Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A thank-you to Emirates airline!

//All time-values mentioned are local times in respective cities
On 3-Jan-10, EK 511 was to depart from DEL at around 11 AM. However, due to thick fog (and other reasons), the flight couldn't depart until late evening, and this made it impossible for us to board the connecting flight to JNB (EK 765), that departs from DXB at around 2:40 PM. We reached Dubai around 7:30 PM, and were relieved to know that Emirates was going to provide us with overnight stay at a hotel, and that we shall now be boarding EK 765 the next day.

In lieu of the delay and the 'inconvenience' caused to us, what all did Emirates provide us?
  1. Overnight stay at Capitol Hotel (individual rooms for all)
  2. Dinner and breakfast
  3. Transfers from and to the DXB airport
  4. Three minutes of international calling per person
  5. A 24-hour visa for Dubai!!
As I had very freshly been to Dubai on a 4-day holiday, I knew the importance and value of this visa pretty well! This is my golden second chance to see things that I wanted to but couldn't, I thought. I must make the most of it, I told myself. So after enjoying a nice dinner at Capitol, I quickly went to sleep and woke up early the next day and swiftly got ready. As none of my friends had visited Dubai previously, they too were excited about this golden opportunity they had unexpectedly got.

Since EK 765 departs DXB near 2:40 PM, we had about 5 hours to see Dubai. In these five hours, we saw the following (in this order) - Dubaitaxi, Dubai Metro, Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai Snow Park, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach, The Dubai Mall, Burj Dubai (now Burj Khalifa), and of course, Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport. For me, this opportunity meant that I fulfilled my wishes of traveling third time in the Dubai Metro, and of spending a good amount of time on the Jumeirah Beach - things I had wanted to but couldn't do on my first visit...

There was more to come, for me :). As I was about to board the magnificent A340-500, I was notified that my ticket (and only my ticket) had been upgraded for free to Business Class! I was pleasantly surprised, and had a delightful experience getting a taste of the Business Class journey...

Thank you Emirates!