Ojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2961 posts, RR: 24 Posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 23117 times:
Since I'm moving to the USA I decided to take a stop at home at DOH. So QR was the obvious choice of airline. My itinerary is
QR 201 BOM - DOH 3rd Sep 0545 0640 B77W
QR 051 DOH - IAD 7th Sep 0925 1645 B77W
UA 1565 IAD - MCO 8th Sep 1726 1939 A320
First Leg of the journey: Mumbai - Doha
Flight no.: QR 201
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-3DZ/ER
Aircraft Registration: A7 - BAA
Terminal used: 2B
Terminal View & Check-in
I reached the airport well before time knowing I had some excess luggage. Reached the airport almost 4 hrs before that is at 0150 hrs and as soon as I entered the airport I was greeted by a fresh terminal and not the old one like 2C.
The LCD displays were showing that QR was going to check-in from counter numbers 100 to 104. Looking at those counters I figured out that LH was just about to shut down their Y counters on a full flight to FRA.
Within 15 minutes the check-in agent came and I was the first one to check-in for the flight.
After a few minutes a huge queue was formed behind me. Got my boarding pass for the flight and I headed to the immigration straight away.
While going towards immigration which is at the extreme left of the terminal, I saw a airlines like Air Arabia, Emirates, Yemenia, Ethiopian checking-in and ALL of them were running full and the queues were endless.
A packed flight to DXB, EK 501
A quick affair of immigration and security check and I was already in the waiting area. I had a very long day and hence I was very tired. I took a seat and slept for almost 3 hours. When I woke up it was 0450 hrs local time, I freshened up a bit and checked the flight display board. It was showing gate number 15 for boarding and in the mean time clicked few pictures of the renovated waiting area.
Loads: 321/335 equivalent to 96% approx. ( having enquired from my friend later, I got to know that this very flight was on 100% loads inbound.)
As what I have experienced on the B777 boarding procedures in the past, QR also did a sequential boarding and soon enough everyone boarded the flight, it was 0545 hrs by the time everyone boarded.
have to keep walking till the place where QR is parked, CISF, GMR officials guide passengers
Sweets were distributed something which I don't see that often. However, there seemed to be some issue regarding some passenger and the ground staff. I could not figure out though what it was, something to do with the checked-in luggage I suppose. We pushed back at 0600 hrs and within 10 minutes we had rotated from RWY 27 of BOM. The take off was nice, and the mood lighting in the aircraft was just too good. Here are some pictures of it.
after take off
Hot towels were distributed, and it really refreshed me considering I had a crazy night with just 3 hrs of sleep. Breakfast was going to be served, and promptly the service started. The European FA who was serving me was a very nice lady, she looked tired but was putting all her efforts to be as fresh as possible. Here is the meal picture
The IFE was nice, had a variety of movies, games, and other programmes. A good collection of movies was assuring me that I could watch many of them on my flight to IAD.
The FA's came on their duty free round and after that it was almost time for our descend. Today we were going to land on RWY 16, which I could make out from the way our aircraft was flying over Qatar and heading north of the runway.
We disembarked the plane and I thanked the FA for a nice flight. We were bussed to the arrivals halls at DOH.
Immigration was a chaos, thankfully a new queue was formed wherein I was 4th in the queue. Very Inefficient immigration as always at DOH, although the women folk do the stamping of passports quickly than those men who think it is a time to relax. I have always observed that in all Govt. services in Qatar, the women are exceptionally efficient and really greet you at the counters ( being in the burqa I cannot make out whether they smile or not, but I'm sure they do). Baggage claim was quick, and within the next 5 mins I was out of the airport, my parents had come to take me home.
A/C : 10/10
Crew: 7/10 -- very tired crew however the CSD of the flight was just brilliant.
IFE: 9/10 -- Good for a 3 hour flight.
Boarding & ground Formalities: 9/10
While in Doha, here are some pictures I took.
Towards my home -- Dukhan
from my apt in Dukhan
After a 4 day break in DOH it was time to continue my journey to the USA
Second Leg of the journey: Doha - Washington Dulles
Flight no.: QR 051
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-3DZ/ER
Aircraft Registration: A7-BAB
I left home at 0630 hrs in the morning and by 0730 hrs I was at the airport. It was not all that crowded. Passed the baggage screening and headed towards the check-in area. For those who have used DOH airport will know that the check-in counters at the right are dedicated to QR common to all destinations and ones to the left are used by other airlines. However, there were 2 check-in counters right facing towards me straight ahead which are dedicated for the flights to the USA. The board showed check-in for QR 083 & QR 051. A point to be noted was that QR 083 had only EWR bound passengers checking-in here while GVA bound passengers at the common QR Y check-in counters.
Before going towards the check-in A gentleman checked my passport and asked me a couple of questions as to why I was headed to the USA. After that I checked-in, 2 PC check-in, one weighed 26 Kgs and the other 16 Kgs. Not an issue got it checked-in. My passport had the QR security sticker and now I proceeded towards the immigration. Noticed a huge queue for the 9W flight 553 headed to CCJ. It was carrying 116 passengers out of 140. Immigration was a breeze, then the security check was quick as well. Now I had ample time to kill here.
very bad light!!! but then pictures from Doha are uncommon hence putting all of them
the latest B77W doing only flights to DXB as of now.
QR cargo to LUX.
Our aircraft, had arrived from BOM few hours ago, and now going to take us to IAD.
Did some duty free shopping grabbed a bite, and by 0805 hrs after the GVA-EWR flight was closed the IAD flight started boarding. Interestingly, all the transiting passengers had a second round of document check while ones boarding from DOH were exempted from it..
When I purchased my duty free stuff, the guy informed I can get my stuff only after I crossed the gate, another form of security I assume. Also, this may be common to all USA bound flights, there was another security check after the we entered the gate.
Actually for the IAD and soon IAH,JFK flights there are 2 gate areas used for the whole security drill and boarding the people.
Soon we went down by the escalator and we were bussed to our aircraft, we boarded from the aft side.
We were welcomed by a nice QR FA and soon we settled down to our seats. Earlier the longest journey non stop for me had been not longer than 8 hrs. So the thought of sitting in a plane for 14 hrs was slightly worrying. And adding fuel to the fire, there were 8 kids on board !!! bullkhead seats occupied by infants and 4 kids of the age say 4 or 5. I was like ... bless me god! Sweets and refreshing towels were handed out. We pushed back 5 minutes before time and soon we were taxiing for our non stop flight to IAD. Take off was long but pretty smooth, and we were airborne and turned towards our flight path.
Now the first thing coming was a hot towel service followed by amenity kits and menus. The meal options had 2 non veg and one veg option, the latter being a strictly Indian one. The FA's had now started the bar service, I opted for a Vodka and 7up here. I started wandering around the IFE features and watched a movie. Meal service began and I opted for Spiced Cajun chicken.
sorry for the poor pic, just could not get it right.
After the meal service was over, I decided to sleep for sometime. I realised I had slept for almost 5 hrs. When I got up we were somewhere over AMS. I freshened up a bit and helped myself with some snacks available. Cake slices, sandwiches and packed cut fruits were on offer. I chose the former 2 and took some diet coke and settled at my place.
sandwich and juice
On the positive side, all the babies were very kind enough to sleep all through their flight and a couple of hem cried say for just few minutes and were quiet. But then there was this one 4 year old girl who had sworn to spoil the reputation of the kids on board. She was not crying but actually yelling because there was no Pokemon or some cartoon available on the IFE screen. Biologically I thought kids sleep more than adults and if my knowledge serves me right 4 year olds sleep for at least 10 hours a day. This young lady barely slept for the last 2 hours of the flight. Her dad and mom took efforts to calm her as much efforts I took to open the emergency exit of the aircraft.
However, it needed a louder kid to disturb my sleep and the ear plugs were of great help here. Behind my seat though were a pair of identical twin boys of the same age but were very very well behaved. Playing games, drawing sketching sleeping, they knew how to be nice kids! I was moving around the aircraft and had some chit chat with the crew. As the hours passed by we were getting closer to BOS, and with the a hot towel service the second meal service began. I chose fish this time,
This too was a delicious meal and after the meal we were pretty close to Washington DC. We started our descend at 1555 hrs and at exactly 1420 hrs we touched down at Dulles airport. The landing was smooth and I tried watching the aircrafts on the tarmac.
We were taken in a bus to the terminal where we had to wait fir 15 mins before alighting. When we entered the terminal there was a HUGE queue for immigration. All non US citizens had to wait while US citizens and green card holders were given the chance to clear immigration first. Not fair IMO, I have not seen this happening in the ME, India or SE Asia. The whole process of immigration took around 45 mins. and after that I claimed my luggage and went to the hotel as I had my flight next day to MCO.
A/C : 10/10
Crew: 8/10 -- just fine and nice nothing exceptional.
IFE: 8/10 -- For BOM - DOH the IFE collection is good but not for DOH-IAD, it can be better
Boarding & ground Formalities: 8/10 -- Will remain low till DOH gets new airport
Third leg of the Journey: Washington Dulles - Orlando International'
Flight number: UA 1565 ( operated by Ted aircraft)
After spending a day in Washington it was my final flight to Orlando, the hotel shuttle dropped me to the airport. I went ahead to the UA check-in counters to the extreme left of the terminal. I waited for my turn, and I knew I had to talk to the gate agent to tell her In coming in from an international flight and that I'm eligible for a 2PC check-in. The UA lady over there very politely guided me to the counters on the opposite end, next to the international check-in. Over here the lady asked as to where I have come from, and I placed my bags one by one on the machine to weigh it. One of my bags was 58 lbs but she said it is ok as QR had check-in both without any issue. I then got my Boarding pass and dropped my bags at the TSA screening counter. My boarding pass had SSSS on it whatever that meant, later to find out it was additional screening. Contrary to the horror stories I read, the TSA security check was easy, nice and my additional check took no more than 2 minutes. The TSA guys were pretty polite and then wished me a good day and I headed to my gate.
We were shuttled to the other part of the terminal and where I clicked some pictures
Boarding was announced at 1656 hrs and we were boarded systematically asper our zones marked on our Boarding passes. On the gate screen itself it was mentioned we would have a drinks service only. For a 2 hour flight in Asia you would get a full hot meal and a bar service. We were greeted by a nice UA FA and after settling down we were ready to push back shortly. We took off after 10 mins of pushback.
Soon we were heading towards MCO and more or less this was a pretty uneventful flight. Just a service wherein I took some Coke thats it. One the FA's was really nice and actually was smiling all her way, and was truly professional. The others were good too. I dozed off and soon we were woken by the announcement of our descend into Orlando. Here are some pictures.
Uneventful landing and soon we docked to a gate, there was only a NW A320 aircraft visible that is it. Airport was under renovation, however the airport was very nice much better than Washington.
I never knew they charge for a trolley here .... sheesh never had I experienced that before. I carried the bags myself and was out of the airport by 2000 hrs.
A/C : 9/10
Crew: 8/10 -- just fine and nice nothing exceptional.
Food:2/10 -- What food ... just a cup of coke
IFE: 3/10 -- They did not give any headsets, and if we have to buy them on board, then IFE deserves 0/10 here
Boarding & ground Formalities: 10/10
I have personally seen now how the service of gulf carriers can vary on Indian Sub continent routes and Western routes, though QR service levels were very good overall and did not vary much throughout the 2 sectors. The FA's on the BOM-DOH sector were pretty mechanical, but on the route to IAD, they were good. But hey QR is no match to SQ! Overall I enjoyed my flight with QR and since I'm bounded with Doha I may use them more often.
UA is a pretty decent option and keeping aside that the inflight service matches to those of the LCC's in India, they are nice.
Queries/suggestions/criticisms always welcome from our members, thank you for reading.
United1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5930 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22551 times:
"IFE: 3/10 -- They did not give any headsets, and if we have to buy them on board, then IFE deserves 0/10 here"
UA does not charge for headsets or IFE on any aircraft, looks like they just skipped your row or the cleaning crew forgot to board them on the aircraft sorry about that. I hope you had a great time in Orlando and got to see The Mouse.
Gr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3097 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 21819 times:
I hope these pics of BOM help to change the perception that a.netters have created about BOM being a "dump".....it's really much better than it ever used to be and better than some international airports that I've travelled thru'....but still, a lot of scope for improvements....
Quoting United1 (Reply 5): UA does not charge for headsets or IFE on any aircraft, looks like they just skipped your row or the cleaning crew forgot to board them on the aircraft sorry about that.
Thanks for the clarification. It seems no one had got headsets. I had my own though but this aircraft had those old dual jack headphones. ( Also I hope you believe that I have put a fair review of UA)
Quoting StevAAn (Reply 8): I have a question about QR though, is it possible to make a pre-seat assignment (online) with them?
No you cannot do that online, but yes you can call their reservations, and they will gladly do it for you.
Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 10): I hope these pics of BOM help to change the perception that a.netters have created about BOM being a "dump".....it's really much better than it ever used to be and better than some international airports that I've travelled thru'....but still, a lot of scope for improvements....
Me too, the BOM airport will very soon surpass many major airports in the world through which one passes.
Quoting Ronerone (Reply 7): On the other hand, i do like IAD actually; and it has an interesting mix of airlines. I especially like those mobile aerobridges or whatever theyre called. Very unique.
Trust me , that impressed me as well.
Quoting Ronerone (Reply 7): Having said that, QR seems like a great product, similar to its Gulf peers. Hope to fly them one day.
So now you have SQ,QR to fly on urgent basis
A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3213 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 20139 times:
Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 10): I hope these pics of BOM help to change the perception that a.netters have created about BOM being a "dump".....it's really much better than it ever used to be and better than some international airports that I've travelled thru'....but still, a lot of scope for improvements.... smile
It was still a dump for intl-dom connections the last time I flew through BOM - this August. I hope it gets better in time though...
9W748Capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 554 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 19656 times:
Very nice report Ojas - thanks for sharing. The pictures do a great job of telling the story - as do you! Nice glimpse into DOH's facilities as well. Have read about how inadequate they are currently but your photos show it very clearly. Welcome to the USA - hope you're enjoying life in Orlando!
Ojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2961 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 19151 times:
Quoting Mk777 (Reply 22): I enjoyed reading your TR. You are getting very good at writing them.
Thanks a lot!
Quoting Mk777 (Reply 22): BOM looks very refreshed, i am so glad Indian airports are undergoing a facelift, they so require them.
However, the never ending lines always never cease to amaze me.
Yet the immigration queues move quickly, and things are much better then before
Quoting Mk777 (Reply 22): QR inflight service seems pretty good, your breakfast looks good and your 2 meals on the DOH-IAD sector look edible too, well better than American and European carriers.
The meals were tasty, but nothing close to AI/IT/SQ.
Quoting Mk777 (Reply 22): QR seems to be doing well on this route, they were the only ones that thought out of the box to start a middle east-US route through Washington besides JFK or EWR.
It will be difficult for other middle east and Indian carriers now.
Yes QR is doing well to IAD. Thanks to the Indian subcontinent. Most of our passengers were connecting from KHI,DEL,MAA,HYD,BOM,KTM,DAC,CCJ,TRV ; these were the announcements I heard and when I asked the co passengers.
A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
aviator23 From Pakistan, joined Jan 2010, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9157 times:
Quoting Ojas (Thread starter): Take off was long but pretty smooth, and we were airborne and turned towards our flight path.
talking about long takeoff rolls....here's a link to my takeoff from DOH on QR 51 last summer(please excuse the first half of the video with little activity). full flights, fueled to the max! seems QR continues to do well on this route.