Mess at DXB

Old Dec 28, 15, 10:15 am
  #1  
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Mess at DXB

For those of you thinking of trying out AC's product on YYZDXB...

The YYZ->DXB segment went fine. It was in fact one of the most impressive AC flights I've ever been on... not just because of the 787-900, but even the food was above par (in J). It almost felt like EK or SQ or CX... almost.

On the way back, we were quite worried that DXB would somehow screw it up...

First of all, AC departs from what can only be described as the most chaotic terminal DXB has. Compared to T3, where Emirates is, T1 looks like a _dump_. You'll basically be surrounded by the most no-name airline companies in the world and their incompetent staff. Plus the terminal is tiny and under construction.

Then, we get in line. There's a nice little sign that shows two priority lanes for boarding, one for SE 100K, and one for J/*G. The other 4 lanes are for economy. Of course, nobody actually pays attention to the sign. The SE line had 20 people in line. When I asked "are you SE?" I got back "of course, today we're all SE... they don't care".

I went to the ground staff, and I was told "oh yes, ignore the sign, AC makes us put it there but it's not used".

After about 45 minutes in line, it was clear that nothign was moving. It turns out that the check-in system was broken down, and they couldn't actually check-in anyone. Note that I knew this, not because it was announced, but because I lost patience and went to talk to the ground staff again. Some of us had to then manually inform everyone staying in line. People were yelling, upset, and angry, that nobody was officially making an announcement to tell people what was going on.

I kept going up and down to get more information, as it turned out, the local staff wanted to use their own check-in systems, but they don't have APIS support, and Canada Customs basically said "no way" to allowing random people to board a flight to canada without APIS going through. Basically, the staff there had no power, and 5 different "managers" were on the phone with AC back in Canada trying to find a way around this -- noting that the pilots had a 2 hour window before reaching their flight limit and grounding the plane for days.

Eventually they issued paper tickets for everyone (and of course, miles have not posted, and tons of data was lost), and manually called Canada Customs to validate each passport while people without Canadian passports were waiting in the boarding area. Once we all boarded, a few people actually had to be de-planed and their luggage thrown out, delaying things even more.

We landed about 3 hours late in YYZ, with tons of people missing their flights. Thankfully I called the concierge to get protected while we were still in DXB. Everyone else was told to "go to the connection desk upon landing". I hope they made it home for Xmas...

So short story: be careful. You'll be dealing with no AC personel whatsoever, with only a mobile phone as their connection to operations, and with no focus on customer service, all while waiting around in a hellhole of a terminal.

Now let's see how many months it'll take for the SE Desk to credit the 10K+ missing miles on a paper ticket issued with basically no connection to AC's systems.

Last edited by tcook052; Dec 28, 15 at 10:51 am
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Old Dec 28, 15, 10:21 am
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Sounds like they better get some A+ staff on the next flight out to camp there for a few weeks.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by aionesu View Post
For those of you thinking of trying out AC's product on YYZDXB...

The YYZ->DXB segment went fine. It was in fact one of the most impressive AC flights I've ever been on... not just because of the 787-900, but even the food was above par (in J). It almost felt like EK or SQ or CX... almost.

On the way back, we were quite worried that DXB would somehow screw it up...

First of all, AC departs from what can only be described as the most chaotic terminal DXB has. Compared to T3, where Emirates is, T1 looks like a _dump_. You'll basically be surrounded by the most no-name airline companies in the world and their incompetent staff. Plus the terminal is tiny and under construction.

Then, we get in line. There's a nice little sign that shows two priority lanes for boarding, one for SE 100K, and one for J/*G. The other 4 lanes are for economy. Of course, nobody actually pays attention to the sign. The SE line had 20 people in line. When I asked "are you SE?" I got back "of course, today we're all SE... they don't care".

I went to the ground staff, and I was told "oh yes, ignore the sign, AC makes us put it there but it's not used".
So far this is an accurate description of flying Turkish ex-IST...
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Old Dec 28, 15, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by aionesu View Post
For those of you thinking of trying out AC's product on YYZDXB...

The YYZ->DXB segment went fine. It was in fact one of the most impressive AC flights I've ever been on... not just because of the 787-900, but even the food was above par (in J). It almost felt like EK or SQ or CX... almost.
A local SEA resident calling it -900
Agree though, the 787 is an incredible aircraft. Very impressive.
Originally Posted by aionesu View Post
First of all, AC departs from what can only be described as the most chaotic terminal DXB has. Compared to T3, where Emirates is, T1 looks like a _dump_. You'll basically be surrounded by the most no-name airline companies in the world and their incompetent staff.
My AC flight exDXB-T1 last month was gated between CX and SQ
Originally Posted by aionesu View Post
Plus the terminal is tiny and under construction.
Gee, almost as if Terminal comparison of YYZ:AC=DXB:EK.
Amazing
Originally Posted by aionesu View Post
After about 45 minutes in line, it was clear that nothign was moving. It turns out that the check-in system was broken down, and they couldn't actually check-in anyone. Note that I knew this, not because it was announced, but because I lost patience and went to talk to the ground staff again. Some of us had to then manually inform everyone staying in line. People were yelling, upset, and angry, that nobody was officially making an announcement to tell people what was going on.
Agree here. Boarding area for AC in DXB is weak. Can't hear announcements. Lines might flow into other lines for different gates. Aren't many 100 seaters in DXB - Every line seems to stretch forever.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 11:49 am
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why does"t AC go to AUH instead as they have a pretty good relationship with Ethidad.

Last edited by Hello again; Dec 28, 15 at 9:13 pm
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Old Dec 28, 15, 11:55 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by CloudsBelow View Post
A local SEA resident calling it -900
Agree though, the 787 is an incredible aircraft. Very impressive.

My AC flight exDXB-T1 last month was gated between CX and SQ

Gee, almost as if Terminal comparison of YYZ:AC=DXB:EK.
Amazing

Agree here. Boarding area for AC in DXB is weak. Can't hear announcements. Lines might flow into other lines for different gates. Aren't many 100 seaters in DXB - Every line seems to stretch forever.
I went back and forth between 789 and 787-900 three times

What bothered me most is that they didn't *make* announcements. It was the usual behavior of "we don't really work here and this is IRROPS and we don't know what we can say until we have a solution from AC so we'll just be quiet."
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Old Dec 28, 15, 1:13 pm
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This is why I fly Emirates.

AC (and so many other airlines) ex-DXB is a joke.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 1:21 pm
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Almost like my CA experience last year DXB to PEK. Terminals were working so no passport issues. But everything else sounds the same. The lounge access was to a no name lounge, where all the third world airlines I never heard of sent their pax as well. In the end did the long walk to the LH Lounge which was small but at least quiet.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Bonaventure View Post
This is why I fly Emirates.

AC (and so many other airlines) ex-DXB is a joke.
So here's a question... is this a "sabotage" from the ME3/their backers or is it really AC's fault? Or the airport itself?

For example, if EK (in another terminal) is operating smoothly, then what's the problem in AC's terminal? Is it because of a lack of training? Or is it lack of support/supervision (which would also be a lack of training)... Has any side taken any steps to fix the issue should be what everyone is asking.

You'd think that if it was an issue of sabotage, that it's really only hurting the countries there. If I know I'm going to be stuck waiting at the airport for a long period of time because the check-in terminals are FUBAR, that's less time that I could spend enjoying the surrounding area. And if this is a regular occurance, ugh....

I've considered taking trips using EK/EY/QR based on their hospitality reputation.... but the thing that kills me (at least) is the fact that there are stupid long connection times. As an example, If I take AC/SQ or CX, I can usually get to Singapore within 20 to hours (not counting IRROPS)... if I were to re-route via the ME airports, travel time increases to 30+ (again, not counting IRROPS). If it's just a few hours different, fine. But I've seen 36+ hour layovers. If the flight from the ME (whichever airport) to SG is cancelled, I could see my plans getting messed up and the knock on inconvenience to others growing. But if I go via an Asia country (especially via HK), if I miss one flight, there will usually be one within 2-3 I can take.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
So here's a question... is this a "sabotage" from the ME3/their backers or is it really AC's fault? Or the airport itself?

For example, if EK (in another terminal) is operating smoothly, then what's the problem in AC's terminal? Is it because of a lack of training? Or is it lack of support/supervision (which would also be a lack of training)... Has any side taken any steps to fix the issue should be what everyone is asking.

You'd think that if it was an issue of sabotage, that it's really only hurting the countries there. If I know I'm going to be stuck waiting at the airport for a long period of time because the check-in terminals are FUBAR, that's less time that I could spend enjoying the surrounding area. And if this is a regular occurance, ugh....

I've considered taking trips using EK/EY/QR based on their hospitality reputation.... but the thing that kills me (at least) is the fact that there are stupid long connection times. As an example, If I take AC/SQ or CX, I can usually get to Singapore within 20 to hours (not counting IRROPS)... if I were to re-route via the ME airports, travel time increases to 30+ (again, not counting IRROPS). If it's just a few hours different, fine. But I've seen 36+ hour layovers. If the flight from the ME (whichever airport) to SG is cancelled, I could see my plans getting messed up and the knock on inconvenience to others growing. But if I go via an Asia country (especially via HK), if I miss one flight, there will usually be one within 2-3 I can take.
I'm not particularly sure, I haven't flown all of the airlines out of DXB yet but this quote from the CEO of Dubai Airports (government owned) on the purpose of the second Dubai airport should give you a hint as to their thinking,

"We want this to be seamless so the growth plans of Emirates can be satisfied," Mr. Griffiths added.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 2:17 pm
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+1. Having just arrived on AC57 this morning, I observed similar events as most of the posters so far.

- Long waits to enter and exit the customs facilities. Even our crew managed to finish their duties and make their way downstairs while the passengers were still stuck in line. The local officials finally made a "special" channel for Canadian passport holders. Seriously, slowest staff ever.

- Concourse D for international flights not flown by EK is not in operation yet. Naturally, I saw 3 EK 777s parked at the gates for testing purposes, I'm assuming.

- We deplaned and boarded at C5 on AC56/57, respectively. It was one of the furthest gates, required lots of walking, and was far from the LH lounge.

I agree with StuckInYYZ about potential "sabotage", and in fact, made the same comment to my sister about this gong show.

Certainly not the best impression for visitors to make, and if DXB officials wanted a world-class airport, I certainly did not experience that.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 5:30 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
So here's a question... is this a "sabotage" from the ME3/their backers or is it really AC's fault? Or the airport itself?

For example, if EK (in another terminal) is operating smoothly, then what's the problem in AC's terminal? Is it because of a lack of training? Or is it lack of support/supervision (which would also be a lack of training)... Has any side taken any steps to fix the issue should be what everyone is asking.

You'd think that if it was an issue of sabotage, that it's really only hurting the countries there. If I know I'm going to be stuck waiting at the airport for a long period of time because the check-in terminals are FUBAR, that's less time that I could spend enjoying the surrounding area. And if this is a regular occurance, ugh....

I've considered taking trips using EK/EY/QR based on their hospitality reputation.... but the thing that kills me (at least) is the fact that there are stupid long connection times. As an example, If I take AC/SQ or CX, I can usually get to Singapore within 20 to hours (not counting IRROPS)... if I were to re-route via the ME airports, travel time increases to 30+ (again, not counting IRROPS). If it's just a few hours different, fine. But I've seen 36+ hour layovers. If the flight from the ME (whichever airport) to SG is cancelled, I could see my plans getting messed up and the knock on inconvenience to others growing. But if I go via an Asia country (especially via HK), if I miss one flight, there will usually be one within 2-3 I can take.
I'm under the impression time that these long connection times are done on purpose to "force" stopovers as a way to shoehorn in some tourism/sightseeing... especially as with EK you get some pretty good "stopover" deals (just like AC is now trying to do with YYZ). This seems to be standard in DXB at least -- every time I've flown there I've had a 14+ hour connection time... and caved by taking the metro and seeing the sights/staying overnight.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 5:42 pm
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Pretty standard handling by outsourced agents at an AC outstation during IRROPS. You think AC employees have no power to use thinking and decision making, try outsourced agent

Terminal 1 is a joke, the LH lounge is a joke. Maybe one day AC will wave the white flag to EK and 'partner' with them like QF had to (or die on longhauls), and then they ll get a gate at T3

Although personally I believe AC is more of a DXBT2 airline than T1
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Old Dec 28, 15, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
So here's a question... is this a "sabotage" from the ME3/their backers or is it really AC's fault? Or the airport itself?
The airports are part of the consortium that is the airlines and airports, so of course non-E3 airlines get the worst facilities. However, on any new route at such an airport, AC should have its own manager even if all the other staff are contacted from the airport authority or other third party.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 6:22 pm
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Nice try, but thanks for playing.

http://dubaiairportsreview.com/airport/concourse-d/

Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post

Terminal 1 is a joke, the LH lounge is a joke. Maybe one day AC will wave the white flag to EK and 'partner' with them like QF had to (or die on longhauls), and then they ll get a gate at T3
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