TRIP REPORT: Flydubai, Belgrade - Dubai

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Written by BEG Flyer

Several years after I last flew with them, I booked a flight from Belgrade to Dubai with Flydubai for early December. The return ticket price was 350 euros which included one piece of checked in luggage (there is a fare without luggage). This is mildly cheaper than booking Dubai with Etihad at around 450 euros (this includes bus transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport to Dubai). The reason I chose Flydubai over Etihad was primarily because of the schedule. Had I chosen Etihad, I would have to board a bus for my return flight from Dubai at 3AM. Since Etihad’s departure to Belgrade is now at around 8AM local time, I found it a hassle to stay awake the entire night.

Flydubai does check in at the old terminal in Belgrade. This has its advantages because you can use passport control at the old terminal which is usually deserted. A tip for those travelling from Belgrade with Flydubai is to check-in online since the baggage drop off is done at the business class counter where there are usually no ques. I didn’t do that and waited in line. Interestingly, the two ladies in front of me who were checking in had their final destination as Colombo.

Flydubai check in

Terminal 1

At the security check at the gate, one of the airport employees was complaining how our Flydubai flight had 180 passengers (meaning more work for her) while the Lufthansa flight next to us had much less (I forgot the number). So I found out the exact load on the flight, which is not bad for a Tuesday flight in early December. I think Flydubai’s B737 has 189 seats.

Óur aircraft preparing for departure

Our flight was slightly delayed due to late inbound arrival of the aircraft but nothing too extreme. I purchased an exit row seat since seats in Flydubai are quite cramped. It is definitely worth it. There are two exit rows 15 and 16. Choose 16 as it has even more space. It costs 40 euros and chances are, if the plane is not full, there will be no one else sitting next to you. One thing that surprised me is the number of Indian passengers on this flight. I don’t know if these are Indians from India or Indians from GCC countries, but I noticed a lot of them are using flights by Gulf carriers to Belgrade.

Business class seat

Economy class seats

My exit row seat

Standard leg room (row behind passenger is exit row 15 - more space)

Israir next to us in Belgrade

Exit row 16

We departed with a 40-minute delay. The screens on Flydubai flights no longer seem to work. They didn’t work on the return flight either. I asked the crew about this and they confirmed that they mostly don’t work and not to bother paying to watch anything since the likelihood of it freezing up is high. I actually couldn’t even turn on the moving map since the screen was frozen on some generic adds that were playing upon boarding and mid-way through the flight all the screens were switched off by the crew (same as on the return leg) and they couldn’t be turned on.

Meal service began shortly after take off. Emirates transfer passengers received their (complimentary) meals  first and then they sold meals. This is quite a long process because everyone wants to buy something. A word of warning - you can’t buy anything on board with a debit card. Only credit cards or UAE Dirhams/Euros are accepted. The only thing you can buy with a debit card is Wi-Fi access (which I did, and it worked well on my flight, although Wi-Fi wasn’t working on the return flight at all).

Buy on board menu

Meal service

When the crew came up to my seat, they looked into the passenger list and gave me a complimentary meal to choose from - vegetarian pasta or chicken. A few others also received a complimentary meal. I think it might have been included with my ticket price but I didn’t really pay attention to that. In any case, you have to pay for any drinks (water included) although you do get a small plastic cup of water with your meal (if you have a complimentary meal - not if you are purchasing one). The prices are not expensive though. The meal itself was good. The lunch boxes are very slippery on the tray tables and many people spilt the contents of their lunch boxes on the ground along with their drinks since they would just slide off the table. To be fair, the crew did warn passenger about that.

Complimentary meal

Complimentary meal with slippery lunch box

After the meal service was done the lights were dimmed. There was nothing much to do other than read. The toilets were kept in very good condition. The crew was nice, although obviously a bit tired. The crew does an immediate turn around from Dubai. This excludes the pilots. They have an extra set of pilots who fly as passengers on the way out of Dubai and replace their colleagues on the way back who sit in business class as passengers. Except for the pilots, the crew was mostly a mix of Arabic and Eastern Europeans. On the way back the crew was Asian and Serbian. I have to commend the crew at how they helped people with luggage. When people wanted to buy something but forgot their wallets in their bags the crew themselves took out the bags for the passengers so they wouldn’t have to get up.

Dimmed cabin, USB phone charging was useless on this flight, barely worked

Around two hours before landing the crew again started the paid meal service and again many people bought snacks and drinks.

We landed in Dubai and parked at a remote stand near Terminal 2 (which is standard procedure for this flight). Flydubai flights to/from Belgrade use Emirates’ terminal 3, however, it took us a good half hour to be bussed from the plane to the terminal. Not only is it far away but there was actual traffic congestion at the airport.

Dubai Airport T3 is not very appealing in my opinion. The arrivals are much nicer than the departures but in general it looks like a bus station. The whole image of the airport and Emirates as an airline itself is very overrated in my opinion. There are definitely much better airlines and airports out there, particularly in their immediate region. After a quick process of passing immigration, it took another 20 minutes to wait for our bags to arrive.

Long wait for luggage to arrive

Dubai Airport Terminal 3 arrivals

Overall, I am very glad I purchased exit row seats otherwise the flight probably would have been much more uncomfortable. If Etihad had kept its old departure time from Abu Dhabi (at around 2AM) I probably would have chosen it over Flydubai. I know Flydubai’s B737 Max product is much better but the existing planes they are using are really showing their age


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Comments

  1. Anonymous09:06

    Nice trip report, thanks. I especially like pictures of the cabin. Seems like tv screens are no longer working as a friend of mine who flew with them in summer said the same thing. Crazy. Also their service seems a bit chaotic.

    Still nice to see such healthy loads even if they increased flights to daily this winter. Who knows maybe in summer we get additional ones like Qatar does.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:30

    Very nice report

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:48

    This flight is terrible and I'm not sure how it's allowed by our CAD.

    Screens never work, you cant get free water and even if you want to buy it most credit cards don't work, they don't have change to give you for USD/EUR and THEY DON'T ACCEPT DINARS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:53

      " THEY DON'T ACCEPT DINARS!"

      i don't know what you expect? Why would they accept dinars? They don't accept Swiss Francs on Air Serbia flights from/to Switzerland or the Leabense lira on flights to Beirut.

      Delete
    2. CAD or similar bodies are much more concerned with safety. Especially when foreign carriers concerned. You talk commercial. The only commercially important for CAD/CAA is domesticely registered carriers have enough founds first to obtain AOC, and later operate normally. Free water and IFE is not part of their interest. And about Flydubai, I confirm everything you say - flew with them only once ZAG-DXB-ZAG. Only two words have to say : never again.

      Delete
    3. enough funds, typo

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:18

      I think flydubai's modus operandi is: we're cheap so you shouldn't complain.
      It's not uncommon to find €350 tickets to Dubai from Belgrade with them which is really not much when you take into consideration the fact that the flight lasts about five hours.

      In my opinion, when it comes to service, they are no different than Wizz Air. Especially now when their tvs no longer work. lol

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:54

      "most credit cards don't work"
      People here should finally learn - if you want to pay something in the airplane, no matter of airline company, you should have a real CREDIT card. What most of the people here have & use are DEBIT card.
      Credit card means you have monthly limit, you can swipe cards as you want, no funds are deducted until end of month when you will get your monthly statement.
      Debit card means, you can spend money if you have it on your account, ie. checks are done instantly at the moment of purchase.
      There might be some exceptions, but this is general rule at the moment.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:22

      Screens never work, you cant get free water - same as in Wizzair. Are you also asking CAD to prohibit Wizzair in Serbia?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:00

      11:54 Dobar odgovor!

      Delete
  4. Anonymous12:13

    Thank you so much for this report. I'm flying this route in 2 weeks and your tips are really useful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice report, thanks :)
    FZ not looking bad for a LCC. Perhaps the price is a bit high.
    Any word on the LF on both legs?

    ReplyDelete
  6. One gets what one pays for... fair enough except IFE...

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  7. The TV screens on all flights no longer work simply because the manufacturer of the personal tv’s (a company based in California )closed down in 2017 and no longer offers spare parts . FZ are meant to replace their ageing 737NG’s with the MAX l, which have a much better inflight product. The grounding has delayed this.

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  8. Thanks lot for report. I personally work for the airport and from my personal experience, the airlines services and flight schedule makes a lot of difference and reflect upon airport's service provision as well. The airport objective is to provide a unique passenger experience while on the other hand tries to increase its capacity, this is the most challenging part of the business. Dxb is working hard on addressing issues such as the ones you have mentioned. Thanks a lot for using Dubai airport.

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  9. cheter airline thy will take too me mony when flight will cancle they will not returen my mony

    ReplyDelete

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