This was late March this year. We were on Emirates A332 night flight from MUC
, the scheduled arr time was 0645 in the morning. About an hour before landing the captain announced that DXB
was covered with morning fog (which happens quite often I have later heard) and we would have to go into holding pattern, but he didn´t expect the for to last for more than half an hour until sunrise. After circling for some time came another announcement, the visibility had deteriorated even further, there were 15 other planes in holding and if the fog wouldn´t clear in 30mins we would have to divert to Muscat, Oman. We were planning to change plane in DXB
A345 bound for Sydney, with a transfer time of 3,5hours so at this point we thought we had no problem.
When the decision time came we didn´t head south but west, as we saw on the Airshow map. No announcement was made until some time later, and it turned out we were heading for Doha, Qatar, as Muscat ramp was already full of planes diverted from DXB
. After landing there we taxied to a remote parking stand and started to wait for fuel, two other EK
planes following us a few minutes later. Fueling took a long, long time to finish and after it had been done we heard that a DXB
flight was cancelled and we would be filling our plane with the pax booked on that flight.
By now we had been about an hour on the Doha ramp. Next thing we saw happening (after some more waiting) was that we were being pushed back from our stand, starting the engines and then headed for the terminal on the other side of the airport. Engines were then shut down, doors opened and then started the waiting for the new passengers, after the crew had moved the original c-cl pax to first class. The passengers came in several small groups, containers were hauled in and out then we just waited. Finally, we were ready to take off for another try to Dubai, where we landed about two hours after the scheduled departure time of the Sydney flight. We were traveling with stand-by tickets, and the next days flight was full. Plus we didn´t have any reserve tickets back to Europe form DXB
, so the feeling was not very high when after landing we taxied again to a most remote parking stand.
But, Lady Luck was on our side as the SYD
flight was also heavily delayed and final call was flashing on the monitors when we finally entered the terminal. We ran to the gate where the Emirates agent first said to us that the flight is closed and we would not be accepted. After some pleading he agreed to take us, as they were offloading some other passengers whose inbound flights were even more delayed. He even made a joke by saying to us "you were late" with a grin on his face, so a funny guy after all!
A345 was great and Sydney even better, but the Doha-diversion was an experience I could have lived without.