A woman who claimed to collapse after being denied water on Emirates flights to Dubai is finally having her day in court.
Before the Victoria Supreme Court in Melbourne, Australia, Lina Di Falco’s attorney argued that she was denied extra water four times during a flight from Melbourne to Dubai in March 2015. Di Falco claimed only one glass of water was offered with her dinner.
After her requests for water were refused, she felt dizzy and stood up to use the lavatory. On her way there, she collapsed, falling upon her ankle. Although she claimed the pain was “10 out of 10” she did not visit a doctor until she returned to Australia, where she was told her ankle was broken and required surgery.
Since then, she reports her marriage has broken, she has withdrawn from friends, can no longer gardens or exercise and has thus gained weight, and now suffers from depression. Her attorney added that Di Falco attempted to bring her own bottle of water onboard, but was denied by airport screening authorities.
In defense, Emirates claims that it offers a water fountain onboard its A380 (Di Falco claimed she was unaware of it). Flight attendants also helped her back to her seat after her fall and she was given a large bottle of water.
It is unclear if she was verbally denied water or whether flight attendants just ignored the call button, perhaps because they were serving meals to the rest of the cabin.
In any case, it once again brings the FA call button issue to front and center. Lawsuits like this make clear why Emirates demands its flight attendants respond promptly to call buttons, even if it is for a refill on drinks during the busy meal service period.
> Read More: Emirates Warns Flight Attendants: Don’t Ignore Call Button!
The trial will continue tomorrow and I will be following the case. One question for you, dear readers. If you’ve flown Emirates in economy class before, did you notice a drinking fountain onboard?
This case seems a bit unlikely from a number of perspectives. She had breathtaking pain but didn’t feel like seeing a doctor? Her broken ankle broke her marriage? And of course the premise of being refused water. This isn’t British Airways.
I used to fly EK economy back from 2008-2010 (before Alaska partnered with EK) and I don’t remember a water fountain onboard the A380. I do remember that I can always get a drink from an FA if I asked for it or if I went to the galley area and asked for it. I never felt hungry nor thirsty on an EK flight.
Ex EK flight attendant here. The 380 does indeed have water fountains outside the lavatories. They are pretty tiny though. They are usually on the left hand side of the door. They have little cup dispensers beside them as well. There are a lot of things that I take issue with with the company and that is why I left, however I am appalled that this woman is claiming that not one single cabin crew on a 26 strong crew would deny her water. Regardless of the water that was taken from her at the gate she could have kept her bottle and asked for it to be filled up on board. Some people amaze me at their stupidity.
This sounds like a very American problem no? “I’m gonna did you for not giving me water!”
But she’s Australian.
I have flown in economy on the EK A380 a few times. I have noticed the water faucet when walking around the cabin, though I was a little suspicious as to the quality of the water. However, I completely see how it would be easy to not notice the water faucet as there are only one or two at the very back of the economy cabin. If you’re sitting towards the front of the plane it is conceivable that you might never go that far back (it’s a big plane, and the bottom deck is all economy — so it’s a long trek).
Actually Max, depending on the configuration, there are water fountains at the front as well. I completely side with my former colleague, as this reeks of trying to get a quick buck. Although I’m not a fan of my former employer due to personal reasons, I find it horrible that someone is trying this hard over the backs of so many hardworking people. Unless her ankle was already broken I don’t see why she would not get up herself on this long flight if she was really that parched.
Stupid, attention-seeking cow.
I am very surprised about this.
I fly with Emirates 4 to 5 times a year and these are long haul flights
I fly economy
I have always been able to get a drink. Flight attendants regularly walk up the idles with drinks
In addition you can go to the galley to get drinks. Which is also a good reason to get up and walk around
So I am really surprised about this case
It’s not cheap to undertake a civil action in the Supreme Court; she must believe she has a case ( or that Emirates will settle prior) or she could end up with mega costs awarded against her.
If the airline has a water fountain onboard, they should announce it rather than let passengers find it themselves ( or not, as appears to be the case here).
I have no reason to disbelieve her story.
how about the fact that 100% of the people who have ACTUALLY flown EK say that it’s not true?
Do you also think the Earth is flat?
Ugh Matthew, you are a lawyer and even though you aren’t Australia law trained I still think it’s common law. You should know how these claims work by now. A lawyer would be close to committing malpractice if they didn’t include all possible claims in their initial complaint filing. Look at the “Hot Coffee” documentary if only to get a better sense of how what seems insane to the general public often isn’t.
I didn’t comment on the case either way.
There is definitely water available if you want it. I travel with the airline every year and I can tell you that water comes with your meal and then they come past offering any beverage, I usually get water again and then I walk to the middle of the plane where there are trays of water and juices displayed and even snacks available in the small supply area where food is kept. I think this woman must have sat in her chair the whole time, it’s a known fact you should be moving around for your circulation anyway and if she looked around the water would be found… even by the toilets there are dispensers with small cups.
Stella award is a joke. I’m sure australian judges are not as ridiculous as american ones…. Then again… Lawyers are shark. If not the enemy, at least the client(s) shall suffer…..
I haven’t flown with Emirates in a few years, but when I did it was always in Y, on a variety of different aircraft. While I don’t ever recall the water fountain on the A380, I do clearly recall cabin crew frequently going around the cabin with a tray of glasses of water. So this all seems very odd.
Also, and I’m sorry if there is a reasonable explanation for this, but why didn’t she buy a bottle of water post-security at Melbourne??
So that lady didn’t complain onboard to the manager of the flight to get hydrated .
but instead chose to complain in the court so may be they hydrate her with the lowest sodium water ever