The ground attendant who picked me up from the Paris flight makes sure I am comfortable in the lounge before she bids me goodbye. She reminds me that she will be coming back to escort me to the aircraft at 01h15 for a 01h50 departure to Bangkok.
Location: One floor up from the arrivals and transit security level.
Type of Lounge: Dedicated Qatar Airways Al-Mourjan Business Class lounge. Facilities: À la carte and buffet restaurant one floor up from the main lounge area, bistro style restaurant on the main level, drinks and snack stations are available throughout the lounge; washrooms and showers are available, but you need to make an appointment for the showers.
Internet: Free wifi is available throughout the entire lounge. The opening of the Qatar Airways First Class lounge is a long and complicated saga. Originally, it should have opened last April, at least that was the last date that was given for the opening, and even that had been moved a couple of times. I am not quite sure what the hold up is. In a way it is not really that important, given that Qatar Airways’ Business Class lounge puts many First Class lounges of other carriers to shame.
Priority Boarding: Available. The gate is on two levels. There is a separate waiting area for First and Business Class passengers on the upper level. To this end, premium passengers enter the lounge through a separate entrance, which leads straight to the stairs and lift to the upper level. At 01h15 the ground attendant returns to the lounge to pick me up. It is about five minutes from the lounge to the departure gate. She takes my boarding pass and passport and escorts me to the entrance of the aircraft, where she hands me over to the inflight service manager. Like the previous flight, tonight’s flight to Bangkok will be full.
I am sitting on 2A, which is the first row in front of the galley. Initially I was a bit concerned it may be a bit noisy here, but in actual fact I am able to sleep perfectly and do not not hear a thing all night. A more detailed description of the cabin and seat can be found in my previous post. However, I manage to take some more photos before the other passengers on my row appear.
SERVICE The crew on this flight are even friendlier than the ones on the previous flight. I like the way they interact with the passengers. They are chatty and personable but still leave passengers their space.
Welcome drink on the ground: Lime and mint juice with a ramekin of warm nuts.
Hot towel before the meal: Hot rose scented towel (I know M., …)
Type of meal: Breakfast.
- Fresh orange juice.
- Greek yoghurt with peach compote and toasted granola.
- Scrambled egg with a small piece of steak, Portobello mushrooms, hash brown.
By the time we push back from the gate, it is already gone two o’clock. The flight time is announced as six hours and twenty minutes. So instead of indulging in another full meal, I decide to sleep instead. Before departure one of the crew comes to ask me if she should wake me for breakfast and to take my order for the meal.
Later on, as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign is turned off, she returns and makes up my bed for the night while I head for the bathroom to change. On night flights Qatar Airways will provide a Missoni pyjama and slippers. Basically, there are two sizes for the pjs – S/M and L/XL. The same goes for the slippers, although they are very comfortable.
In any case, again the meal is very tasty and hits the spot nicely. It is not a full size meal but for me it is perfectly adequate.
Despite the departure delay, we still manage to arrive in Bangkok more or less on time. The Emirates A380 has landed ahead of us, and for one horrible moment I am afraid this will mean chaos at immigration. But fortunately, that is not at all the case and even though I need a visa on arrival, I am out through immigration in no time.
GETTING INTO TOWN
Transport: Rolls-Royce sent by the hotel.
Departs from: Arrivals level at the airport.
Journey time: About 45 minutes, depending on the traffic. Once I have cleared immigration, I pass through customs and then proceed to gate B, which is located near carousel number 12. As I exit, the driver from the Peninsula is already expecting me. He takes my luggage and walks me to where the Rolls is already waiting.