akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:23 pm

Hello guys,

Did I tell you the reason why my partner and I had chosen QR once again in my previous report: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ms/trip_reports/read.main/140249/?
The first flying experience with QR was overwhelming. So allow me to share it with you. However, this report only covers the outward journey.

In February 2007, I found out that a particular travel agent had a bargain for a Business Class ticket on board of QR. Since we never flew QR and QR had gained the five star ranking according to Skytrax, we proceeded to make a booking.

Our itinerary looked like this:
Route: LHR-DOH
Date: 20 December 2007
ETD/ATD: 09.50 / 10.20
ETA/ATA: 19.30 / 19.30
Flight number: QR 6
Plane: A330-202
Registration: A7-ACA
Delivered: 22 April 2002

To catch our flight in LHR we were booked with KLM. I am sorry for the lack of pictures of the KLM flight since I did not make any of it.

We landed in London Heathrow at 07.20 earlier than the scheduled time of 07.40. I thought, “That is fine. We can connect at our convenience.” But I soon found out why it stated 07.40, because our plane went instantly in a queue and waiting for its turn to cross the active runway to reach Terminal 4. It took exactly 20 minutes before our plane got connected to the passenger bridge. That is why all the airlines flying from AMS to LHR take one hour and twenty minutes into account when flying to Heathrow. The taxiing time is just as long as the cruising time.

As soon as we were allowed to deboard, we gathered our belongings and followed the Flight Connection sign to catch the shuttle bus to Terminal 3.

At that time, the construction of Terminal 5 was still going on. I can tell you based on this experience, that Terminal 5 relieves many problems Heathrow had before like the endless queues before security. I was shocked when I saw the crowd within seconds after we passed the entrance. Unfortunately there was no other way than joining the queue and hoping that it would move fast enough to allow us to check in since KLM failed to do that in AMS.

Forty thrilling minutes were passing by and eventually we were released by the security. The transit area was not too far away and there was only one person before us at the transfer desk of QR fortunately. Or perhaps not...

This man was arguing with the QR lady behind the transfer desk. From what I could hear, he was supposed to have been booked in Business Class on the same flight as ours, but the system could not find his reservation. He kept on insisting the lady to check him in but apparently there was nothing she could do. In the mean time, we were getting flustered since the check in time limit got dangerously nearby. The man demanded the QR lady to call her supervisor to which she complied. She rang her supervisor and while explaining the situation, the man got impatient and wished to speak with her supervisor himself.

The lady handed over the phone to the man in the way that he had to step aside and invited us to come forward.
“Are you flying with Qatar?”
“Yes. Here are our tickets and passports.” We replied.
She took our documents and started typing on her computer. She got a bit puzzled look and grabbed a mobile phone on her table. It seemed that QR supplied a mobile phone to their desk attendants for just in case. The striking statement of her on the phone was, “I have got two passengers here for Business Class.”

The conversation was short. She then continued the check in process. After writing down the lounge invitation, she returned our documents and pointed out. “My supervisor will assign you the seat at the gate. Do you know where the United Red Carpet Lounge is located?”
“Not yet. But, do we still have time to sit in the lounge?”
“Certainly. The lounge attendant will call you when your flight is ready. Have a nice flight.”

I had never been in Heathrow before. However, the signage’s are clear and as a passenger you can rely on it. It was not difficult to find the now closed Red Carpet Lounge. A friendly United lady welcomed us, took our invitations and waived us through.

I am sorry I did not make any pictures of the lounge. If you are interested, this is the link to a website which covers the lounge: http://airreview.110mb.com/United/index.htm

The lounge itself was a bit on the dark side in spite of the lights. After visiting the bar for some juices, we took a seat in a quiet corner. The amount of the juices we took was just enough until our flight got called.

We left the lounge and proceeded to the gate. I cannot remember which gate was assigned. It was in any case located at the very end of the pier of Terminal 3. When we arrived, the QR gate attendants were preparing the boarding procedure.

We approached the gate desk and handed over our boarding passes. The QR guy behind the desk looked closely at our boarding passes and tore them apart at the end…
He proceeded printing out new boarding passes , handed them over to us and waived us through. At that time, the premium passengers were invited to come on board. We could practically keep on walking to the passenger bridge.

We were in the middle of the bridge when I realized what I got in my hand. I was about shaking.


It would be my first time flying First Class and the first time we both got upgraded. At the door, we were greeted by the friendly Salina. She took our boarding passes and smiled, “Welcome Mr. Akhmad. It is nice to have you on board.”

She then brought us to the front compartment of the plane where First Class was located. In the cabin ,there was already another couple. The man smiled at us and said, “It is just like flying your own private jet.” As it later turned out, there were only four First Class seats occupied out of twelve and three flight attendants assigned for First Class, including Salina.

Me in First Class.

From another angle.


A colleague of Salina brought us the amenity kit bags and headsets. She then returned with some small cups, followed by Salina with a basket of dates and an Arabic coffeepot in her hand.

While sipping at our Arabic coffee, Salina returned with the menu and the wine list which were inserted in a leather pouch.
While handing over the menu, she asked, “Here is your menu, Mr. Akhmad. May I ask you where you originally come from?” Presumably because of my skin color and surname.
“From Indonesia.” I replied.
Salina smiled, “I am from Malaysia. Can I offer you a drink? Orange juice perhaps?”
“That will be nice.”
“How about you, sir?” Salina turned to my partner.
“I will go for orange juice as well.”
It was the last time I spoke English to Salina. We had during the remaining flights our conversations in Malay.

Our welcome drink, amenity kits and headset covers.


The menu and the wine list.


The lunch menu.

The indulgence menu.


The wine list.
White wine.


Red wine.



The door was closed on time. But for some reasons, the pushback was commenced nearly a half hour later. I had my bag still on the floor. Salina noticed it and asked me to store it properly. I smiled and obliged.

It was very busy that morning. There were a lot of heavies queuing for takeoff. We were in line behind an Air Canada Boeing 767. When it came to our turn, as soon as we entered the runway the takeoff roll commenced. The flight must have been fully booked since it took forty seconds to airborne.

As soon as the fasten seat belt signs were switched off, Salina appeared to take our meal order. In the meantime, her colleague was closing all the window shades.
“Mr. Akhmad, have you made your choice?”
“Yes, I have. Can I have the Mediterranean mezze as starter and for the main course the vegetarian option?”
“Certainly. What would you like to drink?”
“I will finish my champagne first. And then I would like to have the Shiraz.”
“How about the dessert?”
“Err, can I decide it later on?”
“Certainly, Sir. No problem. Thank you for your order.”
Salina then disappeared behind the curtain, just to show up on the other side to take the order of my partner.

Both my partner and I chose champagne to go with the palate pleaser.


The description on the menu.


I was amazed by this champagne that I tried to order one as a birthday present for my partner. I did find the brand, but not the same year.

Salina returned to set our table. The table of the First Class, I must say, was huge. After laying a napkin on my lap, she delivered my starter.

My starter.


My partner was having caviar and a glass of Chardonnay to go with it.



The lovely starters were replaced by the main course.

My main course.


My partner’s Iranian chicken.


While we were eating. The captain came to microphone and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Firstly, welcome aboard Qatar Airways. We are now flying over the Alps. The mountains are nicely covered with snow….”

Salina emerged from behind the curtain, opened a window shade in my neighborhood and turned to me, “Look at that! It is beautiful.”.

I wiped my mouth, grabbed the camera and captured this.


I then returned to my seat and finished my meal.

Salina collected the dishes and asked, “Have you made a choice for your dessert?”
“Err, I am actually really full at the moment. Can I have double espresso and Cognac instead?”
“Certainly, Sir.”

My partner on the contrary went for crème brulée.


My coffee serving with a box of Godiva chocolates.


The cabin attendants, especially Salina were delightful. After the meal, I had a nice chat in the galley with Salina. Salina was curious about my experience after I told her that that was the first time I flew with QR.
“You are doing great. Thank you. I really appreciate that.” I said.
“Thank you, Sir. Would you mind filling out the survey for this flight?”
“No problem. I would love to.”
Salina got that happy look when I returned the survey. I then asked whether I could have a picture with them. They agreed.

Me with The First Class flight attendants.


When I was about to return to my seat, Salina asked, “Would you like some tea with honey?”
I replied, “Yes, I loved to.”
“You do not have to wait. I will bring it to your seat.”
As soon as I got seated, Salina arrived with the cup of tea.
Salina than asked my partner, “Can I get you anything, Sir?”
My partner replied, “Can I have some beer, please?”
“Certainly.”

The beer arrived with a plate of warm nuts.


There were just too many nuts that we were not able to finish it before the cabin lights were switched on for the preparation of the afternoon tea.

Salina showed up to set the table again and lay the obligatory napkin. Then, she returned with the afternoon tea setting.
While putting the plate, she said, “Look how colorful it is.”


Me. The many champagnes, wines and liquors were taking their toll.


After clearing the table, we were prepared for landing. They made an announcement that the bar would be closed thirty minutes before landing. That is fine with me. The cabin was darkened in the mean time.

Salina came along to collect the menu’s.
I asked, “May I keep the menu and the wine list as souvenirs?”
Salina had to think for a moment and finally said, “All right then.”

Despite our late departure, we touched down on time in DOH. It was my first time in Middle East, so I was quite excited to see the desert scenery. The apron was crowded, mostly by QR planes. QR took in that year the first delivery of 77W. I saw it sitting in the hangar.

Finally, we came to a stop. The cabin lights were switched on and we were allowed to gather our belongings. Salina appeared in full attire with her colleagues. They were met with the other colleagues from Business Class and soon the door was opened. Maria, a Business Class flight attendant, was blocking the way to allow the first class passenger get off the plane first. By that time I saw two BWM 7 Series cars next to the staircase. A driver was standing at the door, ready to greet us, the First Class passengers. I did not realize that until the ground staff ushered us to one of the cars.

I was mesmerized and the whole journey with the BMW to the Terminal passed over me due to my amazement. I still regret that I did not make any post landing pictures. Especially the sight of a dedicated BMW car to pick us up when we went down the staircase.

I hope you still enjoy this report. Please feel free to leave some comments.
Friends forever
 
phlstudent
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:59 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:11 pm

Its always nice getting an upgrade, specially to first class! congrads.

Very interesting report, it looks like the knife and fork were plastic or glass, what are they?
 
heebeegb
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:01 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:15 pm

Don't QR have a dress code for First class passengers?!
 
Elal772
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:25 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:16 pm

Great report!

The last picture of you with all the deserts and alcohol is hysterical! You look like a sheikh having the best time!  Smile
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:25 pm



Quoting PHLstudent (Reply 1):
it looks like the knife and fork were plastic or glass, what are they?

They were plastic. UK does not allow metal cutlery on board, even in First Class.

Quoting HeeBeeGB (Reply 2):
Don't QR have a dress code for First class passengers?!

I do not know. Do they?

Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 3):
Great report!

The last picture of you with all the deserts and alcohol is hysterical! You look like a sheikh having the best time!

Thank you, ELAL772!  Smile
Friends forever
 
stargold
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 4:49 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:34 pm

Very nice report - the F cabin looks decent except for the garish red seat upholstery... And the food and service sounds fantastic too.

Quoting HeeBeeGB (Reply 2):
Don't QR have a dress code for First class passengers?!

Don't be silly. Have you ever heard of a dress code for a flight? You're likely to look more out of place if you're dressed up to the hilt in a suit or dress.
 
phileet92
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:37 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:36 am

nice trip report. HOW COULD YOU PASS ON CAVIAR!?!?!

and those F seats look like the old CX seats refurbished. anyone have insight on this?
 
ojas
Posts: 1107
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:40 am

Nice TR!, especially in QR F.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
oxygen
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 1999 12:27 am

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:54 am



Quoting Phileet92 (Reply 6):
and those F seats look like the old CX seats refurbished. anyone have insight on this?

Those seats are of the same model as the old CX seats- "Sogerma's Class 180", but they are first-hand seats, not refurbished.
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:16 am



Quoting Stargold (Reply 5):
Very nice report -



Quoting Phileet92 (Reply 6):
nice trip report.



Quoting Ojas (Reply 7):
Nice TR!,

Thank you all.  Smile
Friends forever
 
directorguy
Posts: 1041
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:32 pm



Quoting Stargold (Reply 5):
Don't be silly. Have you ever heard of a dress code for a flight? You're likely to look more out of place if you're dressed up to the hilt in a suit or dress.

I could be wrong but I seem to remember that QR DOES have some sort of requirement and that it involved wearing semi-formal (a blazer at the very least). But that's just a vague recollection.


Great report akhmed.....good array of pics as well. Splendid.  Smile
 
johruk
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:50 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:10 am



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 10):
I could be wrong but I seem to remember that QR DOES have some sort of requirement and that it involved wearing semi-formal (a blazer at the very least). But that's just a vague recollection.

I know when I flew QR in First a few years back ( the day of the Tsunami as we were supposed to be heading to Sri Lanka) there was no issue with a dress code...In fact on our return to LHR, we had the delights of a child running around the cabin in just it's nappy! From memory they had upgraded the whole family and I was a little un-impressed that they felt it not necessary to control the child a little more!
 
Globetraveller
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:36 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:19 pm

A great trip report Akhmad!

I am so glad you were upgraded and that you were able to enjoy the first class cabin almost by yourself. I usually do not have much luck when it comes to upgrades, especially from Business to First.  Sad

Thank you for all the pictures and details.

Globetraveller
 
bralo20
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 9:05 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:20 pm



Quoting HeeBeeGB (Reply 2):
Don't QR have a dress code for First class passengers?!

Why should there be a dress code for First (or even business)?
The days that people were clothing themself to the classes of travel are way past us... Maybe in the 1900's it was required to were a suit but now? The suit doesn't tell anything.
Unfortunately these mistakes are still made today...
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:50 pm

Hi Akhmad,

finally found the time to read your highly interesting report. You were really lucky to get the upgrade. The catering looks excellent - but I'm not a fan of the seat coloring.

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 13):
The suit doesn't tell anything.
Unfortunately these mistakes are still made today...

 checkmark 


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:00 pm



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 10):
Great report akhmed.....good array of pics as well. Splendid.

Thank you Directorguy.

Quoting Johruk (Reply 11):
I was a little un-impressed that they felt it not necessary to control the child a little more!

I would not be happy either. Even in Y.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
A great trip report Akhmad!

Thank you, Globetraveller.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
I usually do not have much luck when it comes to upgrades, especially from Business to First.

It was our very first upgrade in hundreds of flights. Don't worry. The upgrade fairy will find you someday.  Smile
Friends forever
 
User avatar
readytotaxi
Posts: 3226
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:24 pm

Loved it, always think that great food very well presented makes a flight, along with a great crew. Your pictures look really good, many thanks.  Smile
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:49 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
Hi Akhmad,

finally found the time to read your highly interesting report.

Thank you for that, PlaneHunter.  Smile

Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 16):
always think that great food very well presented makes a flight, along with a great crew.

I agree with that.

Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 16):
Your pictures look really good, many thanks.

You are welcome. Thank you for reading, Readytotaxi.  Smile
Friends forever
 
piskoto
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:13 pm

Hi there! Nice trip report... but I prefer Emirates, especially if:

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 15):
The upgrade fairy will find you someday

It found me two days ago, flying free in business class and upgraded into a lovely suite in F!
 
Jetstreamer
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 5:52 am

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:33 pm



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 4):

They were plastic. UK does not allow metal cutlery on board, even in First Class.

It's not a UK regulation as both VS and BA use metal cutlery in their premium cabins.
 
piskoto
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:14 pm



Quoting Jetstreamer (Reply 19):
It's not a UK regulation as both VS and BA use metal cutlery in their premium cabins.

Emirates as well, on EK001 to LHR, two days ago I ate with metal cutlery
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:59 pm



Quoting Piskoto (Reply 18):
Hi there! Nice trip report

Thank you, Piskoto.

Quoting Piskoto (Reply 18):
It found me two days ago, flying free in business class and upgraded into a lovely suite in F!

What a lucky guy.  Wink

Quoting Jetstreamer (Reply 19):
It's not a UK regulation as both VS and BA use metal cutlery in their premium cabins.



Quoting Piskoto (Reply 20):
Emirates as well, on EK001 to LHR, two days ago I ate with metal cutlery

I did not know that. Thanks for the update.
Friends forever
 
piskoto
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Flying First Class With QR On LHR-DOH

Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:25 pm



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 21):
I did not know that. Thanks for the update.

You learnt it now! Thet just warned us about strict customs, especially on food items.

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