I'm about to book a flight with Emirates from London to Harare via Dubai. The idea senario would be to depart from LGW as it's closer to home and the timings are slightly better for me. The only potential problem I can see is on the return leg the Emirates website gives me a 1hour 20min to disembark find new gate and board the next flight. Will I be cutting it a bit fine with this combination (produced by the website) or would I be better off getting the LHR flight (giving me a couple of hours to change aircraft).
Many thanks in advance for your experiance and advise.
You should be fine (assuming your inbound from Harare is on time). Once you disembark you'll have to clear DXB airport security. This is normally pretty quick and it's centrally located. This means that although the terminal is huge, you won't be more than a 10-15 minute walk away from your departure gate. Your boarding card will tell you to be at the gate an hour before departure but don't let this stress you out. Boarding typically commences 30 minutes before departure and the gate won't close until 15 minutes before so you'll have about an hour to play with. It might help if you select a seat near the front of the aircraft so that you can disembark swiftly...
Personally, I'd go for the quick connection which allows you to fly into Gatwick. If you end up missing it, then this would be the fault of the airline and they would be obliged to put you on the next available flight. Chances are you'd end up on the Heathrow flight anyway.
Thanks for the reply Anansis. As you say, there is the LHR flight afterwards as a worst case scinario. Not knowing Dubai airport I just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything that I had missed, as it does look like a risk worth taking. Thanks.
ADC just got in this evening after changing in Dubai of a Far East route and would echo what has been posted previously but with one bit of trepidation as air traffic issues at Dubai can cause delays making connection some times quite tight. There are two flights a day from Nairobi 16.40 & 22.50 which are you on ?. I have been in the stack on the latter flight at Dubai for 20+ min and then been parked nearly on the beach, which means a long bus ride which eats into tight connections. I have always got there, but I am on the Man flights and have more time usualy. You should get some more info of other "DXB soft shoe shufflers" who are SE based or even EK crew who will be able to give you more info.
That's a very busy time for departures from DXB so there is a chance that your inbound will not get an airbridge stand at the terminal. EK are increasingly using remote parking and bus transfers to the Terminals. That will make things a bit tighter, if it happens, but you've got nothing to lose by trying it since as others have said there is always the LHR flight as back-up.
AD C Must apologize for mistakingly beleiving you were coming from Nairobi a route I have done a lot (put it down to jet lag last night) even though you clearly mentioned Harare. However as Dubain has said it is a busy time so transit time will be tight and both of my inbound flights to DXB on this trip resulted in remote stands and long bus rides to terminal.
In Feb this year arrived DXB from Kochi with 1 hour connection (set by the airline when booking) to same LGW flight as OP. Arrived 10 minutes late; bussed from remote stand listening to pre-recorded message telling me I was being "bussed from remote stand and journey could take up to to 15 minutes" (it didn't); no wait whatsoever at transit security screening. Up an escalator, round the corner to the first gate on the pier where the LGW flight was just commencing boarding, and onto the aircraft slightly over 30 minutes from landing. Very impressive transit experience and even my luggage made it to LGW.
But then again transfers are the bread and butter of Emirates and DXB and they have honed their processes to perfection.
The others are correct. Early morning rush hour and remote stands could complicate things but given by the amount of times flights are held for connecting pax, you will probably be fine.
Once the new A380 concourse opens (first quarter 2013 they're saying at the moment) that should free up some gates when the A380's move over to their new spot.
Dubai World/Al Maktoum isn't opening to pax flights for a few more years now I thought, except for maybe FlyDubai/Air Arabia. Seems to be changing often. Some cargo and private flights already operate out of there, but unless they extend the metro it will be a PITA to get there in my opinion... not good for the locos....
givemewings thanks for that. The new Dubai World was supposed to be connected back to DXB by two new metro lines - the purple and blue - not by an extension of the existing network. Construction has not started on either new line and if it ever does happen we are years away from having a metro link in service so perhaps it's just as well the new facility is not opening for passengers in any big way at any time soon.
Well, I made it back to LGW, although there was a short period of concern at Lusaka (an unwell passenger had to be offloaded, causing a 40+minute delay). A bit of time was made up during the flight and the cabin crew managed to move myself and about 3 other people up to buissness for the last 30 minutes of the flight in order to help us deplane more easily. Given that we were also parked at a remote stand, the transfer went very smoothly albeit with no margin for error on this occasion. So thanks to all of you for your help from a happy traveller.