How to file a complaint against Emirates

How to file a complaint against Emirates
People Clerk helps you with your small claims court lawsuit.

Are you looking to file a complaint against Emirates over damaged/lost luggage, a flight refund, or an overbooked flight? This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to escalate your complaint with Emirates, including suing Emirates in small claims court.

This article covers:

  • Common types of issues against airlines.
  • Best ways to get Emirates’ Customer Service to respond to your claim.
  • How to file a BBB complaint against Emirates.
  • How to file a Department of Transportation complaint against Emirates
  • Sending a demand letter to Emirates. 
  • How much does it cost to sue Emirates in small claims?
  • How much can you sue Emirates for in small claims?
  • How to file a small claims lawsuit against Emirates
  • Key Fact, lawyers are not allowed at the initial small claims hearing! This helps to even the playing field so that you have a better chance of obtaining justice.

Common types of small claims lawsuits against airlines

We often receive the question, can I sue Emirates in small claims? The answer is yes as long as the dispute is for $10,000 or less (more on this below).

Here are some examples of small claims lawsuits against Emirates:

  • Emirates oversold the flight.
  • Emirates lost your luggage
  • Emirates delayed your luggage
  • Emirates damaged your luggage
  • Emirates flight was delayed on the tarmac
  • Obtaining a flight refund on an Emirates flight
  • Emirates’ ticketing practices
  • concerns with family seating
  • problem with the Emirates’ frequent flyer program

You can learn more about complaints against airlines here.

Best ways to reach Emirates’ Customer Service

Contacting Emirates’ Customer Service Numbers/Website

While Emirates has many customer service numbers, it can help to talk to the right person:

  • Emirates Customer Service: 1 (800) 777-3999
  • Emirates Damaged Baggage claim: Here
  • Emirates Other Customer Service Information: Here 

Contacting Emirates’ via Social Media

Emirates and other Airlines frequently respond to Twitter and other Social Media quickly: 


Bring in other organizations to help!

File a complaint against Emirates with the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB), a not-for-profit group dedicated to helping people find businesses, brands, and charities consumers can trust, can help you with your complaint against Emirates. Here is how you file a BBB complaint. 


On the BBB website, you can also review other complaints that customers have filed against Emirates (See Emirates profile here.) This will help you learn whether Emirates responds to BBB complaints. 

File a Complaint against Emirates with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)


Here are the steps:

  1. Click here to go to the DOT Complaint Form.
  2. You will need the following information handy: 
  1. Your Personal information (name, address, contact information), 
  2. Airline Name
  3. Flight Date
  4. Flight Itinerary
  5. a description of the problem, incident, complaint (3,000 characters allowed)
  1. Make sure to click "yes" for the question "would you like a copy of this submission sent to your email?"

We wrote a whole article on how to file a complaint against an Airline! 


I’ve tried all that. How do I sue Emirates in small claims court?

First, Send a Demand Letter 

A demand letter is a letter that outlines a set of requests. For example, you could request a refund and explain why you are requesting a refund.  

If you eventually decide to sue in California small claims court, you are required to first request your money or property back before you can file the lawsuit. While you can request your money or property back by talking to Emirates, you should do so in writing in the form of a demand letter.

What to include in the demand letter?

These are some key things to include in your demand letter to Emirates:

  • How much money you are owed.
  • Why you are owed money.
  • Your contact information.
  • Where to send payment.
  • Give them a few days to respond (usually about 7 to 14 days).
  • State that if Emirates don't respond, you intend to sue.

Where to mail the demand letter to?


EMIRATES WHICH WILL DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AS EMIRATES AIRLINE

55 E 59TH ST FIR 5

NEW YORK NY 10022

You can also mail a copy of the letter to Emirates' agent in California:

C T CORPORATION SYSTEM

330 N Brand Blvd 

STE 700

Glendale, CA 91203

 

Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

Make sure to review any contracts you have received from Emirates (here is the contract of carriage for Emirates, make sure it applies to you). While there may be a forced arbitration clause, there is often an exception for small claims lawsuits.


If Emirates ignores your demand letter, what is the next step? You may be able to sue Emirates in a small claims court

How much does it cost to file a complaint against Emirates in small claims?

So how much are you going to spend filing a complaint against Emirates in small claims court?

Court Filing Fees

The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit in California depends on how much you demand from Emirates. You will pay between $30 to $75 to file the lawsuit. 

Note: If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.  

Serving Costs

Once the lawsuit is filed, you have to notify Emirates that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $0-$75.

More on who to serve on behalf of Emirates is below. If you win, you can request Emirates to pay for your court fees and serving costs.

How much can you sue Emirates for in small claims?

In California, you can sue Emirates for a maximum of $10,000 if you are an individual. If you are a business suing Emirates, you can sue for a maximum of $5,000. Note, if you are a sole proprietor, you count as an individual.

By suing in small claims, you agree to waive any amount over the maximum amount you can sue for, even if you are owed more. For example, if Emirates owes you $12,000, and you decide to sue in small claims, you are waiving suing for an additional $2,000, which means that you will win a maximum of $10,000.

While you may be missing out on the total amount you are owed, there are practical benefits to suing in small claims instead of suing in "regular court."

Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
  2. The process is faster in small claims than in other courts, as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
  3. Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims, which helps keep the costs of going to court low.  

How to file a small claims lawsuit against Emirates

Step 1: Complete "Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court" (Form SC-100)

Find the correct legal entity for Emirates that you purchased your ticket from.

It may be the following entity:



EMIRATES WHICH WILL DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AS EMIRATES AIRLINE

55 E 59TH ST FIR 5

NEW YORK NY 10022

You can also mail a copy of the letter to Emirates' agent in California:

C T CORPORATION SYSTEM

330 N Brand Blvd 

STE 700

Glendale, CA 91203

Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

Step 2: File "Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court"

Each California Small Claims Court has a different procedure for filing. You have to check with your local small claims court whether the court will allow filing in-person, by mail, online, or fax. Or we can file your case for you!

Step 3: Serve the lawsuit on Emirates’ agent

Remember, you will be serving Emirates’  "agent for service of process" as listed on the California Secretary of State's website. Learn more here.

Agent for Service of Process:

C T CORPORATION SYSTEM

330 N Brand Blvd 6WH

Glendale CA 91203

Make sure to always verify this information by reviewing the California Secretary of State's website as this information may change. Learn how here.

What is a small claims court hearing like?

Small claims hearings in California small claims are informal, and most hearings last around 15 minutes. While many disputes settle before the hearing, here is what to expect if your lawsuit does not settle.

Who will represent Emirates at the hearing?

  • The easiest way to answer this question is that a lawyer will not represent Emirates since lawyers cannot represent parties at the initial small claims hearing. Instead, Emirates will have a non-attorney representative.

The hearing:

  • Right before the hearing, the judge will ask you and Emirates’ representative to show each other the evidence that you will later show the judge.
  • The judge will ask you why you filed a complaint.
  • The judge will ask Emirates’ representative to tell them their side of the story.
  • The hearing will only last around 15 minutes.
  • The judge will ask you to show them the evidence you brought. Sometimes the judge will keep the evidence. Other times, you will get the evidence right back.

Very rarely will a judge tell you whether you won or lost at the hearing. Instead, the judge will tell you that their decision will be mailed to you (usually takes a few weeks to two months or so).

People Clerk helps you with your small claims court lawsuit.

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