Friends of mine have been travelling between Europe and South Africa and China for the last few years, always on Emirates, as they offer the best fares and 30 kilos baggage allowance. They do this triangular journey two or three times a year.
Let’s just say that these friends are ‘price sensitive’. Each time they travel on Emirates they say ‘never again’, because the service on board has got worse, the food meagre, and above all the DXB airport experience a total nightmare. Last time they missed a connection in DXB as a result of a delayed inbound and were treated in a contemptuous and inefficient manner when trying to get another onward flight. Of course they said ‘never again’, but they’ve just booked for their next trip on EK, even though I advised them to try Qatar. I am not sure if it’s familiarity that makes people carry on using the same providers, or something else such as being locked into a FF programme (scam really). Qatar flights for the same itinerary would have cost them about £200 more, which they can well afford.
I decided long ago, after having to go to Dubai twice on EK on business trips, that I would never again fly with them or set foot in that festering carbuncle in the desert. I’ve done a couple of segments on Qatar and found them far better than EK, so I’m not sure that all the ME carriers are declining.