TRIP REPORT: Flydubai, Dubai - Belgrade on MAX jet


This week I flew between Dubai and Belgrade on the 737 MAX 8 jet. The aircraft entered into service on the Belgrade route on July 1 after being grounded since early 2019.

I was flying business class on this occasion, so I checked in at the dedicated first/business class area of Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3. Flydubai uses Emirates’ terminal for its flights to Belgrade, which is a big advantage considering that Terminal 2, which it uses for the majority of its other flights, is not the most comfortable airport experience. It is basically a low cost terminal and it shows in every aspect. Apart from dedicated check-in, at T3, first and business class passengers also have dedicated security and passport control, which is an advantage to avoid the queues.

After passing security, I headed to the lounge. Flydubai uses the Emirates lounge at Terminal 3, which is very large. Dubai Airport was quite busy and so was the lounge. Due to corona, all the buffet stations are manned by employees which plate the food for you, so you wouldn’t touch anything other than your plate. As I was hungry, I had a sandwich and some granola, since it was around 7AM.

Afterwards I headed to the gate. I knew the flight would be full. At the time I purchased the ticket, which was a few days before the departure date, I bought the last business class seat available. Thankfully I was able to select the so called “throne seat” in the second row since the seating configuration on the MAX is 2-2 in the first row, 1-1 in the second and 2-2 in the third. We were at a bus gate so we were taken to the plane, with business class passengers having a dedicated bus. It was a very long drive to the aircraft and took us around 15 minutes.

Flydubai’s business class product on the MAX is incomparable to the 737-800. It’s like flying on a different airline. The seats would put to shame the product many carriers have on their wide-body aircraft. It is fully lie flat and I liked that there was a lot of storage space, including on both sides of the seat. I feel that the airline could have made the personal TV screens a bit larger since they had enough space, but I must say I never had a more responsive screen on an aircraft. There is also a USB port and power socket at each seat. I also liked how they put a hook to place your headphones to the side of the seat. Furthermore, I should mention that these seats (at least the one in the second row) is very private and you can’t see any other passenger. Upon boarding, each seat had a pillow, blanket, water bottle and noise cancelling headphones.

As I noted above, the business class cabin was completely full, as was economy. There was a large African delegation in business although I didn’t find out from which country. Upon departure, the crew offered each passenger a hot towel, as well as the option to choose between some salty and savoury snacks. They also handed out the menu. Afterwards they took the meal and beverage order, which was served relatively quickly, within fifteen minutes of the choices being taken. There were three main course options and I opted for the Arabic mezze.

The rest of the flight I relaxed and watched some TV. There was a huge selection of movies, shows, music and games. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi wasn’t working on the flight.

The 737 MAX aircraft itself is very quiet. I think the lavatory is rather small and cramped and the way Boeing dealt with the sinks wasn’t the best as they are very small, and you will likely get splashed by the water when turned on. I also noticed that the galley (at least the one in the front) is much smaller than on the 737-800, but perhaps it is just an optical illusion, I don't know for sure.

The crew was attentive and friendly and asked passengers whether they would like some drinks throughout the flight. Around an hour before landing they offered some sandwiches as well as additional sweet and savory snacks.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience with Flydubai. They really upped their premium product on the MAX jets in every respect.

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  1. Anonymous09:21

    I wish FZ wasn't so conservative in Belgrade. It took them ages to increase flights from 3 to 5 and then from 5 to 7. They seem to be constantly full out of Belgrade. I wish they would at least add one or two night time departures like they had around Easter. I think the flight used to leave around 00.50.
    Maybe they do it when Australia and China open up.

    1. Anonymous12:26

      Obviously there isn't enough demand for more flights.

    2. Anonymous12:28

      Well from tomorrow they are operating 12 flights because of increased demand.

    3. Anonymous12:31

      Yes but just for a few days my friend.

    4. Anonymous12:32

      So? It's good news. Planes are full and frequencies are being increased more and more regularly.

  2. Anonymous11:19

    This business class looks really classy. I like this 1-1 seating row. Since aircraft is new everything loos even better, but I think that for some airlines should be forbidden by law to pronounce and promote 'business class' on their flights. That was Angola delegation on flight. Great trip report.

  3. JU520 BEGLAX12:26

    Thanks for the nice and well illustrated report
    Btw I hate small toilets. U need to hve room to do yr business :-)

    1. Anonymous06:52

      ...or to simply raise your head.


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