Hello, all. This is another trip pulled from my 2022 archives. This time its from Dubai to the country of Georgia during the Eid holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Traveling during the Eid holiday is analogous to traveling during Thanksgiving weekend in the US. Crowded airports & full planes are the norm during the long holiday weekend.
flyDubai operates out of the very utilitarian Terminal 2. I haven’t flown out of T2 since 2010, so my memories of it then and now are almost non-existent. As expected, it was crowded even at the early hour of 3 AM, with travelers getting a really early start on the holiday.
Due to the holiday demand, there was an even earlier flight to TBS that morning. I caught the screen showing them as code-shares for Emirates. The actual flight number as FZ8157.
flyDubai has on-line check in and electronic boarding passes, so I didn’t need to go to the counter at all since I wasn’t checking a bag on this leg. The initial security screening was a scan of your boarding pass, either paper or digital, and at the time, proof of vaccination. All that so far took less than 5 minutes. Security screening & passport stamping were also quickly done. There were E-Gates for passport control, but not being a Dubai resident, they didn’t work for me this trip or my last trip in March. Duty free is right after the security area, no surprise there. flyDubai does have a business lounge, but I didn’t use it this trip since I was with friends who were flying economy and hung out with them instead.
Air-side waiting area.
There is a separate boarding area for all flyDubai business class passengers. The gate agent will let you know when its time for you to board your dedicated bus to the aircraft stands in front of the terminal.
Bus boarding was at 0503, and I was in seat #1F by 0511.
This was the first time I've seen this seat plan. I think this is a 4-2-4? Not all of FZ aircraft are in this scheme, as I saw on the return flight. I would of loved to be in that single "throne" seat.
My overall impression as a chubby traveler is that the seat could use more padding, and about a half-inch more width. The lay-flat setting was too uncomfortable for me, which is always the case when I travel, but the halfway point between full upright and lay-flat is more often than not the sweet-spot for me, and it was again on this flight.
Main cabin boarding started at 0520, so I knew it wasn’t going to be an on-time departure. Door closed at 0540, 10 minutes late, pushback was 2 minutes later in conjunction with #2 eng then #1 eng start. Taxi started at 0550, and we were wheels-up at 0558.
Hot, citrus-scented towels were handed out about 25 min later, & the breakfast order was taken right after that at 0630, served by 0640.
Everything was cleared by 0710. At 0730, the lights were turned down, and given the early start to everyone’s morning, everyone that I saw went to sleep. I then started browsing the IFE.
The information screen cycled through English, Arabic, and Russian. The headphones weren't noise-canceling, but they did a good job reducing the noise, and sound quality was decent enough to where I didn't even bother taking out my Bose QC-25s.
All too soon, the lights came back on in a sunrise style as the decent started at 0815, and by 0840 we were on the ground, and deplaning by 0850, so the crew made up the time from that late departure.
The variety of parked aircraft at TBS would hold the attention of any avgeek.
The earlier flight was already pushing back by the time we got to the gate.
Passport and proof of vaccination were shown at the well-staffed immigration booths, and it was off to the baggage carousel to complete this portion of the trip.