Emirates Sued For ‘Disgusting’ Business Class Seat Stuffed With Socks; Passenger Awarded $12,600

A stinker of a surprise.

Emirates Sued For ‘Disgusting’ Business Class Seat Stuffed With Socks; Passenger Awarded $12,600

Image: Romer Macapuno

Emirates is embroiled in a legal battle with an energy trader seeking reimbursement of nearly $5,000 for a subpar flying experience. This new lawsuit comes hot on the heels of a recent case where one Kiwi surgeon successfully sued Emirates for deceptive advertising after his business class seat was stained, stuffed, and un-reclinable…

There are a lot of ways to make money as an airline, and there are even more ways to lose it. One such way is by accidentally selling your $14,000 business class seats for $450, another is to provide an experience so disappointing that your customers start suing their carrier

Brodie Chapman, a self-proclaimed frequent flyer, alleges that Emirates failed to deliver on its promise of “luxury and comfort” during his recent business-class flight in a move that shows the growing calls for much-improved customer service and general accountability from airlines.

Chapman’s disappointment with Emirates began the moment he boarded his flight… On a 23-year-old vehicle that was far from the more modern and well-appointed 777 or A380 planes that the airline uses in its advertisements and marketing materials.

As well as none of the promised amenities being available, Chapman encountered numerous issues with his seat: the seat itself was dirty, the entertainment system wasn’t functioning, and socks had been stuffed into the gaps behind and around the chair. Feeling deceived, Chapman believes the airline misrepresented its brand and is seeking compensation.

WATCH: Want a better time in business? Avoid these common mistakes…

Emirates’ line of defence went as follows: its website mentions a potential variation in products and services depending on routes, aircraft configuration, and operational requirements.

Convinced? Neither is Chapman. He contends that the airline exclusively advertises the A380 or new 777 interiors, leading him to believe he was purchasing a different product altogether.

Frustrated with Emirates’ customer service team who could only offer 20,000 Skywards Miles by way of compensation, Chapman has decided to take his case to the small claims courts in the UK.

His case parallels that of Dr Mark Morgan, a Kiwi surgeon who successfully sued Emirates for worryingly similar complaints: Dr Morgan and his wife were awarded $12,600 in compensation after a court ruled that their business-class experience, much like Mr Chapman’s, did not match the airline’s advertised services.

As is evident, Dr Morgan’s success has inspired other passengers to take action, and he’s been vocal in urging individuals to stand up for their rights and pursue claims through the courts.

The offending seat – stained, stuffed, and unreclinable. Image: Daily Mail

Consumer rights advocate Adam Glezer commends Dr. Morgan’s tenacity and encourages others to follow suit, emphasising the importance of holding corporations of all kinds accountable:

“I always love David versus Goliath stories. I commend Mark on taking this to the tribunal. Anyone who feels like they have been misled should follow his example.”

Adam Glezer

Both these incidents highlight the ongoing problems with the standard of service offered by airlines in a post-COVID landscape, with deceptive marketing becoming a central complaint of those calling for greater transparency across the industry.

Though we mere mortals destined to languish in cattle class may be tempted to sneer at the complaints of those lucky enough to have enjoyed the luxuries of business in the first place, everyone is entitled to what they pay for… And in a world where airline profits are soaring higher than their aircraft, this demand could not be more welcome.