FLYDUBAI ECONOMY CLASS FLIGHT REVIEW BASICS:
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Departed: Prague (PRG)
Arrived: Dubai (DXB)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: Economy Class
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.