Dubai, discover all that’s possible. Indeed, we’ve discovered everything that’s possible (to go wrong) during our transit in Dubai. When our flight was delayed in Dubai due to the bad weather condition, we spent an unexpected (and unpleasant) 14.5 hours in the airport. Bad weather condition was understandable, bad service – not so much.
25 Sep 2017
Our trip began with high hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. Booked a flight to London, transiting in Dubai with Emirates. In-flight services and leg room were pretty good and we landed in Dubai International Airport at 01:00 am and saw that our flight was delayed. Okay, flight delays are pretty normal, so we went to wash up a little and then had some coffee. Finally, the new boarding time was up but there were no airport crews at the boarding gate and nobody to inform the passengers of further delay and of course no further instructions were given.
WE JUST WAITED, impatient and confused. Went to the customer service counter, which was incredibly located outside of the screening area. Our flight to London was with Qantas, due to the code sharing system with Emirates, and when we went to the Emirates counter to inquire, we were told that we had to wait for the Qantas counter to be opened, even though we booked our flight with Emirates (witnessed Tai-chi in a foreign country). Upon insisting for help (Qantas counter was not opened yet), some seemingly kind man agreed to help put us on the next available flight. LIES! We only received food vouchers (thankfully) and not the next flight out.
After repeatedly clearing the screening area (till the security personnel recognized us), we finally came to realization that we were not going anywhere soon, so we went for lunch and continued lingering near the boarding gate, believing the new delayed schedule. We eventually found out that the bad foggy condition had prevented our plane from Sydney from landing.
After an eternity, there were finally airport staffs going near the boarding gates.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN PEOPLE SO CHILLED AND IT ALMOST FELT LIKE THEY WERE ON SLOW-MOTION.
The lack of information being passed down to passengers and the laid-back staffs eventually led to a group of passengers arguing (at the top of their voices) with the still-cool-like-cucumber staffs. Wow, talk about stress management. So dramatic and suddenly all the passengers were allowed to visit the airport lounge. Yays, even though we just had our lunch. Anyways, after so much hoo-ha and queuing at the front of the counter every time it looked like we could be boarding, we finally got onto the flight (14.5 hours later) to London and of course missing our flight to Iceland, our Northern Light hunting tour and our chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
We did, however, learn how to remain chill and laid-back when facing angry passengers who got delayed. Pacify them by not giving them first hand information or simply by not being present. When they start flaring at you, invite them to the lounge – when in doubt lounge!
Well well, another fortunate thing that happened to us was when we finally arrived in London Heathrow Airport, the Qantas staff [THANK YOU MS ABI] offered us an accommodation near the airport with meals and airport transfer, even though technically, they didn’t have to. They also offered us 5000 Qantas points when we wrote in to claim for our flight delay, unlike Emirates who only told us that “safety first, compensation never”! Agreed.
HAN-dy tips: If booking a transiting flight, try not to book any outbound ticket on the same day or if you must, book through the same airline. According to the PR responses we heard, the airline is only responsible for your accommodation (and well-being) if you had booked all your flights through them.
Get travel insurance, though we couldn’t claim for the London to Iceland air tickets or the loss of one night accommodation and car rental in Iceland, we did manage to claim S$200 to S$300 from our respective insurance company. Remember to ask for proof of delay from the airline!
Shit happens! Stay calm and you will eventually reach your destination! Cheers to safe and smooth travels!
**Disclaimer: the above are just rants from a traveler who unfortunately got delayed due to the bad weather condition and didn’t feel that enough information and help was being rendered.***