sjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 41 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5576 times:
Once again, an opportunity for me to leave the home of my fore fathers presented itself and this time the destination was Europe. After securing the Germany long term visa which took 6 weeks for the embassy to issue, it was time to prepare myself and selecting the airline was a key element in the preparation process.
After viewing different fares to Stuttgart, I settled for Qatar airways following a recommendation of a friend and fellows A.netter, Ollie, since it would fly me directly to Stuttgart via Zurich from DOH. KLM was also there but very expensive. All the other airlines were either going to MUC or FRA, so QR was the best choice, though I don’t like their luggage policy of only 23 Kgs.
Due to heavy traffic jam in Kampala (Entebbe road), I arrived at the airport at about 4.50 PM, though they had written on my ticket that, “Check in counters close at 4.00PM.” So I was hoping against the odds and yeah, I wasn’t the only one who was late, many passengers checked in after me.
The check in agents refused to check in my second bag which I had planned to be carry on because as they said, it was too big for carry on, yet they only allow a total of 23Kg so I was asked to re pack my suitcase and it weighed about 27Kg and they accepted it, since I had no carry on except my laptop bag. So I asked my brother to return the empty one back home.
Parking Area at EBB...
Outside the Departures
Having been a rainy day, EBB was quite cold and as usual during this time of the day, busy with people as many flights leave at this time e.g QR, EK, KQ, ET WB…
Customs was easy to clear, not many people going through, and only two people manning the counters. By the time I cleared through customs we were being called to the boarding gate and we used the jet bridge which made life easier and quicker.
EBB – DOH
Pushback: 6.00 Pm
Departure: 6.15 PM
Arrival: 11.15 PM
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Load: Approximately = 94%
Entering QR via the business class section, I was impressed by the cabin, the aircraft looked brand new, and with nothing dirty or broken…Business class had about 12 seats.
Economy was also looking immaculate and since the flight had come from KGL,I am not sure how many people were initially on board before we PAX from EBB joined and after all of us settling in, the aircraft was about 94% full.
Touch screen AVOD:
Movies watched: City transits, The untouchables (half way)
I was in the window seat as always and the middle seat next to me was empty. The aisle seat was occupied by a Chinese man, who told me he was returning home to Beijing after working in Kampala. In two of the following pictures, you will see River Nile flowing all the way to the Red Sea Via Egypt and Sudan
The front row was occupied some three Ugandans, two headed for Guangzhou for business and another headed for London for vacation and we conversed all throughout the flight. This was one of the best flights ever because I had people to talk to all the way and in my language, Luganda.
The economy section was served by four crew members, 3 females (Japanese) and 1 guy (French / Senegalese). The entire aircraft had 4 Japanese airhostesses.
The meal service was quite slow during the serving and the meals tasted good. They did rounds of drinks a lot and the Japanese air hostesses wouldn’t go past me without asking me if I need “Nomi” (a drink).
After the meals, I went to the galley and conversed with the cabin crew especially the Japanese and I got the chance to speak my basic Japanese after so long. They told me they had enjoyed their time in Kampala and were looking forward for the return.
We talked a lot about some other airlines and one of the crew members told me they wished to work for Emirates, because it has better terms of employment than QR.
Soon the five hours to DOH ended and we landed smoothly. What a big airport DOH is. I was disappointed by their total lack of jet bridges and instead they choose to bus the passengers around in circles, I am not sure how they will manage with the large numbers of people coming in for the FIFA World Cup. But I guess they have a plan for that, otherwise the current system of buses I think is rather old fashioned for such an airport and it leads to delays.
My stay in DOH was quite short, by the time I arrived at my gate from the bus, people were already lining up. DOH was extremely crowded at this time of the night and for a moment I thought I was in an Indian airport (no offense intended) probably. Since I had the boarding pass, I just said good byes to my Ugandan friends who were going to wait for their onward connections later in the night and proceeded to the gate.
DOH – ZRH – STR
1. DOH - ZRH
Aircraft: A330 – 300
Load: Approximately 75 - 80%
Push back: 01.35Am
Take off: 1.45 AM
This flight was quite un event ful as I was too sleepy and had no one to talk to most of the time. I had an empty seat next to me once again and so I had more than enough space. The back row was occupied by a Kenyan lady and her son who were headed for Switzerland to visit relatives. We spoke briefly before they slept and I continued watching movies before also finally dozing off.
Woke up in time for breakfast. It was just Ok. I had a yoghurt explosion splashing onto my shirt, which annoyed me.
I just couldn’t wait to land in ZRH. We encountered turbulence as we descended because of the rain in ZRH and still landed on a wet run way. As we landed I saw quite a number of the usual birds sitting on the tarmac of course as expected Swiss was the majority. But the most surprising were two Kingfisher Airlines A330. I think maybe they are selling them off due to their financial set back they suffered earlier this year. Otherwise, I don’t know what the two A330 were doing at a remote stand in ZRH.
About 85% of all the people on board left the aircraft and I thought that may be other people were coming, but I was informed by the ground crew who came on borad to count us that no new passengers were coming on board except for the new crew. We sat for about 1.5 hours and quite a number of jets took off or landed and I was happiest when I say the SQ A380…I was like WOW…Everytime I see the whale I cant help but wonder about its size. HUUUUUGEEEEEE…I hope I get to fly with it soon.
Off to Stuttgart (STR) finally in heavy rain after sitting on the tarmac for 1.5Hrs....
We are finally here...Wilkomen...
Landed about 20 minutes late...
UA landed about 10 minutes before us from EWR
Bye bye babe
Immigration was breeze, not so many people, as most people who had come with UA had already cleared...and the gentleman didnt seem so bad...so he stamped and waved me into Deutschland.
The bags took quite sometime to arrive, but finally they did
No doubt it is the home of Mercedes Benz
Overall, QR was good, I had a good time flying with them, especially EBB - DOH sector. I am not sure I would fly with them when returning because I would probably have alot of luggage, but when I dont have alot of luggage, i would...
Hope you enjoyed reading.
LondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (8 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5227 times:
Quoting sjacob (Thread starter): After viewing different fares to Stuttgart, I settled for Qatar airways following a recommendation of a friend and fellows A.netter, Ollie, since it would fly me directly to Stuttgart via Zurich from DOH.
So few passengers on the ZRH-STR sector. No wonder QR has decided to axe its DOH-STR flight from the end of October.
Quoting sjacob (Thread starter): What a big airport DOH is. I was disappointed by their total lack of jet bridges and instead they choose to bus the passengers around in circles, I am not sure how they will manage with the large numbers of people coming in for the FIFA World Cup. But I guess they have a plan for that,
But won't the new Doha airport be open in time for FIFA ?
sjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 41 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (8 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4482 times:
Quoting LondonCity (Reply 1): So few passengers on the ZRH-STR sector. No wonder QR has decided to axe its DOH-STR flight from the end of October.
Are you sure? Ohh no...that is so bad...yeah we were around 43 or 44 passengers moving on to STR...I think they need fifth freedom rights on the ZRH - STR sector.
Surprisingly, Emirates is desperate for landing rights to STR...
Quoting LondonCity (Reply 1): But won't the new Doha airport be open in time for FIFA ?
Yeah, I read in their magazine about a new airport, so hopefully...
Quoting sky (Reply 2): Looks like your EBB-DOH flight was a A320 and not an A321.
Hmmm...sorry, my bad...I am not sure of the differences...
LondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4427 times:
Quoting sjacob (Reply 3): Are you sure? Ohh no...that is so bad...yeah we were around 43 or 44 passengers moving on to STR...I think they need fifth freedom rights on the ZRH - STR sector.
Surprisingly, Emirates is desperate for landing rights to STR...
Here's the confirmation. Yes, it is strange that QR is pulling out seeing as EK is keen to serve STR. Maybe QR prefers to roster the plane for a more profitable service. The DOH-ZRH route is staying.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6): I think BA are reducing services too which is a reflection of the GC popularity.
BA is seriously very incompetent, they require Ugandans travelling via Heathrow to have UK transit visas (which is so hard to get and expensive...close to 100 pounds) and yet the GC dont, what do they expect, they will be outcompeted if they dont stop such rubbish. And they have a good location for people travelling to North America and the UK. In the end, they can only fly the few people who dont hold African passports...I always wonder if this makes business logic to them? In addition to that GC offer such competitive prices...
I was also surprised, and yet EK is desperate to fly to STR and HAM...I think it would have been better for them if they flew a smaller AC from DOH non stop than fly an A330 Via ZRH and yet they dont have 5th freedome rights over ZRH - DOH and vice versa...
thegivenone From Austria, joined Jan 2008, 141 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (8 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3143 times:
Weebale Nnyo my friend!
Thanks for another fantastic trip report! I am glad you got a chance to fly on Qatar despite the limiting baggage policy. What were your general impression of the "world's five star airline"? Have you flown with EK yet? If so, how do you compare the experience to QR?
I'm also happy to see such healthy loads from EBB (even though the destination is paired with KGL and the aircraft is small). It sounds like the crew on the EBB-DOH sector were fantastic. I really do love that GC carriers have crew bases that literally represent the diversity of the world.
Quoting sjacob (Reply 7): they require Ugandans travelling via Heathrow to have UK transit visas (which is so hard to get and expensive...close to 100 pounds) and yet the GC dont
You are right, this is a huge limitation for BA. Just out of interest, how does transferring via AMS, MUC/FRA, BRU compare? Do you also need a transit visa?
Quoting sjacob (Thread starter): Due to heavy traffic jam in Kampala (Entebbe road), I arrived at the airport at about 4.50 PM
Hehe, when is there NOT traffic in Kampala
Quoting sjacob (Reply 3): Hmmm...sorry, my bad...I am not sure of the differences...
The A321 is the stretched variant of the A320 family, most easily recognised by its four doors on each side of the fuselage (the A320 by comparison has two doors and two over-wing exits, the A319 has two doors and one over-wing exit). Check out the pictures below:
LondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1202 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (8 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2954 times:
Quoting sjacob (Reply 7): I think it would have been better for them if they flew a smaller AC from DOH non stop than fly an A330 Via ZRH and yet they dont have 5th freedome rights over ZRH - DOH and vice versa...
When the route was launched QR flew non-stop DOH-STR with a smaller aircraft. It didn't seem to work out, hence the service was upgraded to a larger plane and routed via ZRH.
eastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 473 posts, RR: 4 Reply 11, posted (8 months 23 hours ago) and read 2378 times:
Another great TR from you dude as usual, i loved it
Glad to see that you fixed the image issues and this report has not been affected.
I flew on A7-AHH on the same sector and the load were very similar. Do you remember the reg of this A/C? How cool is to see a wee WB Dash at EBB... are you still in Deutchland?
sjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 41 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (8 months 6 hours ago) and read 2192 times:
Quoting ojas (Reply 8): I liked the pictures out of EBB as well.
Please, you are always welcome to see more of Uganda and EBB and Africa.
Quoting thegivenone (Reply 9): Thanks for another fantastic trip report! I am glad you got a chance to fly on Qatar despite the limiting baggage policy. What were your general impression of the "world's five star airline"? Have you flown with EK yet? If so, how do you compare the experience to QR?
I think QR has very competitive(tempting) prices as compared to EK, the service was so good, they deserved the 5* ranking, they even gave us amenity kits and the crew were attentive to try and help whenever required. I havent flown EK yet, and from the pictures they are top on my "to-do list"...I like the EK girls especially, i think they look Hattt(Super hot).
Quoting thegivenone (Reply 9): It sounds like the crew on the EBB-DOH sector were fantastic.
Yes, they were very interested in their jobs. Majority were Japanese and it is a general behavior for Japanese people to work hard and show satisfaction to customers. They were excellent.
Quoting thegivenone (Reply 9): Just out of interest, how does transferring via AMS, MUC/FRA, BRU compare? Do you also need a transit visa?
No way...as long as you have no plans of going out of the airport, no transit visas required. And that is why KL is doing well when it comes to people wanting to got across the Atlantic.
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 11): Do you remember the reg of this A/C? How cool is to see a wee WB Dash at EBB... are you still in Deutchland?
I saw the WB also, i thought they bring the B737 to EBB...may be sometimes. I am in Deutschland until next year June.
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 11): An article, in the New Vision, stated the construction of a Highway, any improvement since early this year?
Hmmm...man as you can imagine the African politics...I hope it happens soon. But yes, plans are underway and hope it comes to materialize.
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 11): LOL, on a side note, ground agents do not like too much people taking pictures outside the aircraft...
They told me not to take the pictures, however, I decided to be BIG headed and continued. I pretended not to understand what they were saying. Most of the workers were India or Bangladeshis and I know that to confuse them, you speak so fast and they dont understand what you are saying.
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 11): So between KQ and QR on similar distance, what carrier would you rather choose next?
It would all depend on the price and the luggage I have. KQ good but their women have attitude, one air hostess on my flight from BOM early this year seemed to feel as if working as an air hostess she has surpassed her expectations in life.
Thanks fellow A.netters for the reading and the comments...Appreciated so much