As an Accountant and self-confessed thrifty person, I hit the jackpot with this one: A free return ticket back to Australia! This is a story of highs (free ticket!) and some lows (thinking I was caught up in some sort of terrorist plot!)
What is an Emirates Options Voucher?
An Emirates Option Voucher is a complimentary ticket that the airline uses for compensating passengers who are either voluntarily or involuntarily denied boarding to the plane (for reasons outwith their control). The voucher, which has a validity period of one year, gives the person a free return flight to a destination of similar mileage from the airport they were denied boarding. I think the business reason behind this system is to overbook seats to ensure a a full plane, and hope that a few people can’t make the flight so they don’t have to use the voucher system. If this fails and every passenger booked on the flight checks in, they have the compensation option up their sleeves to avoid a possible lawsuit!
How Did I Get Denied Boarding?
I volunteered to not go on our booked flight in return for the free ticket.
I arrived at the airport a couple of hours before our flight and met my friend. I had already checked in online the night before, and had even booked the seat I would be sitting on. We went to the Emirates check-in area to drop off our luggage and the gentleman directing the flow of people pointed us towards the first class check-in desks. I was thinking to myself: “Free upgrade!”.
However, we were asked if we wanted to go on a later flight (6 hours later). The obvious answer, which we said, was “Not really!”. It then got interesting, as the the lady said the airline would give us free return flights to the mileage we were travelling to if we were to take this option. Now, me being thrifty and knowing I was going to the other side of the world, thought ‘JACKPOT!’, and opted for the later flight.
We were taken to the customer services desk and given a handwritten voucher with the flight details (date and route). The only downside of the voucher is that you have to go into the airport to use the voucher and book your complimentary flight. It would be good if it could be used online.
The 6 hour delay didn’t have much of an impact on the holiday. I live 5 minutes from my local airport and instead of arriving late at night in Sydney, we arrived early in the morning. This actually made it easier to get to our accommodation in terms of transport links – if we were to arrive 6 hours previously, the only option would be to take a $130 AUSD taxi.
I will make another post when I decide what I am going to do with the ticket.
To pass the time, we sat and watched a game of football in one of the airport bars. Just as our original flight was taking off, I spotted a plume of thick, dark grey smoke outside, right beside the security phase of the airport.
There is a walkway-bridge over the road to a car park, so I peaked out and had a look. There was a taxi on fire. I thought “Shit!”. Just as I was about to
run away from the scene in fear walk away from the scene, the taxi exploded. It was like what happens when a car explodes in Grand Theft Auto, with the car bouncing up and down. The picture above is one that I took!
The airport terminal was cool and calm and I was flustering as if this was a terrorist attack! I was Googling on my phone to try and find out what was happening for around 45 minutes before it was reported on news outlets, and ready to get John Smeaton on speed-dial. John Smeaton is a local hero who kicked a terrorist on fire when they tried to blow up the airport several years back.
Turns out, it was an electric fault with the taxi. Crisis averted, John Smeaton, stand down!