28 June, 2022


Travails Of Travelling With Emirates

By Bandula Kothalawala

Dr. Bandula Kothalawala

Dr. Bandula Kothalawala

I wish to express extreme disappointment and disgust over the treatment I received at the hands of Emirates on EK006 and EK654 on 4 June 2015 from London to Colombo via Dubai.

I am a disabled person on a wheelchair. I made the booking after carefully reading the advice from the airline for passengers with special needs and complied with it. Emirates says, inter alia, on its website:

We provide storage for one passenger’s collapsible, manual wheelchair in the aircraft cabin on many Emirates aircraft on a first-come first-served basis, if you request for pre-boarding assistance at the departure gate. If you wish to take your own wheelchair to the gate, you must arrive at the gate at least 60 minutes prior to departure.

Wheelchairs or assistive devices that are too large or heavy to be accommodated in the aircraft cabin will be carried in the hold.

EmiratesAs advised by the airline, I talked to their customer services on the phone on three separate occasions five days before the flight on 4 June and informed them that I was travelling with my own wheelchair and that I needed it in Dubai, as I could not use any other wheelchair. On 4 June 2015 when I checked in, I made the request again. I was told that my own wheelchair would be available to me in Dubai and that they would send special instructions to their agents to the effect. My wheelchair which is manual and collapsible is much smaller than a standard wheelchair. British Airways often carries manual, collapsible wheelchairs in the aircraft cabin on request or arranges for them to be brought to the gates after landing. Prior to boarding, I asked a lady who introduced herself as supervisor for the flight (she said her name was Jackie) whether they could carry my wheelchair in the aircraft cabin. She said that they could not. This was despite the fact that the airline was using the world’s biggest passenger aircraft – A380 – on this route, but, repeatedly assured me that my wheelchair would be available to me at the gate in Dubai. However, when we landed in Dubai, the crew denied any knowledge of my request or any special message about it and asked me to use the wheelchair provided by the airline. When I told them that I could not use it at all and that I needed to go to the toilet after a 7-hour journey from London to Dubai, they were still adamant that I should use the wheelchair provided by the airline. Some of the crew members were very unpleasant, utterly insensitive and visibly incompetent, and displayed breath-taking arrogance. In the end, the agent, handling luggage for the airline, who saw my predicament, kindly offered to bring my wheelchair back to me and, at last I was able to use the toilet before my flight to Colombo. Despite my repeated requests, the crew failed to arrange for my wheelchair to be brought to the gate when we landed in Colombo. There were no major problems on my return journey from Colombo to London via Dubai on 21 June 2015.

In my twenty-odd years of international travel to various destinations in Europe Africa, Asia, North America and South America in the course of work in the International Department of the Trades Union Congress, never did I have to endure such callous treatment by aircrew. I can recall many an uncomfortable moment in aircraft and at airports, especially, in sub-Saharan Africa. However, they were mostly attributable to the lack of resources – absence of adequate facilities for people with reduced mobility in developing countries and not due to insensitivity, incompetence and/or sheer arrogance on the part of aircrew.

Transporters of animals, let alone human beings, have a duty of care and they often take it seriously.

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Latest comments

  • 6


    Sorry to hear of your experience with Emirates.

    01: Did you formally complain to Emirates and what was their reply?

    02: Why didn’t you take a direct flight(London-Colombo) with Sri Lankan Airlines?

  • 10

    Dear Dr Kothalawala
    First, let me tell you that we have been there many times. Airlines have misplaced wheelchairs, have broken wheelchairs, have been rude, have been inattentive to our requests….you name it, we have gone through all that travelling in a wheelchair.
    And Emirates in particular has never been accommodative. On principle we don’t fly with them anymore. The last time we tried to book a flight, the office in Colombo demanded a MEDA, whereas the disability is not a medical condition and insisted that they will not take responsibility of the traveller with a disability.
    Do please lodge a formal complaint. Do write to IATA as well. Publish this in social media and do write to Emirates officially complain. As you may know, EU regulations on access to air travel is very strict. So you may have the option of taking legal action. You could perhaps initiate this by writing to the European Consumer Centre.
    All the best!

  • 9

    Still I’m waiting my replacement baggage (as promised) by the Emirates the buggers damaged in Dubai on my enroute to Colombo.
    I feel much better with Sri Lankan after the departure of MaRa’s infamous Brother in Law (I conveniently forgot his name).

    I got irked by the arrogant Emirati staffs let be London, Dubai or Colombo.

    • 1


      That bugger’s name is Nishantha (a.k.a. NAKIA) who went on a flying spree with all his ‘flying angels’. His nephew, playboy Namal Khan, followed suit and the parents of the ‘flying angels’ are now looking for answers. Miracle of Asia, now buried in the cesspit!

  • 8

    Yes, I have, but it is too soon to expect their response. Air travel can be a nightmare for people with disabilities and it therefore is important that the issue is brought into public debate.
    Sri Lankan Airlines operates direct flights from London to Colombo. However, I haven’t had much luck with them in recent times! Please, read my experience with them also published in the CT. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankan-airline-disabled-passengers-medical-certificates-etc/
    Nevertheless, I hasten to add that I had nothing to complain about their aircrew who, as far as I can recall, provided an impeccable service.
    Bandula Kothalawala

  • 10

    Dear Dr. Kothalawala

    You are absolutely right in expressing your displeasure in your experience. I have had many similar experiences with the attitudes of the flight attendants and even ground staff.

    Sometimes there are polite and friendly cabin crew, but many a time the opposite is the case. I am sure the airline doesn’t intend it this way. But, in spite of the training given slowly cabin crew push their envelope of dis curtsy till it ends up bordering racism. If you might have noticed its mainly the white female crew that are prone to this. This goes unchecked, even when you make a complaint I don’t think Emirates senior staff pay much attention. Often with a dismissive attitude, ‘look at me I am working for Emirates, with or without you I still have my job’.

    Secondly when it comes to coordination between flight crew and ground crew I once again agree with you in that it is non existent. Ground operations are an entirely different ball game, sometimes the staff can be extremely nice and at other times they are totally insensitive.

    This I believe is the reason why Emirates in not in the top 5 airlines in the world, in spite of having some of the best aviation hardware and a massive airport to match.

    The best that you can hope for is to write to Emirates management and lodge a complaint and hope for the best. Sometimes they actually make amends.

  • 4

    Dear Bandula,
    My sincere apologies for the way you feel about your experience with Emirates. I personally feel you are simply over reacting to a situation that could have been handled with ease. But sometimes you ought to give service in order to receive service and by reading your earlier complaints I feel you perhaps think you are the only wheel chair passenger that travels in the sky.
    For starters Invalids,WHCR,WCHC,WCHS.MEDA and stretcher cases are all accommodated and carried with care by Emirates. Some need escorts and some don’t need them. The medical equipment available on board the aircraft on Emirates is state of the art and you would be amazed to know that a group of doctors sit on call 24/7 in Arizona to assist any call made from any Emirates aircraft in the sky. Tempus Telemedicine Equipment to send voice and data images and info of sick passengers to these group of doctors, with ECG reports (and much more )that could be taken by the crew are all available on board with a fully trained set of crew to handle these situations. Even a defibrillator that gives shocks to passengers who suffer cardiac arrest in flight is also available on board. This type of equipment has has helped save the lives of many passengers on board and when in the skies.
    At the point of checking in the airline provides wheel chair assistance right up to the aircraft door after your wheel chair is accepted as checked in baggage. Once you are wheeled up to the door, you are then transferred on to another wheel chair which is stored always on board for in flight use. During transit in Dubai the passengers checked in wheel chairs are not brought to the aircraft door, but you are provided with wheel chairs that the airline offers as a part of their service during transit. This same problem arises with baby push chairs and Emirates also offers prams for parents to use during their transit stop.
    My friend and Dear Doctor, Please dont blow this entire situation out of proportion. just because the A380 is a big aircraft it is designed in such a manner that it does not simply store a passengers wheel chair at random. They have policies and procedures in place and have also given great thought for travelers just like you.That’s how they remain a successful airline. If in the event you require some sort of help or support which is not part of their procedures, then simply call any of the town offices and speak to their Manager directly. I am sure he or she will help you with the necessary guidance and help and support you require. Also when you are in a negative frame of mind, everything you see,do and experience is negative. The Emirates Crew are well trained to handled disgruntled passengers and believe me they dont take offense to any passenger however much rude they may be.
    Cheers Dr.Bandula Kothalawala. Hope your travels in the future will be smooth.

    • 8

      Not addressing the issue. Probably by an EK employee.

      If the specific wheel chair is required at the aircraft door, then steps should be taken to carry it inside the cabin and not in the hold.

      We have to help and assist passengers with specific requirements.

    • 10

      What bullshit reply

    • 6

      You apologize for the way this invalid justifiably feels! That’s ridiculous. This poor man has been grievously hurt and feels dehumanized. I have also travelled on many airlines in the last forty odd years and Middle Eastern airlines are particularly bad as far as the way they show politeness and help to dark skinned, Asians who are NOT their own. If a passenger is white or Middle Eastern in origin (Islamic) they get a royal treatment. That’s all there is to it.

      I always use Ari Lankan, El Al, Lufthansa (they, the Ger grievously mans are by nature efficient) or British Airways. Another good airline is United but never expect, if your skin is dark, the same treatment as if you were white. That’s the truth and unfortunate.

    • 4


      Do not try to white wash the whole despicable episode Dr. Kothalawela suffered.

      Emirates staff – particularly Dubai Emiratians – are very nasty and racists to South Asians. I lived there for 13 years and I have experienced such callous treatment my self. Emirates may have the best Air crafts but their ground staff services is rubbish.

      So, Turbulence SHUT UP!

    • 2

      Hi Turbulence

      Are you replying on behalf of Emirates Airlines in some official capacity? In that case the denial should appear officially not under some pseudonym. If not why are you holding a brief for the airline of these arrogant and stupid Arabs?

      Emirates may be employing mostly expatriates as ground staff and flight crew, but like most Arab entities the top management personnel of Emirates are mostly Arabs, and that may explain why Emirates Airline is insensitive to passengers’complaints. The Chairman and Chief Executive is a Sheikh,and four of the six Vice Presidents are Arabs. The President of the airline is a Brit.

      Best thing is avoid Emirates and fly by other good airlines. Servicewise, the best Asian airlines are Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. The most arrogant and insensitive flight attendants are in Qantas, the Australian national carrier. Because of the union power, Qantas crew are a protected species and they do not care for the passsengers, particularly if they are dark skinned. After receiving a bad treatment from a Qantas flight attendant, I stopped flying Qantas. That is the way to punish airlines.

    • 2


      All what you are trying to say about the facilities offered by Emirates may be true and valid.However the issue on hand is the level of Passenger Service.If either Emirates policies do not permit what the Passenger has requested or they are incapable of providing same due some operational constraints they simply should have informed Dr.Kothalawala in advance so he could perhaps made alternate arrangements instead.

      State of the Art Aircraft or the Best of facilities that money can money alone would not make an Airline the Best in Business.

  • 2

    Jagath, Hope this helps you understand what I wrote earlier.

    Check in:
    The passenger’s wheel chair is sent to the hold. A airport wheel chair is used to wheel the passenger by airport services staff through immigration and right up to the aircraft door.

    They transfer the passenger from the airport wheel chair to the on board wheel chair and wheel him to his seat.

    The aircraft does have a separate wheel chair permanently housed on board, where the size fits the aisle for on board use.This is used in flight should the passenger need to use the toilet etc.

    After Landing:
    The airport services bring their own wheel chairs once again and wheel the passenger throughout the airport during the transit stop.

    The checked in wheel chair is not brought to the aircraft either during transit or at any time but will be received at the final end with his suitcase near the carousal.

    No I am not an EK employee.

    • 14

      Dear Turbulence,

      I am a global PR professional. I am assuming you are an employee of EK. Since I am a frequent flyer on many airlines, I can say with some conviction you are right. But if you are an EK employee you are doing more damage to this great brand with your insensitiveness in handling a passenger issue. More over you seem to undermine a passenger with your overly smart comment. You should have tried to nullify the issue on social media before it spreads and gets more serious attention. And trust me you nor your rich airline has the power to stop bad publicity unless it is managed professionally. People like you do more damage to your brand than negative passenger comments.

      Do think about that.

    • 4


      I suppose other Airlines have been getting it all wrong all the time.

  • 7

    My own observation is that service on the Colombo – Dubai sector on Emirates is very
    lackadaisical . However beyond Dubai , it is a different ball game with cabin crew falling over themselves to be of service !

  • 7

    If the Middle Easter airlines want to expand, be successful, and importantly change their image of being arrogant and insensitive, they have to be more compassionate and show concern for those with special needs.
    Unfortunately, national airlines reflect the attitude of that nation and it is important to be more humane if you want to stay in business with the rest of the world. The members of staff who treated this writer shabbily should have been schooled in how to deal with people who need special assistance.

    • 6


      “Unfortunately, national airlines reflect the attitude of that nation and it is important to be more humane if you want to stay in business with the rest of the world.”

      Its true.

      Those who fly by Sri Lankan airlines would have noticed that they are greeted at the gates with Ayubowan not followed by Vannakam or Asalamu Alaikkum while more than half of the passengers are Tamils or Muslims.

      This reflects the nation’s psyche.

  • 1

    For your I do not work for any airline.
    Its easy to source info these days if you want to know what the procedures are. I made a call to find out for myself.

    • 7


      All this grammar is not necessary. The question is whether the passenger is happy after the Emirates experience? Clearly he is not!

      Consider this, this gentleman had done is research thoroughly before choosing Emirates, but had a distasteful experience. What does that tell you of the airline? They are not keeping their word.

      It doesn’t matter how many doctors that are sitting around with ecg machine in some airport, as long as an individual is dissatisfied with the flying experience, that is what counts.

      This gentleman is enlightened and internet savvy and hence the article, now begin to imagine, how many ordinary people may be maltreated and their egos trampled upon on Emirates flights. Most of whom can’t even speak English let alone write to media.

      If you fly often enough on Emirates you too will join in and accept this reality.

  • 7

    Last November/December my wife and I travelled with Emirates to Europe. We are not disabled but we were treated shodily by cabin crew. It took them over two hours after taking off to provide us passengers with a refreshing drink. All requests for a glass of water were ignored, including a request from a lady with a toddler. The only responses from cabin crew were grunts and stares. This wasn’t one of incident but repeated in all flights (6). I put it down to a cost cutting measure by the airline, since there were only a fewer cabin crew than previous occasions and they could not cope with the work load both physically or emotionally. The treatment meted out to the writer is unacceptable and, I have decided not to travel with Emirates again!

  • 6

    The employees in the emirates are drawn from various cultures and backgrounds with no loyalty to their employer. I have seen employees bullying disabled persons who had no chance of responding to their questions. I will never travel with them. Bensen

  • 8

    Whenever I can, I take the SriLankan direct flight to London and back despite it being a bit more expensive (prices have been drastically reduced and now more competitive) and also because I am a bit more patriotic than the average. I have indeed travelled with Emirates and Gulf Air (the rudest crew I’ve ever met) and other airlines with stopovers in the middle-east where many of the housemaids get in. The way the crew treat these unfortunate women is abominal. These women do not have the remedy Dr. Bandula Kothelawala has or have the wherewithal to use the ones available.

    • 8

      I totally agree with you. It`s sad to say the way Emirates crew treat these housemaids both at the Dubai airport terminals and on- board is really disgust.They treat them just like animals and slaves. Poor housemaids do not have any idea about their passenger rights, their dignity etc. Since then i never travel with Emirates. Dear Emirates, pls remember a smile can make a world of difference but you don’t do that.

      • 5

        The problem with Emirates is their staff are over-trained to the extent that they behave like robots ! Also, they just follow the SOP – when you deal with humans, you need that human touch, which Emirates lacks.

        What kills Emirates is their staff – those men and women think no end of themselves. Their staff are an insult to a great brand. Humility should come down from the top management.

        I travel Emirates only for their safety record, good connections, flight schedule and food & inflight entertainment !

        As long as we do not interact with Emirates staff, Emirates is great to fly !

        • 2

          BTW, Emirates should seriously think of replacing their ‘aging staff’ in Sri Lanka. They have not done anything for Emirates in SL. In fact, they think they are bigger than the brand, which is dangerous.

          Whatever success Emirates is enjoying in SL, it is due to its ‘brand’ and the size of the airline.

          Before we talk of EK staff in other stations, we need to look at the EK staff in Colombo.

          The ‘aging head’ in Colombo thinks he is cats whiskers and gods answer to airline industry. I don’t think even the late Morris Flanagan or Sheikh Ahmed acted/acts so importantly !

  • 3

    Instead of raving and ranting in public about your displeasures, use another airline.

    This is freedom of choice we all enjoy. I have switched airlines and vowed never to fly on some.

    For me, Emirate is the better ones. I have flown on worst, like cattles.

  • 3

    A friend of mine from Singapore only flies Finnair (airline of Finland) to Europe and North America. When asked why he replied “I rather transit HEL than go through Middle East”. (HEL=Helsinki, Finnair base).

    • 2

      Victor Jones

      ““I rather transit HEL than go through Middle East”. (HEL=Helsinki, Finnair base).”

      Perhaps he likes to meet his fellow Hela people and be at home in Hel(a)sinki.

      Is he a member of Hela Urumaya?

  • 6

    “These women do not have the remedy Dr. Bandula Kothelawala has or have the wherewithal to use the ones AVAILABLE.” says commentator S. Haik.

    As this flight originates from UK on this trip it is bound by EU rules. Under the
    provisions for “REDUCED MOBILITY” the passenger might claim infringement of his rights:
    http://apr.europa.eu or make a telephone contact during Office Hours at No.
    00 800 67 89 10 11. These provisions came into effect from 26-07-2008.

  • 6

    Dr Bandu,

    Your problem with Emirates was certainly NOT your wheelchair. Your problem was really that you had a black skin. Next time you fly with them try using Tippex. And don’t forget to write us another article to tell us the difference in your treatment.

  • 4

    The remarks by turbulence is very insensitive
    and boorish. One has to have sympathy for those
    who are differently abled. He has a lot to learn.

    By and large Emirates have a good reputation. If
    they are serious about it, they should probe
    this. One issue is about the inability of the

    An even more serious issue is about
    impoliteness and arrogance. If this is found to
    be correct, the only answer is to ask those
    involved to go home and not ruin Emirate’s

    In a world where there are enough fools, both
    educated and uneducated, crying over them is of
    no use. One such case is that of turbulence. He
    or she has a turbulent mind with full of air
    pockets in the brain.

  • 0

    Michael Dawkins,
    Don’t attempt in being a hero by barking up someone else’s tree.I like your flowery language and will admire your flowers despite your broken fence.
    Many love to play this sympathy card of being a wheel chair traveler. These airlines’ run a business first and have given thought to all sorts and kinds of travelers. What exactly was Dr. Bandula’s complaint here? the airline did provide a wheel chair for him at all times when his wheel chair was in the hold.
    You proclaim to be intelligent and not a fool and also with a intelligence laden brain. Good for you. Next time leave that for someone else to comment. You seem to be full of muscles but minus substance.

  • 0

    Out of curiosity I did an internet search for the CV of the Chairman and Chief Exeuctive of Emirates Airlines. For the benefit of Colombo Telegraph readers I copy below the CV of this guy taken from the Emirates Airlines website itself:

    “His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
    Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group

    Over the past 25 years His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been at the forefront of Dubai’s remarkable economic development spearheading the successful expansion of aviation and, more recently, formulating economic, investment and fiscal policies and strategies in support of the emirate’s overarching vision.

    Sheikh Ahmed embarked on his career in the aviation industry in 1985 when he was appointed President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) – the governing body that oversaw the activities of Dubai International and Dubai Duty Free, among others. In the same year Emirates Airline – Dubai’s international carrier was launched with Sheikh Ahmed as its Chairman. He is now the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, which includes dnata – the region’s leading travel services and ground handling company, and other aviation related entities.

    Under Sheikh Ahmed’s leadership, the DCA underwent an organisational restructuring in April 2007 resulting in the creation of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) as the local regulatory body, and Dubai Airports as the owner and operator of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International and Dubai World Central. Following the restructuring, Sheikh Ahmed became the President of DCAA and Chairman of Dubai Airports.

    The fact that Dubai is now firmly established as the region’s most desirable leisure destination is due in no small measure to the efforts of Sheikh Ahmed. Under his leadership, Dubai International has developed from humble beginnings into the world’s fourth busiest airport for international passenger and cargo traffic with a network of over 220 destinations served by more than 150 airlines. Emirates has grown from being a regional airline with just two leased aircraft and three destinations, to an acclaimed international airline with a fleet of more than 150 aircraft and over 100 destinations across six continents. Emirates is today the world’s fastest growing intercontinental carrier.

    With the launch of flydubai, its own budget carrier, Dubai added another first to its long list in June 2009. With Sheikh Ahmed to guide the fledgling carrier as its Chairman another success story is already in the making. Within two years of its launch flydubai has emerged as the second largest contributor to traffic at Dubai International, and flies to more than 45 destinations.

    The opening of Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s airport of the future on June 27, 2010 was another historical moment for Dubai as the first major step towards establishing Dubai as the world’s most preferred aviation and logistics hub. The launch of DWC follows the spectacular opening of Dubai International’s Terminal 3 on October 14, 2008 – widely acknowledged in the industry as the most successful launch of a terminal of its size.

    Sheikh Ahmed holds a number of government positions and plays an increasingly pivotal role in leading the emirate’s finance and energy sectors; and despite his numerous business activities, he is Patron to many charitable organisations. He has also received numerous recognitions and accolades from various Governments and multi-nationals. The various Government, Semi-Government positions; patronages and accolades are also listed below.

    His Highness Sheikh Ahmed has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. He is well known internationally for his contribution to the development of aviation in the region. The Royal Aeronautical Society, one of the industry’s oldest and most respected professional associations honoured his achievements in aviation with a fellowship of the Society at the 1994 Farnborough Air Show in the UK.

    Positions, patronages and accolades:

    President Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA)
    Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group, including dnata
    Chairman Dubai Airports
    Chairman flydubai
    Board Member – General Civil Aviation Authority of UAE
    Second Vice Chairman Dubai Executive Council
    Chairman Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee
    Board of Directors Investment Corporation of Dubai ICD
    Chairman Department of Oil Affairs and
    Chairman Supreme Council for Energy
    Chairman Board of Dubai World DW
    Chairman Economic Development Committee
    Board Member Dubai Council for Economic Affairs
    Chairman Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority
    Chairman Emirates National Bank of Dubai ENBD
    Chairman Noor Investment Group and Noor Takaful
    Vice-Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre
    Chairman Alliance Insurance Company
    Chairman The British University in Dubai
    Chairman Dubai Air Wing
    Chairman Dubai Aerospace Enterprises
    Chairman Supreme Committee -Dubai Events & Promotions Establishment (consisting of Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises)
    Chairman Executive Authority for Expo 2020
    Patronages – Emirates Foundation, Dubai Duty Free Foundation, Rotary Club of Dubai, Dubai Terry Fox Run, Rashid Therapy Centre
    Acknowledgements – Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur (the Legion of Honour) the highest French civilian award; Verfassungsportugaleser, one of Germany’s highest honours, for outstanding services to the City of Hamburg; Ernst & Young 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the UAE.”

    As the CV of this Sheikh goes,he appears to be virtually everything in Dubai. I wonder how he finds time to manage Emirates as its chief executive. Suprisingly, he is also the Chairman of the
    British University in Dubai.

    After some further research to find out his educational qualifications, I got the following from Wikipedia(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_bin_Saeed_Al_Maktoum):

    “He is the son of former Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, the brother of former Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and the uncle of the current Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (though he is nine years younger than him). He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.[2]”

    So, he has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver, UK. But I do not know in what field.

    His father and brother were former Emirs of Dubai and his uncle is the current Emir of Dubai.

    Incidentally, Emirates Airlines, among other entities, is owned by Dubai Holding. 99.67% of Dubai Holding is owned by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the present Emir of Dubai and the uncle of Emirates Airlines Chairman and CEO.

    Emirates Airlines is at a competitive advantage to other airlines in the world because it does not pay any tax in its home country. There is no company taxation or personal taxation in Dubai or in other member states of UAE. Only foreign banks and oil companies are taxed in UAE.

  • 2

    I should like to express gratitude to the CT and, indeed, to its readers for their helpful comments. I take this opportunity to make a clarification for the information of those who do not quite understand why I needed my own wheelchair when in transit in Dubai, as some seem to believe that a wheelchair is a wheelchair and any disabled person can use it. This is not the case. Wheelchairs are provided for the disabled after a careful assessment by a qualified occupational therapist who takes into account the nature and the degree of a person’s disability. In many instances, they are almost “tailor-made” to meet the specific needs of the person concerned. Understandably, airlines provide attendant (non self-propelled) standard wheelchairs mostly suitable for the use of elderly passengers who cannot walk long distances at airports. A disabled passenger who cannot walk at all cannot use them on his/her own. In my case, I cannot transfer to/from a toilet seat from those wheelchairs. I did explain this to the airline staff in plain English, but they chose to ignore me.
    I am a member of the British Airways Executive Club. I flew to New York in the last week of May 2015. BA carried my wheelchair in the aircraft cabin on the outbound and inbound journeys. In fact, BA does this most of the time or arranges for my wheelchair to be brought to the gates after landing.
    I remain undisturbed, but perplexed, by the disparaging comments by “turbulence”. It is hard to comprehend why he/she should take up cudgels for Emirates or “apologise” on their behalf if he/she has nothing to do with Emirates or any other airline. In any event, he/she seems to have an intimate knowledge of Emirates policies and procedures!
    Finally, Emirates has acknowledged receipt of my complaint and says that it will respond within 30 days.
    Bandula Kothalawala

  • 0

    I have travelled from London to Sri Lanka many times; usually stopping off in the Middle East on a variety of different airlines. I have observed that the service on the sector between the Middle East and Colombo is *always* very poor.

    I believe this is because a very large proportion of the passengers are Sri Lankan servants and domestics who are used to appalling treatment both in the Middle East and in Sri Lanka and who *never* complain.

  • 0

    Sebastian Wake Up,
    It is people like you who keep running the Sri Lankans down about being house maids etc;
    Ever since we won the world cup in 1996, even Arjuna Ranatunga on a tour to Dubai, openly professed that the mindset of people towards Sri Lankans changed.
    Sadly it is only people like you who keep going on about Sri Lankans being house maids in the Gulf.
    Emirates service to and fro Colombo are predominantly night flights where a breakfast is served into either Colombo or Dubai.
    This is the difference where to Europe on a longer flight and during the day, they serve either lunch or dinner. The In Flight meal service is a bit more elaborated.
    Your right in one way and that is because when JR opened the doors for Sri Lankans to go oversees seeking employment, the sector that fueled the first lot were house maids.
    But now you will be amazed at the other professionals who have gone there and have contributed immensely towards the economy of the gulf countries they work for.
    Dr. Bandula for your sake I dont really know what your condition medically really is and apologize if I have offended you in any way, but there is always a better way to get the service which you want through proper dialogue. I dont really have to tell you that.

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