Emirates Airlines gets it right. Why life is going to be difficult for airlines with union problems.

Recently I had to make a quick trip to India. Economy class options were Emirates, Continental, British Airways, Lufthansa and Air India. Lufthansa was way too expensive and Air India had a longer than average flight duration for where I had to go. British Airways had a festering cabin crew strike and I did not want to risk getting on a flight that could be cancelled. Further, the last time I flew on British Airways, the cabin crew attitude was quite substandard.

So between Continental and Emirates, I had to pick an airline.

Now, Emirates has an exceptional cabin crew who seem to come from all parts of the world and seem very nice. Their on-demand in-flight entertainment system is second to none.

Their aircraft look new. Upgrading to business class is easy if you have the points. Unlike other airlines who make a stop at some outdated airport, Dubai International is among the top airports with everything from free WiFi to great coffee conveniently located all over the airport. No wonder I flew with Emirates, and will continue to consider them where possible.

At Dubai, I was able to send a proposal out to a client from the airport while enjoying a Costa coffee (Everything from Starbucks to Panera is also available at the airport). After speaking to a few people on their way to South Africa for the Soccer World Cup, I realized that many people did not fly British Airways due to strike concerns and picked Emirates due to their reputation for punctuality.

I hope that for their own good, airlines crews around the world should realize that operators like Emirates will eat their lunch and dinner in a few years (right now it may just be lunch). But all striking unions seem to do is encourage the demise of organizations who already are unable to globally compete.

In situations where a company has to compete globally, unions have no place and serve no purpose because costs and in turn remuneration will be driven by market forces and not collective negotiation.

Emirates uses a global pool of people for its cabin crew and pilots. Its airport is maintained by Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Filipino labor (cheaper I assume). I doubt strikes are much of an issue for them.

Some more food for thought:
$1 US = $3.67 UAE Dirhams
$1 US at JFK International Airport will NOT get you a bottle of water ($1 will not get you a bottle of water outside the airport easily either, unless you find a vending machine).
At Dubai International Airport, you can get 3 bottles of water and .67 Dirhams in change is yours to keep.

Dubai is in a desert?

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