Fly Dubai Airlines - A pathetic experience
Fly Dubai is one such airline which I will never ever EVER fly in my entire life. This particular airline spoiled my holiday mood during my trip to Baku, Azerbaijan from Dubai. Read on to know more about my experience.
So, I was very excited regarding my trip to Baku, Azerbaijan from Dubai. Actually, I had planned the trip via Dubai as tickets were cheaper and also I wanted a glimpse of Dubai again as I was not aware on what to expect in Baku. So, I reached Dubai from India via Indigo Airlines and everything was going on as planned. I stayed at Dubai for 4 days enjoying the artificial man made beauty and wonders of Dubai. I must really appreciate Dubai for its cleanliness and excellent roads and infrastructure. They truly deserve the appreciation for maintaining the standards. If you have the money, you will definitely enjoy Dubai otherwise, well it's quite expensive.
Anyways, it was the 25th of November 2022. I had booked Fly Dubai airlines for my onward trip to Baku, Azerbaijan. The flight departure was at 11:55 hrs from Dubai. I reached the airport at around 08:30 hrs and waited in line at the counter happy for going to the 6th country in my list. As I reached the counter (Counter Number-4), there was an African lady at the counter who took our documents. After she took our documents, she disappeared for around 10-15 minutes saying that she needed to check our documents. After she came back, she gave the shocking news to us.
" You cannot travel to Baku. I cannot issue you a boarding pass"
I was shell shocked on hearing the news. When I asked her the reason, she was just fumbling and giving unrelated answers that we don't have proper documents. I then proceeded to show her the documents which I had.
Valid Indian Passport.
Valid E-Visa for Azerbaijan.
Valid Paid Hotel Bookings for entire duration of stay at Azerbaijan.
Valid return flight tickets from Azerbaijan to India. (with Air Arabia)
Three Credit Cards with credit limit of over INR 18 lakh (AED 82000)
Debit Card with sufficient bank balance
Cash in hand of around INR 1 lakh (AED 5000)
I also told her that I am doing a well paid job in India and that I have travelled internationally 7 times prior to this. All these pleas fell into deaf ears and she just said one thing - "I cannot issue you a boarding pass. Please contact security officer".
Now, time was running out. I somehow found the so called "security officer" of Fly Dubai (actually he was just a normal employee) and asked him the reason as to why I was denied a boarding pass inspite of having all relevant documents. After much pestering, he said that as I do not possess a return ticket with Fly Dubai, hence I was not allowed a boarding pass.
My blood began boiling at that point but still I kept my cool. I went to the African lady at Counter Number - 4 again and asked her bluntly - "Is your flight overbooked?" Please don't give me nonsense statements that I don't possess valid travel documents because I know that I possess everything. And I also asked her to show the clause where it is written that I must have a return flight ticket with Fly Dubai. She just ignored me and kept on continuing with her work. After running here and there, one employee said that the best option for me was to buy a return flight ticket and it should be in this sector only: Baku-Dubai-India. I was like "What the heck?". My other flight from Baku to India was non-refundable. Still, I went to Fly Dubai counter and asked the price. They said that tickets for two persons would be 4000 Dirhams (INR 88000). These cheats were beginning to get on my nerves. I then decided that there was no point arguing with these idiots and decided that I will not travel to Baku. Instead, it will be better to stay at UAE for a few days more (since my UAE visa was still valid) and return back from Dubai to India which will cost me just INR 24000 for two persons.
My wife too was very angry with the Fly Dubai staff. But she still decided and asked me to pester them one last time since we had nothing to lose. So, I went again to different counters and at last found someone sensible who was astonished to know that I was denied a boarding pass. She then took the initiative and provided me with the boarding passes. I almost had tears in my eyes and profusely thanked them from the bottom of my heart. After getting my boarding pass, there just just around 1 hour left to do immigration, security check and reach the departure gate. Somehow, we reached the departure gate running only to know that flight was delayed by 2 hours.
I then checked my boarding pass and was again shocked to see that the seats were changed. I had paid extra for the seats but they had changed it. What was interesting was that they had only changed the window seat but no change was done to the middle seat. This clearly indicated that the flight was overbooked and these shameless Fly Dubai people again sold my seat to a different person. Such is the lack of professionalism in this airline.
My mood after this harrowing ordeal
I then requested a fellow passenger if he can kindly give up the seat so that me and my wife can sit together. The kind person immediately agreed to do the same. I thanked him for his act of courtesy.