A low-cost carrier based in Dubai may sound very flabbergasting because it is a city full of growth and exhilaration, the home of the tallest skyscraper in the world, the most luxurious hotels, the most expensive cars, the largest shopping centers, and the most amazing attractions.
FlyDubai is the fastest growing low-cost carrier in the Middle East and has expanded into Central Europe. Since the airline commenced operations in 2009, the network has grown considerably and today the airline operates to over 85 destinations with a fleet of more than 50 Boeing 737-800s. As a travel blogger, I enjoy experiencing different airlines and always keep my eyes peeled for what is new and unfamiliar. Here is my experience with FlyDubai’s economy class from my recent flight.
Date: 03 May 2016
Flight Path: Dubai (DXB) – Malé (MLE)
Length: 4 hours 25 minutes
Fare: USD 399/-
CHECK IN: FlyDubai operates at Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport with 52 check-in counters and 4 e-gates. I checked-in with two other people and the process was super-quick and convenient, in fact I have never checked in so swiftly at an airport check-in counter before.
Shortly after we boarded the plane, the IFE screens aired the safety demonstration video of the aircraft in Arabic and English language. We didn’t notice the crew performing a passenger head count. The flight took off on time, the cabin lights were turned off until the aircraft reached the cruising altitude of 35,000 ft.
ENTERTAINMENT: All seats were equipped with in-seat personal entertainment with High Definition IFE screens, passengers were able to place orders for food and beverages directly from their seat and pay by cash or swiping their credit cards. The entertainment options were chargeable, the Basic package of channels were for AED 15 (US$4.08) and the Premium package was for AED 35 (US$9.53), with 190 movie options, plus TV and games. This could also be pre-paid at the time of purchasing the air-ticket online or through an agent.
Inflight WiFi connectivity were also available for the Dubai – Malé flight, although the service is currently available for selected flights as FlyDubai continues expanding the service across the fleet.
FOOD: A variety of snacks were available for purchase in the on-board menu, and for flights over 3 hours offer a choice of hot food. Passengers can pre-order meals at the time they make the flight booking, and the crew serves it hot during the flight. I purchased a lamb shawarma wrap with tahini sauce and gherkins, a packet of peanuts, a juice packet of zesty citrus and a bottle of water for USD 10/- for my 4 hour 25 minute journey which worked out well.
SERVICE: The crew were courteous and alert, they were dressed smart, and attired in an attractive sky blue uniform. The Captain and the First Officer only communicated when turbulent conditions were ahead and just few minutes before the final approach, informing crew to prepare the cabin for landing.
CONCLUSION: I enjoyed my experience with FlyDubai, if you’re on a budget and want to get across Middle East and Central Europe, this is definitely hundreds of dollars cheaper than most other carriers (even alliance partners like Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) — I’ll fly you again.
I traveled courtesy of FlyDubai.