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To Dubai With Qatar Airways. MAD-DOH-DXB And Back.  
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 12468 times:

Hey a-netters!

Welcome to my new trip report! This time, I am reviewing Qatar Airways in a trip from Madrid to Dubai via Doha. Some photos are not top quality because I took them with my phone in order not to attract attention from others.

Introduction
Last year, in September, I went for a weekend trip with my parents to Dubai, as my sister was studying abroad she didn’t come with us. We enjoyed so much our trip that we wanted to repeat with my sister this Summer and spend a week in the UAE so that we could see more things. I flew Emirates to Dubai then and I found them pretty good. This time we decided to try Qatar Airways as the tickets were 250€ cheaper each, being four travellers we saved a lot of money. I was excited about flying QR, everyone says they’re better than EK and given I liked EK so much I had very high expectations of Qatar Airways.

Buying the tickets
I bought the tickets through Qatar Airways’ website, I had no problems and I could select seats, something that it’s becoming rare among European carriers nowadays. A month after booking I checked that the Boeing 787 was programmed for the DOH-DXB instead of A330, so I became even more excited about the trip.

Outbound flight
We arrived at the airport at 8:00AM approximately and headed to QR’s counters, there was no line and the process, attended by Iberia’s ground staff, went quickly.

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC03563_zps6f281d3f.jpg
One of the brand new IBS's A320s seen from the carpark

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On our way to the Terminal

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QR's check-in desks

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BP

All intercontinental flights operating at T4 arrive and depart from the satellite building, so we had to take an APM (Automated People Mover) to T4S. There are trains every five minutes and the ride lasts 3 minutes.

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On the APM

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Getting off the train

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American tails, the 767 with the new livery was heading to Miami but had to divert to Oporto as seen from this photo: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...lines/Boeing-767-323/ER/2316991/L/

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Renovation works in T4's shops

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Our plane

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Iberia's A319 to Moscow

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Avianca leaving for Bogota and Air Moldova with an Iberia A330 behind

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T4S overview

When we went to the gate at boarding time there was a huge line, it’s amazing how that amount of people can fit in a plane.

Flight details

Flight number: QR070

Origin: MAD
Destination: DOH
Airplane: Boeing 777-3DZ/ER
Registration: A7-BAM
Age: 2.7 years

Seat: 14J

ETD/ATD: 10:55/10:57

ETA/ATA: 18:45/18:40

We got window and center seats in the front Economy Class cabin, I was hoping the aisle seat next to us to remain unoccupied but we weren’t lucky. I found the seats comfortable and there was decent legroom, 3-3-3 configuration is in my opinion one of the few things QR is better than EK, in any case I would have preferred 3-4-3 configuration as we would have been able to have 4 seats together, and not divided with strangers next to us.

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View from the jet bridge

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Getting closer

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Cabin

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Legroom shot

The captain made an announcement giving details about the flight and we left the stand at 10:55AM on time. We eventually took off and reached cruise altitude with any major concern.

The choices for the meal could be seen on the IFE screen and they were fish, chicken or noodles. I chose fish and it was nice, so were the other options as my family members said. As you may know Emirates hands out printed menus in Economy, something that I found totally useless.

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Massive engine

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My meal, it was good

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Cruising over the Mediterranean

The crew on this flight did their job but nothing more; the FA who attended our aisle didn’t smile at all. I got a totally different impression from the Emirates crews, on both flights I flew with them they were very friendly and smiling, every member of the crew was in good mood and many of them spoke Spanish and other languages.

Once I finished my meal I watched Trance and part of Iron Man 3. The second service consisted of a chicken wrap and drinks, which was nice. Later we begun descend and touched down at Doha Airport at sunset.

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Map

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Posh wrap

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Molton Brown in the WC? Am I in the J class toilet?

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Arabian sunset

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Approaching Doha

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On the runway

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QR planes

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Another 77W

Transit
Doha Airport is far from good. It's small, ugly and there is a very limited selection of places to eat or drink. At least there were several empty seats and free Wi-Fi.

Finally we proceeded to the gate and we were bussed to the plane, the bus ride was the longest I’ve ever experienced, like 20 minutes or so, it seemed that we were going to Dubai by bus! Finally we arrived to the stand, the 787 looked fantastic. The flight went smooth and the crew was far better compared to the other flight, when I was leaving the airplane I asked the crew if I could see the Business Class cabin and they invited me to take a seat and offered me to take photos.

Flight details

Flight number: QR114

Origin: DOH
Destination: DXB
Airplane: Boeing 787-8
Registration: A7-BCD
Age: 0.4 year
Seat: 12K

ETD/ATD: 20:45/20:45

ETA/ATA: 22:55/22:55

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/IMG_0024_2_zpsfbf084e3.jpg
I love using air stairs

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/IMG_0025_2_zps277df908.jpg
Cabin

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Seat

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Newest equipment

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View of the tarmac

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Relaxing lightning

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Playing Tetris as with my smartphone

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Dubai view during downwind approach

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/IMG_0037_2_zpsd34e6e46.jpg
My sister and I in Business  http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/IMG_0038_2_zps654aded1.jpg
Awful picture of one of the last DC-10s out there

There were huge lines at immigration but when we were joining a line an employee invited us to proceed to a recently opened desk so we skipped the line! The bags came in no time on the belt and went outside to the terribly humid Dubai night.


Return flight
After an amazing week in the Emirates, it was time to go back home. There were lots of people flying to the Indian subcontinent when we entered the Terminal, but Qatar Airways desks were deserted. We checked-in with any issues and went to airside to have something to eat, then we headed to the gate as boarding time was close.

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In the hotel SUV going to the airport

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Massive highway

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Amazing Dubai

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/IMG_1927_zps00870951.jpg
Going to QR's desks

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Check-in desks

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Going through the underground tunnel to the gates

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Bye bye Swiss!

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Saudia 777

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/IMG_1931_zps1401b3fa.jpg
Our tiny 787

Flight details

Flight number: QR115
Origin: DXB
Destination: DOH
Airplane: Boeing 787-8
Registration: A7-BCC
Age: 0.9 years

Seat: 32A

ETD/ATD: 00:15/00:16

ETA/ATA: 00:15/00:14


The short flight was uneventful until descent, which was unusually steep, my sister got scared about that and I had to calm her down saying that it was normal, even though I wasn't sure if it was. We were served wraps with drinks, the service was rather rushed, but it has to be like that given the duration of the flight.

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Getting on the plane

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Lufty 747

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The first time I see a cargo door on this side of a plane

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04146_zps019e8f81.jpg
Very nice IFE

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04150_zpse6fc4657.jpg
The price you have to pay for the IFE

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04151_zps89a19945.jpg
Pushing back

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04152_zps9bcc5fd8.jpg
Taxiing to the active

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IFE menu

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04156_zps4117084a.jpg
Off we go!


So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 12420 times:

The post got cut. I'm posting the rest of the report. I'm sorry.


So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 12402 times:

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04158_zps8b48634b.jpg
Posh wrap time

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04157_zps73d87d39.jpg
Arriving to DOH

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On finals

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04161_zpsd296c870.jpg
Taxiing to the stand


Thankfully, the plane parked next to the Terminal and after a short bus ride we entered the uncomfortable building. We managed to get a seat to wait for the next flight. At that time I was really tired and looking forward to have a seat on the plane and sleep. After passing the gate we had to wait for the bus in a small room with few seats, that was the most disappointing thing of my trips with QR. Standing in a crowded room for 30 minutes at 1AM is far from a 5 star experience, when the bus finally arrived I was praying for a short ride to the plane, and luckily it was.

Flight details

Flight number: QR69

Origin: DOH
Destination: MAD
Airplane: Boeing 777-3DZ/ER
Registration: A7-BAN
Age: 2.6 years

Seat: 21E

ETD/ATD: 2:10/????

ETA/ATA: 8:40/8:28

I don’t have photos of this flight as I was very tired. I was the first one to board the plane. QR offers very nice amenity kits to their passengers on night flights, and pillow and blankets were good too. The captain came over the PA to introduce herself (Judith) and the First Officer Javier, both were Spanish, what a nice touch. She gave the usual info about the flight and announced that the flight was going to be delayed. Then I dozed off and when I woke up I was served a snack up in the air, the same wrap again, but I liked it. Then I slept until I was woke up for breakfast, when I checked the map we where flying over Greece! I was expecting to be over Sardinia at least, it was rather disturbing to be served breakfast 3 hours before arrival. There was a choice of omelette or crepes, I chose the latter and they were nothing to write home about. I managed to have some sleep after breakfast before arriving in Madrid. Arrival experience was good, no queues as usual at immigration and we didn’t wait too much for the luggage to come out on the belt.

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04163_zps47b67ef5.jpg
Overcrowded terminal

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Where we had to stand for half an hour

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q662/mrtnct/DSC04164_zps41adf363.jpg
My middle seat for the flight

In conclusion, the major inconvenience of flying QR is Doha Airport, I won’t fly with them again as long as they operate from there. As far as I know they are moving to the New Doha Airport soon, so that problem will be solved in the coming months. In all other aspects I found them pretty good, although I prefer Emirates as the food is better and Terminal 3 at Dubai is awesome, even with the 3-4-3 configuration on their 777s as I think it’s not that bad.

Thank your for reading my report.

Un saludo,

Martín



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11870 times:
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Buenos dias desde Los Angeles Martin!!!
(My Spanish is probably not that great, btw.) =]

First, thank you so much for taking the time to write this trip report! I really love Madrid and love seeing all of the Iberia aircraft around Barajas. The last time I was in Madrid, the new terminal was not built, so I had the old terminal building to deal with - but, it didn't bother me so much. However, your Doha Airport experience does not look so wonderful. I would hesitate to book with Qatar if I were confined in such rooms for half an hour or more. And this is all such a shame because I have never really heard anything bad about Qatar Airways!

The fish entree looks tasty! I love seafood (and love the seafood paellas I tasted in Madrid), so I am happy to hear you enjoyed your meal!

Anyway, thank you again (muchas gracias) for this report! I look forward to reading many more from you!

Saludos desde California,

AirAfreak



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11821 times:

Hola Martín!

Great to see you got the B787 on the short hop DOH-DXB and back, it is just a taste of how great flights on that machine could be. It is rumored that QR will fly the B787 to BCN next year to keep customers away from the EK A380 starting in February, let's wait and see.

Transits at DOH Y-class terminal are said to be terrible, the furthest away one expects from a 5* airline, and your report obviously confirms that idea. I do not know when are they going to open the new terminal, it seems they are waiting for BER to open as well...  

QR planes seem very nice and their service is quite adequate, considering these flights last around 7 hours I think the amount of food is fine and the quality seems to be OK.

Glad you caught some sleep in the way back, it is always great to see people that can sleep in planes, not my case though!

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11102 times:

Thank you for your comments!

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
I really love Madrid and love seeing all of the Iberia aircraft around Barajas.

I'm glad you like my hometown, so do I  . I must say I love LA too, except for the traffic. Last time I went to LA I flew with Iberia and I was very happy to go nonstop.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
The fish entree looks tasty! I love seafood (and love the seafood paellas I tasted in Madrid), so I am happy to hear you enjoyed your meal!

Actually it was the first time I ate fish on a plane. I also love paella, the best ones are in Valencia though, you should go there if you ever come back to Spain  
Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
Anyway, thank you again (muchas gracias) for this report! I look forward to reading many more from you!

My pleasure, I actually enjoy taking photos of the trip. I will try to make reports of my incoming trips: MAD-LHR-MAD with Iberia and MAD-DXB-BKK-HKT-BKK-DXB-MAD with Emirates and Thai.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Great to see you got the B787 on the short hop DOH-DXB and back, it is just a taste of how great flights on that machine could be. It is rumored that QR will fly the B787 to BCN next year to keep customers away from the EK A380 starting in February, let's wait and see.

Actually I was delighted to get the chance to fly it. If I had to choose between that two, I would go for the A380 as it is far more spacious. Seats in QR's 787s are narrow, I even got that impression when I tried the J seat, although the distribution of the cabin is quite comfortable.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
considering these flights last around 7 hours I think the amount of food is fine and the quality seems to be OK.

I agree. EK's food offerings are even larger on the MAD flight, it seemed that they were feeding us like animals but I enjoyed the food so much as it was excellent.

Thank you for your comments again! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my report.

Un saludo,

Martín



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 6, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 10944 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report and enjoyed all your photos. The transfer in DOH would be a serious consideration for me as it looks almost third world at best. Thanks.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlinetheaviator380 From UK - England, joined Feb 2013, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9986 times:

Good TR, thanks for posting it.

How was load factor on MAD-DOH sector and return? (sorry if I missed it while reading through). 777-300ER is my second fav aircraft after A380-800. I have read few QR's Trip report so far and my honest opinion is they don't look 5* carrier. Very average meal including those poor plastic white containers (no matter how tasty it is) + DOH transiting as you mentioned is far away from good experience.

I am a big fan of EK and always prefer them, trust me 3-4-3 lay out is not too bad as some people make out. Dishing out menu card is sign of good product + it feels even Y passengers are valued while traveling with EK.

Someone mention above QR will be putting 787 on DOH-BCN route to compete EK's A380, trust me 787 can be economic and tinted glass etc..but traveling in A380 even in Y is an exceptional experience. So I doubt QR will succeed in that plan. Sorry I am marketing EK here but as you have mentioned and compared about EK hence I am giving my honest opinion.

Cheers.


User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9932 times:

Quoting theaviator380 (Reply 7):
How was load factor on MAD-DOH sector and return?

I don't know the exact figures, but both flights were pretty full, I only saw 2-3 empty seats in Economy. I don't know anything about loads in Business.

Quoting theaviator380 (Reply 7):
trust me 3-4-3 lay out is not too bad as some people make out

I agree.

Quoting theaviator380 (Reply 7):
Dishing out menu card is sign of good product + it feels even Y passengers are valued while traveling with EK.

In my opinion menu cards in Economy are a waste of paper, I find more adequate to show the menu on the IFE, as KL or QR do. In any case, I agree with you that you feel more valued when traveling EK.


I'll try to make a report of my incoming trip to Thailand on EK so as to see both airlines from the same perspective. EK has already gained points for the moment, as we went to Madrid Office to pay for the tickets and we were invited to EK's First Class dates  



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2769 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9560 times:

Hola mfc!

Thanks for sharing your QR story, I usually fly them out of BCN on the A330s so it´s nice to hear the story from the MAD side.

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
I found the seats comfortable and there was decent legroom, 3-3-3 configuration is in my opinion one of the few things QR is better than EK

Yeah the seats on the 777 are very comfortable and spacious, even the IFE box does not bother you at all, unlike on the A330.

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
Transit
Doha Airport is far from good. It's small, ugly and there is a very limited selection of places to eat or drink. At least there were several empty seats and free Wi-Fi.

Totally agreed, it is a total dump, the sooner they can move to NDIA, the better... as you say, far far off from a so-called ¨5 Star Service¨

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
Finally we proceeded to the gate and we were bussed to the plane, the bus ride was the longest I’ve ever experienced, like 20 minutes or so, it seemed that we were going to Dubai by bus!

LOL! I was lucky, the last time I flew, we parked next to the terminal, and my connecting flight was also near the terminal.

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
The price you have to pay for the IFE

Yup! the seapitch on the 787 does not look too good, seatguru says they are actually narrower than on the rest of the fleet. Not sure if I want to do a long flight on it, all the moodlightning and stuff is cool and awesome but...

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
After passing the gate we had to wait for the bus in a small room with few seats, that was the most disappointing thing of my trips with QR. Standing in a crowded room for 30 minutes at 1AM is far from a 5 star experience, when the bus finally arrived I was praying for a short ride to the plane, and luckily it was.

Yeah, it is also very hot and stuffy down there, why do they make you go downstairs if the bus is not yet ready... QR Logic.

Looking forward to the EK/TG trip  

MIAspotter



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8649 times:

A very interesting read and I loved all your photos.

Quoting mfc (Reply 2):
Then I slept until I was woke up for breakfast, when I checked the map we where flying over Greece! I was expecting to be over Sardinia at least, it was rather disturbing to be served breakfast 3 hours before arrival.

Was any explanation given why they served breakfast so early? That must have been like 5am in your body clock!


User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8360 times:

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 9):
Yup! the seapitch on the 787 does not look too good

The seats were as narrow as the ones on EK's 777 but with less legroom...

Quoting babybus (Reply 10):
A very interesting read and I loved all your photos.

Thank you very much!

Quoting babybus (Reply 10):
Was any explanation given why they served breakfast so early? That must have been like 5am in your body clock!

No explanation was given. On every other long haul flights I have ever been dinner was served as soon as possible and breakfast 2h00-1h30min prior to arrival, I think that is the normal timing.



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7771 times:

Quoting mfc (Reply 2):
. The captain came over the PA to introduce herself (Judith)

I didn't knew they employ female captains on a 77W in Qatar, LOL. Quite tasteless to me.

The trip report sounds like coming from a spoiled person expecting a first class experience for a bargain. Man, fly business at least next time and you won't have all of those 'inconveniences' encountered but i fear no class can be high enough for capriciousness and a spoiled-brat attitude.


User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2769 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7615 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 12):

Dude... have a cold nice glass of chill.

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 12):
The trip report sounds like coming from a spoiled person expecting a first class experience for a bargain

Where exaclty? all I read was a story of a flight to Dubai and back... nothing out of the ordinary.

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 12):
fly business at least next time and you won't have all of those 'inconveniences' encountered

Which inconveniences? Doha Airport? have you been thru Doha Airport? what he describes is the actual current setup they have over there, the terminal is not very pleasant specially at peak times where it resembles more of a market than the hub of a ¨5 Star Airline¨

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7381 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 12):
The trip report sounds like coming from a spoiled person expecting a first class experience for a bargain.

I didn't expect a first class experience, I just expected a 5-star Economy Class and I found it OK except for the airport experience, which was totally far from good as I described. That time I was able to get a bargain, but next time if I have to pay a more expensive ticket I won't fly with them unless they operate in a decent airport, something that will be a reality soon. I would choose Emirates, any European airline or flying nonstop from Spain.

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 12):
Man, fly business at least next time and you won't have all of those 'inconveniences' encountered but i fear no class can be high enough for capriciousness and a spoiled-brat attitude.

I consider I haven't been disrespectful to anyone, hence I don't understand why you are being disrespectful to me. It's a total shame that you call me capricious or spoiled-brat without even knowing me. I feel sorry for you.



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlinewin1290 From Thailand, joined Jan 2012, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6337 times:

Hola Martin!

Very nice trip report - enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing.
Qatar seems to offer an amazing product in the air - love the entertainment system on board. Pity that its a different story in the ground at their homebase.

Quoting mfc (Reply 5):
My pleasure, I actually enjoy taking photos of the trip. I will try to make reports of my incoming trips: MAD-LHR-MAD with Iberia and MAD-DXB-BKK-HKT-BKK-DXB-MAD with Emirates and Thai.

Look forward to reading more of your trip reports
Nice to see you are making a trip to Thailand  

Thanks,
Win


User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6197 times:

Quoting win1290 (Reply 15):
Very nice trip report - enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 15):
Nice to see you are making a trip to Thailand

This will be the second time actually! I went six years ago with my family and we love it, I enjoyed so much that this time I am going with friends   We are really looking forward to that trip!

Best regards,

Martin



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
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