FlyDubai is a government-owned low-cost airline that operates between a total of 95 destinations; one of them being the Kathmandu-Dubai route and vice versa. As the airline offers the cheapest flights; most of the Nepalese, more particularly the migrant workers; prefer flying with them. But looks like the airline doesn’t care much about them, the people who are most probably the most frequent passengers. At least, that’s what the recent incident suggests.
A European couple, Riccardo and Nadja, recently took a trip to Nepal to meet Nadja’s parents who are currently stationed in Kathmandu. The couple who flied to Dubai from Venice with Emirates unfortunately had to fly from there to Kathmandu with FlyDubai. It was the very first time they had flied with them and in their own words, “the FlyDubai flight was pretty terrible”. After enjoying their 2-week stay in Kathmandu, their FlyDubai flight was scheduled for 11:05 PM on a Saturday from Kathmandu to Dubai, from where they were to catch a connecting flight to Venice. And that’s when they experienced something horrible, something they could have never even imagine.
The flight was cancelled because of the bad weather and was rescheduled for the next day. A lot of things happened in between and the couple came to the conclusion that “communication is not FlyDubai’s strong point”, but let’s just skip to the important part for now. All the passengers were told that they will be put into a hotel for the night and will be taken to the airport next day for their rescheduled flight. The passengers were divided into two groups – foreigners on one side and the Nepalese on the other. The foreigners were quickly taken to one of the best hotels in Kathmandu, Crowne Plaza Kathmandu – Soaltee. On the other hand, there was no sign of the Nepalese passengers in the hotel, not even until the next morning when the foreigners were having a breakfast. They only learned about it later that all of them had been taken to a ‘shoddy’ hotel, stuffed in with 5-6 people per room. They even had to wait for additional 2 hours for the bus to pick them up. And surprisingly, none of them but just one woman protested about it; most probably because they had experienced such incidents in the past as well.
Riccardo and Nadja were not happy about it at all, and thought “it was the manifestation of a subtle and conscious division of the group according to nationality by the FlyDubai staff.” After reaching Dubai, all they got was a cold response from a FlyDubai employee when they tried to inquire about this racist behavior. And a pretty similar response was received when they reached home and emailed FlyDubai explaining about what happened.
Riccardo, alias Riqz, later took to blogging platform Medium to write about the entire experience in a blog post titled ‘Why will we never again fly with FlyDubai? They enforce racists regulations, that’s why. You can read it HERE.
Long story short, FlyDubai fucked it up.