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Topic: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-03-29 12:06:33 and read 32767 times.

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 068
Flight Category: Y-ILR (See Report End)
Date: 31 Jan-09 (See Report End)
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 0820/1500/14:40 hrs
Flight: Qatar Airways QR 83, 736 miles
Routing: DOH-JFK
Aircraft: 77W
Seat: Economy, 1K

I > Background:
Given the economic downturn, January had been a slow month at our firm. Since I have long decided that it just wasn’t worth pondering if I will have a job tomorrow, I decided to take some time off and visit Cairo for a few days. After an amazing time there (have I mentioned how much I love Cairo?), it was time to pack and go home. My options included flying on MS or trying some exotic routings and new carriers … being the crazy aviation geek that I am, I decided on the later. In the end, I bought a ticket on CAI-DAM-KWI-DOH-JFK. The intent was to try both Jazeera Airways as well as Qatar Airways. Both airlines had not featured on my flight log and I thought this was a good time to have them crossed off. I was particularly interested in Qatar as it was the last of the big 3 “premier” airlines in the GCC region and I wanted to see how it stacked up against Emirates and Etihad (and, throughout the report I will point out comparative advantages). CAI-DAM was on MS and since there have been several trip reports on MS’ short-haul product, I will skip it for now.

While there has been a plethora of really good TR’s on QR recently, I believe this is the first on their prestigious DOH-JFK flight in J. Anoosh covered them well when it was DOH-GVA-EWR and this can be accessed at: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/119526

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Qatar Airways is the flag carrier of Qatar. Based in Doha, it operates a ever expanding hub and spoke network which spans to around 80 destinations. It is set for continued growth with a strong order book and ever expanding international ambitions.

I booked the entire ticket through a travel agent who was able to secure a great pricing by selling me the ticket on United stock as a UA code-shared flight. I love my agent in Caracas – she truly is an angel! Anyways, QR does maintain a decent website and one can do online booking there with ease. However, I was unable to lookup my PNR and several calls to their call center in Doha yielded no means to actually reserve a seat. NOT IMPRESSIVE!

b) At Airport:
Arriving in Kuwait the earlier evening, I went to my favorite Italian restaurant for dinner before heading back to the airport to just hang out in the lounge. After sleeping for a few hours, an uneventful flight brought me to Doha. In the past, there were separate buses for premium passengers. This time around, it was the same bus … we were just told to wait onboard as the premium terminal was the 2nd stop.

Upon reaching the premium terminal chaos ensured. There was no one at the check-in desk and 2 angry men had been waiting for over 30 minutes! After waiting with them for another 15 minutes (security would not let us enter the terminal), 2 Filipino men appeared and started to ask for our passports etc. No apologies whatsoever. One of the men wanted to take our passports so that they could go scrutinize the passport, visa, etc. He promised to find us in the lounge and give it back to us. At this time, the American man became reluctant to do this as the last time he had given his passport in Doha, they had lost it. Interestingly, the other man (a Bangladeshi U.S. permanent resident) said that his passport was once taken and his U.S. visa page was ripped apart! Hearing these horror stories, I decided to stay with the men and wait for my passport. As we were being checked in, another bus brought a bus load of passengers from Karachi who were on an over-sold flight from the night before and were promised an upgrade to J-cabin. As they arrived, the 2 Filipinos left us and started barking to the mostly innocent Pakistanis. Yet, they were extremely civil to the few white guys in the KHI bus and told them that their upgrade had cleared! WTF!!! The Pakistanis were sent packing to the Y-terminal! As many of you know, I am not someone that stands for such crap and began losing my mind with the Filipino dude. Anyways, after talking to his Lebanese supervisor who basically told me it was corporate policy to do what they did! I had always known that racism was systematic in the Gulf – but I believe institutionalized racism is called apartheid! Anyways, after getting my new boarding pass and being cleared to go to the U.S., I had to re-do security and allowed to enter the premium terminal.

The premium terminal itself is nice. It is spartan and calm and you have all these QR agents running around ensuring the passengers do not miss their flight. The terminal is broken to a Business and First section with each providing enough amenities. I particularly liked the Nintendo room and the Business center. I wanted to take a quick shower but lack of time prevented me from doing the same.

Boarding was by bus and here we followed another absurd policy. Prior to boarding, we had to go through security once more. However, this was conducted by the least friendly people I have encountered in a while. Ready for some shocking news? These guys were ruder than anything I have encountered at CDG … and those who know me on this board recognize how much I hate CDG! So when boarding is called, you go through the gate to a security bus where they go through security again – remember, this is the 3rd security point – and where they took away my nail clipper from TRNC. Sad. After clearing this security inside the bus, you then walk to another bus which finally takes you to the bloody plane.

The entire process is anything BUT civil and I wonder how this can enhance the premium experience. Anyways, upon entering the aircraft, I was greeted by the lead Indian FA who took me to my seat and took my jacket. He asked what I wanted to drink and was soon brought a much needed glass of champagne. The guy obviously knew what he was doing and was aided by 3 other Indian men and 3 Asian women in the premium cabin (1 Korean, 1 Filipina, and 1 Malay). Load factor in J was around 50%.

Airport - External:

NONE

Check-in – Premier Terminal:

(I think the pissed off look of these 2 dudes say it all …)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2466.jpg

Airport - Internal:

(Internal)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2467.jpg

(FIDS)
NONE

(Post Security)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2471.jpg

Scenes of the tarmac:

(QR lineup)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2458.jpg

(AB6 cargo)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2460.jpg

(QR – various types – including one in Asian games livery)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2463.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2464.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2474.jpg

(Brave competitor in rival field)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2476.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2480.jpg

Lounge

(J Lounge – within premier terminal)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2468.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2469.jpg

(Nice touch)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2470.jpg

Boarding:

(Boarding Gate)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2472.jpg

III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Immediately after boarding, liberal drink service commences. Also while on the ground, amenity kits are distributed and cold towels are given out. Soon after take-off, menus are distributed and main meal service commences. Around 90 minutes prior to landing, a final meal service happens. Like Etihad, their service also follows an “eat anytime” approach. However, I found QR’s much more well organized and experienced. Perhaps in the end, the crews make all the difference?

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Qatar Airways 77W were immaculately maintained in J. The maroon seats within an off-white environment and set against mood lighting made the cabin an extremely welcoming environment and prepared you for a soothing flight. Having flowers in the bulkhead enhancing the classy feeling of the cabin. The seats themselves are made of cloth and are nothing special in seating position. However, the moment you recline it to full 180, it truly shines! The “bed” created by the seat is truly flat and incredibly nice. Not only do you get a fully-flat feeling, the folds are minimized and small ensuring there are not too many “bumps” as one dozes off. I have a hard time sleeping on planes and I was able to manage a solid 7 hours sleep with zero interruption. Pretty impressive. Accentuating the great sleeper seats is the ability to be comfortable in several positions, and rather decent legroom. Finally, the seat itself is ergonomically designed with ample storage space and all that. I especially like the “chilled” space to keep bottles of water, etc. Last word is about the well maintained bathrooms – complimented by nice Aigner products. Overall, the seat was super conducive to dozing off. It does not provide the same level of privacy as Etihad’s excellent J seats … but then again, the seats are better maintained and not having minor “technical issues” like many of my recent Etihad’s J seats.

Aircraft:

(@JFK)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2543.jpg

Views from Aircraft:

(Take off from DOH)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2481.jpg

(Spot the Afriqiyah aircraft)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2486.jpg

(View from the flight – over Iran)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2514.jpg

(View from the flight – Long Island)


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Water Cooler)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2517.jpg

(Seat legroom)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2482.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Comfortable recline)


(Awesome bed)


(50% load)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2485.jpg

Cabin:

(Nice touch of flowers)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2484.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2490.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2536.jpg


c) Meal + Beverage:

Qatar Airways also provides an “eat when you want” service. Menu cards are distributed in elegant leather folders (really classy) and the Indian purser came and took my order graciously and asked me what I wanted and when I wanted it.

The menu consisted of an excellent collection of beverages – pretty impressive listing actually – though, I am not a fan of Laurent-Perrier. They should take some hints on champagne from conViasa  Smile. Breakfast choices (upon departure from DOH) were plentiful and I ended up choosing the highly delicious strawberry/avocado smoothie, really fresh fruit, and as my main, an excellent Japanese crab omelette with Japanese salmon (not well-done sadly). Accompanying the entire meal was an excellent bread basket collection which was warm and just right. Presentation was impressive as well. One thing though – the period between each entrée was just way too long and it seemed that service would fall apart as soon as the Chief Pursar was not looking. Hmmm.

Throughout the flight, there was the option to snuggle to a café watching a movie with some biscuit, or chose from one of the rather good “indulgence” options. See menu card for more details. While QR had no self-bar, there were enough runs of alcohol and other beverages being done to keep most travelers happy.

Given the rather odd flight time, the main meal is taken by most prior to arrival at JFK. I chose to have mine around 90 minutes prior to arrival to tune my body to U.S. Eastern time. Now, here is where QR disappointed. Unlike their breakfast options, none of the main menu items were anything noteworthy. The antipasto and the Arabian mezze appetizers were nice. However, the main course completely and utterly disappointed. I had the baked hammour which looked like it had come from a TV dinner, with salsa put on the side, and some kumera wedges put on the side. Even worse, the other options included a seared veal and a tofu option. No chicken. No truly Italian, Indian, or Arab option. I mean, the whole thing was rather BLAH and less than stellar. Thankfully, the warm blueberry cheesecake was delicious and I downed it with a Bailey’s. Overall presentation was great … but presentation alone does not satisfy hunger!

During the flight, water bottles were handed out. And, during my movie, I was able to take advantage of several mini-eats. Not bad.

Finally, while not perfect, a word of praise must be given to the crew who did the “eat-whenever” service schedule MUCH better than their counterparts at Etihad.

(Menu)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2607.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2609.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2611.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2612.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2613.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2614.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2615.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2616.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2617.jpg

(Excellent smoothie)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2489.jpg

(Breakfast)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2509.jpg

(During movie; in-flight)








(Main meal)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2533.jpg

(Main Meal: sub-standard main entrée)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2534.jpg

(Main Meal: good dessert)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2535.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:
Qatar Airways’ has an impressive IFE complete with good (but not great) noise cancelling headsets. The handset is easy to use and has a full QWERTY keyboard for SMS/Email/etc. I was impressed by the clear LCD screen (though, very small by current J class standards), the good interactive menu (I liked the feature which lists all the movie alphabetically instead of having to go through each genre and picture icon – which makes it visually appealing, but terribly time consuming), and the over 100 movies on demand. Better yet, they were movies you wanted to watch! I chose “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and was impressed by the sound and picture quality. Enhancing the experience were the cabin crew who came and did rounds like in some premier cinema hall. It wasn’t perfect though – the moving map kept on thinking we were headed to Bombay and the “time to Bombay” remained at 0:00. Also, the SMS/Email feature I was keen on trying turned out not to be active.

(QR’s IFE: average screens, above-average headset)


(Controls)


http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2496.jpg

(Excellent IFE)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2497.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2498.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2526.jpg

(Great menu)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2530.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2500.jpg

(Too bad it did not work)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2507.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2508.jpg

(Cool moving map – though, we are not headed to BOM)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2521.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2522.jpg

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
(I cannot believe I had to pay for the playing cards!)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2605.jpg

e) Crew:
Ok. I have never been impressed by crew of Gulf carriers. Perhaps a lot of this has to do with the generally obnoxious and apathetic crews I have found on Emirates and somewhat on Gulf Air, or perhaps because recent experiences on Etihad confirmed the un-classy hectic attitude most of these crewmembers have. Qatar Airways went a LONG way to change my view of Gulf crews. Simply put, they were MILES ahead of their competitors (EY, EK, and GF). While they were not perfect (too much time between entrees at meals) and service sometimes fell apart when not being supervised, they were in general a pleasant group of individuals who truly made you feel at home. I liked the little touches – like the Indian purser introducing himself and speaking of his 7+(?) years at QR; the Filipina crew member who was shocked at my Tagalog ability and deciding to take good care of me; or, the Slovakian FA in Y who shocked me on the performance of 77W vs. 346 than most airline execs I know (this happened when I was looking out of the window at the huge 77W engine and she said, “a beautiful thing isn’t it”). Now, I am going to sound terribly politically incorrect and generalist – and I am sure to get flak for it – but this is my report and I guess I am entitled to my opinion  Smile. In general, I have found the best crew on Gulf carriers to be from Lebanon, India, Egypt, Thailand, Algeria, and many parts of eastern Europe. 80% of the worst crews I have found (and this is particularly true at Emirates) are Australians (interestingly, not Kiwis – who are usually much more friendlier). Now, I would love to commission a social scientist to study this phenomena. But, the Australian crew members I have got on EK, EY tend to be more fascinated with gossiping loudly than service. True, this is a generalization … but its broadly based on a lot of flying I have done.

Anyways. Another small tidbit of good service was when I asked the Indian purser to wake me up in 7 hours. I had dozed off and woke up in around 6 hours – he immediately noticed and reminded me that I had one hour more to sleep and “not to worry”. Also, each time, my bottle of water would become empty, I would wake up to it being replaced with a new bottle. Not bad.

Prior to disembarkation, the purser came and thanked me for flying Qatar and looked forward to seeing me again. Very impressive. Of course, I took his name and will be forwarding a note of thanks to Doha on a job well done.

IV> Post-Flight:
Arrival into JFK was smooth. However, immigration took forever. The QR agents on the ground were overzealous and yelled at me when I tried taking a picture of the 77W. Whatever.

(JFK)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2539.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2540.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2541.jpg

V> Impressions + Scores:
A truly great airline is made possible by the women and men that serve it. As many of my trip reports have indicated, poor “hardware” can often be compensated above and beyond by brilliant “software”. Qatar Airways definitely had that going for them. The crew on the flight was simply great and probably the best I have had amongst any GCC carriers (though, in the Middle East as whole, I think MEA has the best crew members). Small touches went a long way in making me feel happy and welcomed. Complimenting the crew was good “hardware” manifesting itself in a great IFE and good seats. While the beverage service was above average, meals were not quiet “5 Star” quality.

Unfortunately, an airline and trip is judged by the entirety of the experience. While on-air handling was great, I cannot forget the absolutely pathetic ground handling at Doha. The haphazard arrogance and general belief that national origin dictates service quality is something I can never endorse and support. A truly great airline recognizes to treat passengers as humans and modifies their customer approach to be respectful of national cultures. At Doha, one was treated primarily based on the color of their skin and/or passport cover. It is a shame really as it took away from an overall good experience. I would sincerely hope QR recognizes this and shapes up – otherwise, it might soon wake up and see those who travel it mostly (those evil Pakistanis for example) may someday have an option and decide to vote with their wallet.

Qatar Airways is a good airline. If not for the horrible experience at Doha, I would have endorsed it. However, I give it a reserved one-thumps up and will always look at other options before deciding to fly them. Having said that, I must praise them for creating a fine in-flight product which is significantly better than Etihad, and MILES ahead of Emirates. Amongst the GCC region, I have no hesitation in saying, Qatar is the best of the lot.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 5.0
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 1.0
0.5 > LOUNGE: 9.0
0.5 > BOARDING: 1.0
2.0 > SEAT: 9.5
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 9.5
1.0 > IFE: 8.0
2.0 > CREW: 9.0
2.0 > FOOD: 7.5
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 8.0
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 9.0
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 8.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 9.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 7.09
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.50)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.02: Qatar Airways (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Great amenity kit)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/QR83/IMG_2606.jpg

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-03-29 12:35:30 and read 32767 times.

Hi Abrelosojos, another really interesing report which I read with pleasure.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Flight: Qatar Airways QR 83, 736 miles
Routing: DOH-JFK

That would be a very special routing!  Wink

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So when boarding is called, you go through the gate to a security bus where they go through security again – remember, this is the 3rd security point – and where they took away my nail clipper from TRNC. Sad. After clearing this security inside the bus, you then walk to another bus which finally takes you to the bloody plane.

That's odd. I didn't face any problems when I departed from DOH recently.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Menu cards are distributed in elegant leather folders (really classy)

Nice!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was impressed by the clear LCD screen (though, very small by current J class standards),

True, it seems they aren't bigger than in EK's new Economy Class (ice Digital Widescreen).

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Great menu)

I'm not sure - it doesn't look as convenient as on EK (see above).

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Qatar Airways went a LONG way to change my view of Gulf crews. Simply put, they were MILES ahead of their competitors (EY, EK, and GF)

The crews which I had on my recent EK trip were really nice - so I can't complain.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
he QR agents on the ground were overzealous and yelled at me when I tried taking a picture of the 77W.

What? Ridiculous...  Yeah sure


PH

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2009-03-29 12:53:35 and read 32767 times.

Hi, Alex,

well done.
A real good insight into QR´s actual service level.

That DOH ground service experience sounds horrible.
Definitely not my way.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
trying some exotic routings and new carriers … being the crazy aviation geek that I am, I decided on the later. In the end, I bought a ticket on CAI-DAM-KWI-DOH-JFK.

You know, non-direct as usual. More please
 Wink

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: AH332
Posted 2009-03-29 14:05:26 and read 32767 times.

Hi,

As always, a great read! Thanks for posting.  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
In general, I have found the best crew on Gulf carriers to be from Lebanon, India, Egypt, Thailand, Algeria, and many parts of eastern Europe.

Well, I've always said, the best hospitality is Algerian hospitality!  wink  Glad to hear the Algerians took good care of you!

Cheers,
Imad

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: TDubJFK
Posted 2009-03-29 14:56:29 and read 32767 times.

Another great report. I really like the Qatar livery too. Shows that an airline CAN do something more than a lame all-white plane!

But i have to ask, what were you blanking out in this pic:

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Comfortable recline)

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-03-29 15:07:33 and read 32767 times.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So when boarding is called, you go through the gate to a security bus where they go through security again – remember, this is the 3rd security point – and where they took away my nail clipper from TRNC. Sad. After clearing this security inside the bus, you then walk to another bus which finally takes you to the bloody plane.

That's odd. I didn't face any problems when I departed from DOH recently.

= Part of the extra security is for flights departing to the U.S. I think.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Qatar Airways went a LONG way to change my view of Gulf crews. Simply put, they were MILES ahead of their competitors (EY, EK, and GF)

The crews which I had on my recent EK trip were really nice - so I can't complain.

= PH, I am glad your experience with EK crew was so good. I wish I could say the same. Having said that, I see that some of the recent experiences on A.Net on EK have actually been average to better than average to good. Even discounting the TR's by some EK staffers (you know who you are - hehe), it seems I should give EK another try. Perhaps later in the month?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
he QR agents on the ground were overzealous and yelled at me when I tried taking a picture of the 77W.

What? Ridiculous... Yeah sure

= It did not really stop me, did it  Wink?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
You know, non-direct as usual. More please
Wink

=  Smile. Guilty as charged.

Quoting TDubJFK (Reply 4):
But i have to ask, what were you blanking out in this pic:

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Comfortable recline)

= Hehe. Perhaps the blueprint for a new Middle East start-up ...

Quoting AH332 (Reply 3):
Well, I've always said, the best hospitality is Algerian hospitality! wink Glad to hear the Algerians took good care of you!

= I have had really good experience in Algeria. So I guess the crews are just extension of that hospitality  Wink.

Thanks for reading,
A.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2009-03-29 16:35:02 and read 32767 times.

Excellent TR, Abrelosojos! I keep reading about how the ground situation in DOH is atrocious and this just confirms that. I will probably think twice before transiting via DOH if I ever find myself traveling through that region again. As for QR's in-flight product - wow! Very impressive IMO. It also goes to show that airlines don't have to have some weird configuration in their J cabins (such as the herringbone configuration found on VS, 9W, NZ, DL, CX, AC, and a few others) to have an excellent and modern seat.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
These guys were ruder than anything I have encountered at CDG

Oh, god! That can't be good!

Thanks for sharing!

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: CityofAthens
Posted 2009-03-29 16:58:59 and read 32767 times.

I love these reports, keep them coming. Photos are fab and the menus, tableware ...wow.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Cakentennis
Posted 2009-03-29 17:18:10 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Anyways, after talking to his Lebanese supervisor who basically told me it was corporate policy to do what they did! I had always known that racism was systematic in the Gulf – but I believe institutionalized racism is called apartheid!

I am not surprised. It's no secret that gulf carriers treat Indians/Pakistanis/Bangladeshis like filth. I took an oath never to fly a gulf carrier after outright racist treatment by Kuwait Airways and Emirates. I always find it best to fly either American or Indian carriers when flying between America and India.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Flyboy_se
Posted 2009-03-29 18:58:10 and read 32767 times.

Nice TR.
Glad to see a report on QR.
Many of the staff at DOH are expats from India and Pakistan. And i am sure your experience is one off incident. The experience at the Premium Terminal is just wrong, and you should be writing to QR with this.They take all complaints very seriously.
I have used DOH airport many times, and i have never had a bad experience. The only thing about DOH that i have a problem with is the extremly filthy toilets, and that the food court is extremly small. But i am sure that will change with opening of the new airport in few years.Haven visited the Premium Terminal, so cant speak about the facilities there.
All the staff i have been in contact were nice and courteous.
using same bus for Business and Economy passengers in DOH is a big no no.
However intra GCC flights have many business passengers, so it might have been a bit crowded. The bus stops first at the main terminal to drop off DOH bound passengers, and then continues to Premium Terminal for connecting passengers.
Sorry to hear your QR experience wasent perfect.
But considering QR is such a young airline, i am sure they will grow only stronger, mostly thanks to its crew.They still continue to be my favourite airline.
Also not impressed with JFK staff barking for taking photos. I think that is more of a US thing then QR thing. Last time i flew QR from ARN, the staff even offered to take a picture of me when they saw me snapping photos.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Ojas
Posted 2009-03-29 19:58:32 and read 32767 times.

A Well crafted trip report, good you like the inflight service.

Alex, as a resident of Qatar for 18 years I urge you to write a letter to the authorities for the horrible episode at the ground in Doha. It is time it gets highlighted that this region is the MOST racist I have ever been to. Someone should take such people to task.

I enjoyed reading it, thank you.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2009-03-30 04:11:50 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
In general, I have found the best crew on Gulf carriers to be from Lebanon, India, Egypt, Thailand, Algeria, and many parts of eastern Europe. 80% of the worst crews I have found (and this is particularly true at Emirates) are Australians (interestingly, not Kiwis – who are usually much more friendlier). Now, I would love to commission a social scientist to study this phenomena. But, the Australian crew members I have got on EK, EY tend to be more fascinated with gossiping loudly than service. True, this is a generalization … but its broadly based on a lot of flying I have done.

I think you are completely correct and I am from Australia. Service is not something that is done well in Australia. This is something I see on regular basis.

In Australia, Qantas are terrible at service overall but Virgin Blue seem to have stronger customer focus in my experience. All depends I guess how the person was trained originally or what their view is of the meaning of service. This may be a strange thing to say but Australian people seem to hate being managed so if they have overzealous supervisors they will likely not handle that well.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: EK773
Posted 2009-03-30 04:24:51 and read 32767 times.

A very informative report aided by good photos as usual.

[Edited 2009-03-30 04:34:47]

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: MilesDependent
Posted 2009-03-30 05:25:35 and read 32767 times.

Wonderful report. Thanks for posting.

Quoting TDubJFK (Reply 4):
But i have to ask, what were you blanking out in this pic:

LOL. Yeah, I also was wondering what you were blanking out in that photo.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 11):
In Australia, Qantas are terrible at service overall but Virgin Blue seem to have stronger customer focus in my experience. ...

Hmm.. well not to get off topic, but in the premium cabin, QF is generally pretty damn good. You do get a few shocking crews, but I've done a lot of BIS miles in QF long-haul J, and have only had a few bad flights. I have also had some wonderful Australian crews on EK. In fact, I would say that EK crews are terrible, but probably my top 5 (and only 5) positive crew experiences have been with Australians. Just goes to show how much things like service can vary, both in reality and people's perception.

Anyway, I digress. Awesome report. Glad you enjoyed QR. I've not flown QR since back in about 2001 when they hardly had any planes, no one had heard of them and they were still quite "exotic". Who would have thought 8 years later and they'd be all over the world. Amazing.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2009-03-30 06:36:35 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
are Australians (interestingly, not Kiwis – who are usually much more friendlier).

I'm gonna get in on this because I'm an Australia who's lived in Europe and America so I've got several perspectives. Firstly, Australians, Like Scandianvians have a strong belief in egaliterianism. It's a bit of a myth because in reality society can't function without some people taking responsibility and leadership but if you dare push it too much ppl in Australia will let you know about it. With this though, comes difficulty in being subservent. In my university days I ran a restaurant and I can tell you it wasn't easy to train people to give good service, and the older they were the worse it got.

Now travellers from some countries, such as Holland, my actually appreciate parts of the Australian approach in that it's not that different from their own. They probably enjoy FA's stopping to make ideal chit chat about hotels so forth more then they do about silver service.... something that, Asian travellers for example will not at all like. That and the Australian style is very Casual.

Having said that, I have to agree at times its not good enough. Not when people are paying high prices and not when staff develop an attitude about 'doing there job' simply because they don't want to be subservent. I former partner of mine who is a QF long haul FA, once horrified me by insisting an American woman say please and thank you before he served her wine in the upper deck of the business class cabin. At $10K a ticket. You would have been fired on Singapore if you even dared.

That being said Aussies do other things well. They pick good cockery, good designer uniforms etc. Service just isn't their best asset. A lot of Asian pax actually prefer Aussie airlines over their own because they feel that their own carriers can be racist towards them over whites. Australians are not alone though. Americans aren't known for it either, but I suspect there's is more to do with company issues then society issues. As for the kiwis. I hate to say it but the place is more English then Australia... they're carrying over the old class divisions better. Working kiwi's know their place I guess.

Now Abrelosojos, I'm going to ask a very dangerous Question, but you have brought up the issue of nationality. Do you look very European, or more closer to Central American? I know it shouldn't make a difference, but I dare say with some carriers and cultures it does make a difference. I've been treated amazingly with EK. I bet Indians generally aren't though. And I've had very good experiences on SQ and MH...and I've got chinese Australian friends who refuse to use both point blank because they feel they get ignored and only western passengers get looked after. And I've had some lousy QF flights where those same Chinese friends got well looked after. As I said, it SHOULDN"T make a difference... but i wonder if it actually still does?

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-03-30 08:59:55 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Ojas (Reply 10):
Alex, as a resident of Qatar for 18 years I urge you to write a letter to the authorities for the horrible episode at the ground in Doha. It is time it gets highlighted that this region is the MOST racist I have ever been to. Someone should take such people to task.

= Unfortunately, when it is a systematic issue, a letter from an outsider won't change the system  Sad.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 11):
think you are completely correct and I am from Australia. Service is not something that is done well in Australia. This is something I see on regular basis.

In Australia, Qantas are terrible at service overall but Virgin Blue seem to have stronger customer focus in my experience. All depends I guess how the person was trained originally or what their view is of the meaning of service. This may be a strange thing to say but Australian people seem to hate being managed so if they have overzealous supervisors they will likely not handle that well.

= See, here is where things get even more fascinating. Usually, I have received really good service from QF and Virgin Blue in the front cabins.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 12):
A very informative report aided by good photos as usual.

= Thanks. Always great to hear from EK crew.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 13):
Hmm.. well not to get off topic, but in the premium cabin, QF is generally pretty damn good. You do get a few shocking crews, but I've done a lot of BIS miles in QF long-haul J, and have only had a few bad flights. I have also had some wonderful Australian crews on EK. In fact, I would say that EK crews are terrible, but probably my top 5 (and only 5) positive crew experiences have been with Australians. Just goes to show how much things like service can vary, both in reality and people's perception.

= Ya - as I mention above, that is what is fascinating. Usually, the service I have received on QF is really good in the front cabin. Now you bring an even more fascinating twist - do you think you have got the great service from EK Australian crew because you are Australian?

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
I'm gonna get in on this because I'm an Australia who's lived in Europe and America so I've got several perspectives. Firstly, Australians, Like Scandianvians have a strong belief in egaliterianism. It's a bit of a myth because in reality society can't function without some people taking responsibility and leadership but if you dare push it too much ppl in Australia will let you know about it. With this though, comes difficulty in being subservent. In my university days I ran a restaurant and I can tell you it wasn't easy to train people to give good service, and the older they were the worse it got.

Now travellers from some countries, such as Holland, my actually appreciate parts of the Australian approach in that it's not that different from their own. They probably enjoy FA's stopping to make ideal chit chat about hotels so forth more then they do about silver service.... something that, Asian travellers for example will not at all like. That and the Australian style is very Casual.

= Thanks for the interesting insight. I truly appreciate it and find it positive when we can have a multi-cultural dialogue - it definitely helps to understand things better. Your point about Australia being egalitarian is illuminating because I have been reading from many trip reports how skin color is a big determinant of how one is treated.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
s for the kiwis. I hate to say it but the place is more English then Australia... they're carrying over the old class divisions better. Working kiwi's know their place I guess.

= Jaja. Leave the poor Kiwis alone. I have got great experiences  Smile.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
Now Abrelosojos, I'm going to ask a very dangerous Question, but you have brought up the issue of nationality. Do you look very European, or more closer to Central American?

= Oh I don't take it dangerously at all. As I said, as long as keep things civil, these questions and global forums help in building understanding. Like a lot of "Latin elites" (hehe), sadly, I look European. Given my ethnic composition, I usually look like I am from the Balearic Islands.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
know it shouldn't make a difference, but I dare say with some carriers and cultures it does make a difference.

= Unfortunately it does  Sad.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
I've been treated amazingly with EK. I bet Indians generally aren't though.

= I think the Indians I know would agree with you. However, India is an interesting case though. There are a plethora of choices and many Indians are choosing to fly airlines outside the Mid East when the option is there. This is increasingly true from the trend in the front cabins. EK/EY/QR heavily discount their front cabins on India flights for a reason. BA had to change their marketing concept to India; and so did AF. As India keeps on growing, I am sure these airlines will have to cater or die. Unfortunately, it is worse I am sure for those countries EK/EY/QR serve without much competition.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):
As I said, it SHOULDN"T make a difference... but i wonder if it actually still does?

= Of course it does. However, airlines evolve and societies follow. It is sad ... and it is our duty as customers to vote with their feet when something is not right. I guess I personally always have strongly felt about voting with my wallet. This is true even if (as a whitie) I don't get affected  Smile.

Thanks for reading. I continue to learn so much from fellow members here.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Globetraveller
Posted 2009-03-30 12:06:40 and read 32767 times.

Hi there Alex.

Thank you for two such delightful trip reports. This one in particular was excellent, with some very nice pictures and great detail.

Funnily enough, this is the third or fourth Qatar Airways trip report I have seen (one of which I even wrote myself), where the airline's ground handling was very poor. It appears that QR's on-board product is consistently great and the ground handling is consistently crap. Your wonderful trip report has once again highlighted this exact point.

QR's Business Class product reminds me a little of many airline's First Class cabin, so they are definitely doing very well in that aspect.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 5):
Having said that, I see that some of the recent experiences on A.Net on EK have actually been average to better than average to good. Even discounting the TR's by some EK staffers (you know who you are - hehe), it seems I should give EK another try.

I would have to agree with you here. I have recently had quite a long spree of very good Emirates flights, which was hardly imaginable one or two years ago. Maybe things have finally begun to change.

Thank you once again for all your efforts.

Globetraveller

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2009-03-30 12:35:54 and read 32767 times.

Great report Alex,

Really enjoyed your trip, very interesting indeed!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was unable to lookup my PNR and several calls to their call center in Doha yielded no means to actually reserve a seat. NOT IMPRESSIVE!

- This is a basic these days, QR are nor FR!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upon reaching the premium terminal chaos ensured. There was no one at the check-in desk and 2 angry men had been waiting for over 30 minutes! After waiting with them for another 15 minutes (security would not let us enter the terminal), 2 Filipino men appeared and started to ask for our passports etc. No apologies whatsoever.

- I thought this Premium Terminal was supposed to be 'the' place to fly from, appears all is not what it seems.........

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Boarding was by bus and here we followed another absurd policy. Prior to boarding, we had to go through security once more. However, this was conducted by the least friendly people I have encountered in a while. Ready for some shocking news? These guys were ruder than anything I have encountered at CDG … and those who know me on this board recognize how much I hate CDG! So when boarding is called, you go through the gate to a security bus where they go through security again – remember, this is the 3rd security point – and where they took away my nail clipper from TRNC. Sad. After clearing this security inside the bus, you then walk to another bus which finally takes you to the bloody plane.

- What is this all about? - Sounds nothing like I imagined ths place.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
an excellent collection of beverages – pretty impressive listing actually – though, I am not a fan of Laurent-Perrier.

- Works for me, my taste buds love it  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Another small tidbit of good service was when I asked the Indian purser to wake me up in 7 hours. I had dozed off and woke up in around 6 hours – he immediately noticed and reminded me that I had one hour more to sleep and “not to worry”.

- Nice, shows somebody is paying attention.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: LH459
Posted 2009-03-30 13:44:35 and read 32767 times.

A very enjoyable and thorough report, as always! Your whole experience jibes with feedback I've had from clients, though the scene you described in Doha was even worse than I'd imagined.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
However, I was unable to lookup my PNR and several calls to their call center in Doha yielded no means to actually reserve a seat. NOT IMPRESSIVE!

This is not at all surprising: you mentioned that you had booked the flight as a UA codeshare, therefore QR's system, and by extension their agents, would have limited access to your reservation. Strictly speaking (and I say this as a professional travel agent), you should've been contacting UA for your seat requests.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Akhmad
Posted 2009-03-30 14:21:38 and read 32767 times.

Hi Abrelosojos,

What a lovely TR with QR!. It brings back all the memories of flying J with QR.

It was a pity that by the time you flew with QR, they did not get their act together on the ground. Especially when it came to premium passengers. It was definitely horrifying how the agents dealt with the Pakistani passengers.

I do not really understand all the security measures for flying to USA. Is that normal? I have never been in USA before.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-03-30 15:09:00 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 16):
Funnily enough, this is the third or fourth Qatar Airways trip report I have seen (one of which I even wrote myself), where the airline's ground handling was very poor. It appears that QR's on-board product is consistently great and the ground handling is consistently crap. Your wonderful trip report has once again highlighted this exact point.

= Ya - I have got several PM's and they all have been saying how much QR's ground handling at Doha sucks and that it is reason enough not to fly them. I find it interesting that you have the same view.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 16):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 5):
Having said that, I see that some of the recent experiences on A.Net on EK have actually been average to better than average to good. Even discounting the TR's by some EK staffers (you know who you are - hehe), it seems I should give EK another try.

I would have to agree with you here. I have recently had quite a long spree of very good Emirates flights, which was hardly imaginable one or two years ago. Maybe things have finally begun to change.

= Yes. Perhaps things have improved at EK? I give them that credit as many TR's on EK have been relatively decent of late. Of course, some are by EK crew and EK staffers, but others are by A.Net veterans who are objective on their coverage of airlines.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was unable to lookup my PNR and several calls to their call center in Doha yielded no means to actually reserve a seat. NOT IMPRESSIVE!

- This is a basic these days, QR are nor FR!

= Apparently, the reason might be as LH459 points out below:

Quoting LH459 (Reply 18):
This is not at all surprising: you mentioned that you had booked the flight as a UA codeshare, therefore QR's system, and by extension their agents, would have limited access to your reservation. Strictly speaking (and I say this as a professional travel agent), you should've been contacting UA for your seat requests.

= ... question though. I understand what you're saying and the fact that this was a UAL marketed/sold flight. However, with a QR issued PNR, won't I be able to pull up the booking in the QR system?

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 19):
I do not really understand all the security measures for flying to USA. Is that normal? I have never been in USA before.

= Perhaps? Remember, there is usually secondary screening for many U.S. flights in Europe as well.

Quoting LH459 (Reply 18):
A very enjoyable and thorough report, as always! Your whole experience jibes with feedback I've had from clients, though the scene you described in Doha was even worse than I'd imagined.

= Wow. I did not know that transit facilities at DOH were so poor - I thought it might have just been my luck.

Thanks all for reading and commenting.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: LH459
Posted 2009-03-30 16:52:43 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 20):
question though. I understand what you're saying and the fact that this was a UAL marketed/sold flight. However, with a QR issued PNR, won't I be able to pull up the booking in the QR system?

Yes, and no. QR can access your booking, but UA has control over the PNR. Basically, a QR agent would only be able to view your reservation, whilst a UA agent could both view and modify it.
Hope that makes sense!  Smile

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Directorguy
Posted 2009-03-31 08:17:00 and read 32767 times.

Great TR, it is always a pleasure to read them. Shame about QR's ground handling at DOH, and shocking that systematic racism is so prevalent. That luckless Fillipino agent is strictly speaking part of the underdog class in the Gulf, but is probably under orders to pay attention to certain people.

About the 'FAs from X country are better than those from X country' it's all about perception, and indivual experience. But to be honest, Southeast Asian FAs are far less likely to bark in a passenger's face than a European/Australian FA. It's just a very broad and generic rule of thumb.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was impressed by the clear LCD screen (though, very small by current J class standards),

True, it seems they aren't bigger than in EK's new Economy Class (ice Digital Widescreen).

Could it be because the seat is further away and hence the screen looks smaller?

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 14):

Interesting summary, Kiwis and Ozzies are always grouped together it's interesting to note the differences.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: SR 103
Posted 2009-04-05 14:24:50 and read 32767 times.

Great report as always, very well written with some great pictures to accompany the writing.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Anoosh covered them well when it was DOH-GVA-EWR and this can be accessed at: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/119526

Thanks for the comment, I had no idea you even read my trip reports.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Arriving in Kuwait the earlier evening, I went to my favorite Italian restaurant for dinner before heading back to the airport to just hang out in the lounge.

Oh please do tell, which is your favorite Italian restaurant in Kuwait?

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
These guys were ruder than anything I have encountered at CDG … and those who know me on this board recognize how much I hate CDG!

Oh wow, nothing is worse than CDG/AF when it comes to you. Though I am not surprised, I have seen two very different versions of service from many airlines. They are all smiles when they encounter me with my Italian/Greek looks and American accent. The moment they see my passport, the smiles tend to disappear. Sadly its just the way things work and I have come to accept that it is out of my control.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Qatar Airways went a LONG way to change my view of Gulf crews. Simply put, they were MILES ahead of their competitors (EY, EK, and GF).

Its interesting to hear you compare EY and QR. While my view may be a bit skewed due to the fact that I am comparing EY F to QR J, but I did not find EY all that bad. The Australian cabin crew I had on EY were exceptional. I actually found the crew on QR a little more reserved than on EY. Maybe one day I can actually get the chance to fly EY J and make a fair comparison.

Look forward to more reports from you in the future.

SR 103

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-04-09 10:12:03 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 22):
That luckless Fillipino agent is strictly speaking part of the underdog class in the Gulf, but is probably under orders to pay attention to certain people.

= Sadly true. But the ground service at DOH is anything but premium.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 22):
Southeast Asian FAs are far less likely to bark in a passenger's face than a European/Australian FA. It's just a very broad and generic rule of thumb.

= Interestingly, I have had Australian FA's being crap only on Mid Eastern carriers. QF has been good to me.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 22):
Interesting summary, Kiwis and Ozzies are always grouped together it's interesting to note the differences.

= HUGE difference IMHO.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):

Thanks for the comment, I had no idea you even read my trip reports.

= Of course I do  Smile.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):

Oh please do tell, which is your favorite Italian restaurant in Kuwait?

= Riccardo @ Sheraton ... only if I can make it past the EXCELLENT Iranian food at Shahrayar.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):
They are all smiles when they encounter me with my Italian/Greek looks and American accent. The moment they see my passport, the smiles tend to disappear. Sadly its just the way things work and I have come to accept that it is out of my control.

= Vote with your wallet. I do it all the time  Smile. If I encounter successive poor service with an airline, and it has to do with an institutionalized bias, I will not fly them.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: SR 103
Posted 2009-04-09 14:58:24 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 24):
= Vote with your wallet.

Sadly those days are long gone for me. Due to my job, over 95% of my traveling is done on a single airline now.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-04-09 15:07:49 and read 32767 times.



Quoting SR 103 (Reply 25):
Sadly those days are long gone for me. Due to my job, over 95% of my traveling is done on a single airline now.

= Hmmm ... so do you work for an airline  Smile?

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: SR 103
Posted 2009-04-09 15:43:03 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 26):
Hmmm ... so do you work for an airline ?

Maybe...  Wink

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Colts001
Posted 2009-04-17 13:07:54 and read 32767 times.

Excellent TR as usual. Thanks for your insight and excellent pictures.
I have read lot of stories about transit in Doha being very disorganized my question is how is an airline accorded 5 star status does the transit or ground handling part not taken into consideration?

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: LH4116
Posted 2009-04-17 15:39:43 and read 32767 times.

Hello Alex, Great TR!

The people in DOH, seemed like a pair of big a** holes...
The seats looked very nice on the 77W, and the food did a least look excellent Big grin

Thanks for posting, and I enjoyed reading  Smile

//Jonas

Topic: RE: Qatar QR 83: 31/JAN/09: DOH-JFK: J Cabin
Username: Ulysse
Posted 2009-04-21 12:40:33 and read 32767 times.

As usual, excellent TR and relevant remarks Abrelosojos!  Wink

Hope to see QR soon in Star Alliance as a full member. It would be a great plus for the passenger...


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