By christophersaul on Oct 26, 2008
Today's trip made me feel like a complete business travel amateur.
First off, the taxi I'd reserved didn't turn up. I managed to find one near the hotel around the corner from us, which then got stuck in traffic leaving our development and which then took me to the wrong terminal. Dubai now has three terminals. Terminal 1, the 'old' terminal for general travellers, Terminal 2 for cargo and esoteric airlines and the glitzy new Terminal 3.
Somehow my request to go to the 'old' terminal got lost in translation, which meant that the high speed dash Mr Babu subjected me to ended up at Terminal 2. I should have noticed we were going the wrong way, but I was too busy fiddling with my phone. Silly me. Another high speed dash took me to Terminal 1, where I checked in for my Dubai - Vienna Emirates flight and proceeded to the lounge I can get in to with my Amex card. A quick bite to eat and I was off to the gate, only to realise that whilst I had checked into the right terminal, Terminal 1, my flight was actually leaving from a gate in Terminal 3, the new terminal. This involved a speedy walk for what seemed like several miles, getting slightly lost amongst the plethora of cafes and seating areas in Emirates' wondrous new dedicated launching pad.
We arrived slightly early in Vienna, which meant I had the chance to get an earlier flight to Sarajevo and avoid a seven hour layover. When I went to try to change my flight, I was told that I actually didn't have a Sarajevo booking to change - despite double checking with my travel agent on Thursday that everything was fine, all I had in Austrian Airlines' system was an unused ticket to Zagreb. Ouch. I had to pay 950 Euros to buy a new ticket or cancel the whole trip, let everyone down and fly back to Dubai.
Fortunately, I made the earlier flight. I felt like a complete amateur - wrong terminals, misjudged walking time to the gate, no confirmed flights. Thanks goodness my hotel booking was all in order...