The DoT Campaign Worked, Emirates Reverses Course And Will Honor Maldives Bookings!

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Last Wednesday I noted that Emirates had tickets from the Maldives to Europe for $64 or to the US for $100 one-way or $142 round-trip.

Last Friday Emirates decided not to honor the tickets and sent out cancellation emails, when I advised people to write to the DoT.

The DoT responded to people on Monday that their complaints did fall under DoT rules and that they were taking up the case. The DoT makes special rules to keep airlines in check, as in general the public can’t sue an airline in court due to the deregulation act.

The Wall Street Journal even picked up the story and noted that this website encouraged people to reach out to a higher authority-the DoT.

Earlier this year Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, killing companion pass status for hotel point transfers overnight without warning. I wrote back then that people should contact the DoT. Some bloggers and commenters took me to task for recommending that we get the government involved, but it worked. A few days later Southwest relented and gave a 3 month grace period for hotel point transfers to count for companion pass status, which allows you to bring a friend with you for free when flying Southwest.

The DoT has helped me out personally several times, including getting reimbursed by American when they cancelled our flight to London and stranded us and our 2 toddlers in JFK overnight and for American charging an award redeposit fee after the electronics ban was launched.

And the DoT came through once again.

The DoT requires airlines that want to cancel a passenger’s ticket to cover the expenses for other prepaid airfare and hotel reservations that were made assuming the ticket would be honored.

Today, Emirates has reinstated the Maldives itineraries that they cancelled last week.

-DDF member as2 reports that his itinerary that was cancelled is once again viewable on and his old seat assignments have even been restored.
-DDF member normathej reports getting a phone call from Emirates saying that they have decided to honor the booking and asking if he would like the booking or a refund.
-DDF member Aerial Dag also got a call from Emirates, though has been ignoring it until he knows if wants to go or cancel.

So you should be able to logon to and see your ticket as it was purchased or you can call Emirates to request a full refund.

If your ticket has not yet been reinstated you can call Emirates at 800-777-3999 to get it reinstated. FT member jinxeddeep reports that a memo went out to Emirates supervisors today that they can reissue any tickets that were cancelled if they weren’t automatically reinstated. Be sure to post your experience in the comments!

Will you be using your tickets to the Maldives or will you request a refund? 

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70 Comments On "The DoT Campaign Worked, Emirates Reverses Course And Will Honor Maldives Bookings!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


I got the phone call too. The only problem is that I’m obviously from NY. I tried asking if the would allow me to skip the first leg from the Maldives to JFK without cancelling the second leg and they said NO! Some airlines allow it but emirates won’t allow it. It sucks! I was trying to make it work in my favor. Anybody have any ideas?


Dan!!, a job well done!!


Hey Dan,
Awesome work. Do you think I can call emirates like a couple months before hand and have it reinstated? I only booked becuase i didnt want to give up such a rare opportunity, but now if i have a choice… that would be awesome


@Dan: they did not reinstate it, i got no email or phone call. but i do have a confirmation number

Andre W

@Dan what is an award ticket?


Thank you Dan! It appears Orbitz bookings haven’t been reinstated yet based on my latest check but will keep everyone posted!


Wooooohoooo! Thanks, Dan!


Out of curiosity, do you know if they are reactivating tickets that terminate outside if the US?






Do you think it’s wise to call now, considering I submitted a ticket to DoT and got a response from them that they are asking Emirates for an explanation? Also, did you mean to call Orbitz or Emirates?


The same point can be made without caps FYI.

Why is TravelSaver YELLING?

drop those CAPS


So priceline said they have issued me a refund and cant reinstate that I have to call eremites and repurchase them, with the hope they can give me the same price. Does this sound correct?


Dam Emirates told me they cant do anything since it was booked via 3rd party. They keep giving me the run around. So I called Priceline and they told me to call Emirates. Not sure what to do from here.


Emirates Online Chat provided me a response, looks like we’re in the clear everyone:

On 17 May 2017, due to an error in the uploading of fares in the online reservation system, a number of tickets for Emirates flights originating from Male, Maldives were issued with incorrect fare value. The bookings created during this time were automatically cancelled and corresponding e-tickets were suspended. Acting in the best interest of our customers, Emirates has made the decision to honour the fare. Customers bookings have now been reinstated and e-ticket receipts will be sent to concerned customers shortly.


Don’t check on the travel agency’s website (orbitz/priceline) that’s meaningless, you have to check on the airlines website, if its there with the eticket number your good.



Thanks Dan, yes I did file a complaint. Priceline said they issued me a refund but I have not seen it yet on my CC. How will that work?


Got my ticket reinstated, booked through Priceline.
but a friend booked and they aren’t reinstating his:(


So the Emirates supervisor reinstated it and told me to call back priceline to work it out. Not really sure what that means since they were no help before.



Tell your friend to HUCA / ask for a superviser


I called into Emirates, and they said it would be honored, but I needed to call Orbitz to do so…


@DOT and @DAN We booked the same time through Priceline. My was not reinstated I had to call and once mine got reinstated I told him to call and they said no. I will ask to speak to supervisor.


Guys what dates are you going looking to arrange a Minyan….


Will be there from August 10-14


Dan, do you recommend banking miles to Alaska? Or is there any other airline you feel might be better.


Booked on Priceline, was showing cancelled on Emirates site, now it’s back from the dead.


I booked through Orbitz. It was still showing as canceled, so I called Orbitz and they called Emirates and I now have a new reservation with the mistake price!



Here’s my experience in case it helps anyone else:

I booked thru Priceline on 5/17 one-way flights MLE-DXB-JFK. Received emails from Priceline indicating a change in the status of my reservation on 5/19 and 5/20. Used my Emirates PNR/booking reference number to log into Emirates site “manage an existing booking” and received an error message. Called Priceline yesterday on 5/24 and they initiated a refund back to my credit card.

Just saw your post and immediately called Emirates. First agent didn’t know what she was talking about and said simply that the reservation is cancelled and refund has been processed. Asked for a supervisor (based in Dubai). He too wasn’t aware of any changes regarding honoring these fares. He said he could price out new tickets for me with a new PNR and ticket numbers. I then specifically told him that there is an Emirates company memo that has gone out to all supervisors regarding Emirates honoring these fares. He put me on hold then asked if he could call me back in 10 min which he did. He was able to confirm that Emirates is honoring these fare and a memo has gone out. He was able to reinstate the original PNR/booking reference number. He told me to call Priceline ASAP and have them call Emirates to cancel the refund process and that all the notes would be under my reservation. He did advise me that once tickets were reinstated I would be subject to normal change and cancellation fees if I decide to change or cancel later on.

Just got off the phone with Priceline. They turned out to be more difficult to deal with then Emirates. Spoke with the first agent, explained the situation, she put me on hold to call Emirates and came back 15min later saying it’s been cancelled and there is nothing more she can do. All the while I’m receiving email confirmations from Emirates and can even now login using the same PNR/booking reference number that was producing an error message as of just a couple hours ago. So I asked for a supervisor. Explained the situation and memo and gave her the name/location of the supervisor I spoke with at Emirates. She also put me on hold for about 10min and confirmed Emirates was indeed going to honor the tickets but since Priceline already initiated a refund that she would need to make a new charge for the same amount on the same credit card. She said the PNR/booking reference number will remain the same but new ticket numbers will be provided. Got a Priceline email with the new ticket numbers and I also confirmed the new charge on my credit card for the same amount.

Sorry for the long post. Hope this helps anyone else in a similar situation. Thanks for everything Dan!



if you already had the ticket reinstated and it was coming up online, than why did you call priceline to get charged again?


I got a refund for my tickets bought from Priceline and my itinerary is now alive again on Emirates website.

Did I just win the free Maldives tickets lottery?


i booked tickets and cancelled them on priceline within 24 hours before emirates cancelled them. Any odds i could have them reinstated?



that’s why i don’t know why @Mohammed: called priceline to get charged again, after it was alive and was getting confirmation emails



but AFTER it was reinstated @Mohammed called priceline to get charged again, instead of just getting it for free like@Chaim did.


@dot Even though Emirates reinstated the reservation they needed Priceline to be on the same page. So the reservation was reinstated by Emirates but it wasn’t yet ticketed and the original ticket numbers were going thru a refund process from Priceline. I don’t know why the Emirates just didn’t do a 3-way call, that would have made things a lot easier. But anyways just glad it’s officially ticketed.


@dot Neither Priceline or Emirates could reinstate the original ticket numbers. Those charges will be refunded to my card. Priceline received authorization from Emirates to charge the same amount for the same itinerary with new ticket numbers.

@Chaim you may want to double check with Emirates/Priceline that the ticket numbers are still valid if not have them reissue new ticket numbers.


oh, understood.


Not sure I can handle such a long flight 18h any tips on how to get through it…. is it really worth the flight time?


@DAN I wanted to thank you! this is hopefully going to be the trip of a lifetime and I’m looking forward! Nervous about going with kids but can not wait! Thank you so much!!


Anyone know whether Zika is a problem in Maldives, specifically at the resorts?


oh good, you guys strongarmed Emirates into honoring their price mistake. /s

Must be nice to not make any mistakes Dan, et al.


now the question is how do we get there??


lets see what the airline does when u do a stupid mistake, like booking the ticket for the wrong date etc, i advise u never to find out.
there is nothing wrong with playing the airlines own game against them, they are pretty pro strongarming u into following the exact letter of the law, so they must think thats how things should be done


wait for another price mistake 🙂


@dan thanks for this. Looking forward! Is there an issue with going to Dubai on an American passport that does have Israeli stamps and visas in it?



The million dollar question


ticket is reinstated. to which partner can I credit the miles ?


Emirates is charging $40 to select seats. Is it worth it ? Flights will be empty no ? Yes I’m cheap. Even though the flight cost $65 why should I spend the extra $40.


Does an American require a visa to travel to Dubai or the Maldives?

this is beneath us

Do you think doing stuff like this makes the world view us in a positive light? we are a supposed to be a light onto the nations. Everyone knew this was a price mistake. To call the DOT and pretend you were “victimized” by the airlines while in truth you were exploiting their mistake is not a Jewish concept and is beneath us. This is beneath us.


Look Dan, it’s one thing to let people know of a price mistake and to encourage them to act (which IMO is undignified but I’m not going to harp on that) but it’s a whole other thing to then turnaround and complain to the DOT when it didn’t go through. It’s so shady and 100% unethical. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, isn’t that why we were created in the first place?? unless you want to perpetuate the stereotype that Jews are money-hungry-scavengers that will stoop to anything to save a buck. Chilul Hashem plain and simple. I’m just glad no newspaper has picked this story up “Orthodox Jews…”


@Mohammed Thank you for sharing. I am currently in the Maldives and for the last 2 days Priceline and Emirates were fighting it out. Eventually I did a conference call (all on weak WiFi calling… Don’t ask) but I am finally confirmed on a new ticket number and was just able to check in for my flight on Saturday night…. DAN IS THE MAN


I received another email from Priceline last night that said, “We have received notification from your airline that your reservation has been changed according to your request, or has been cancelled due to day-of-travel flight cancellation or traveler no-show.” (Same email I received on May 20 after Emirates initially cancelled these tickets.) As of 2 days ago, the booking was still active on emirates – it’s gone now.

Called Emirates and they said Priceline requested the cancellation.

Called Priceline and supervisor there told me Emirates never informed Priceline that the fares were being reinstated, so they just continued to process the refund. They are supposedly reaching out to Emirates for more info.

Any thoughts on how to proceed? DOT complaints Part II? I was fine with the first cancellation –
was obviously to be expected. But I booked a hotel once Emirates announced that they’d be honoring the fares.


just received the same email and now the itinerary is cancelled…

Millie Abadi

@Dan Still having a lot of trouble getting Kayak/Vayama to reinstate the booking they cancelled on 5/19 when Emirates reinstated it on 5/27. Emirates blaming Kayak and vice versa. I saw the booking on Emirates’ site bc I chose meals, added FF #, etc. I filed another complaint with DOT but are they any other suggestions?