UAE National Day break: 6 tips to beat peak travel rush, queues

Check in online and arrive at the airport early to avoid delays


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 25 Nov 2021, 12:00 PM

Residents in the UAE will enjoy their last long weekend of 2021 next week. They will get four days off from December 1 to 4 to celebrate the UAE’s National Day.

Many people have booked vacations abroad for the break and airports in the country are expecting a surge in passenger traffic.

Authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have issued peak travel advisories, with the rush expected to continue till the end of the school winter break.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has issued some tips for a smooth travel experience:

1. Use early or home check-in facilities.

2. If not possible to do the above, check in online and arrive early. During peak times, economy class check-in for non-US flights opens four hours before departure and closes one hour before. Business and first-class check-in closes 45 minutes before departure. For US flights, check-in closes two hours before the flight. Boarding for all Etihad Airways departures closes 20 minutes before departure.

2. Verified to Fly: Visit ‘Manage my booking’ on to share Covid-related 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.

3. 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.

4. Check the destination requirements. Check the latest updates before the journey begins.

5. When travelling to the US, benefit from the US Customs and Border Protection facility (USCBP), meaning all immigration and customs formalities will be completed in Abu Dhabi before departing. Guests must present themselves at the USCBP facility no later than 90 minutes before departure.

6. Check the baggage allowance before leaving for the airport: The cabin baggage policy is 7kg for economy class and 12kg for first and business class passengers.

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