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.