For me, one of the great indignities in life is being forced to ride a bus to or from an airplane at a major airport. I can understand this at smaller airports, where jetways would be an unnecessary luxury. At some airports, the ride is no more than 100 meters. I do not know if airlines fear passengers straying or being unable to make the distance on foot.
I recall one flight, when the bus was almost as long as the flight. We needed 18 minutes to reach the parking spot at Frankfurt Airport, and the flight to Nuremberg lasted 22 minutes. I thought of this, when I discovered just how large Dubai Airport is and how many aircraft Emirates operates, because most had come home to roost.
Because Emirates has its own terminal, I did not expect to ride a bus. Unfortunately, we were there at peak hub traffic, with planes arriving and departing for all points of the compass. But, it was not a short bus ride. We rode from one end of the airfield to the other...and then back towards the center (because of bus routes through the myriad of parked planes).
The class in which you ultimately sit is not reflected in the bus transportation or what you experience on the ground (until you finally can seek refuge in the first class lounge, which is excellent). Boarding procedures were the most-chaotic I have ever experienced, because we were forced to wait in the crowded departure gate and board the bus last. So, by the time started on its long, long journey, I was not happy. All other airlines let first and business class passenger board first to avoid mixing with the unwashed masses. If this sounds elitist...it is.
Airlines provide flight times, to help passengers plan. No airline reveals bus transportation details or taxiing time. The bus ride from one end of Dubai Airport to the other and the taxi from that end back to the opposite end for take off added at least an hour to our journey. At least, the taxiing part was in the comfort of a decent seat. A jetway would have made the trip more pleasant.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.