Disputes Tribunal in New Zealand has penalized UAE-based airline, Emirates, for false advertising of its business class flights. The verdict has set precedent for how airlines market their inflight services.
The tribunal ordered the airline to pay $8,440 (approx. AED 31,000) to Mark Morgan, a New Zealander who petitioned against Emirates’ advertisement.
The petitioner complained that the airline advertised flatbed seats with minibars and entertainment systems, which influenced his decision to purchase a business-class ticket for his trip to the United Kingdom (UK) with his wife.
Instead, he got a seat in Emirates 777-300ER, which is the airline’s most outdated business-class flight since it does not feature a minibar and flatbed seats.
Emirates defended its decision to change the aircraft used on certain routes citing operational requirements. It emphasized that its customer contract does not guarantee a specific aircraft type for a particular route.
It also argued that it is necessary to utilize this aircraft for New Zealand because this route is unprofitable.
However, the court ruled that Emirates misled customers by advertising a service they knew they could not deliver, showing that the carriers should be careful about how they advertise their products.
Expansion to Australia and New Zealand
In January, Emirates announced that it will expand its services to Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne cities and resume its Dubai-Christchurch (New Zealand) route via Sydney.
The airline plans to increase from two to three daily flights on the Dubai-Melbourne route via Singapore from 26 March 2023.
The Dubai-Christchurch route, which has remained suspended since pandemic restrictions, will also be relaunched on the same day. Meanwhile, a third direct flight to Sydney will start on 1 May this year.