20200827 terminal 3
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Emirates airline expects over 1.1 million passengers to pass through Terminal 3 at Dubai International during the current busy travel period running until December 21. This weekend alone will see a peak surge of close to 250,000 travellers departing from Terminal 3.

"Customers are encouraged to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to their flight departure and ensure they have all the required documents for their destination before proceeding to the check-in desk," said Emirates in a statement.

To ensure a smoother departure, passengers can choose to avoid the rush by physically checking-in 24 hours before their flight departure, drop off their bags and collect boarding passes, using the 32 self-service bag drop machines and 16 check-in kiosks available at Terminal 3. Customers using the self-service kiosk must still complete their immigration formalities no later than 60 minutes before their flight departure.

Customers can also opt to check in online up to 48 hours and until 90 minutes before the flight departure and download digital boarding passes on their mobile phones for select destinations. (Customers who check in less than 60 minutes before departure will not be accepted for travel.)

To speed up the process further, customers can also utilise Emirates' biometric path in Terminal 3 for a contactless journey from specific check-in desks, Emirates lounges and boarding gates. The biometric path allows customers to complete immigration formalities and board their flights with virtually no document checks and queuing.

Once checked in, passengers are advised to ensure they arrive at the boarding gate on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure, boarding starts 45 minutes before the flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure. Emirates will not be able to accept passengers reporting late to the boarding gate for travel. Check-in and gate closure timings will be strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule and to avoid the impact on operations.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways said it was anticipating a high number of passengers at the Abu Dhabi International Airport this weekend.

“With the capital city hosting the Formula 1 season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, schools breaking for the end-of-year holidays, and more people regaining their confidence to travel, December 2021 is expected to be one of the busiest months since the pandemic began,” said the airline in a statement.

Etihad Airways is advising travellers to use its new early check-in facility at the airport and will also be rewarding guests who do so with 1,000 Etihad Guest Miles. The airline urged travellers to follow these tips to have a smooth journey and avoid queues at the airport:

Early check-in

Until December 31, guests can use Etihad’s early check-in facility to check-in from 24 hours up to 8 hours before their flight. One person can check-in and drop off bags on behalf of all family members travelling together but must present the relevant COVID-19 travel documents for the whole group. The early check-in desk is open from 9am to 4am, seven days a week, and is located at Skypark Plaza level three. Guests using this facility will receive two hours of free parking at Skypark.

Arrive at the airport early

Travellers who are not able to use the early check-in facility, should check-in online and arrive early to complete the airport formalities. During peak times, check-in opens four hours before departure and closes one hour before departure for non-US flights and two hours before departure for US flights. Boarding for all Etihad Airways departures closes 20 minutes before departure.

Get ‘Verified to Fly’

Travellers can visit ‘Manage my booking’ on etihad.com to upload their COVID-19 travel documents. Approval will be shared by email giving passengers confidence that all required documents are in place. Approved passengers can use fast-track ‘Verified to Fly’ desks at the airport, or the self-service kiosks.

Check the flight timing and departure terminal: Given the significant increase in passenger numbers, Etihad Airways will relocate check-in for Economy class guests travelling on select flights.