The Joys of flying Dubai to Mumbai

  • A personal account of the flying experience on a Dubai to Mumbai flight.

Flying to Dubai is like flying to any part of India, say Mumbai Kolkata because flying time is not significantly different. Usually, I fly economy class but this time flew Business Class and on a Middle Eastern airline, all because I wanted a special experience even though it was expensive.


We took an afternoon Dubai to Mumbai flight so departure and arrival are both during non-peak hours. I think the ticket is cheaper too. You can check prices online. Since it was afternoon time it took us about 25 minutes from the hotel to the airport.


The good thing about the flying business is that the airline arranges a pick-up and drop at Mumbai and Dubai. No headache of finding a cab and negotiating. The car was comfortable and allowed two big bags. Since it was me and my wife we were entitled to two cars but since we had small bags we preferred to travel together.


From the time we got off at the airport gate to take off the experience was pleasant. Staff at various counters treat every customer with respect unlike in some countries where non-Whites are looked down upon. In fact, Dubai has over the years, become such a melting pot of people and cultures that one gets to interact with working people from all over Europe and Asia. That was a pleasant and enriching experience.


Dubai Airport is not as impressive and grand as I expected. When I told this to a friend he said that is because the airlines used smaller aircraft. The part where 380 Double-decker planes are used is much better. Anyway, I am sharing what I saw. The Duty-free shop too did not get me excited enough to open my wallet esp. when Mumbai and Delhi Airports have high-quality duty-free shops now. Anyway, shopping was not on my agenda, my intent was just to get an experience.


As we entered the airport your picture was scanned. This picture is used at various points before departure including the business lounge. As a technology person, I appreciated how the airport used technology to enhance customer convenience.


Immigration and customs seemed a breeze, especially for business class passengers for whom there is a separate line. Whilst we were checking in, I saw a harassed young man who had a pair of JBL Speakers. They were big and heavy. So he was asked to pay for excess baggage. The sum payable was significant, his eyes said it all. He looked at me as if saying you are travelling business so baggage allowed is more, please help. Much against my wife's wishes and concerns (what if the speaker box had drugs or gold), I agreed to let the speakers be checked in as my baggage. The guy looked decent and spoke well. So I agreed and said if something like what my wife said happens we will face the consequences if it happens.


Whilst we were walking to the departure lounge saw guests arriving. They were a combination of Indian and non-Indian-looking people. Dubai has, in the last few years, become an international hub for those passengers from Asia who wish to fly to Europe and the U.S. This gives Dubai Airport a different look and feel, and is surely one of the things that attract me to Dubai.


As I walked to departure another statement that kept ringing in my head was a statement of the Dubai Ruler or CEO who said something to the effect that we must make Dubai NEW every five or so years so when people come back, there is something new to see. In a deeper sense what was said is that change is the essence of life.


The walk from the gate to the departure point is quite long. Actually, that is the case with most airports today. Though I cribbed about the walk, I was happy doing so because it made me exercise a little. 

 Typical Business Class seats

Inflight service was very good. The nice thing was the range of food for a vegetarian since both of us are veggies. I do not drink but saw many fellow travellers enjoying the choicest brands of whiskey, beer, wine and champagne. By the time we finished our meal, the aircraft was hovering around Mumbai.


I love identifying locations of my home town Mumbai whilst sitting in the aircraft. This time was no different. Plus it was early evening so there was enough light and the sky was clear. It was great to see the bridges and beaches from the sky, not to forget the north-south roads and railway tracks that make Mumbai unique.


Immigration and customs at Mumbai Airport were smooth too. We had a good time. The airline counter guided us to the airline vehicle that comfortably took us home. In my mind, I thanked myself for choosing business class – just that much so hassle-free. 

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