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Thread: Emirates

  1. #1
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    Emirates

    I know there are a lot of travel experts out there and I'd like to pick your brains!

    Odysseys Unlimited is holding space for me for one of their August departures for African Wildlife. I'm considering booking my own flights so I can be assured of a stopover in Dubai. I've heard that Emirates provides a free hotel for certain stopovers and there is some place(where?) where I can purchase a low cost package on site if they don't.
    I know there are a lot of expert travelers out there and I'd like to pick your brains!

    One the way to I'd likely arrive about 7:00 pm in Dubai and I'd like to take a night tour (to get some fresh air and exercise) and stay overnight departing for Johannesburg the next morning at 10:05. (There is a flight about 3 hours after my arrival that would get me into Joburg about 4:30 am. I'm just not into a 15 hour flight--3 hour wait--and 8 hour flight without lying down flat somewhere.) I will be traveling Coach.

    On the return I'd fly from Lusaka arriving Dubai at 6:30 am. I'd like to take a full day tour and spend the night before departing for Seattle the next morning at 9:35 am rather than leaving the same day.

    Does anyone have any experience with Emirates to know how to best arrange what I want to do? Any tour/hotel recommendations? Would you do this alone? (I'm waiting to hear back from a friend, but most people I know have little interest in Africa.) If it makes a difference, I'm a 66 year old female. Odysseys doesn't do custom air--you fly whatever flights the contract says and total cost is about $200 higher than what I can do on my own due to departing from Spokane, WA.

    Also, has any one ever traveled with Odysseys Unlimited? Was it a good experience or not?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Hi there, we've enjoyed a couple of stopovers in Dubai on the way to Europe. Highly recommend the Manzil Downtown which is a 10 min walk to Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. We have also stayed at the Transit Hotel at the airport when we had an 8 hour stopover, amazingly comfortable beds and high quality rooms. I also had an unexpected overnight stay due to a delayed flight and was provided with a hotel room operated by Emirates on that occasion. It was close to the airport, again very comfortable but if you want fresh air and to see a little of Dubai you would probably be better getting an overnight stop in Downtown Dubai. When Ive had to travel alone, I have always felt very safe when in Dubai.

  3. #3
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    Kathy - Odysseys Unlimited is the tour operator for the Smithsonian Journeys African Safari tour that I'm taking in November. I'll be curious to hear how your experience goes . As far as Emirates, the research I've done shows that the hotel they put you up at depends on which fare class you are traveling. Coach/Economy passengers are taken via shuttle bus to the Copthorne which, from the reviews I read on Travel Advisor, is to be avoided. Business/First are taken via car to the La Meridien Airport which appears to be better, but you probably ought to consider trying someplace different on your own if you have that option.
    p.s. I'm a 56 y.o. female and getting the first stamps in my passport on this trip

  4. #4
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    Thank you both. I've heard from people who run a study abroad program in Zambia and fly Emirates from the US that they get a different hotel in Dubai each year--and they fly Coach. So, hopefully the Copthorne won't be my hotel, but it's just one night. Due to the high heat that time of year, I'm just staying overnight on the way to Africa. Will gladly share my experiences with Odysseys with you Casadei. (You're brave doing Africa as your first overseas trip!) For others who might be flying Emirates for the first time, I was told I didn't qualify for Dubai Connect because there was a flight to Johannesburg 3 hours after my 14+ hour flight to Dubai, yet, when I made reservations for the flight to Johannesburg the next morning, there was a note on my confirmation that I qualified for Dubai Connect and I simply filled out the form. I won't know which hotel I'm staying in until I check in for my flight. Happy to hear you felt safe in Dubai @djjr. I'm still planning to take a taxi to the Mall/Fountain/Burj. Hope my flight arrives a bit early so I can also get some sleep!

  5. #5
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    I live in the Gulf (Qatar) and I'm a single "Western" woman. I spend a lot of time in Dubai. Really, don't worry about it. A woman of your age will be treated with nothing but respect and kindness in the Emirates. You'll only have to contend with the heat - in August it will be like walking through a sauna. If you have any respiratory issues, be prepared with your puffer/other medication.

    If you have any questions about Dubai or the Gulf in general I'm happy to help.

  6. #6
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    I've heard Emirates is really strict as far a their carry-on bag size policies. I'm planning to take the Aeronaut45 and a Makers Bag. I think the 45 will be okay as long as I don't overstuff it, but has anyone had any issues. I really don't want to check a bag through that will have to follow me through multiple airports and flights. Kathy, what are you planning to carry? Anyone have experience with TB on Emirates flights?

    BTW Kathy - you and I are doing the exact same tour
    Last edited by casadei; 07-17-2017 at 07:20 PM.

  7. #7
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    Hi, myself and my husband have both travelled with our A45s on Emirates and have had no problem at all. Emirates, like many other airlines, do have a 7kg carry on allowance but our bags have never been weighed. Emirates also state one carry on bag only, but again, we have both travelled with the A45 plus a personal item and this has never been questioned. I usually take a personal item that is a similar size to the Makers Bag and my husband usually takes the Daylight Backpack. Happy travels!

  8. #8
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    Casadei, I am planning to check a large duffel bag that I already own (Eagle Creek). I want to have room for purchases! I'm still trying to figure out my carryon. I'd like to take a backpack and a pcsb or something similar. I'd read that you could only have one carryon so I was thinking about a smaller duffel, but @djjr says they've taken an A45 + another bag. Starting to lay out what I need so I can do a practice pack in the next week or so.

    I'll let you know what I decide and how it worked when I get home. Hopefully that will help you in your packing. (I'm guessing you're a better packer than I am. I tend to take everything I MIGHT need especially in more remote locations!)

    I'm not sure how "private messaging" works, but that might be best for a trip report since you'll surely have questions I'll be able to answer after doing the tour myself. Too bad we're on different departure dates. It would be fun to meet you.

  9. #9
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    I have flown through Dubai many times with Emirates but can't comment on stop over packages as I've only ever arranged them myself. Booking.com for a hotel and then work out your own tour is how I've done it.

    As for the size. I only ever carry on. I carry an A45 on my back and WF on my shoulder. Never had a problem. They are, on some legs such as Africa, being very strict on the 7kgs thing. That includes ALL of your luggage. Both your carry on and personal items. They even weigh your duty free but will give you some lee way if it's a few bottles of grog etc. like I said though. It's only on certain sectors.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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