Flydubai Boeing 737-800 landing in Prague Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

flydubai Boeing 737-800 landing in Prague – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

FLYDUBAI ECONOMY CLASS FLIGHT REVIEW BASICS:

Airline: flydubai
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Departed: Prague (PRG)
Arrived: Dubai (DXB)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: Economy Class
Seat: 16A
Length: About six hours

Airline flydubai is one of the fastest growing low-cost carriers (LCCs) in the Middle Eastern region. Since commencement of operations in 2009, flydubai’s network has grown considerably and today they operate to over 83 destinations with a fleet of more than 45 Boeing 737-800s.

Flights to Prague commenced in December 2014 and, at present, Prague is the furtherest destination that flydubai operates. I decided to book my next trip to the UAE with flydubai, as their fare was by far the cheapest. Fares on the Prague-Dubai route start at US$230 for a round-trip (including checked luggage and a meal).

Not a bad view on the way to Dubai Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Not a bad view on the way to Dubai – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

As this was an LCC and a relatively long flight on the 737, I decided to pay the extra US$20 each way for an exit row seat, which was well worth it. One criticism I have is that at present, flydubai only offers on-line check-in on flights originating from Dubai; this means I had to check-in at the airport, something I have not done in a very long time.

Even during the flight, exit row seats are available for purchase Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Even during the flight, exit row seats are available for purchase – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

There was a two-hour delay to the flight due to the weather in Dubai (fog), something that is quite a common occurrence this time of year.  During boarding, I was surprised to note that the meals for the return flight to Dubai are not loaded in Prague, but rather they are carried in the hold from Dubai on dry-ice; I guess this is a further cost-cutting measure.

As our load was only 62 passengers, boarding was completed very quickly and we were soon underway. I must say that first impressions of the cabin were very positive. All flydubai aircraft are fitted with the Boeing Sky Interior (BSI), which further enhances passenger comfort.

The nicely upholstered seats are a welcome change from other LCC's Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The nicely upholstered seats are a welcome change from other LCC’s – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Furthermore, the design of the seats and cabin divider is a welcome change from the somewhat mundane interiors of other LCC’s. As I was in an over-wing exit, legroom was not an issue for me. My only criticism with the seat design was that the recline is very limited, but I guess after all it is an LCC.

No issues with legroom in the over-wing exit Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

No issues with legroom in the over-wing exit row – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

All seats are equipped with in-seat personal entertainment. This is a paid service, but the airshow feature is complimentary. The IFE screen also gives you the possibility to order meals and drinks directly from your seat and pay for them with a simple swipe of your credit card.

All seats are equipped with IFE, however the only free option is the airshow, or if you want to order food Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

All seats are equipped with IFE; however, the only free option is the airshow – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The complimentary meal was served approximately one hour after departure. There were two options available: vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The meal itself was okay, and was served with complimentary water, juice, tea, or coffee. In addition to the meal, there was a wide range of snacks and drinks available for purchase, at very reasonable prices (Coke was approximately US$2).

The meal was more than sufficient for a six hour flight Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The meal was more than satisfactory for a six-hour flight – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Flydubai, unlike other LCCs, provides a business class cabin on their aircraft. I had an opportunity to view this product and I must say that it was far more impressive than the business class cabins I have seen on some classic full-service carriers’ 737s. On both my flights, the business cabin was empty and it is not hard to see why; the price was in excess of US$1,000 each way, which is about the same as you would pay on Emirates. If flydubai wants to make the business cabin work on these longer routes, they will have to lower their prices or offer more incentives (such as chauffeur transfer, etc).

The trendy business class cabin on FlyDubai Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The trendy, but overpriced, business class cabin on flybubai – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Upon arrival at Dubai, we disembarked to Terminal 2. This was my first time using this terminal and I must say I was impressed. I was out of the terminal with my bag and in a taxi within 20 minutes.

Arrival & Departure at T2 in Dubai allows for some great views of the VIP ramp, for a brief moment you do not feel like you are boarding an LCC Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Arrival & departure at T2 in Dubai allows for some great views of the VIP ramp; for a brief moment you do not feel like you are boarding an LCC – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Overall, I was mostly satisfied with the product and experience offered on flydubai. If the price is right, I will not hesitate to fly them again. There is some room for improvement with their catering and check-in experience, but other than this they are a very solid low-cost carrier.

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SENIOR CORRESPONDENT – PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC A native of Australia, Jacob’s interest in aviation first came about as a child going on a long-haul flight between Australia and Europe to visit relatives. In addition to being a pilot himself, he has worked in operations for a charter airline, been on-the-ramp handling aircraft, worked as a slot coordinator for major airports, and currently works as an aircraft charter broker for corporate and VIP clients throughout Eastern Europe. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys photography, plane spotting, and travel. Email: jacob@airlinereporter.com.

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6 Comments
James Burke

Nice report Jacob! The IFE seems like decent value – can you preview what is available before plunking down your dough?
$230 seems like a pretty fantastic price for the flight… 6 hours in a 737 ain’t too bad with only 62 people on board!

I flew on flyDubai last year from Dubai to Colombo. The airline is definitely an LCC as everything has a cost and is sold separately (from meals to baggage to drinks). I was only going for a short-trip so only needed a hand-carry, and did not purchase meals. Just paying for the seat, the ticket was very inexpensive and it was a comfortable ride that left and arrived on time.

Additionally, I also used flyDubai’s transportation service from Dubai T2 to Abu Dhabi. This service can either be booked online, at a ticketing agent, or directly on the bus. While the service was convenient, it was a bit chaotic and there is usually only one or two services a day

One thing to point out – Etihad Airways was having a sale at that time from Abu Dhabi to may destinations (including Colombo). When I compared the fares, I noticed that had I paid for luggage and meals and everything else that a ‘standard’ airline offers, Etihad actually would have cost less than flyDubai. Why did I choose flyDubai then – because I missed the sale period and also I wanted to try out flyDubai.

Another thing to point out – the hand-carry restrictions are ‘enforced’ by will as there were MANY people on my outbound flight whose carry-on luggage was their very big and bulky backpack (as they were backpacking across the world). How this is classified as carry-on luggage I am not sure. However, others who only had roll-on were being questions about the weight of their suitcase. Just an FYI

You can read more of my review of flyDubai and other airlines at my blog: 0504Traveller.blogspot.com

Happy travels

Fly Dubai Voucher scam – if you buy a refundable flight or one that has a light penalty IE circa 50 USD – should you cancel – they don’t refund the balance minus penalty.

They instead provide you with a ‘voucher’ which can only be used on flydubai (no food or any other use). Its not stated anywhere when you pruchase the ticket – you are led to believe you will receive cash refund.

This term is contained deep inside their terms and conditions which they expect you to read – all 100,000 words and after going through 3-4 links. Under Terms and Conditions, Then scroll down to 10., then click on conditions of carriage, then scroll down to “schedule” then scroll down some more and you’ll see it in 1 little paragraph. Its not even listed under refunds.

They say its part of their terms. This is crooked and deceptive conduct, avoid them if you intend to move your flight.

Please let people know, as they could endure heavy losses being misled by a crooked policy.

To whom it may concern,

I would like to report this incident of mine and my companion with FlyDubai staff at Dubai Airport.
However, before stating the main issue, here is a brief story about what happened on the way to Dubai from Beirut Airport.
All passengers were seated in FlyDubai airplane heading to Dubai. After all cabin crew calls, captain’s announcement and safety instructions, the plane finally made its way to the runway. The engines are on, the airplane is ready to take off, when suddenly, we were shocked by the fact that the captain had to return to his original parking space in order to drop a passenger off the plane.
The cost of this incident was a delay of exactly 1 hour, sitting in the aircraft doing nothing.

The main incidence:
My companion and I were at FlyDubai terminal’s duty free when we realized that we still have 15 minutes to take-off. We ran to the gate where we were shocked by the attitude and language of the staff who did not let us through to catch up our flight. Instead, she (the staff) told us to talk to another person. We ran searching for this person who actually sent us to a third one until we ran out of time.
WE WERE FORCED TO MISS OUR PLANE.
The complex of the issue is that NO ANNOUCEMENTS WERE HEARD IN THE DUTY FREE!!! After several questions and inspections, it turns out that this is a policy to make no announcements but near the gates which is extremely unordinary, unsatisfactory and unprofessional.
What is also illogically annoying is that they had time to search for our bags in the plane and take them off it, but no time to let us catch our jet.
Additionally, we were told that the plane was full. How come a plane is full and we were out! We checked-in at the airport, our bags were in as well. Is this only about the money?!
WELL THIS IS STEALING!!
FlyDubai staff made us miss our flight, cost us $200 each for a new 1-way ticket to Beirut and made us spend 14 hours waiting in the uncomfortable airport seats.
There are no planes that take-off on time. There is always a delay for security check, engine check, etc. There is time for the plane to reach its runway. THUS, WE COULD MANAGE TO BOARD ON.
Why, on our way in, the plane delayed its entire flight for one complete hour to drop someone off; however in the way back it took-off without its passengers whom had time to reach it but the staff did not allow it?!?!

You might have won an extra $400, but definitely lost 2 passengers.

This review is intended to help future flydubai travelers from falling to a scam. Flydubai is run by corporate criminals who Extort money from passengers. My ticket to Male – Dxb was purchased at 507 Usd, unfortunately due to the delay in visa, I had to cancel my booking, and I was refunded 383 Usd Voucher after deduction of 124 Usd. The voucher has to be used within 12 months and is not transferable to purchase ticket for a third person, unless he is traveling along with you in the same booking…..the voucher is a way to keep the sale to Flydubai. Once I got the visa, then I again rebooked the ticket for 500 Usd, so I was asked to pay 117 Usd. My card was declined and I got a call from Flydubai to pay the difference to the local Gsa to Maldives. After few hours I checked the online rate from another device and surprisingly the return fare is only 325 Usd!!! Flydubai uses cookies to find the details of the passengers and the website gives the maximum rates…. the cookie policy of Flydubai is mentioned in their website. I felt cheated and decided not to pay difference and send email to agencysupport@flydubai.com , they were not willing to respond to my request to change the booking rate. Finally, I got a mail from support saying that “booking will get cancelled to no refund” (383 Usd). My booking is now cancelled for the trip on 27.07.2016, without any refund…..total loss of 507 Usd without even flying!!! The call center charges 60 Aed for a call from the passenger, so that low cost fares can be maintained. . Nowhere in the world, you can take money and not refund without any service! As I write this review, the current rate for Mle – Dxb is 335 Usd …I request any future Flydubai travelers to avoid Flydubai…..Happy Travelling!

julie kirwin

the seats are too small and narrow.

i found out too late that fly dubai has their own airport and so when they landed i thought we landed at the kuwait airport and my husband was on his way to pick me up from kuwait airport. i got stuck at fly dubai’s own airport and then i had to use their taxi to get out of their airport. fly dubai should notify customers that they have their own airport so that travelers can arrange with their family/friends to pick up the traveler from flu dubai airport. my husband was so angry to not see me at the usual kuwait airport. he wasted his time to pick me at the kuwait airport , because he took off work to pick me up, but I ended up in fly dubai airport without prior warning nor knowledge.

i didnt see any cars coming to pick up customers from the fly dubai airport.. I dont know if that means it’s not possible to get out of fly dubai aiport without using their overpriced taxis.

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