Emirates passenger awarded £6,870 in compensation after business class seat didn’t match his expectations

A picture of an Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER business class cabin (Emirates)
A picture of an Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER business class cabin (Emirates)

A New Zealand man has been awarded nearly £7,000 in compensation after his experience of flying business class on Emirates did not live up to his expectations.

Surgeon Mark Morgan spent more than £7,000 on a pair of business class tickets from Auckland to London in August 2022.

However, upon boarding, he felt that the official Emirates advertising, which featured spacious, leather reclining chairs, was inaccurate.

In a complaint to the Disputes Tribunal, Dr Morgan provided photographs and shared links to the official adverts, which he said indicated the standard of business class travellers were led to believe would be provided.

In reality, he said that he and his partner were forced to sit on “worn-out” chairs and that the entertainment system was faulty, the Australian Financial Review reports.

Emirates argued its fine print clearly said it “cannot guarantee any particular aircraft will be used” and that “it does not make any guarantees about in-flight entertainment, advertised meals or in-flight services”.

“These articles enable Emirates’ business to function effectively, in that they afford it a degree of flexibility when navigating the complexities of cross-border air travel,” Emirates’ New Zealand general manager submitted.

However, the Disputes Tribunal upheld Dr Morgan’s complaint and ordered Emirates to pay him compensation.

“Mr Morgan argues that Emirates marketing materials were intended to lure NZ customers away from other airline services to purchase a service from Emirates that essentially did not exist,” Disputes Tribunal referee Laura Mueller said.

“The Tribunal agrees.”

Dr Morgan said he hoped that Emirates would change its advertising in light of his victory.

“They should be up front about what you are likely to get,” he said.

On his compensation, he added: “It’s less than a drop in the ocean for them.

“Having said that, there could be thousands of passengers in New Zealand who were affected, who’d be able to make the same claim,” he said.

The Independent has contacted Emirates for comment.