22886 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 390 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 23705 times:
The purpose of this trip to Hong Kong was to attend the first stage selection process for Cathay Pacific's Cadet Pilot Programme that was to take place on 7th April. Stage 1 was to consist of a series of tests and if successful in the tests I would be invited for an interview.
I received an email from CX telling me that my application had been successful, and I had the chance to attend stage 1, this was received slightly over one month before the stage 1 date to give me enough time to arrange for travel to Hong Kong. Qatar Airways was the cheapest option for LHR-HKG, although taking the longest! At £379 this was a bargain compared to BA,VS and CX who were all charging at around £600+. Even Oasis was charging around £500. Good job I didn't book on them anyway as I wouldn't have been able to get back!!
So booked on QR, here's how the trip went...
With no online check-in with QR, I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 3 for check-in 3hrs before the departure.
As usual the check-in area was packed, but the QR check-in queue was not too long. Check-in was done fast and efficiently.
T3 departure lounge, fully packed.
T3 departures that morning, hate it when the pic is showing all the code share flights!
I took a walk to the new gates at T3 to see if the A380 was there, it was! still think the 747 looks better though...
CO 772 over at T4
VS A346 has just been pushed back and taxiing out for departure to New York.
AA 772 N753AN on the new LHR service to DFW as AA051
Back to the old piers and on my way to gate 26 for my flight to Doha
that's what I'll be flying on, QR A330-203, A7-ACB
Waiting to board...
view from my seat whilst at the gate, push back was spot on at 10:49, one minute before the scheduled 10:50 departure time.
taxiing to runway 27L, all BMI at Terminal 1
passing by ElAl 744, 4X-ELB
Finnair A321, followed behind by Virgin Atlantic 744 and further behind Northwest A333
Turning onto 27L, notice DL 763 in new colours at T4
BA 772 G-YMMM
we started our takeoff run from 27L at 11:10
The new Terminal 5
and through the clouds
QR's Waves AVOD IFE system started up about 10mins after take-off, seat belt signs went off pretty quickly too. The Californication album by Red Hot Chili Peppers was playing as the default music in the IFE menu.
The IFE included a live TV selection but these never worked.
our route to DOH
Menus were soon distributed, about 20 mins after take-off.
Leek and goat's cheese terrine served on classic Russian salad
1. Grilled English beef sausages with onion and paprika gravy, chive mash potatoes and roasted pumpkin
2. Barbecued chicken on vegetable mee goreng, sauteed choy sum with onions
3. Kadi Parkora with Basmati rice, vegetable and paneer jalfrezi
Fresh strawberries with whipped cream
The seat and legroom. Foot space was restricted due to the large IFE box under the seat.
The in-flight reading material - Oryx magazine, Oryx IFE guide, Duty Free catalogue and Safety card
the first drink service came round around 30mins after take-off
snack was Cocktail cheese biscuits
some cabin views
passing the Alps
The meal service came round about 40mins after take-off. I chose the Barbequed chicken. The meal was excellent and I finished it all, no goat's cheese terrine for me though ...sick
our progress through the flight
About 2hrs after the first meal, the next meal service came, I still felt full from the first one... but airplane meals never really fill you up so the next meal was quite welcome.
This was a small snack of wrap with spicy chicken filling and a chocolate muffin.
some window views as we approach the Middle East, only a few here as there was cloud cover for pretty much the whole flight from London.
landing took place in the dark so couldn't get any pics. We landed in DOH at 19:23, once we rolled off the runway we were straight onto our stand. On-blocks was at 19:26, 19 minutes early.
parked next to the special Asian Games liveried A332 A7-AFP
my seat for the flight
exiting through the rear of the plane and then bussed to the terminal
very busy DOH immigration/transfer area, with many flights arriving around the same time. Most were transferring but there were also many going through immigration
with 5 hours before my connection to HKG, I decided to pay the 100 Riyals (approx £13/$27) for the on-entry visa. The visa also allowed for entry into Oman.
DOH baggage reclaim hall
outside the terminal
Qatari number plate
I decided to just walk around the area near the airport
back in the terminal...
all bags must go through security first before entering the check-in area.
DOH check-in desks
with my boarding pass already issued in LHR I went straight to immigration to go airside
the departures area at DOH terminal is basically one massive seating area, with a big duty free shop, another smaller gift shop (they sold Qatar Airway's Herpa 1:500 models at really cheap prices!!), a small food court and the Oryx lounge.
the duty free shop
DOH departures that night
waiting to board... but that means just going downstairs to wait for the bus that will take you to the aircraft.
here's a video taken on the bus whilst going to the aircraft.
QantasA333 From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 531 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 23623 times:
Great report! Excellent pics. Good service from QR, i see. Only chance of flying them from Australia is from MEL when they start flights there, or have they already started? Seeing McDonalds, KFC in Qatar is different to our western culture, especially when looking at the writing! The picture of the cemetery...i saw that from a distance, while on a boat trip. Was that around Abeerdeen?
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 23101 times:
Congratulations on making through to the next round of interview. All the best for your subsequent rounds...
QR definitely looks like a decent carrier to fly, but definitely not the most straight forward route from the UK. How did you find Doha Airport? From your pictures, the terminal looks almost like a mini-sized version of Dubai Airport...right down from the pre-check-in security to the check-in counters to Duty Free complex. What was there to do in the terminal if you had spent all 5 hours there? Any facilities for transit passengers to enjoy - entertainment centre, rest area, lounges, spas, snooze corners etc??
Has QR given their FAs newly designed uniforms? Those in your pictures look pretty different from the matrix-patterned blouses that I've seen QR crew wear previously.
Great TR all round...including some pretty nice pictures. Any chance of a return TR being posted soon?
LHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 628 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 23000 times:
Great Trip report - loved all the pics!
Congratulations on your success in the CX application programme!
T3 at LHR never looked so good as in your photos - and your aerial shot of the T5 satellite with all the BA tails made me gasp!
QR looked so great for longhaul - and an unbeatable price too! Odd to see a red crescent on the stowage near the 5R door - took me a minute to realise that western carriers would have a red cross there to indicate Medical Kit, right?!
now I want to go back to HK - what a city!
Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
MH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1633 posts, RR: 34 Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 22587 times:
Quoting Semsem (Reply 8): I am surprised you still have to take a bus to the plane. I would have thought they would have a super modern airport.
A new airport is being constructed just to the North of the current one; check Google Earth if you like
No doubt, once finished, the rides by bus to/from the planes will be gone forever...
Quoting SQ772 (Reply 4): Any facilities for transit passengers to enjoy - entertainment centre, rest area, lounges, spas, snooze corners etc??
I know there is a different Terminal with facilities for QR First Class passengers (with transfers by luxury cars), however, in the Main Terminal I've not seen any facilities, although I might have missed them...sorry...
No doubt the QR website will tell you more about this.
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8264 posts, RR: 56 Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 21783 times:
Nice report, did enjoy, thanks for putting it together.
Quoting 22886 (Thread starter): I chose the Barbequed chicken. The meal was excellent and I finished it all, no goat's cheese terrine for me though ...sick
- Not a bad looking meal but I do quetion the goay's cheese, it's quite an aquired taste in my opinion.
Quoting 22886 (Thread starter): a little set of stickers were later distributed for passengers to stick on their seats indicating whether they wanted to be woken up for meals, woken up for duty free or not disturbed at all. A nice touch for night flights
- Neat ide, like it!
Quoting 22886 (Thread starter): The day before I flew back to London (11th April) I was phoned by CX asking me when I would be back in HK for stage 2, meaning success!
FRAspotter From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2316 posts, RR: 10 Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 21751 times:
Quoting MH017 (Reply 9): A new airport is being constructed just to the North of the current one; check Google Earth if you like Smile
No doubt, once finished, the rides by bus to/from the planes will be gone forever...
Good. I was connecting through DOH on QR from FRA going to AUH back at the beginning of April of 2004. When I heard that QR ordered the A380 as well as numerous other planes, I was wondering how they were ever going to hold everybody in that small terminal they had. Nice place, but so damn small!!!
"Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."
Smi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1381 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 21726 times:
Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 7): Odd to see a red crescent on the stowage near the 5R door - took me a minute to realise that western carriers would have a red cross there to indicate Medical Kit, right?!
The entire Red Cross organisation in the middle east is know as Red Crescent due to the associated Cross not being trusted during the first world war (and thus being considered the enemy in many situations) due to its association with the Crusades!! I took a fascination tour of the red cross head quarters in Geneva and read the story somewhere, was funny when I actually noticed it on one of the EK aircraft at work!
The differences that make the world interesting!!
Hope there new uniforms also they look much nicer than the other version!
22886 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 390 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 21568 times:
thank you for looking and thank you for all the comments, hope you enjoyed the pics!
Quoting QantasA333 (Reply 1): The picture of the cemetery...i saw that from a distance, while on a boat trip. Was that around Abeerdeen?
The cemetery was at PokFuLam on the west side of Hong Kong Island
Quoting SQ772 (Reply 4): What was there to do in the terminal if you had spent all 5 hours there? Any facilities for transit passengers to enjoy - entertainment centre, rest area, lounges, spas, snooze corners etc??
Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 13): Say you didn't want to get the One-Entry Visa at DOH. Was there anything to do during transit?
I was actually only in the terminal for around 2 hours, I didn't think there was much to do inside, as mentioned it was basically one large seating area with 2 shops. I got out my laptop to see if i could get any wi-fi but all that worked was outlook express, webpages didnt even load up. I saw that it worked with some people so dunno wat the problem was. They had some public use computers as well, though you needed to queue up to use them at busier times. Apart from that I don't think there was much else to do... Lots of bored looking people around the terminal, lots were sleeping. Lots and lots of seating though which was a good thing ...not like LHR!
I'm not sure about the facilities you mentioned though... maybe in the oryx lounge or premium class terminal.
In terms of plane spotting in the terminal, you get the aircraft taxiing past the terminal building pretty closely, and you can see the planes parked at the stands to the left hand side of the terminal. Would have been much better in the day light though. Every time I went through DOH was at night. You also get excellent opportunities to see the planes as you get bussed to the plane. And when boarding it didn't seem a problem to the security there about taking photos of the planes. O one thing though, QR never allowed any cockpit visits after the flights.
Quoting SQ772 (Reply 4): Has QR given their FAs newly designed uniforms?
I don't think they were new... looked a bit old fashioned actually.
Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 3): nice...but is there any need for that many pics of the same thing?
I'm sorry you don't like all the pics, you certainly wouldn't want to see my complete album then, its got about 400 photos, and thats just from the flight! As I mentioned those wing shots were only a few I could get, there would be much more if there was less cloud over the journey. The 2 shots of the screen I'm trying to show the IFE menu system. The zoomed-in/zoomed-out ones simply show more detail when zoomed-in.
QantasA333 From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 531 posts, RR: 4 Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 weeks ago) and read 21520 times:
Quoting 22886 (Reply 18): Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 13):
How long is CX's training program?
CX's training programme is 60 weeks long and is done at FTA in Adelaide.
Cool. I live in the very city of ADL. You coming down here? If so, you'll love the city, except maybe the public transport, and traffic, but besides that excellent. Our new terminal was built 3 years ago, and is still white, and spotless. Large windows allow for great views of aircraft.
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (5 years 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 21443 times:
Quoting 22886 (Reply 18): I was actually only in the terminal for around 2 hours, I didn't think there was much to do inside, as mentioned it was basically one large seating area with 2 shops. I got out my laptop to see if i could get any wi-fi but all that worked was outlook express, webpages didnt even load up. I saw that it worked with some people so dunno wat the problem was. They had some public use computers as well, though you needed to queue up to use them at busier times. Apart from that I don't think there was much else to do... Lots of bored looking people around the terminal, lots were sleeping. Lots and lots of seating though which was a good thing ...not like LHR!
I guess it'll be quite a pain for passengers who aren't entitled to lounge facilities, and are stuck with many hours before their next flight. Doha, is probably similar to DXB in that most of their passengers are transiting. It would be good if they can come up with more facilities to keep everyone occupied. In this sense, DXB and SIN does quite a good job with its hub, with lots of F&B, entertainment and shopping facilities for everyone.