Why Fi?

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Why the F does Emirates flaunt its onboard WiFi service called OnAir, which was launched in December 2011. Having flown at least 30 Emirates flights since then (all on Business Class), I can tell you with experience that this service works less than 6-7% of the time on air.

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First, when you log in,  \they send you this message to excite you. After just a few minutes, this is what happens:

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Or even this:

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VERY VERY FRUSTRATING. Just like Emirates Chauffer Drive Service, with horrible cars and even worse drivers.

No one should advertise or show off any product or service unless they are sure that the product/service gives their customers 100% satisfaction.

In recent years, many airlines have been showing off inflight WiFi as some fantastic add-on service t flyers. Out of 15-20 airlines I have flown in the past three years that advertise this product, it only seems to work on 2-3. The US airline Delta probably has the best inflight WiFi service, even though they have a nominal charge for it.

You know which airline has the worst. It was one of the first international airlines to introduce the product. None other than Emirates. Having flown 500+ hours on this airline since the introduced their “so-called” OnAir WiFi service let me tell you with 100% confidence – OnAir works 5-10% of the time, and even when it does, the connection speed is worse than in Antartica or Siberia.

A few more specifics about the world’s most wonderful WiFi service. Before I tell you that, let me share a secret. About 80% of Emirates cabin crew now agree that OnAir hardly works. Couple of years ago, they used to make excuses which their company must have trained them to make. Now, they seem to have given up. Coming back – this service asks for your Frequent Flyer Number and Password every 6-7 minutes. If you think that is frustrating, it takes another 3-4 minutes to connect. I have a wife nagging me 20-25 times a day. Why do I need Emirates?

Why doesn’t Emirates realise that it’s not the just the WiFi service that’s faltering. The service quality of their Chauffer Drive service for Business and First Class passengers is also continuously declining year after year. From being amongst the fastest growing airlines in the world from 2000 to 2010, it may now be amongst the fastest declining, while ace rival Qatar Airways is picking up its disgruntled passengers.

Has Emirates made too much money already, for it not to bother about what happens in the next 5-10 years. The same is the case with its big brother (in terms of the owner), Etihad. Though I have personally never flown Etihad, my kids (who have) tell me it’s worse than Emirates.

Singapore Airlines remains as the only airline in the world to be ranked amongst the Top 3 consistently for the last 20 years. I haven’t flown them for a while, so I can’t tell you how their inflight WiFi is, even if they have one.

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