Inaugurated on May 1, 1998 to alleviate congestion at Terminal 1, Terminal 2 catered to scheduled, charter and special interest flights during special occasions. A few years ago, when Iraq was served by charter or unregistered flights of Jupiter Airlines, we used to travel to Baghdad from Terminal 2. It used to be a small airport with lacking facilities in contrast to the Terminal 1.
Now, Terminal 2 is home to Dubai’s budget airline flydubai, which launched operations on June 1st, 2009. Undergoing a massive makeover, Terminal 2, hub for flydubai is now completely transformed. This terminal is also used by low-cost airlines, charter flights and airlines coming in from CIS countries and Iran.
During my return leg of journey, I booked in the morning flight of flydubai. On July 30, I received a text message — sms — that my flight (FZ211) from Dubai to Baghdad had been cancelled. The message advised me to call flydubai customer service to amend my bookings.
I called them up. After listening to their busy tone music, I managed to get to their customer service agent. He didn’t assign any reasons for cancellation of the flight. Anyway, I got a new reservation under the same booking reference (PNR) in the afternoon flight of the same date. This implied that my layover at Dubai would be extended to almost 11 hours from originally scheduled two and a half hours. There’s no proper arrangements for such a long stopover in Terminal 2. I asked the customer service agent whether I could go to Terminal 1 or 3 and take some rest at the airport hotels there. He advised that I should contact Marhaba service people in this regard after landing at the airport. They might help me.
The flydubai flight left around an hour after the scheduled time today in the morning from Delhi. On reaching Dubai, I asked for assistance with Marhaba services as well as DNATA for arranging my stay at the airport hotel either in terminal 1 or in terminal 2. They refused to assist me and said that I should have booked the airport hotel beforehand via internet!
So, I had to stay for the entire layover time at the terminal 2. It’s a much smaller terminal with no proper arrangements for long stopovers. There’s no arrangement for showers.
I went to Marhaba lounge. They charge a whopping AED 150 ($41) for a period of two hours. I paid the fees for 2-hour time — from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. I wanted to use a cleaner toilet and have some rest.
After 10:00 am as my time was over, I went out and roamed in the terminal for some time and then got an empty chair to catch some nap. After some one hour I went to the Paul cafe. It’s a nice joint and managed to found a place where I could recharge the mobile battery. Paul is a French chain of bakery/café restaurants established in 1889. I sat down there with cappuccino.
The terminal 2 only offers free wifi service for one hour. There’re other people like me sitting with some juice or coffee and spending time — reading books, talking etc. After several round of duty free shops, I checked in the Pulp Bar for mango drink. Also, sat down there for sometime with the drink. I had lunch at KFC. It’s very difficult to find an empty table there. There’re three shops there — KFC, McDonald and Bombay Chat. There’s always a huge rush at these joints.
I could manage to spend the layover time. The airport authorities should make some arrangement for booking airport hotels from Terminal 2 also for hapless passengers like me, who are forced to layover for longer duration.