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Emirates Airlines

altKarachi: 265-A, R.A. Lines, Sarwar Shaheed Road. Phone: 5203301-2, 5203377, 5203333
Karachi Office 2: Faysal House, Main Sharah-e-Faisal, Opp. Regent Plaza. Phone: 279 9999
 

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Extra Charges on Emirates Tickets purchased in Pakistan from Emirates directly
Well I have been a frequent traveller on Emirates for almost five years and also a GOLD member of their Skywards membership scheme for five years. I used to purchase my Emirates tickets direct from their website at www.emirates.com/pk. Once he ticket had been reserved, I used to have it collected from their offices in Karachi. This has worked great for a number of years. However, earlier this year, on collection of the ticket from the Emirates offices, I was told that I had to pay a 7% handling charge for the priviliege of collecting my Emirates ticket from the Emirates Sales office! there was no mention of this on their website and never before had I been told to pay this surcharge. I was basically held to ransom and had to convert foreign currency at the airport in order to pay the surcharge or else I was told my ticket would be cancelled.

Emirates now state that if I pay for my ticket online on their website and issue an electronic ticket, then I can avoid this surcharge. One would think that this is a fairly reasonable condition until you learn what charges you incur as a Pakistani paying for an Emirates ticket using a credit card! Again these charges are not mentioned anywhere on EMirates website and as such are hidden charges and in most countries would be considered to be unfair practices.

Now lets look at the option of paying for an Emirates ticket from their website using a credit card issued in Pakistan, Although Emirates quote all their prices in Pakistan rupees when you pay with a credit card in Pakistan, Emirates convert the amount in to US dollars at their chosen exchange rate and bill your credit card for the US dollar amount. Now as a Pakistani will have a Pakistani rupee credit card issued by a Pakistani Bank, this US Dollar amount is once again converted back in to Pakistani rupees. As anyone would know VISA/Mastercard/AMEX, normally have anything from 2 - 4% spread in their currency exchange rates, the Pakistani consumer straight away loses that much as a charge and his ticket purchase price increases by that amount. This is in addition to possible losses from having Pakistani rupees converted to US Dollars by Emirates. Now the Pakistani banks consider this purchase to be a foreign purchase, although the consumer thinks that it is a purchase purely in Pakistan, so some banks have additional charges for foreign currency purchases.

On one such example of purchasing Emirates tickets from their website and paying by credit card, we discovered that all the extra charges which showed up on our credit card statements amounted to an extra 8% of the purchase price!!!!

We have also discovered that all the local Travel Agents in Karachi have increased their prices accordingly to reflect these hidden charges by Emirates.

So be careful when purchasing Emirates tickets, because the price you are quoted by Emirates is not what you would end up paying. It is likely to be considerably more. Emirates does not do this to consumers from other countries. When I purchase Emirates tickets in the UK, and collect them from their offices, their is no extra charge. If I pay for them from my UK card, the purchase price does not change and is not converted to US Dollars.

This is another example of how foreign companies exploit Pakistani consumers as we do not have any protection by law in this country and corporations always know that they can pay off a politician, to make their troubles go away.

Shame on you Emirates.
Pardesi , October 11, 2009

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