By Justina Okpanku
Travel industry operators in Nigeria took a swipe at Emirates Dubai Stopover programme, complaining about an alleged shabby treatment meted out to Emirates passengers after their Dubai Duty- free experience. The operators called for a review of the airline’s charges.
Sales Manager Emirates airlines who made a presentation at the DubaiTourism Roadshow in Lagos recently, Mary Gbobaniyi had said “Emirates go beyond selling tickets, to make customers to stop in Dubai and make the most of Dubai.”
An angry travel agent from Ibadan countered and said the ‘Fly Better’ mantra is a shame not until the airline’s passengers are no longer asked to pay extra charges before flying (from Dubai Duty-free terminal), saying that it’s a rip-off.
Another agent, who said she is relying on feedback from her customers, also lashed out at Emirates airlines. She said asking passengers to pay more after shopping is adding unnecessary charges without considering the customer’s budget.
In other words, they said DubaiTourism, Emirates airlines and others promoting Dubai Duty-free are penalizing customers who responded and have bought things.
The organizers of DubaiTourism roadshow admitted, saying that they are aware of the complaints. What happens is that passengers appear at the boarding gate with multiple shop items and they are asked to pay extra charges for the new bags. The authorities pointed to the rule that a carry-on baggage allowance is 7kg and “should not be more than 7kg for the Economy Class passenger,” for example. Mary, who said she will be travelling to Dubai the next day, promised to ‘fight’ for the Nigerian travelling public.
Dubai Tourism held roadshows in West Africa starting with a roadshow in Accra, Ghana on March 15; followed by Nigeria’s Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
The roadshow highlighted Dubai’s affordable experiences and diversity of offerings to key travel partners in the West African region; spanning across travel, accommodation, entertainment and events in the city. The event featured network sessions, partner presentations, one-to-one meetings, an education session and a briefing update on Expo 2020.
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