Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Help Needed For Better Flight Schedule Booking

This is a much belated blog entry because I had been on business trips and I didn't find the time to blog.

I had to admit that although I am a frequent flier for years now, I am still very bad at planning my flight schedules.

On 17 April I travelled to Bangkok via Dubai. My flight from Beirut to Dubai has only just landed did I realised that my next flight out of Dubai was at 2245. My flight had landed on 1510. Not once did I realise this when the ticket was issued to me about 2 weeks from departure. So it came to be that due to my "excellent" flight scheduling, I have more than 7 hours to kill in the Dubai International Airport.

Fortunately, the airport is a spacious and well equiped place to kill time. An entire floor was devoted to duty-free shopping and there were plenty of comfortable seating in the transit lounge. It occured to me that I actually enjoyed the sight of Asian faces around me. In addition to the ubiquitous Asian travellers, most of the employees working in the terminal were from the Philippines.

The first thing I did was to visit the bookstore hoping to get a book to read and kill time. The bookstore in the Dubai airport has a good selection of books including many titles on the Middle East. But some inconsiderate idiot has stuck a piece of chewing gum to an Edward Said book that I was browsing and some of the gum stuck to my fingers, making me swore all the way to the washroom.

Actually, the 7 hours transit time was well spent in retrospect. It was very nice to do things leisurely once a while. The bulk of my waiting time was spend reading a paperback I bought at the bookstand over a huge cup of mocha. In fact, I was so engrossed in my reading that I only checked in with barely enough time to catch my dinner before boarding the flight to Bangkok

My poor flight scheduling was evident during my return flight to Beirut on the 24th. My transit time in Dubai was less than an hour. A total farcry from the 7 hours I had on the previous trip. To make thing worse, I had a cold and my head hurts during the entire flight from Bangkok to Dubai. Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep it off because my neighbouring passenger, a tourist from Saudi Arabia kept chatting with me. Actually, he was a very sociable guy and I would have enjoyed chatting with him if not for my cold. I hope that I didn't strike him as being abrupt and curt.

The consequence of giving myself less than an hour's allowance of transit time was that although I made the flight, my luggage didn't. When I arrived they told me that my luggage will be coming on the next day's flight. Fortunately, things work out well the following day. I did receive my luggage on time as well as a small compensation fee from Emirates.

1 comment:

Matsunoki said...


MIA for so long.. how's life? other than waiting at airports??