Travelling amid a pandemic from Dubai to Belgrade

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I recently wrote about my experience flying with Flydubai from Belgrade to Dubai, so I decided to share some details from the return journey, although I will try to keep it a bit shorter.

The flights from Dubai to Belgrade leave from the Emirates’ terminal three at Dubai Airport rather than the dedicated Flydubai terminal. Upon entering the building, you are immediately issued an Emirates travel hygiene kit. It contains to two masks, gloves, a few hand sanitiser sachets and disinfectant wipes. Of course, wearing masks at the airport is mandatory. Due to the sheer number of Emirates check-in desks, the process was very quick, as was security and soon enough I was in the departures area.


Dubai Airport was relatively quiet. The impact of the ongoing pandemic was visible with glass screens put up between seats, special procedures at duty free and so on. I headed to the Emirates lounge which is located one level above the departures area and stretches for much of the area above. The experience was quite different than usual. Each table had signage whether it had been disinfected, part of the lounge was shut off and there was no food on display. However, as soon as I was seated one of the staff came around to take my food order. You can view the menu by scanning a QR code. The choices during the morning were limited and consisted of two different “box” options. Regardless, the staff working at the lounge was very pleasant and they took the hygiene protocols very seriously. As soon as someone would leave the table and chairs would be wiped down, similar as in the rest of Dubai which is really trying to put people at ease with various sanitary procedures.


Emirates lounge



After some time, I headed to the gate. The flight was, to my surprise, relatively full. In the business class cabin, there were seven passengers plus the two pilots who would be flying the plane on the way back from Belgrade. We were bussed to the aircraft. Crew were in protective gear and one of them was Serbian. The cabin crew were extremely polite and worked hard during the flight.

Since I described the on board experience in my previous report, I won’t go into too much detail. In short, there is a prepacked blanket at each seat, passengers are given a menu with three meal options, shortly after taking off passengers were offered a hot towel and drinks. Around an hour before landing another snack is offered. There is no difference to the usual on board experience other than masks being mandatory. One of the crew came to each passenger to apologise for the entertainment system not working and he explained that the airline is in the process of upgrading the entertainment software and that it should soon be significantly improved. Nevertheless, I purchased the on board wi-fi, which was quick and worked well (with exception over Iran).




We landed at Belgrade Airport some twenty minutes ahead of schedule. The airport was quiet and I headed to the passport control area, which has now been slightly reorganised. All passengers are screened with thermal cameras, there is also a special “sanitary zone” near passport control where I guess people are taken if they are exhibiting symptoms. As there was no one at passport control and all the booths were working, it took less than a minute to pass through. As I reached the conveyor belts, our bags started to come out. I’m not sure if this is a new feature, or I simply never noticed it before, but the screens at each conveyor belt now have information when the bags are expected to start arriving. Kudos to the ground handlers as the bags were there within minutes. In total it took me 5 minutes from the plane to leaving the terminal building, which I think is a record for me.

Overall, the flight experience with Flydubai was enjoyable. I didn’t notice any major on board changes in terms of service and the crew, especially from Dubai, did a great job. Despite there being a pandemic, I didn't feel nervous flying and the on board experience seemed like business as usual.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous09:54

    Great report. Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too landed in Belgrade on 10th August with flydubai- Emirates codeshare fight in economy class. The flight arrived early. They gave the hygiene kit at the check-in counters and everything was just perfect.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous18:37

    Loved it !
    Only two comments so far, dont care because i still enjoyed it so much .
    Always asked myself how Flydubai, Etihad or Qatar are performing in these difficult times .

    Very surprised to hear that loadfactor is okay, would not have expected that !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:52

      I'm not that surprised. If you read the first trip report from this person they say load was 60 passengers to Dubai but return was full. Which kind of makes sense. Serbs living in Dubai could not leave Dubai until recently. Now they all probably want to visit family after so many months.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:27

      Well, this is only possible because there is O&D demand obviously .
      If it was transfers only, we probably would see a temporary cancellation of service like at Zagreb or Skopje .

      Delete
    3. I wanted to have my first experience coming to see all the beautiful people of my brand new first time visited country : ) as so on until the day I've booked my flight and two to three weeks later I heard their was going to be a cancellation for the party I've booked for me and my girlfriend I understand on the report their was no quarantine so hopefully next year 2021 is going back to the 🎉celebration🎉

      Delete
  3. Dubai always proved itself for best customer services

    ReplyDelete

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