VIDEO: Passengers react to Emirates flights delays
Passengers booked on the cancelled flights to the UK on Thursday will not be given compensation due to the airline's "natural calamity" rules, travellers at Dubai International Airport have been told.
Travellers on flights affected by a volcano eruption in Iceland were offered free water, juice and rolls but no money back offers, passengers told our sister publication Arabian Business.
"There are about 150 people queueing up at the desk and I think most are trying to get hotel rooms booked and there are a lot of unhappy people," one passenger travelling to London Heathrow told us.
He said: "The Emirates information desk has said there will be no compensation for natural calamities."
He added that his efforts to rebook an Emirates economy seat to either Heathrow or Birmingham had been frustrated with the first available flight not being until April 30.
Arabian Business approached Emirates for a comment on these issues but they had not yet responded.
In the latest twist to the story, aviation officials in the UK were quoted by TV reports saying all British airspace would be closed from midday (3pm UAE time).
Arabian Business TV spoke to passengers at the airport on Thursday morning after flights to London Heathrow (EK29/030, EK03/04 and EK05/06), London Gatwick (EK09/10), Manchester (EK17/18 and EK19/20), Newcastle (EK35/36), Birmingham (EK39/40 and EK37/38), Glasgow (EK27/28) were cancelled by Emirates.
There were mixed reactions to the way Emirates had dealt with the situation with some complaining they were not alerted to the volcano eruption problem until after they arrived at the airport.
Others praised the Dubai airline, saying that they were updated regularly at the airport, with one telling us the airline
Earlier on Thursday, a statement released by the airline on Thursday said: "Emirates continues to liaise with the UK and European ATC authorities to monitor the movement of the ash cloud.
"Emirates passengers in transit at Dubai today are being provided with hotel accommodation. Passengers that are yet to depart for UK-bound destinations from other Emirates gateways across the network are being contacted through the airline’s call centres and local offices."
It said: "The airline has set aside a dedicated check-in area at Emirates Terminal 3 Dubai to look after the requirements of passengers affected by the cancellation of its UK flights today."
Etihad Airways said it had cancelled the following flights: EY21, Abu Dhabi to Manchester; EY22, Manchester to Abu Dhabi; EY17, Abu Dhabi to Heathrow, due to depart at 9.30am local time; EY18, Heathrow to Abu Dhabi; and EY20, Heathrow to Abu Dhabi.