This was my first flight with Fly-Dubai to avoid a long journey from Rostov via Moscow back to Dubai – a 4-hour direct flight versus a 12+ hour journey is certainly more attractive. The down-side was a 5.20am departure (leaving the hotel at 3.30am).
Rostov is a very small airport so check-in, security and boarding was all quick and smooth.
I paid the premium for the emergency exit seats with more legroom and it was worth the $55 premium. However, anyone doing the same should select row 16 because the seats in row 15 do not recline (no do the standard seats in row 14).
Only 3 of the 12 emergency exit seats had been booked but immediately after take-off other passengers moved to the free seats so they benefitted from the extra legroom without the extra cost. The cabin crew did not oppose this apart from refusing a child to sit there.
The plane was spotlessly clean, the crew were polite and efficient and spoke several languages, and the flight was smooth and comfortable and departed on time. Not a great selection of food but at 5.30 in the morning this was not a problem.
As a budget airline, Fly Dubai is far, far superior to the likes of Ryan Air or Easy Jet that I have had the misfortune to experience. Yes, you have to pay for “extras” such as food & drink or entertainment but that is to be expected.