Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sleeping at Dubai Airport

On a recent return trip from Australia to Europe via Dubai I discovered quite a bit about sleeping options in Dubai airport. On the way over I decided to try a Snoozecube. It was a reasonably long trek to gate C22 in terminal 1 but I found the Snoozecube people friendly and efficient. The room and bed were clean and within minutes I was out like a light. I got 4 hours solid sleep (@$36/hr), then made my way back to the lounge feeling quite refreshed and ready for my next flight.

The return journey was not quite so smooth sailing.  If you're flying with Qantas or Emirates and your wait time in Dubai between flights is more than 8 hours you are eligible for what is called 'Dubai Connect' on the Qantas site. This may depend on your frequent flyer status - I'm not sure - but as a Gold member this meant was I eligible for free accommodation in a hotel at the airport 'subject to availability.' No one at Qantas or Emirates seemed to know exactly what this 'subject to availability' meant in practice. On boarding the Dubai flight in Amsterdam I was given an accommodation voucher for a hotel outside the airport.

I landed in Dubai 90 minutes late partly because there was an abnormal amount of air traffic around the airport. That it, it was busy! Immigration queues in Dubai can be exceedingly long at the best of times and I figured I would lose at least 30 minutes getting through customs and getting to my 'Dubai connect' hotel outside the airport. Ditto in reverse. So with the late arrival and exiting and re-entering the airport my 8 hours was now down to 5 and a half. I explained all this to the staff at the Emirates lounge and they thought I'd probably be better off just finding a quiet corner of the lounge and sleeping on their kind of recliner seats but they were too high and slippery so I made myself comfortable on the floor and enjoyed another sound 4 hours sleep.

So next time round I'll either make use of Snoozecube or sleep in the lounge. And now I know that the 'Dubai Connect' option involves exiting the airport and immigration, etc I'll only use this if I have a layover for 10 hours or more.