Date: 09. February 2017.
Flight time: 12 hours 30 minutes.
Seat: 3K, starboard window seat.
I have just enough time to post the report of my flight from Frankfurt to Doha before it is time for me to leave the comfort of the al-Mourjan lounge and head for gate C5 from where the flight to Adelaide will be boarding.
Since my last visit to Doha airport they have changed the security regime. Where previously you used to go through a centralised security checkpoint, which tended to get slightly hectic and chaotic during peak periods, you now only have to go through security before you enter the respective gate for your flight, which makes the whole process far more efficient and much less of a hassle for passengers.
Location: Just off the central plaza that links concourses A, B and C.
Name of Lounge: Al-Mourjan.
Type of Lounge: Qatar Airways Business Class lounge.
Access: There is a long escalator that leads up to the lounge.
Toilets & Showers: Both are available in the lounge and there is an attendant who obviously keeps the place spotlessly clean.
Food & Beverages: There is a huge selection of hot and cold dishes. In fact the food offerings are more comparable to what many airlines provide in their First Class lounges. One floor up from the central lounge area there is also a restaurant with buffet and à la carte dining.
Connectivity: Complimentary wifi is provided by Doha airport.
Newspapers & Magazines: There is a large selection of magazines and newspapers in English and Arabic.
Priority Boarding: There is a separate lane for security for Business Class passengers. Business Class passengers are invited to board the aircraft first and there is a separate airbridge attached to the L1 door.
CABIN & SEAT
The seat on the Airbus A 350 is very similar to that on the Boeing B 787 on my previous flight. There are however, a few differences. First of all, due to the fact that there are no overhead bins for the middle row of seats, the cabin has a very spacious and cavernous feel, which is very pleasant actually. There is a shoe compartment large enough to store a pair of shoes properly (I wear a size 46 and managed to stow my shoes easily). And finally, the inflight entertainment system is slightly updated. Is has a larger selection of films and can be operated either via the handset or using the touch screen.
The Business Class cabin is also larger on this aircraft. There is one toilet behind the forward galley on the left and two toilets by the L2/R2 doors.
SERVICE & CREW
The service sequence is identical to that on the previous flight – welcome drink, menu, vanity kit. However, because of the longer flight time of twelve hours and fifty minutes, a few additions have been made to the service:
- Slippers are provided and they are rather comfortable.
- Pyjamas are also provided.
- There is a turndown service to convert the seat into a bed.
Welcome drink on the ground: Lemon and mint juice.
Pre-meal drink: Coke Zero, served with a ramekin of warm nuts.
Choice: There are three choices for the first and main course and dessert.
Delivery: À la carte service.
Type of meal: Late dinner.
Amuse bouche: Salmon tartar with mango salsa.
First course: Spicy lentil soup.
Second course: Arabic mezze with hummus, moutabel and tabouleh, served with Arabic bread.
Main course: Red snapper with a saffron cream sauce and asparagus. Served with crushed new potatoes and spring onions and a confit of cherry tomatoes.
Dessert: Ice cream.
Cheese: There is no cheese course on the menu but it is available on request.
Hot towel after the meal: Rose scented hot towel.
THE SECOND SERVICE
Pre-meal drink: Strawberry and banana smoothie.
Choice: The breakfast menu can be put together individually and includes a wide selection of hot and cold dishes.
Delivery: À la carte service.
Type of meal: Breakfast.
Main course: Scrambled eggs with chives, served on toast with ruccola and grilled tomatoes.
Bread: A selection of breads, served with butter and marmalade.
We land in Adelaide after a flight time of twelve hours and thirty minutes. The approach brings us in right over the city and offers some great views of the hills in Adelaide’s hinterland.
Once we land I have ninety minutes to make my domestic connection and then I’ll be done. For today.
SO WHAT’S THE VERDICT…?
This flight and the previous one from Frankfurt to Doha have firmly established Qatar Airways as one of my favourite airlines, together with the legendary Cathay Pacific. As I already mentioned in a previous post on Qatar Airways, it never seizes to amaze me just how reliable and consistent their crews are in their service delivery. And they are all so nice about it.
But it is not just the crews that make flying with Qatar Airways such a brilliant experience. The quality and quantity of the food is really something else and puts many of the First Class products I have had the pleasure of sampling to shame.
And then there is also the aircraft. This was my second flight on the Airbus A 350 and I must say, she’s really something else. The feeling of space and comfort that the cabin provides makes even a twelve hours journey pleasurable. The only problem you have with this aircraft is that it is so quiet in the cabin that you can hear the dude snoring five rows further back!