First time on Qatar Airways - my thoughts

Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Posts
790
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
So Mr LL and I just returned to SYD from Madrid on QR - award seats booked with AA points 11 months ago - one in F and one in J (as that's all that was available).

Due to a schedule change we ended up with on overnighter in DOH - Qatar would not provide a hotel as it was not on their ticket so we just booked the Hilton.

MAD-DOH was great - both in J (as no F on this fight) QSuites - great seats and service.

On arrival in DOH at 11:30PM - immigration was a complete zoo - there must have been over 1000 people in a very slow moving queue - I asked someone if there was a priority queue for business class passengers and we were directed to a different queue marked for residents - somehow in spite of the chaos we got through in 30+ minutes (I would estimate that others in the regular queue took 2+ hours). Then we withdrew money from an ATM so we could catch a taxi to our hotel (Google and other sources had conflicting advice on whether taxis took credit cards - as it turned out they did. We got a taxi and arrived at our hotel (the Hilton around 1am) - this Hilton is another story (not for this thread but certainly not recommended).

The next day we arrived at the airport around 4:45pm for our 8pm flight to SYD thinking we could relax in the first class lounge - alas this was not to be - while Mr LL could use the lounge - I with my J ticket could not - no guests allowed - so down to the J lounge for both of us - it was OK.

The flight to SYD was a 380 so no QSuites but we knew this in advance - the J seats were pretty run of the mill - I would compare them to Air Canada - Mr LL was not particularly impressed with the F seats and service (many mishaps even though there were only 3 people in F - items forgotten and long delays - FA even attempted to force him to eat right away when he wanted to wait a while). Service in J was also pretty ordinary - in fact sometimes a bit surly.

So lessons learned - without QSuites Qatar is no better than other top-tier airline (we usually fly SQ to Europe and AC to Canada). An overnight stay in DOH is not recommended due to the hassle with immigration. It was however nice to break up the very long trip.
 
That sounds a terrible experience, esp in F. Never, ever, not had true dine on demand in J or F. The only good thing was that you didn't need to deal with the QR call centre. :)

You shouldn't have to use it, but I've used the Al Maha arrival service (escorted and whisked through immigration) both times I've entered Qatar. Any of the Gulf countries, where there are very large numbers of guest workers, are subject to huge volumes of arrivals who each take time to process due to 'working' status. But then you'd think they should have immigration set up for that. :mad:
 
Qatar service is definitely hit-and-miss, as it is with other ME airlines. On the majority of the business class flights I’ve taken with them, the service has been good-to-outstanding. But on one or two flights it’s definitely been stand-offish.

The best Qatar service I’ve ever had was on a non-Qsuite A350 from Munich to Doha. It was amazing — even exceeding Singapore Airlines. And you still get dine-on-demand whether a Qsuite or not. And I appreciate how the toilets are cleaned after every use.

I don’t mind the non-Qsuite business class seats, but it’s interesting how little privacy they have. It’s as if with the Qsuites they’ve gone from one extreme to the other!
 
There is Uber in Doha and very easy to get from the airport (no cash required obviously). I found immigration very quick but was there slightly earlier (around 3pm).

I stayed at the Doubletree in Old Town which was a great spot, though I did find the blacked out windows in the bar somewhat amusing. Good for an overnight stop but wouldn't spend any longer there, it's certainly no Dubai or even Abu Dhabi.
 
I don’t mind the non-Qsuite business class seats, but it’s interesting how little privacy they have. It’s as if with the Qsuites they’ve gone from one extreme to the other!
Yes, I was going to say something similar!

It’s a shame they ditched the Qsuites retrofit for the A380s - in part due to the decision to scrap the A380s altogether….a decision that didn’t age well.

I now have two forward bookings on QR J and they’ll be first time back on QR since pre Covid Times). I thought I did well scoring CGK to Europe (return) mid year in J for A$4.5k (into MAD and out of AMS) but just booked CGK-Europe for Christmas / New Year period for A$3.5k! (Hint: MUC and a few others are on sale*). Using QR J SYD-CGK (return) as CRs for both certainly beats paying A$8k to A$10k…😳. The only downside is no A380 bar, the one QSuite sector (of 8) has been subbed for 2x2x2(!) but at least it’s two of us flying together and AMS-DOH is a “day flight”. DOH-MAD is actually an IB codeshare, so that’ll be interesting - could be entirely hit or miss.

*Note: the cheap QR J fares ex CGK invariably book into P Class, so no lounge privileges. Shouldn’t be an issue for QF WP/OWE. In CGK, there’s no “Premium Lounge”, just the GA lounge (which apparently is in steady decline) and a choice of Platinum lounges in DOH. Which they’ve all opened in between my visits. The return flights have booked into D and R, so the potential for extended lounge hopping - time permitting.
 
The Frequent Flyer Concierge team takes the hard work out of finding reward seat availability. Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, they'll help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

Shouldn’t be an issue for QF WP/OWE. In CGK, there’s no “Premium Lounge”, just the GA lounge (which apparently is in steady decline) and a choice of Platinum lounges in DOH.

As you've probably read, the non QR OWE lounge at DOH is a bit of a come-down. But a lounge is a lounge for a saving of $$$ 😊

@luxury-lizard if your experience on the flight happened to me, I'd try to make some fuss about it. Not sure about the communication channels though - not call centre. The management I'm sure would be honestly concerned and if you get the right channel, you might get something favourable.
 
Thanks @RooFlyer - I'm not really interested in any sort of 'compensation' or 'we've got our service team looking into this' - after all it was an award ticket. I just wanted to comment that given the high praise usually given to QR - it did not knock my socks off. We've almost used up our stash of FF points in a number of programs and will be buying tickets for cash moving forward - I would not put QR at the top of my list but would certainly consider them an option on flights with QSuites - depending on price (but QR usually seem to be the most expensive option Australia-Europe).
 
We flew QR MEL DOH CDG and return last April while both of us were on crutches. They took enormous care of us and delivered excellent service in J cabin for the 4 sectors. My only complaint is their precooked beef fillet which is uniformly well done,
Otherwise we are happy with their J cabin and service.
 
Yes, I was going to say something similar!

It’s a shame they ditched the Qsuites retrofit for the A380s - in part due to the decision to scrap the A380s altogether….a decision that didn’t age well.

I now have two forward bookings on QR J and they’ll be first time back on QR since pre Covid Times). I thought I did well scoring CGK to Europe (return) mid year in J for A$4.5k (into MAD and out of AMS) but just booked CGK-Europe for Christmas / New Year period for A$3.5k! (Hint: MUC and a few others are on sale*). Using QR J SYD-CGK (return) as CRs for both certainly beats paying A$8k to A$10k…😳. The only downside is no A380 bar, the one QSuite sector (of 8) has been subbed for 2x2x2(!) but at least it’s two of us flying together and AMS-DOH is a “day flight”. DOH-MAD is actually an IB codeshare, so that’ll be interesting - could be entirely hit or miss.

*Note: the cheap QR J fares ex CGK invariably book into P Class, so no lounge privileges. Shouldn’t be an issue for QF WP/OWE. In CGK, there’s no “Premium Lounge”, just the GA lounge (which apparently is in steady decline) and a choice of Platinum lounges in DOH. Which they’ve all opened in between my visits. The return flights have booked into D and R, so the potential for extended lounge hopping - time permitting.

Apparently QR have switched to the much better plaza premium in CGK, I’m going through in two weeks so will report back
 
Apparently QR have switched to the much better plaza premium in CGK, I’m going through in two weeks so will report back
Great news. If it’s the same one I used pre-CX last year, it’s a decent lounge.

Yes, please report back!
 
Our most recent flights with them we had a slight issue on one leg which they rectified and even went over and above so can’t fault them.
First flight was AUH-DOH in F on the MAX8 and we got bumped at checkin due apparently to some VIP’s getting priority.
A little disappointed but on a 45 minute flight it turned out ok especially as they put us in row 3 and gave us an empty middle seat. After boarding a gentleman came down with his iPad, welcomed us as QR Golds, apologised profusely and promised to throw some Avios our way and asked if there was anything else he could offer. I jokingly said we had only recently dropped from QR Plats and had 4 days in Doha before flying DOH-ADL in J and would love to get Al Safwa access. He smiled and said he would see what he could muster. Flight was good, had Al Maha arrival which saved us a stack of time as airport was really busy. First time using the service and impressed by it.
On the day we left Doha we checked in and to our surprise both tickets were stamped as QR Platinum so pretty chuffed. Great feed at Al Safwa and a truly great flight home in QSuites, I love the rear facing seats and slept like a log. Food, beverages and service was superb again
 
Apparently QR have switched to the much better plaza premium in CGK, I’m going through in two weeks so will report back
Just checked the OW website and sure enough, it’s been updated in the last week or so. So same (better) lounge for full J tix and OWE/S in P and whY.
IMG_3714.jpeg
 
I jokingly said we had only recently dropped from QR Plats and had 4 days in Doha before flying DOH-ADL in J and would love to get Al Safwa access. He smiled and said he would see what he could muster.

That's pretty good, knowingly how tightly they guard access!!

Its also why I mentioned to luxury-lizard that if his experience was mine, I would raise it. I understand why LL didn't, but I know from experience QR usually seem to genuinely want to 'make right'.
 
Interesting. This is the first negative feedback I've seen on QR. I flew them in J Tehran-MEL and again J CGK-MXP and found them excellent both times. I spent a week at the Hilton Doha, and consider it one of the best I've stayed at. Museum of Islamic Art was fabulous, much more interesting than the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.
 
I flew Qatar economy to London this March. I was very impressed with the seating, catering, amenities and especially the attendants. Had assistance at every gate when needed and nothing was any trouble. I was looked after when the departure lounge number had to be changed. It was much better than Dubai, and I loved Dubai till it got big boots, now it’s a nightmare to navigate.
 
I have found QR in the air great - on the ground - not so great. Try getting into a partner lounge using VA status...
 
I just got back a couple of weeks ago IST-DOH-BNE and had the poor people's business class. Both flights were half empty and I had a row of 3 seats to myself on both sectors and could lie down and slept surprisingly well.

Getting into town is easier than ever with the metro going to most places tourists would want including Souk Waqif. A day pass was less than $5 and I never even saw Qatari cash. credit cards are widely accepted now for metro and even the smaller shops in the souk.
 
Just did six flights with Qatar, five in J and one in F.
Beg to differ with OP on the F experience.
Only five in cabin of 8.
Felt like you had the place to yourself.
We had 1A and 2A then three others in other half of cabin.
Felt very private in seat though open.
Wide seat was brilliant and even better lay flat.
Was like a King single bed width wise.
Huge screen.
Was stuck on tarmac at Perth for two hours.
Normally annoying but they kept refilling our glasses with Armand De Brignac Gold and profusely apologising for the delay every time.
They had more than one bottle on board!
Staff were fabulous and couldn't do enough for us.
Then could dine with my wife sitting opposite for fabulous dinner.
Huge toilet we had to ourselves (so much better than subsequent J travels).
Straight to Al Safwa Lounge for six hours before connecting flight.
Wife got a massage then we had two hours in sleep room which had great shower set up.
Showered, changed clothes, fully refreshed and then on to J flight to Athens.
My wife is still raving to her friends about it and putting pressure on me to earn points to do the F flight again to Doha on our next trip.
Whilst all the next J flights were enjoyable the bar was set incredibly high by that first flight.
 
Back
Top