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QR-241/001- TRV DOH LHR- Qatar Airways

Wed Oct 09, 2002 11:19 pm

A brief report on my trip on Qatar Airways
I was planning a trip to London from Trivandrum and chose QR (athough I havent flown them before) mainly because of the convenient timings.A 0905 dep meant I didnt have to gwet up very early and woulld still reach before it got too dark at Heathrow. Also the connecting time of 90 min was very attractive.
QR 241 - 29 Sep TRV DOH 0905/1110 A 320

I was at the airport early (too early as it turned out as they wouldnt let me in before 6 AM). The Oman Air and Gulf Air Flights were already being checked in.
Got in at 6 AM to the terminal had the checked in baggae xrayed and went to the QR counters at TRV. Was directed to another counter by a QR staff (to collect my onward boarding pass for DOH LHR as it turned out). The check in is handled by Indian Airlines but QR staff were always at hand. They had pre printed the onward boarding pass for my connecting flight and was glad to be handed see my pre reserved seat 18K(was a littled worried on this score as I knew Indian AIrlines does the check in for QR). Was directed to the original counter where I checked my baggage through to Heathrow with a PRIORITY transfer tag put in for DOH.Check in was manual with manual boarding passes, but again it was good to be handed one with my pre reserverved seat (I had blocked the seats earlier using the agents reservation terminal) of 9 F given to me. Impressed, since the only other time I had a manual check in (on MH from MAA) it was a mess and ended up with a seat which was the one I tried to avoid by pre reserving in the first place.Went through immigration without problems and cleared customs (Indian international pax are required to get a stamp from customs even for dep) and was asked to identify the checked in baggage at the tarmac. Went to the gate by around 8.15 AM and had the cabin baggage xrayed. They were opening all bags even after x ray but were polite as well as efficient.Since there are no aerobridges, a bus took us to the aircraft, a 320 around 0845. Claimed my window seat after politley convincing the guy who was sitting there to move to his rightful seat (which was the middle one).
Take off was right on time at 0905 and thee were no other aircraft in the apron (the GF /KU/WY flights having already left and UL not yet arrived).
There were no PTVS in economy but the drop down screens were there for every 4-5 rows and were very convenient. They showed a Hindi movie which I didnt see, instead listeend to some music. Inflight service was very good
and they were especially tolerant and helpful with the two families who had babies (I was in the row bwhind the bulkhead) which was good to see.
There was an announcement that besides English, the crew also spoke"Arabic/Hindi/Nepali and French" which I found quite amusing since QR is well aware of the nature of the crowd in this route which are mostly Keralite workers returning back to the middle east most of whom just about manage English and cannot even speak Hindi, let alone Nepali or French. Wonder why they cannot have a crew onboard who can speak Malayalam for these flights since they have a daily operation to TRV and and I know that KU and Emirates use Tamil speaking crews on their flights to MAA.
The service was excellent and had a full meal service. Landed 15 min early at DOH.Finally exited from the front of the a/c after the business class pax left the a/c. Was bussed to the arrivals hall.

DOH LHR - QR 001/29SEP A 330

On reaching the arrivals halls went through security into the transit counters. Was processed very efficiently at the desk and was directed to gate 6.
The gate opened at 1150 and went into the lounge. The gate area was quite small (cosidering it was a 330) but they commenced baording early enough. Was again bussed to the aircraft . The apron was full of QR aircraft (the only other was a GF aircraft) and a few a USAF planes.
Claimed my window seat 18F and was glad to have the IFE, this being the first time I was using one (I fly in economy). The flight was full (as was my previous one) and had a lot of europeans in it in addition to quite a few pax transitting from other QR points in Asia (my neighbour was connecting from Dhaka).
Flight took off on time and again the service was very good. Cabin crew were attentive and polite. Watched a movie in the IFE but mostly looked at the airshow. There was a good lunch service and an hour before landing, tea was seved. The flight touched down about 20 min early but as is usal in Heathrow, by the time our gate became free and we pulled in, it was bang on time at 1755.
Went through the immigration (a long que as usual) and by the time we got our bags and came through customs it was nearly 7 PM.

This was the first time I was flying QR and I would not hesitate to fly on them again. The service is impressive and the ground handling excellent. I found this particularly impressive in TRV, where IC does the handling for them, but the QR staff was around at every stage to resolve problems .A memorable experience indeed.


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RE: QR-241/001- TRV DOH LHR- Qatar Airways

Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:59 am

Nice report.

However, until now, I have only heard passenger who have flown with Qatar in economy always complaining about the bad behaviour of the aircrew, and the lack of legspace in Y. On top of that, I have also come across passengers flying out of Dhaka complaining about the poor service they receive between DAC and Doha, and the terrible cramped conditions while flying in or out between Dhaka and Doha in comparison between Doha and Heathrow. Is it not discrimination against south asian countries?
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RE: QR-241/001- TRV DOH LHR- Qatar Airways

Thu Oct 10, 2002 3:23 am


Glad to see you had a nice flight with QR.


I have had access to raw customer feedback from Qatar Airways passengers and actually most of the feedback is very positive especially that of South Asian passengers. QR's clients in the region include ministers, government officials and even the PM of Sri Lanka/Maldives and the Royal Family of Nepal all because of QR's local reputation. Also most of the complaints happen on the LHR route which I think is because of the nature of the passengers flying on that route because QR use their best Cabin Crew and Aircraft on the LHR route as it is their flagship route.

On the comment of lack of leg-space the seat-pitch is the standard 32" in Y on all of QR's aircraft. GF fly the B767's to South Asia with 31" of seat-pitch. Also the seats are of slimmer design than those on EK so overall you get a good amount of leg space. Although there were some complaints regarding the seats particularly that the lumbar support being not comfortable for taller passengers.

On the subject of Flight Attendants I have noticed that in the past months the number of complaints about Flight Attendants have increased but not to serious levels. The reason is with all the recent expansion, QR hired large contingents of flight attendants from other airlines such SriLankan and Jet Airways. Original QR crews were moved to serving F and J while the newcommers stayed mainly in Y and hence the inconsistency in service. Qatar Airways are well aware of this and are currently tackling the problem.

"and the terrible cramped conditions while flying in or out between Dhaka and Doha in comparison between Doha and Heathrow. Is it not discrimination against south asian countries?"

QR don't have dedicated aircraft for South Asian flights, so I think this is only a matter of perception. Aircraft are rotated all around, so one day you might have an A300 fly to Dhaka the other day to Milan etc...
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RE: QR-241/001- TRV DOH LHR- Qatar Airways

Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:18 am


Do you remember what A320 you flew on? was it one of the older ones (1999) A7-ABR, ABS, ABT, ABU or the newer ones 2001/2002 A7-ADA, ADB, ADC?
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 12:18 pm

RE: QR-241/001- TRV DOH LHR- Qatar Airways

Thu Oct 10, 2002 9:10 pm

Iwas not able to note down the registration nos. Bu the aircraft looked new.
The seat pitch on the 320 was small and was a problem, but considering all the pluses otherwises, it was not such a major issue. No problems with the seat pitch in the 330s.
Regarding the complaints about poor service, I had heard of this when I was booking the flight, but I would like to say that there was none of this at all in the flight (Anybody flying Malaysian Airlines KUL MAA on economy will surely know what SURLY service means, and I dont blame the crew entirely).
My seatmate on the DOH LHR sector apparently didnt have any complaints abt the DAC DOH sector also and I guess things have changed now.
Based on the experience of this flight, I wouldnt hesistate to fly QR again.

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