My experience with Qatar Airways

Hi everyone!

I’m back in Rome right now. To be honest I’m feeling a little down and I’ve lost my appetite to eat. I don’t think that I’ve spent enough time in Singapore and did everything that I wanted. So I guess I’ll just do a blog post to distract myself. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it in time.

For today I thought that I’d blog about Qatar airways which was the flight that we took to go Singapore this time round. I initially thought for sure that we’d take Air China again as it is reputed to be the one of the most economical one. So imagine my surprise that Qatar airlines came to be the one with the best price in the list when we did our research – about 1.6 k euro for the both of us for economy class.

The day before our flight, Cart and I were scrambling to get new hand luggages for the both of us – we’ve been travelling with a duffel bag all the while, but I think that it would be more comfortable using one with wheels that we can roll.

I like how you could flatten it down when you’re done using it. Also being of a soft material, it weighs less so you can carry more things.

We were driven to the Fiumicino airport, and we took our flight in the late morning in August which is probably the hottest month in the year in Rome. I was most surprised that we didn’t get to walk on the aerobridge  and instead, we had to take shuttle buses instead – which to me, is quite old school.

Depending on the plane that you are in, you may get a small bag pack containing a mini toothpaste and toothbrush set, eye cover, a pair of socks and a pair of earplugs. Personally for me, I really like the small sling bag as not only is it pretty, it is a handy place for me to put my passport without having to fiddle with the hand luggage.

Kids get a small Spongebob backpack with sweets and an activity book which I find so adorable.

Sitting down, the size of the seats are decent with the folding tray just about fit Cart and with me to stretch my legs a little bit. Of course, I would have liked if the seats are a little bit bigger and also that the arm rests could be lifted all the way up – it was strange that it could only be lifted halfway, which made it an odd design.

In front of you, you’d have an entertainment screen, which again depending on your flight, could be a touchscreen or not. From here, you could watch the latest movies, popular tv series, listen to songs and such.

I busied myself watching The Croods, an Arabian Movie I don’t remember the title, Oblivion, Epic, Monsters University, Fast and Furious 6, Black Adder, Mad Men and others I don’t remember any more.

By the way, this is something amusing that I saw :

An interesting feature that I’ve never seen on other flights before, is their special meals – I requested for the low calories meal. You could also get other types of meal such as Vegetarian, Kosher, Gluten free – all of them halal. Considering that my meal was low-cal, I’m surprised at how tasty it is but I do wish that they would include the amount of calories somewhere though as I didn’t see it written anywhere.

Here are some pictures of my Low-Cal and Cart’s Vegetarian meals :

I was really excited as we approached Doha – everything on the ground looks beige and flat. I’ve never been in a desert before.

It took us about 7 hours to reach Doha from Rome. Personally for me, the time passed by more quickly compared to all the other flights where we had to fly 10 hours and more to reach the connecting airport.

Nevertheless, we still had 12 hours to kill at the Doha International Airport. I initially planned for us to explore Doha a little bit – perhaps the reputed Museum of Islamic Art or the State Grand Mosque. But just 5 seconds after landing, the heat hit me so bad that any plans of sight seeing was just thrown out of the window.

Doha was so hot in August! I reckon that it was easily 40 degrees. At first I thought the heat was emanating from the fan of the plane, but the heat continued even after we walked past it.

So in the end, we stayed in the airport for 12 hours.

An interesting place, the airport was like a huge mall and there were people all around – One area had food, another jewellery, another section for electronic devices. one for cosmetics and so on and so forth. I looked in fascination at the camel milk chocolates.

The chocolate was made of camel milk.

There was also a playground section where kids could play – I’m not a mother, but I thought that that was a nice touch. There were also prayer rooms – separated for men and women.

There was also plenty of places where you could charge your electronic devices and I like that they provided free wifi – you just go to your browser and click on a button, although connection can be erratic depending on the amount of human traffic.

With so much time to kill, we decided to have a meal there. I saw A&W which brings me a lot of fond memories and thought that I could get for myself a coney dog and a float. But as I looked at the menu, I didn’t see any of them so in the end, we got for ourselves a pasta, rice, veg burger and drinks.

The local currency charged is in Qatari Dirham but they also accept other currencies too  – So we paid with euro and we found out that our meal totals for 38 euro – 14 euro for my rice and 6 euro for my bottle of water. Considering the low quality of the food, I thought that our meal was unjustifiably pricey.

(Speaking of water, the water from the fountain was unexpectedly hot. Not to mention in the toilet too. Imagine washing your bits with HOT water)

Doha airport is very expensive. I don’t think I’d like to get any more food from there unless necessary.

After all the exploration, we still had a bit of time left so we tried to sleep on the seats – but there were no stretched ones like we saw for the Airport in Beijing. We were both so tired.

Nevertheless I had the good fortune to meet a most adorable 2 year old girl though, and she was so expressive and sweet that I forgot to feel tired momentarily 🙂

At length we got on the transit flight going to Singapor and another 7 hours later, we’ve reached Singapore! It has been such a long time.

(10 020km in total)

With my family waiting for me at the arrival hall, it’s nice to spend time reconnecting with them all over again 🙂

8 Replies to “My experience with Qatar Airways”

  1. The airport food is really expensive! My sis went with Qatar once from Sin-Venice-Sin n she wasn’t satisfied with the flight attendants’ service.
    I guess I’ll stick with Emirates, 30kg baggage, excellent service n good air ticket price.

    Ps: just to share with u, u can book(in advance) a free room with Emirates if u hv a transit time of more than 8 or 9 hours. Airport transfer is free but u hv to pass thru Immigration. The room we had was nice n clean n comes even with free breakfast buffet 😛

    1. We took Emirates too for our flight to Singapore in Dec 09 / Jan 10. I quite like the flight, save for the long wait that we had to do and also the very intermittent internet connection. There wasn’t much to do there considering that we reached there at night. Not even a lot of shops were opened then.

      I didn’t know about the 30kg. Are you sure its not the business class instead? Hehehe.

      Thanks for the tip about the free room! Really good to know the next time we take Emirates! 🙂

      1. The 1st time I took Emirates in Dec 2010, it had the 30kg baggage limit so that’s why I chose them ever since! Hehehe
        Hmm, at that time too, when I reached at like midnight, all the shops were open n so very crowded..even to find a seat is quite difficult. Not to mention the long resting chair.
        And they hv this chocolate n sweets duty free shop which sells a big variety of brands, very tempting 😛

  2. 38euro?! ouch…
    but i guess, it’s considered normal in the airport…

    Qatar looks great, I’ll give it a try next time for long distance, if Emirates not available 😀

  3. How funny! I just flew Qatar for the first time last week. I went to Nairobi, via Doha. I thought the leg from Rome-Doha was fine, but Doha-Nairobi was a small plane with no entertainment. I was NOT a fan of the Doha airport, but hint: you can get big waters in the duty free- 2 for US$4. I bought all my snack there instead of from the restaurants.

    The hot water was so weird…

    1. Yeah, tell me about it. The airport was air conditioned, so it didn’t make sense for the water to be hot. Not warm … hot!

      That’s a great tip by the way, about buying food from the duty free area. It might not be a hot meal, but it sure beats having to pay 38 euro for a yucky pasta.

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