View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Keep Discovering

This morning I needed to take my daughter and grand daughter from Fujairah to catch a 10.15am flight from the Dubai International Airport bound for London. Remembering that flights earlier this week had been disrupted due to smog and having heard howling winds throughout the night I wondered whether the plane would get off from the ground.

I checked the Dubai Airport web site for any information about cancellations or delays and made a useful discovery.

On the Home Page under ‘Flight Information’ there is a travel tool to find information on ‘flights from Dubai’ or ‘flights to Dubai’ according to the airline and the date. Very easily I was able to subscribe by submitting my email address and mobile phone number and, almost immediately, and by both means, I received my first alerts: ‘The flight was scheduled to be on time.”

Driving from Fujairah to Dubai I received regular text messages:
‘The Gate is now open and the flight is still on time.’
‘The plane is boarding.’
‘Final Call.’
‘Gates are closed.’
Then, after farewelling my passengers and heading homeward I received a further message:
‘The flight departed at 10.46am.’ Somewhat late but it was reassuring to know my loved ones were not stranded at the airport.

Upon reaching home and checking my Email Inbox I discovered the same number of letters bearing the flight information plus a disclaimer stating that the Department of Civil Aviation of the Government of Dubai (DCA) “accepts no liability for the consequence of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.”

The number of messages seemed like overkill and made me wonder how much this service was costing. Further research revealed that “the total cost for receiving the specified flight information is 18 fils if you are within UAE and 60 fils if you are abroad.” Instructions are offered for creating SMS alerts by a mobile phone. I was well satisfied with this travel tool and will use it again.

Geoff Pound

Source: Dubai Airport Web Site

Image: Dubai International Airport.