Leskova
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Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 18, 2006 5:02 am

First things first - I didn't include the words "includes pics" in the topic, because, after all, who posts trip reports without pics these days? It's become somewhat of a repeated stating of the obvious on this forum which I, for my part, consider unnecessary.

Yes, this trip report, too, contains pictures.  Wink

Prologue
Since my last trip report, with TAP to Madeira back in September 2005, I'd racked up so much overtime (including my 4 months in Switzerland and Austria that don't show up on my normal time-log, I'm probably currently somewhere around 400 hours overtime, give or take 50-100 hours) that, by the end of April/beginning of May, the consensus at work was that I had to take at least a week off - I didn't offer up much resistance to that decision, since I fully agreed with it.  Wink

Finding & Booking
Anyhow, I was suddenly faced with knowing that I'd be taking a week off in mid-May - I just had no idea whatsoever what to do... so I looked through the nonrev-offers that I had available and had already settled on flying to Hong Kong on CX, but somehow the it just didn't feel right: I needed something to relax, and Hong Kong just didn't really fit that requirement.

So while browsing through hotel offerings, I found an offer for Laguna Beach Island, South Male Atoll, in the Republic of Maldives.

Since I'd never been to the Maldives before, this immediately caught my interest... and within a couple of hours I had found the right flights for me: Qatar Airways from Frankfurt through Doha to Male.

Getting the flight booked was a bit annoying, because I was not able to do the booking myself - it had to be done by QR's office here in town; it also turned out that my return date was a bit problematic with rather high loads already booked, but the waitlist was cleared by QR's yield management in Doha, so I had my flights - now I just had to pick up and pay for the ticket; so, one day prior to departure, I got on the subway into town and did just that.

While picking up my ticket, I was asked if I wanted seats reserved (I did) and whether I wanted any special menu (this, too, I did - my usual VLML).

Leaving for the Airport
So, after packing my bag the next morning, I was ready to go.

I caught the bus to the subway station and was surprised to see a train that should have left a couple of minutes earlier still standing there - I got on board, sat down, and waited... and waited... and waited... and nothing happened. After a few minutes, the train started moving, so I expected this to turn out to just a short delay - unfortunately, it was more; usually, I need about 8 or 9 minutes to get to Hauptwache, the station where I change into the train to the airport - but after about 20 minutes, the train arrived at Alte Oper (Frankfurt's Opera House, one station before Hauptwache) and an announcement was made that due to technical difficulties, the train would not continue... and it was already a bit less than 2 hours prior to departure.

So, I went upstairs, walked up to the only taxi standing there which left about 5 seconds before I reached it... not a good start to this trip... but the driver rolled down his window and hollered that he'd already called more taxis to the station, so about 5 minutes later, I was finally on my way. I arrived at the airport at about 10:15, paid €35 for the taxi ride that I shouldn't have had to take, and walked into the terminal to find just a single person standing in line at QR's check-in counters; check-in was quick, my pre-reserved seat was still confirmed, my vegetarian meal was not - and so I walked through security, immigration and customs towards the gate.

After some last minute shopping, I walked up to the gate and found a surprisingly small amount of people sitting there - around 100 people for a flight being operated on an A330-300? It turned out to, indeed, be quite a light load for the flight.

Flight: QR027
Departure: Frankfurt @ 11:45 on 10 May 2006
Arrival: Doha @ 18:50 on 10 May 2006
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300, A7-AEA
Seat: 20K, Window, above the wing



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Photo © Philippe Noret - AirTeamimages
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Photo © Michael Nikel



After boarding the plane, I quickly found my seat and settled in - as much as that was possible: I know a lot of people seem to be PTV-addicted, but I quickly noticed why I'm not a fan of those things...



I took this picture on the return flight - that huge box which takes away almost half of the space below the seat is located under each window seat (it's under an aisle seat here because I changed my seat on the return flight). I've said it before, I'll say it again: given the choice between a PTV and more space for my feet, I'll take the room to move - as soon as those boxes either completely disappear, or are at least so small that they don't disturb me anymore, that's when PTVs will be interesting to me. Until then, they'll only be an annoyance.

Nonetheless, since the load was light, I was able to arrange myself comfortably. The seats themselves are quite comfortable, though the pitch isn't spectacular; I did get the impression that the pitch on the A330-300 was better than on the A330-200.



Somewhat on time, we were pushed back from the gate, the usual security announcements were made and we were rolling towards the runway, which we entered at 12:08; after another 2 minutes of waiting the engines revved up and we were on our way. Climbing out of Frankfurt there was a bit of mild turbulence, but that was a matter of minutes. Inflight entertainment was started, which - for me - meant that I took out the book I was reading and soon the crew started the bar service, followed within minutes by lunch.

The Menu




While my vegetarian meal had not been confirmed, the regular menu of QR seems to always include a non-meat-option; unfortunately it did contain fish, so I had to do a bit of "sorting" through my meal, but in the end, it was very tasty.

Our route took us south of Vienna, from there slightly north of Istanbul, followed by a southern circumnavigation of Iraq, during which I got my view of the, when viewed from a plane, usual beautiful sunset.



Soon, our descent into Doha began, after overflying Bahrain we were over the Persian Gulf; several turns later, the flight touched down.

Doha - The Airport
If I had to sum this airport up in one word, the word would be: dump.

This is clearly the worst airport that I've stepped inside; I know that Doha is undergoing a lot of work, including the construction of a new terminal - the construction is quite obvious inside and outside the terminal... but an airline that, in my opinion, righteously so has a 5 star rating on the (not always reliable) Skytrax survey, this airport is clearly an embarrasement.

I don't know whether it was just bad planning, but I think QR really needs to act - and act fast: there's not even close to enough seating capacity, and that's already during off-peak times, but from an organisational standpoint, the airport is a nightmare: too few security checkpoints (on my outbound flight, the metal detector beeped when I walked through, without anyone caring about it - fortunately this performance was not repeated on the return flight: if the detector beeped, people were checked thoroughly), the displays actually showed flights listed as "boarding" or, even better, "last call" without the flight even having had a gate assigned to it...

The restaurants in the terminal's upper level did nothing to thrill me (one fastfood-like restaurant, one shop selling ice-cream), the only good one was the Coffee Beanery, where I sat down for an evening dose of caffeine.

The one truly good point about Doha is: shopping. The duty free section of the airport offers really good prices and a good selection. This, truly, is the one high-point of the airport for transit passengers.

One point of advice: don't use the toilets.

... don't ask...

On my outbound flight, I unfortunately had a very long connection time - 5 hours 45 minutes; unfortunately, I missed the off-peak period for finding a seat (of which there weren't many available even then), but once I was ready to sit down, there were probably 2-3 people per available seat in the terminal. So, I kept walking around - probably did about 15-20 rounds through the complete terminal (upper level, lower level, duty free section, gates, ...) before I spotted a seat, which I then did not leave for the next 3 hours.

Fortunately, just short of midnight, the gate for my flight to Male was opened, so I drifted over and went through the gate; once again, just as when arriving from Frankfurt, the transfer to the plane was by bus (since DOH has no gates at this time).

Flight: QR382
Departure: Doha @ 00:35 on 11 May 2006
Arrival: Male @ 07:15 on 11 May 2006
Aircraft: Airbus A300-600, A7-ABO
Seat: 29J, Aisle, next to the central F/A seat



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Photo © Gerry Stegmeier
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Photo © Patrick Wirth



After boarding, I located my seat and was a bit surprised to see that it was a single seat, aisle on the left side, the F/A's seat on the right side; I chatted with the F/A stationed there, who was a Maldivian national, and after she quickly confirmed that my meal request had been confirmed for this flight, she noted my new seat - about 5 or 6 rows further back at the window.

Now, a short while ago I read someone's comment here on a.net that he found the pitch on the A300 bad - I found it quite comfortable... then again, maybe it was just the missing PTV-box. The again, I had two or three centimeters more space between my knees and the seat in front of me than on the A330s, so it really must have been better.

We took off slightly delayed, with, again, a very light load of passengers on board...



Shortly after takeoff, dinner was served - pasta with cheese and vegetables; rather simple, but very tasty - this was accompanied by fruit, some bread and a salad (unfortunately, this consisted of almost 50% onions, so I didn't eat it). After I had finished my dinner, I fell asleep within minutes, waking up to this sight:



At this point, I knew I was close to finally being able to relax...















The Maldives
Once the plane had parked in front of the terminal, the engines were shut off - moments later, the doors were open and we were stepping out into air that had already reached 30°C at 7:00 in the morning... just what I had hoped for. Big grin

Immigration was quick, my bag was the 5th one to arrive in the baggage claim area, and I was through customs within moments (bags get x-rayed on arrival here!).

Outside the terminal, I quickly found a representative for the resort, who informed me that the boat transfer would be in a matter of minutes - I sat down in the café and got another dose of caffeine and, just as I had finished the coffee, the boat was ready.

Here, now, are a few shots of the island on which I spent the next 6 days relaxing, reading, sunning and sleeping... no computers, no telephones, no television, no newspapers... heavenly.

























I was extremely lucky - the weather was perfect, the last day (the one on which I made some of those pictures of the beach) was the first one without a clear blue sky, and I didn't get even a single drop of rain.

Nonetheless, after 6 days, 5 1/2 books (2378 pages read, the 6th book I'll have to finish here at home), two bottles of tanning lotion used up, several hours spent just under the waterline swimming through corals with tropical fish all around me, it was time to go home.

At 16:30 on 16 May 2006, I was picked up for my transfer to the airport; as on the previous transfer, it took about 30 minutes by speedboat. At the airport, the check-in counters for my flight hadn't opened quite yet, but after a short wait, people were admitted to the check-in hall.

Here, for the first time in days, I was surrounded by hundreds of people, and I suddenly became aware of what I'd liked most about my stay on that island in the Indian Ocean: the almost complete silence, the tranquility.

After a while of waiting in the middle of other tourists, several of them severely sunburnt with the skin peeling off (seriously, folks, do the words "sunburn", "skin cancer", "tanning lotion" or "sun blocker" really mean nothing to so many?), I was checked in for my two flights home; afterwards, I again passed through immigration and entered the waiting hall. There, I did something that, till now, still baffles me: I went to the restaurant and bought something for dinner. Why I did that, I don't know - I wasn't really hungry and I was going to get something to eat within a short time anyhow, onboard the plane.

In any case, the flight was called on time and I boarded the plane through the front steps; one thing about Qatar Airways: I've not flown with another airline yet that so consequently uses front and rear doors for boarding and disembarking - a good idea, sped things up quite a bit.

Flight: QR383
Departure: Male @ 20:15 on 16 May 2006
Arrival: Doha @ 22:45 on 16 May 2006
Aircraft: Airbus A300-600, A7-AFA
Seat: 11A, Window, in front of the wing



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Photo © Joel Vogt
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Photo © Gerhard Vysocan



While waiting for the flight to leave, several thunderstorms started closing in on the airport; almost constant lightnings illuminated the sky, which was quite a beautiful sight... it was also the cause for quite a bit of turbulence after our departure.

Takeoff from Male was, with an almost full load of pax, very quick - the A300 really does seem to have quite some thrust reserves. Moments after takeoff, we were in a 180° turn, which took us past the airport...



Once again, dinner was served shortly after takeoff - though for some reason, just 27 hours later, I have no idea what was served; I do remember that it was good, though.

The rest of the flight was, as usual, uneventful - a film was shown on the "main screen" (i.e. LCDs throughout the cabin), but, again, I don't remember anything about it... I put on my earphones, switched on my iPod and listened to Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition".

Somewhat ahead of schedule, we began our descent into Doha...



... where we taxied to our parking position past what I'd say looks like a first glimpse at the terminal facility that will, some day, make up this airport:



Once again, I was inside this dreadful airport, fortunately this time the stay was to be much shorter, just above 2 hours. Still longer than I'd want to be in this airport, but certainly better than another 6 hour wait.

Again, the airport did not disappoint - this time it was my flight to Frankfurt as well as a flight to Milan which, on all displays, were being listed as "Final Call" before a gate was even opened for them... unbelievable.

Flight: QR027
Departure: Doha @ 01:15 on 17 May 2006
Arrival: Frankfurt @ 06:50 on 17 May 2006
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200, A7-ACF
Seat: 17K, Window, over the wing



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Photo © K.H. Ng - HKAEC
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Photo © Stewart Andrew



After boarding, I got to my seat and was disappointed to see that, for the first time, I had someone sitting next to me - this, coupled with the space under the seat being stolen by the PTV-box again, made me expect a bad flight; but I was lucky, the middle part of row 17 only had a single person sitting in it, so I relocated there; this way, I was able to strech out again and get a good night's worth of sleep.

Shortly before takeoff, the lights were dimmed - and this was when I got my first glimpse of the lighting system:



When the lights were brightened again, they were increased slowly in intensity, which makes the whole effect much more comfortable for us pieces of "self loading cargo"...  Wink



During the night, the lights were left on a low setting - dark enough to allow sleeping, but bright enough to help you when walking down the aisle to the lavatory...



I then took a short trip through QR's AVOD System named Waves, here are some screenshots (some also taken later during the flight):















Before the post-departure snack was served, the crew passed out the amenity kits, containing socks, sleep googles, a toothbrush and earplugs.





About 90 minutes prior to landing in Frankfurt, we were woken up for breakfast.



Afterwards, the crew passed through the cabin with duty free items and finally, the cabin was prepared for landing; after one or two holding patterns, the flight touched down on time.

On the ground, we taxied to an apron parking position, which I didn't mind since I wasn't in a hurry - after everyone had disembarked, we were brought to the terminal by bus. Immigration was quick, as usual, and the walk to the baggage claim took only about 3 or 4 minutes; there, unfortunately, I had to wait almost 30 minutes before my bag finally arrived.

The Ride Home
So now I had my bad, and walked into the train station - the next train into town arrived 5 minutes later, and I was on my way towards Hauptwache; there I changed to the subway station for the train that would bring me home... at least, if it arrived: 10 minutes after entering the station, all monitors went from displaying when the next train arrives to displaying "Bitte Zugschild beachten" (in other words "please check the train's destination displayed in the front window before boarding"); another 10 minutes later, the monitors went completely blank.

No announcements were made, the monitors remained blank, while on the next track, several trains passed through...

It took almost another 20 minutes, before the monitors started displaying something again, and another 10 minutes before the first train arrived; it was hopelessly overcrowded, so I waited for the next one (sometimes I think I'm just too patient for my own good  Wink). 5 minutes later that arrived, I switched to the bus 10 minutes later and, at just before 9:00, almost two hours after landing, I was finally home.

Summary
Qatar Airways is amongst the better airlines I've flown on - maybe not the best, but certainly among the top 5. This airline's hub, however, is certainly the worst airport that I've come in contact with over the past 5 or 10 years: this is something that Qatar Airways, or the State of Qatar, should fix with extreme urgency - that airport is not worthy of a "never come back airline", it most certainly isn't anywhere near adequate for Qatar Airways.

Hope you enjoyed reading this - though I know that you won't have enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I enjoyed my time on that island...

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
flyingchoirboy
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 18, 2006 6:42 am

Great trip report! I've always wanted to fly Qatar Airways, so it's great to read/see what it's all about. The pictures of the Maldives were great too!

-Scott
 
DALelite
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 18, 2006 7:15 am

i enjoyed the pics especially the ones approaching the island and runway.
and i am impressed with the flight tracking system and the nice refreshment bag of Qatar! two thumbs up!!

Good Night: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
MaverickM11
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Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 18, 2006 7:45 am

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
we were stepping out into air that had already reached 30°C at 7:00 in the morning... just what I had hoped for.

Come visit us in Houston. You'll love it.  Silly
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
767747
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 18, 2006 10:50 am

Nice report of Qatar Airways! Wow, the views out of the A300-600 on arrival into Male are great! I would really like to go to the Maldives at some point, and I would also really like to fly Qatar Airways. They sound like an excellent airline.
I love to fly!
 
Door5Right
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:29 pm

RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 18, 2006 11:00 pm

Very interesting trip report.
My soul is in the sky...
 
B742
Posts: 3566
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 19, 2006 1:23 am

Realy enjoyed your trip report  Smile

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
Qatar Airways is amongst the better airlines I've flown on - maybe not the best, but certainly among the top 5. This airline's hub, however, is certainly the worst airport that I've come in contact with over the past 5 or 10 years: this is something that Qatar Airways, or the State of Qatar, should fix with extreme urgency - that airport is not worthy of a "never come back airline", it most certainly isn't anywhere near adequate for Qatar Airways.

That's the thing that lets QR down; Doha Airport! The new airport will open soon and will feature better facilities  Smile

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
Nice report of Qatar Airways! Wow, the views out of the A300-600 on arrival into Male are great! I would really like to go to the Maldives at some point, and I would also really like to fly Qatar Airways. They sound like an excellent airline.

QR realy are a great airline, I've flown them many times and never had a bad experiance  Smile

QR will be better once the A300's have left the PAX fleet and are replaced by A330's! Also QR is still in the proccess of upgrading all of the A330-200 fleet to the same standard as the newer A330-300's (The 300's feature newer seats and cabin lighting, as well as AVOD)  Smile

More info on the differences between the 300's and 200's is available here:
http://www.qatarairways.com/950.1978.0.0.1.0.htm

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
The seats themselves are quite comfortable, though the pitch isn't spectacular; I did get the impression that the pitch on the A330-300 was better than on the A330-200

The pitch on the A330-300's are 34 inches  Smile

Expect for the first A340-600 to arrive at QR soon, they will feature new First Class on-board lounges, I'm looking forward to them  Smile

I hope QR decides to stay with an all Airbus fleet (not that I'm a Boeing hater)!  Smile

Rob!  wave 
 
semsem
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 19, 2006 1:31 am

Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures of Laguna Island. I wonder what happened there during the tsanumi. Good that the villas have at least 2 floors. I would pick the 2nd floor.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 19, 2006 1:44 am

What a fantastic and detailed report, reading was a pleasure and the pictures are just awesome! Well done, Frank!

So you went to the Maldives, eh? Did you get inspired after Sean and me flooded you with holiday destination suggestions during our last MSN chat?  Wink

Great to read that you enjoyed your flights on Qatar Airways. I have to agree that this PTV box is pretty huge but the entertainment system looks stunning. The flight info gives a lot of interesting information and the map is simply the bomb, I really like that one of the two lines even shows the altitude difference.

The Maldives look like the perfect place to relax, "your" island looks so beautiful. Also great that you had real luck with the weather, a few rain showers are pretty normal in tropical regions like this. Did you stay in an all-inclusive resort? If not, how are the prices for drinks and food? I can imagine that everything is pretty expensive there since most products are imported. What about nightlive on the island? Are there bars and discos which are open till the early morning or becomes the whole island completely quiet in the evening?

Regarding the night picture you took shortly after take-off from Male: Is the island above the airport the main island with the capital? It looks pretty small actually, hard to believe that over 100.000 people (according to Wikipedia) are living there.

Again, thanks for this fantastic report, Frank!

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 19, 2006 4:07 am

Hi, Frank,
very interesting report, I had no experience with Quatar myself and it seems i not bad at all.
Nice that you had a good time there in the Maldives and on your island.
I was there (4 star Dhigufinolhu Resort, South Male Atoll) and from my personal point of view I can´t confirm all the positive impressions about the Maldives.
I was there for two weeks and I remember some of the longest days in my whole life, I walked around these boring island, 20 times a day, snorkeled between the same sort of fish all day and had bad stomach trouble from, maybe, the same fish they served all day.
I definitely need more space and action around than on the Maldives.
Nevertheless, thanx for writing down your story.
Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
Leskova
Topic Author
Posts: 5547
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 19, 2006 3:01 pm

Thanks for all the comments - glad you enjoyed reading the report.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
Come visit us in Houston.

Been there, done that... I lived in Houston for a year from 1981 - I actually liked the temperature, but the humidity wasn't really to my liking...  Wink

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
Wow, the views out of the A300-600 on arrival into Male are great! I would really like to go to the Maldives at some point, and I would also really like to fly Qatar Airways.

It certainly is worth it - but you do (as FLIEGER67 somewhat points out) have to know where you're going: there's not too much to do, you're somewhat confined to an island (though usually tours to other islands or to Male will be offered - at least they were from the resort I was in). If you're looking for pure relaxation without doing much, the Maldives are absolutely perfect.

Quoting B742 (Reply 6):
That's the thing that lets QR down; Doha Airport! The new airport will open soon and will feature better facilities

Agree 100% - do you know when the new one will open? I was surprised that I didn't find any info about it in the inflight magazine (or I just didn't see it); because QR certainly is a candidate for whatever trips I'll be taking in that direction in the future, but I'd really like to avoid DOH in it's current state.

Quoting B742 (Reply 6):
The pitch on the A330-300's are 34 inches

Hmm... really? Strange - the pitch felt ok, but I wouldn't have guessed more than either 32 or, at the very most, 33 inches - SAA used to have 34" (or was that 35"?) on it's older B747s and they had more room available.

Then again, the pitch on the -200 seemed more like 31 to 32 inches... survivable, but not great.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 7):
Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures of Laguna Island. I wonder what happened there during the tsanumi. Good that the villas have at least 2 floors. I would pick the 2nd floor.

Glad you liked the pictures - though they, obviously, don't come all that close to the reality of the island...  Wink

Most of the villas actually only have one floor, there were just 5 with 2 floors on the island; I didn't see anything that pointed to tsunami damage, but since it's been 1 1/2 years since, I guess that's not too surprising.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
Did you get inspired after Sean and me flooded you with holiday destination suggestions during our last MSN chat?

Well, yes, that did have something to do with it - I think it was either Sean or you that specifically mentioned the Maldives... and that was a good piece of advice... Big grin

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
I have to agree that this PTV box is pretty huge but the entertainment system looks stunning.

I have to admit, as much as I usually ignore PTVs - for me, they're not a factor when I decide between airlines - this system certainly had a surprising amount of content: dozens of movies, tv-shows, audio channels and even some complete CDs were featured. And, of course, those inflight maps were quite nice, though, unfortunately, the interactive maps didn't update themselves: if you left the screen fixed on one area, the displayed plane didn't move at all - only once you either zoomed in/out or panned left/right/up/down, that's when the position of the plane was updated.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
Did you stay in an all-inclusive resort? If not, how are the prices for drinks and food?

Usually, it's sold at either half board or all-inclusive, but the offer for us lowly travel industry employees, for some reason, only included breakfast - but, fortunately, it also included a discound on the listed prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; the prices themselves were a bit rough - $13 for a small salad, $9.50 for a chocolate brownie, 1.5l of mineral water $3.50, ...

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
Are there bars and discos which are open till the early morning or becomes the whole island completely quiet in the evening?

One of the bars was open until, I think, 1 or 2 in the morning, there was no disco - so the island, indeed, was very quiet at night.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
Is the island above the airport the main island with the capital? It looks pretty small actually, hard to believe that over 100.000 people (according to Wikipedia) are living there.

I admit that it looks quite small on the picture, much smaller than it looked in reality; though I do admit that I cannot really see 100.000 people living in Male: does Wikipedia really list that amount of people for the capital city?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I was there for two weeks and I remember some of the longest days in my whole life, I walked around these boring island, 20 times a day, snorkeled between the same sort of fish all day and had bad stomach trouble from, maybe, the same fish they served all day.

I do think that two weeks is a bit much, though I could have stayed for a bit longer than the 6 days that I was there; the state of near-complete exhaustion that I was in before I left probably didn't hurt either. I'm usually a person that cannot shut down - as soon as I'm able to walk through cities, museums, shops, etc., I do it - but this time, that would have been the worst possible thing for me, because in that situation I would have probably also constantly had my work running around in the back of my head.

On that island, I was able to shut down completely - and it's helped a lot.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I definitely need more space and action around than on the Maldives.

See above - I do, too, at least normally, so I know the feeling. Incidentally, even during the boat transfer to the island, I was still wondering whether or not it had been a good idea to go there, but those thoughts were gone within a matter of hours.

Too bad that you didn't enjoy your stay - but I agree in one way: the Maldives certainly aren't a good destination for everyone.

Again, folks, thanks for the replies.

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
Sabena332
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 19, 2006 11:00 pm

Quoting Leskova (Reply 10):
this system certainly had a surprising amount of content: dozens of movies, tv-shows, audio channels and even some complete CDs were featured.

Awesome! I simply love AVOD inflight entertainment.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 10):
the prices themselves were a bit rough - $13 for a small salad, $9.50 for a chocolate brownie, 1.5l of mineral water $3.50, ...

 Wow! God the almighty, that is complete rip-off! How much was a beer or other alcoholic drinks?

Quoting Leskova (Reply 10):
One of the bars was open until, I think, 1 or 2 in the morning, there was no disco - so the island, indeed, was very quiet at night.

Good to know, that is nothing for me because I need a bit action at night when I am on holiday, but I think it was ok for you since you needed to relax.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 10):
does Wikipedia really list that amount of people for the capital city?

Yes, Wikipedia shows 104.403 inhabitants for the city of Male. Click here for the article.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Sat May 20, 2006 4:40 am

Servus Frank,

I've just found the time to read your report and it's indeed entertaining and detailed as usual!

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
First things first - I didn't include the words "includes pics" in the topic, because, after all, who posts trip reports without pics these days?

Well, my impression is many people still post without.

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
I arrived at the airport at about 10:15, paid €35 for the taxi ride that I shouldn't have had to take

What a rip-off in these days...

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
I took this picture on the return flight - that huge box which takes away almost half of the space below the seat is located under each window seat

Though I'm a "PTV guy" I agree these boxes are annoying - hopefully the new generation of IFE systems will come with tiny flat boxes.

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
This is clearly the worst airport that I've stepped inside; I know that Doha is undergoing a lot of work, including the construction of a new terminal

A totally new airport will open by 2009. Check this link:

http://www.ndiaproject.com/

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
Shortly after takeoff, dinner was served - pasta with cheese and vegetables; rather simple, but very tasty - this was accompanied by fruit, some bread and a salad

Frank - where are the meal pictures?  Wink

Quoting Leskova (Thread starter):
no newspapers

Oh, one week without any newspaper would be really hard - and I definitely enjoy reading any kinds of foreign newspapers.


Regards,
PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Sat May 20, 2006 5:33 am

Enjoyed your trip report and great photos, I want to go now. Thanks for sharing.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
christao17
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Sat May 20, 2006 11:01 am

Really great trip report and those pictures of the stars on the beach were amazing!

I've heard a lot of good things about Qatar Airways as of late and am quite curious to fly them.

May I ask, which resort did you stay at?

Regards,
Chris
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
Leskova
Topic Author
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Sun May 21, 2006 3:39 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):
How much was a beer or other alcoholic drinks?

Ahm... well... good question, but I actually have no idea; as strange as it sounds, I only drank mineral water throughout the whole week... and I did that without anyone forcing me to do so...  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):
Good to know, that is nothing for me because I need a bit action at night when I am on holiday, but I think it was ok for you since you needed to relax.

Up until the moment when I started relaxing on the beach, I still wasn't sure if going to the Maldives was a good idea, if I hadn't set myself up for some of the most boring days in my life...

I'd usually not go someplace where I've got nothing to do, but, as you mention, this time I really needed just that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Though I'm a "PTV guy" I agree these boxes are annoying - hopefully the new generation of IFE systems will come with tiny flat boxes.

As soon as they come in flat boxes, I think I just might start liking them...  Wink ... or at least I won't be as annoyed by them as I am now... Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Frank - where are the meal pictures?

Damn... you noticed it... I always remembered to take pictures of the meals - just as I had finished eating them... Big grin

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 13):
Enjoyed your trip report and great photos, I want to go now. Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome.

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 14):
May I ask, which resort did you stay at?

It was Laguna Island - http://www.lagunamaldives.com/

It was quite nice, but (as you can see from the prices I mentioned earlier), half-board, full-board or all-inclusive would certainly be more advisable than the type of rate I had... I'd guess that the same is valid for all Maldivian resorts.

But if relaxing and snorkeling/diving are what you're looking for, the Maldives certainly should be on your list.

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
TriStar500
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Sun May 21, 2006 4:42 pm

Great report, Frank, with some beautiful pictures of the Maldives - I wished I could leave for the islands right away!  Smile
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
Sabena332
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Sun May 21, 2006 11:48 pm

Quoting Leskova (Reply 15):
I only drank mineral water throughout the whole week... and I did that without anyone forcing me to do so...

Damn, dude, what's up with you? No meat, no alcohol..... sounds like a competition between you and N1120A for the "A.net hardcore health freak".  Silly  Wink

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
JoeCattoli
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Mon May 22, 2006 6:08 am

Nice trip report Frank, happy you had such a great time in the Maldives.

Ciao  wave 
Joe
 
Boeing744
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Mon May 22, 2006 7:42 am

Great report! Those pictures from the Maldives looked amazing!
 
Delta732FF
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Mon May 22, 2006 2:00 pm

Nice report. Sounds like you didnt want to leave. Great pics. Very good pics landing near the water, great shots.
 
NeptunesCar
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Mon May 22, 2006 10:26 pm

Laguna wasnt so badly damaged by the tsunami, as were White Sands, Hakuna Club, Taj Exotica, and Paradise and others (some of which were completely destroyed) two stories was sufficient on most islands, but not where I was......all have of course since been rebuilt, and but the country was still set back by 20 years plus in a matter of minutes; local islands water wells were salt poisoned, and lots of locals houses were destroyed as well as their fishing boats.
You call it the world, we call it home. Pan Am.
 
Leskova
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Wed May 24, 2006 2:54 pm

Once again, thanks for all your replies.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 17):
Damn, dude, what's up with you? No meat, no alcohol..... sounds like a competition between you and N1120A for the "A.net hardcore health freak".

You know... when you put it that way, I do feel kinda strange...  Wink

Quoting NeptunesCar (Reply 21):
some of which were completely destroyed

I can imagine that, since most islands are not elevated much above water level, and most are quite small - it's a part of the beauty of the Maldives, but, obviously, in the case of the Tsunami, it was the problem.

Quoting NeptunesCar (Reply 21):
two stories was sufficient on most islands, but not where I was......

May I ask where you were when the Tsunami struck? Must have been quite frightening!

Quoting NeptunesCar (Reply 21):
but the country was still set back by 20 years plus in a matter of minutes; local islands water wells were salt poisoned, and lots of locals houses were destroyed as well as their fishing boats.

Salt poisoning, of course, is one of those pieces of "invisible destruction" - it's there, but you don't see it: as invisible as it is, it's quite clearly a big problem. Is there a way to desalinate them? Or do you have to wait until the problem "solves itself"? Until then? Desalination plants?

Also out of curiosity - is tourism a big part of the Maldives income?

Thanks, again, to all of you - and especially to you, NeptunesCar, for providing the Maldivian viewpoint and those additional pieces of information!!!

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
Sabena332
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu May 25, 2006 12:57 am

Quoting Leskova (Reply 22):
You know... when you put it that way, I do feel kinda strange...

Simply drink a few beers on Sunday and your reputation will change.  Wink

By the way, the weather forecast looks good, 18°C, the risk of rain is only 31%. I am looking forward!

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
NeptunesCar
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 26, 2006 12:09 pm

the salt poisoning needs time for monsoon rain water to filter it out, but it can take decades; many local islands have been evacuated to Male until things get better, alot of damage to local islands was worsened by destroyed reefs; locals use coral blocks to build walls, and the waves had an easier time sweeping across and leveling all that was there.....

i was at a five star resort, located on a very long, thin island that was broadsided by the waves.....we had no warning at all; suddenly, there were screams, and people running in all directions as an unearthly roar came from the ocean.....the water rose all around us, and it felt like we were sinking.....my office was rapidly filling with seawater, the power went out, my staff were screaming that we were all going to die. The window shattered and wall collapsed and we were frantically climbing over tvs and computers just to get out, luckily i did, and when I grabbed a support pole, the first wave crushed me up against the wall and lost cell phone, keys, shoes, and wallet....i grabbed people who were drifting by and we managed to get to reception, where we hung on for our lives as the bigger waves struck. i didnt think I was going to die, I KNEW i was going to die. thats how scary it was; i closed my eyes and prepared to die. it felt like a horror film. we had nowhere to run, so we were in the water up to our necks hanging on to palm trees (swallowing gasoline and sewage and chemicals dumped in the water). when the water receded, we had 8 more waves that struck from all directions; remember, we were so low (1 meter above the sea) that the entire indian ocean was like a bathtub, and we had toscramble to hang on as the water came up again....we set up triage to treat the injured, who had cuts up to 12 inches long because of broken glass....and spent 3 days waiting to get off the island.
You call it the world, we call it home. Pan Am.
 
Marambio
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Fri May 26, 2006 1:38 pm

Very nice report and awesome pictures!

Saludos,
Marambio
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Qatara340
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Mon May 29, 2006 4:31 am

Excellent Trip Report Frank--couldn't have done it better myself!
لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
 
buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:48 pm

wow... great report and amazing pictures. Followed the link from your latest TR and glad that I did...
thank you again...
 
ba319-131
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:56 am

Great report Franks, loved the pictures, so much so I fancy the Maldives as a vacation resort now.

Best Wishes

Mark
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airkas1
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:08 am

Hey Frank,

Very nice trip report and lovely photos!
It was a pleasure reading it!

I really wanna go there sometime aswell  Wink
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Leskova
Topic Author
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:41 am

Folks - thanks for all the comments, but just a small reminder: this is the trip report for my stay in 2006...  Wink ... should you be interested in the 2007 report, you can read that here:
Back To The Maldives - With Emirates (Long/Pics) (by Leskova Jul 1 2007 in Trip Reports)

Again - thanks for all the comments!  Smile

Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
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yowza
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:45 am

Great report. I'm very jealous. I love the Maldives (Bandos, Lohifushi, Full Moon, Kurumba are all amazing) and QR is still the best in the sky.

YOWza
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Qatar Airways: Frankfurt To The Maldives

Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:22 am

Hi Frank. I read this report with pleasure. Thank you for including some pics  Wink Although you didn't announce them in advance, I found them very good, especially the ones from the Island itself (with the clouds above the sea). QR seems a good carrier indeed, a shame that they don't fly into AMS by the way.
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