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Qatar Airways - is it as good as the buzz

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browski

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I have been watching with interest the progress of Qatar Airways this last year or so. The general theme has been that it is now the world's best airline.

Is it as good as the hype has suggested? Has anyone any recent experience?

I've booked my first trip on them this month SIN-DOH and have heard of special $100 upgrade rumours to Business in April - does anyone know anything about this?
 

JohnK

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browski said:
I've booked my first trip on them this month SIN-DOH and have heard of special $100 upgrade rumours to Business in April - does anyone know anything about this?
I have seen a few of their aircraft around in the last few weeks. I have noticed they have some good deals around.

Have you flown with them yet? What was the experience like?
 

BlacKnox

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browski said:
I have been watching with interest the progress of Qatar Airways this last year or so. The general theme has been that it is now the world's best airline.
The World's best? Haven't flown them or read about them. How did you come to this conclusion browski? General media outlets/ surveys/ airline forums/ WOM????
 

browski

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Hi BlacKnox,

My "Best airline in the World" phrase was based purely on Word of Mouth anecdotes.

However coupled with the same WOM noises about Doha (Qatar) being the current "IT" city, I thought there might be something to it.

On Monday I retruned from Doha and here is my own anectdote:
Qatar Airways is a fine airline - just not Best in the World yet.

The plusses:
All new aircraft, mainly A320/330 style.
They service a huge surprisingly large number of cities for such a speck of a country.
The cabin staff are excellent and the food (I was in economy) was above average.
Good prices

The negatives:
On my return leg (DOH-SIN), there was no individual seat entertainment.
They have a very limited FF partner program.
The airlines aggressive expansion program has occurred without the proper infrastucture in place to deal with this growth. So Doha airport is heaving under the strain of excess passengers. At times you cannot get a seat anywhere in the airport. Even parking spots for planes are in short supply leading to delays.

Fortunately there is a huge new airport under construction but this will not even be ready by the time they host the Asian Games this year.

Doha itself has been redeveloped extensively and the changes there are remarkable. However they did start from a very low base, so Doha is by no means a "happening" place and will remain a very poor cousin to Dubai for some years yet. In fact Kuwait is a much more fun town than Doha even without the alcohol!

Singapore Airlines/Cathay/Emirates for me are still preferable to Qatar Airways. In fact even the Lufthansa flight from Kuwait to Doha was better - however I would asterisk Qatar Airways with "Watch this space" - they will develop into something very impressive if this is what they have done after only a year or 2.

How have Qatar managed to do this? Apparantly they (and the Americans) recently discovered in their midst the largest petroleum gas field in the world. I'll let someone else argue if this last statement is true or not.....

The Brow.
 

bravoecho1

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I'll add another airline to the "Watch this Space" - Etihad.

Based out of Abu Dhabi, the plans for the airline are quite phenomenal.

If you understand the pecking order in the UAE, you will know that whats going on in Dubai and with Emirates is nothing compared to what is going to happen to Abu Dhabi and Etihad.
 

clifford

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browski said:
How have Qatar managed to do this? Apparently they (and the Americans) recently discovered in their midst the largest petroleum gas field in the world. I'll let someone else argue if this last statement is true or not.....

The Brow.

Well, first of all you have to credit General Abizaid (who?).

As a matter of interest, I sat next to one of his aids (on a flight from IAD to LHR in 2002) who told me he was planning the invasion of Iraq (about a year before it happened). You do meet some interesting people on airplanes.

When he (Abizaid) leaves, I'm afraid that Doha will go backwards for a year or two.

Otherwise, Qatar Airways do have quite a good reputation around the place, and I wouldn't have any hesitation flying them (apart from the lack of FF partners).
 
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