multiple cancellations. We’ve had people telling us ‘Well you sold me the A380’, so we had to throw in 5,000 or 10,000 miles or give money back. It’s a mess.”

Why are the A380's fully flat beds so much better than "lie-flat" variants? Read our breakdown of business class "beds".

Australian Business Traveller asked Emirates' Australian spokespeople to comment on how many miles' compensation could be expected if, for example, a passenger booked in the fully flat, direct-aisle-access Airbus A380 business class was bumped to the angled lie-flat business class with middle seats on the Boeing 777-300ER.

An Emirates spokesperson would say only that "enquiries are dealt with on a case by case basis... customers with queries are encouraged to get in touch with Emirates." However, the airline says that no A380s have been swapped out of Australian flights.

Emirates doesn't publish a contact email, and its Contact Us pages are a little unwieldy.

Your best bet is to contact Emirates via its Australia call centre on 1300 303 777 to discuss your compensation, and request a follow-up email address from whoever you deal with on the phone.

(And if you feel bad about asking for miles or money from Emirates, don't. The airline says it's already in talks with Airbus to figure out how to pass those costs onto the A380's manufacturer.)

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 211

emirates, the powerhouse airline that hates complaints/comments so much that they don't offer a way to contact them easily. also have the worst economy seats I've seen - especially the narrow seats on the 777

I agree and the worst service in business class

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 79

Well.. that is the reason they are about to upgarde Business cabins on 773ER before 380`s and I rather fly on the 773 than 380`s.. it`s so crowded noisy with rumors of people... and Honestly I do prefer planes with no cracks on the wings!!!

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Emirates offering miles, money for "downgrades" from Airbus A380