|I used to suggest that a 2 to 3 hour layover was the ideal. With increased security procedures, decreased airline capacity (fewer flights), and weather issues, all with the potential to delay a flight, my ideal layover has now increased to 3 or 4 hours.
So, if 3 to 4 hours is the minimum, what would be considered the maximum layover time between flights? We all have our limits, of course, but my ‘threshold of pain’ tends to be anything greater than 8 hours.
But what if your only option is a flight with a layover greater than that? For instance, I am working with a large group in California who must reach Nairobi, Kenya by a certain time, and the only way to ‘get there from here’ (without paying an arm and leg) is on Emirates Airlines, with a 15-hour layover in Dubai. Yuck! I know. That was my first reaction too. Most of us have never heard of Emirates. Sounds foreign. Arab. Maybe even scary. And Dubai. That’s over in that part of the world, isn’t it? Ooooo, it’s getting scarier.
But wait, let me tell you the rest of the story. First of all, Emirates is rated number two in service for international airlines (second only to Singapore Air). I discovered this personally while traveling in 2008 with my Safari to Kenya group, and we all had a wonderful experience. Next, the Dubai airport is small, modern, and comfortable. Finally and here’s the kicker Emirates puts its passengers up in the Millennium Dubai Airport Hotel (right next to the terminal) if their layover is too long FOR FREE, including shuttle service and food vouchers.
Wow, almost makes you want to try it just for fun, doesn’t it? All I am suggesting is, not all layovers are created equal. In fact, some can be quite accommodating. Next time Emirates is an option you are considering, I suggest you not count them out.
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