CrazyCanuck – these are good questions about EK. I, too, am underwhelmed about their service standards and have tried to work out where the problems lie. My conclusions are that Emirates employ cabin crew that are multi-national (great) but are generally young and “beautiful people” with limited experience of the industry and, probably, looking for a fun lifestyle in the short-term rather than long-term commitment to this area of work. Hence the noise and party atmosphere in the galley. They appear to have little real interest in their customers – slow service at inappropriate times does not really matter to them as a result. They frequently appear to be really at sea when trying to relate to passengers who are not mainstream. Dealing with small children, the elderly or the disabled can really show this up as many EK staff have little inclination or ability to relate to these pax.
These are my subjective conclusions and the remedies boil down to basic HR – recruiting the right people, training them properly and providing effective supervision on the job.