scotron11
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:42 am

I've just booked Emirates to fly GLA-DXB-BKK on Feb 21 returning Mar 10. Layover outbound is 7 hours and the return 3.

From some of the reviews I've read, DXB is either a nightmare or worse. Is that true?? All flights are on their 773, which I'm quite excited about.

Help appreciated.

Cheers
 
Emirates773ER
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:44 am

Quoting Scotron11 (Thread starter):
I've just booked Emirates to fly GLA-DXB-BKK on Feb 21 returning Mar 10. Layover outbound is 7 hours and the return 3.

From some of the reviews I've read, DXB is either a nightmare or worse. Is that true?? All flights are on their 773, which I'm quite excited about.

Help appreciated.

Cheers

Depends on the timings of your flight, I have flown early morning usually and the place resembles a fish market. But I guess you may make it in time for the opening of the new Emirates terminal, should be a sweet ass lay over if that happens.
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scotron11
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:49 am

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 1):

Depends on the timings of your flight,

Flight GLA-DXB arrives 0055 and departs 0810. Return arrives 0500 departs 0750. Hopefully the new terminal is open by then.

Cheers
 
aerokiwi
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:10 am

Mess. It's also quite garish and a surreal experience to get off a flight in the wee small hours and find yourself among a heaving mass of shoppers, queing up just to use the toilet. Ugh! Awful! The only peaceful time I've ever had in Dubai was transfering from the plane at a remote stand. It took what seemed an eternity to drive all the way around the terminal building just to be processed into transit. But at least everyone was subdued and you could enjoy the calm environment, watching the sweltering heat outside.

Oh and a tip - if you are lucky to get a seat, pitch a tent and make it home for your stay because those things are in short supply. There is actually quite a lovely lounge upstairs in the middle of the concourse that overlooks some gate areas. I believe it's the entrance to a hotel. anyway, there's a lobby there where you can enjoy very comfortable seating and it's removed ffrom the throng. Above Gate 17 I think (?)
 
antskip
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:44 am

To me, DXB transit lounge is something out of Dante (and not the paradise bit). After half an hour in the place I longed to return to the chains of cattle-class for 14 hours. The terminal is more like a giant hangar crossed with a shopping mall. Overpriced duty-free shops mix with a poor selection of coffee and food shops, horrible overwhelmed toilet facilities, all wrapped up with an overcrowded and exhausted population, each individual seemingly keen as one-self to leave such an awful place for the relative homeliness of their aircraft...It is the weak link in EK's otherwise impressive worldwide network. If you can, retreat as soon as you can to one of the various members-only airport lounges.
 
ETStar
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:30 am

I was looking at EK's flight arrival info at DXB yesterday and was wondering of the same - multiple wide-bodies arriving at the same time during different banks, other airlines also offloading pax at the same time, a mall-terminal that does not appear large enough to handle all this traffic - DXB must be bursting at the seams. How's the baggage claim area?

How is gate allocation done at DXB? Assuming that EK gets preferential treatment, which other airlines get gates and which ones always seem to get a remote stand?
 
Rivet42
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:46 am

I actually quite like the continual buzz in DXB - it has the atmosphere of a giant chaotic arabian souk, complete with travellers from all over the World, rubbing shoulders and generally competing for refreshments, shopping, or just pushing their trolleyettes around taking in the 'sights'.

Having said that, the last few times I was in transit there I was able to enjoy the various EK & DXB business lounges, where there is a degree of tranquility outside of the peak hours. I recall 2200 - 0200 being particularly busy, and 1500-1700, when even in the lounges it can be impossible to find a seat. Mid to late morning is relatively quiet.

It is a very busy airport, so how one might expect it not to be full of people is rather odd. Nevertheless, if you don't have enough EK miles for the lounges, and you're travelling economy, then there used to be a complimentary dining hall for EK passengers on a long stopover, and there is at least one airport lounge that you can pay to enter, although I don't know if that includes free refreshments.

Enjoy! It can be crazy, but it's the Middle East, after all, and one shouldn't expect something sterile like SIN.

Riv'

Ps. One thing I should add - if you are intending to pass some of your stopover time plane-spotting, be very careful! The airport police take a very dim view of anyone pointing binoculars or telescopes out of the windows and writing numbers (or anything else) down in a notebook, and they are quite likely to march you off to the (airside) police station where your passport will be photocopied. It's a great shame, it's a fascinating airport, especially for what parks up over on the cargo side. They treated me to this particular form of 'welcome' a couple of years ago, so until I get a new passport I try to make do with what I can identify with the naked eye.

[Edited 2007-10-21 20:55:07]
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chrisrad
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:56 am

A photo a family member of mine took last week, he agreed it was like a zoo.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/dubai.jpg
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star_world
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:57 am

Quoting ETStar (Reply 5):
How is gate allocation done at DXB? Assuming that EK gets preferential treatment

I've been reliably informed that EK does not actually get preferential treatment (and this seems to be the case, looking at the number of EK a/c lined up on remote stands whenever I'm there!) Instead foreign airlines are given priority as the airport authority can collect higher fees from them if they have a gate rather than a remote stand, which obviously they cannot do with EK. Therefore a huge amount of EK a/c go to remote stands, the foreign a/c get the gates, and the airport gets richer  Smile
 
Rivet42
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:59 am

... I should also add - if you are intending to pass some of your stopover time plane-spotting, be very careful! The airport police take a very dim view of anyone pointing binoculars or telescopes out of the windows and writing numbers (or anything else) down in a notebook, and they are quite likely to march you off to the (airside) police station where your passport will be photocopied and give you a verbal warning not to continue doing whatever you were doing. It's a great shame, it's a fascinating airport, especially for what parks up over on the cargo side. They treated me to this particular form of 'welcome' a couple of years ago, so until I get a new passport I try to make do with what I can identify with the naked eye.

(I tried editing the previous post but it kept failing with a database error, so apologies if the above text eventually appears several times!!)

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
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SOBHI51
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:59 am

Another alternative, there is a hotel inside the airport no need to go through immigration,it is if i remember well that it is charged by 3 or 4 hours block.So get a room and a good 6 hour sleep
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Qatara340
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:18 am

Quoting Antskip (Reply 4):
Overpriced duty-free shops mix with a poor selection of coffee and food shops, horrible overwhelmed toilet facilities, all wrapped up with an overcrowded and exhausted population, each individual seemingly keen as one-self to leave such an awful place for the relative homeliness of their aircraft..

OOoh, thats a bit harsh... Its really not that bad.. Even though DXB can be a nightmare, the collague of flighs and differnet airlines make it all worthwhile. There are over a 100 differeent airlines serving DXB and its fun seeing people from all over. If DXB is a nightmare to walk through, what would you call LHR, which seems to me, chaotic.

Its fun in DXB, I love the atmosphere, and there are lots of things to do to waste your time there. Good luck and bon voyage.
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philzh
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:59 am

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 11):
If DXB is a nightmare to walk through, what would you call LHR

Very well said, IMHO.
DXB is indeed garish and can be disorienting after a short night with little sleep in a plane, but it's still miles from the chaos and general state of decay at Heathrow, I found.
 
EK773
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:45 am

Is it not possible to book yourself on EK384 DXB-BKK STD 03:15? That would cut your transit time down to about 3hours. More than enough time you need to spend in DXB airport
 
vincewy
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:59 am

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 7):
A photo a family member of mine took last week, he agreed it was like a zoo.

That doesn't look too bad unless you don't enjoy the buzz of a busy street market, many popular shopping malls in Asia (clean and cozy BTW) look like that, BTW, when was the pic taken? Was it outside the aforementioned peak periods of 1500-1700 and 2200-0200?
 
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scbriml
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:27 am

It's a terminal at a very busy airport for goodness sake. What do you all expect, the place to yourself?  sarcastic 

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 9):
The airport police take a very dim view of anyone pointing binoculars or telescopes out of the windows and writing numbers (or anything else) down in a notebook

I have spent many hours at DXB inside the terminal with binoculars and cameras and never had any problems. I have seen others doing the same with no dire consequences. Outside the terminal is a different matter.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
scotron11
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:38 am

Quoting EK773 (Reply 13):

Is it not possible to book yourself on EK384 DXB-BKK STD 03:15? That would cut your transit time down to about 3hours. More than enough time you need to spend in DXB airport

I looked at that option but booked the later flight as I'd heard good things about Dubai. My other option ( and more expensive) was to transit thru LHR which would have entailed a change of terminal. Also lets me experience another airport.

Looks like the new terminal won't be opening until May 2008. Pity!
 
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Ncfc99
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:39 am

I traveled MAN-BNE on EK in 2004, I found DXB to be a pleasant experience, I even considered stopping intentionally at DXB for 7-8 hours on my latest trip to OZ to make my arrival time back in the UK a bit better and try to aleviate some jet lag. So in answer to your question, I found it easy.
 
chrisrad
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:43 am

Quoting Vincewy (Reply 14):
when was the pic taken? Was it outside the aforementioned peak periods of 1500-1700 and 2200-0200?

His flight was to HAM on EK which leaves at 0855, so yes out of those times.....

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 15):
It's a terminal at a very busy airport for goodness sake. What do you all expect, the place to yourself?   

Obviously you enjoy over-crowding when you are dead tired, and not being able to find a seat?
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antskip
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:32 am

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 16):
I looked at that option but booked the later flight as I'd heard good things about Dubai

If you want to visit Dubai, that is quite a different question to visiting the DXB transit terminal! You will see nothing of Dubai (except a few residents) unless you leave the terminal building - a terminal that to many of us is really not up to the task. Maybe you will post back here after your time there and let us know what you think of it?

The EK B773 is a very nice plane, and I am sure you will enjoy it. The flight route goes south over Iran, and if it is daylight and the weather good, you will get a fantastic look at some wonderful towns and cities and awesome mountain scenery.
 
EK773
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:38 am

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 18):
His flight was to HAM on EK which leaves at 0855

The morning is also a peak time with mostly European arrivals and departures. The main departure bank start at 07:30 till about 09:30, you'll find flights to every European port departing and also the regional flights within ME.
 
BrianDromey
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:57 am

Quoting ETStar (Reply 5):
How's the baggage claim area?

Becasue of the missiive volume of connecting trafffic, its a lot smaller and less crowded than one might have expected. And in DXB one would never do anything sodemeaning as take ones baggage directly from the carosuel, they have baggage handlers inside to do that as well!

Quoting ETStar (Reply 5):
How is gate allocation done at DXB? Assuming that EK gets preferential treatment, which other airlines get gates and which ones always seem to get a remote stand?

A lot of EK on remote stands, the LON flights tend to get gates, Im not sure about others.

DXB itself is well set up for connections, and although it is not your 'typical' airport, it is different. When I visited in 2006 on it was fine, a bit crowded yes, but nothing too bad, and certainly far better than the disgrace that is DUB.

Brian.
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scbriml
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:59 am

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 18):
Obviously you enjoy over-crowding when you are dead tired, and not being able to find a seat?

No, but I am a realist.  wink 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
andaman
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:07 am

I travelled through DXB twice a year ago and I have to say they were rather claustrophobic experiences. The terminal itself looked great but it was absolutely packed with stressed (or sleeping) passengers. It was really hard to find free space to sit down, have a coffee, for shopping or anything. The staff looked like they hoped to be some where else instead and I don't blame them... Great news if they get more space there.
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tennis69
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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:22 am

I have transited thru DXB 36+ times and each experience is different. If you can get in them the first and business class lounges are ok. Just watch were you step if you arrive in the early morning. There are pax sleeping on every sq cm of floor space. Another fun observation, I've seen more Arabs drinking alcohol in this airport than any other.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:29 pm

I enjoyed my connecting flight through DXB: good terminal; decent places to eat and drink; and a fair number of viewing areas.

I'd happily connect through DXB.
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Rivet42
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RE: DUBAI: Mess Or Easy

Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:44 pm

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 15):

I have spent many hours at DXB inside the terminal with binoculars and cameras and never had any problems. I have seen others doing the same with no dire consequences. Outside the terminal is a different matter.

... that's very encouraging!! How recently was that...?

My encounter with the police was a couple of years ago, but when I checked later on Airliners', there were comments by others who had the same experience.

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 7):
A photo a family member of mine took last week, he agreed it was like a zoo.

I really don't understand what the problem is. It's busy, yes. Noisy, maybe. But a 'zoo'....??? I think comments like that actually reveal an unpleasant intollerance of other countries & cultures. For those of us who enjoy travelling to, and being immersed in, other cultures, DXB is a fascinating and colourful experience, and being forced to walk around 'looking for a seat' after an 8-hour flight sat cramped in an aircraft is not necessarily a bad thing!

With regard to the original question, yes, technically a transfer here is 'easy', how much you enjoy it is down to what you make of it.

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
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yowza
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:40 pm

The late night/early AM arrival and departure wave is CRAZY at DXB. Manageable but mad. Thankfully for your Ramadan is over. During Ramadan DXB is mayhem.

YOWza
 
airxliban
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:53 pm

Dubai is a zoo, particularly between 10pm and 4am when a lot of flights are taking off. People literally just sleep on the floor.

Anyway, Emirates is a cool airline but the 777-300As are not the gems of the fleet. I don't know if any of them have ICE installed yet, but I regularly fly on the A6-EMN/Q/P slave ships and they haven't been upgraded yet.

Nonetheless I dare say you'll enjoy transiting through Dubai if you are an airline fan as there are many interesting departures going on there and Dubai is a really interesting place for a few hours.
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ekskycargo370
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:01 pm

Transitting through DXB with EK...guaranteed your bag will get lost.
If you are sending cargo with EK through DXB,it will either get lost or end up at another destination!
 
Rivet42
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:13 pm

Quoting EKSkycargo370 (Reply 29):
Transitting through DXB with EK...guaranteed your bag will get lost.

Untrue. I've done exactly that several times and never arrived without my luggage (so far).

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
SQA350
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:45 am

I don't understand why any aircraft enthusiasts, and I believe we all are here on A.net, can complain about an airport. Whenever I am at an airport it's the best time of the vacation, besides being in the plane of course...

I have transited several times through DXB, and yes it was busy, messy at times, but always a great experience, even being dead tired. There are so many planes to see, but what makes the place so damn fascinating and special is the mix of nationalities, races and religions of the pax transiting through it and I often found myself rather watching that crowd than the planes outside! Think about it, for a few hours people from literally every corner of the world come together in that small place in the middle of the desert. To me at least it's just fascinating and it's great to see that with all the wars and hatred going on in the world we still can manage to live peacefully together in some areas.
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CDG
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:04 pm

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 26):
how much you enjoy it is down to what you make of it.

Hi Riv the Philosoph !!

Very well said, to me DXB is an " Adventurous Airport Lover's Heaven " Colorfull, Vibrant, it is quite the opposite of Changi, Fascinating, it gives a very " Universal Experience "of transiting;

Cheers

CDG  wave 
 
BRxxx
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:17 pm

At first I thought LHR terminal 3 was the worst ever!!  duck 
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CupraIbiza
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:27 pm

Geez how precious have we all become that we compare DXB to Dante's Hell. I mean come on. Sure there are lots of people, but its not that bad. What do people expect deserted corridors aand 1 toilet per person. Try hangin around at CAI for a few hours.
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scbriml
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:59 pm

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 26):
... that's very encouraging!! How recently was that...?

I finished a 9-month project in May this year. I had one trip home per month, so spent plenty of time at DXB. As I said, spotting and taking photos from the terminal is generally not a problem. Yes, there's always a chance you could catch a security guard or policeman on a bad day, so I would always encourage discretion. I've spent lots of time in the food court (about the mid-point of the terminal), which has an airside facing seating area, watching planes with binoculars and taking the odd shot (not great windows for photography).

I also spent plenty of time taking shots on approach to DXB. Again, discretion is strongly advised. I know plenty of folks who have been taken down the police station for a "grilling", but no serious consequences, just a bit of hassle and a waste of 4-5 hours!
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
Rivet42
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:31 pm

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 35):
I've spent lots of time in the food court (about the mid-point of the terminal), which has an airside facing seating area, watching planes with binoculars and taking the odd shot (not great windows for photography).

Dang! That's exactly from where I was escorted to the police station by a (very polite) security person who didn't know if what I was doing was permitted or not.

Well, I'm very heartened by your comments, obviously they've had a change of heart, although I'm inclined to wait until I have a new passport until I have another go, just in case. UAE is not a place where one would want to end up in a police cell...

Funnily enough when I first went there in 2002, I spent the day landside in the food court above the main checkin area, from where you had a reasonable view before the terminal building was extended, and I was spotting away all day without attracting any attention at all.

Cheers,

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
EK77W
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RE: Dubai: Mess Or Easy?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:47 pm

Quoting Scotron11 (Thread starter):
All flights are on their 773, which I'm quite excited about.



Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 28):
Anyway, Emirates is a cool airline but the 777-300As are not the gems of the fleet. I don't know if any of them have ICE installed yet, but I regularly fly on the A6-EMN/Q/P slave ships and they haven't been upgraded yet.

EK025/026 (DXB-GLA-DXB) is flown with a 77W, not a 773, so ICE will be installed.
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