Emirates forced to refund passenger after advertising perks that ‘essentially did not exist’

Emirates sued over 'disgusting' business class
By Lisa James
21/03/2023
Home » Emirates forced to refund passenger after advertising perks that ‘essentially did not exist’

A passenger who complained about his business-class flight to London has been awarded almost £7,000.

Mark Morgan argued his Emirates flight from Auckland did not match the airline’s advertising so took his case to a tribunal.

The surgeon told New Zealand’s Disputes Tribunal that his and his wife’s seats were ‘worn out’, did not recline to lie flat and were less cushioned than those shown in Emirates advertising.

He also complained the couple had a faulty entertainment system that looked nothing like Emirates’ advertising for the ‘refreshed’ two-class Boeing 777 aircraft, which said: “Choose a drink from your personal minibar. And sit back to endless entertainment on your widescreen.”

The aircraft used for the flight from Auckland to London is an older model, and Emirates argued its fine print states it cannot ‘guarantee any particular aircraft will be used’ and it does not make any guarantees about in-flight entertainment, advertised meals or in-flight services.

Dr Morgan submitted photos and links showing what he was told his seats would look like, alongside quotes from New Zealand’s Fair Trading Act which said it is illegal for a business to present false or misleading information.

Disputes Tribunal referee Laura Mueller stated Emirates’ marketing materials were intended to ‘lure customers away from other airline services’ for a service that ‘essentially did not exist’ and awarded Mr Morgan NZ$13,555 (£6,953).

The airline had offered a partial refund of NZ$786, arguing that Mr Morgan’s service was only a 5% reduction in quality.

Dr Morgan told Australian Financial Review: “They should be up front about what you are likely to get.”

Travel Gossip has approached Emirates for a comment.

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