Middle East 2016: Qatar Airways

by | May 18, 2016 | International Travel, Travel

To get to Oman we flew through Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Airways. Qatar flies its newest jets from Philadelphia in the morning, so we’d flown up the night before on American. After a quick snack in the British Airways lounge they announced boarding and our adventure began.


Once on the plane, we were directed to the business class cabin and found our seats. The seat walls were lower than business class on Cathay, and the ceiling felt higher as there was no overhead luggage storage in the middle.

During boarding flight attendants were very busy. First, a flight attendant came by and offered us the choice of Jacquart Brut Mosaique or Drappier Rose champagne, and a hot or cold towel. Very civilized!


As we were exploring our seats pajamas and a toiletry kit were also handed out. Unfortunately, they only had a size L/XL — big on me, enormous on Leandra.

After takeoff we leaned our seats back to relax. Overall the seat was comfortable, though the foot area was a bit tight, making it better for lounging over sleeping. Like many carriers, the cabin was also quite warm, so the blanket was not needed.

Food and drink on board was quite good, definitely a step up compared to most business class offerings. About an hour after take off they served lunch that was quite tasty. I had the roasted butternut squash soup and chicken with sage sauce, then lime panna cotta for dessert. Leandra chose the smoked salmon app (of course) and the Paneer tikka masala for her main. Dessert was the cheese plate!

IMG_20160331_112814   IMG_20160331_113711
smoked salmon salad; paneer tikka masala

Midflight I tried the pastries, which were actually flaky, and for breakfast the granola with berries was good start to the day.

In addition, the wine list was quite impressive — the Yealans Estate Sauvignon Blanc was excellent, as was the Chateau Brane-Cantenac Margaux. A 2008 Chateau Dereszla Tokai afterwards was a special treat.

The entertainment selection was fairly good, with a variety of new releases and older movies and shows.

Doha airport

IMG_20160401_062626We arrived in Doha quite early in the morning to a remote stand, where a bus exclusively for business-class passengers was waiting. After a quick pass through transit security we made our way to the Al Mourjan lounge (which was a little confusing given some of the construction). Along the way we saw the famous airport bear, which disappointingly is not actually stuffed.

The business lounge was a little confusing – an attendant at the bottom of the escalator didn’t want to let us in based on our economy passes for the upcoming flight, but after a quick discussion and the production of our business class passes from the previous flight, he let us up. At the top of the escalator our passes were taken for ~10 minutes while we watched several other groups simply walk in. Lesson learned – just walk in and no one will bother you, but if you look lost you’ll end up waiting for someone to check you in for no apparent reason.

The lounge itself is massive with an upstairs restaurant and downstairs cafe that served soup and paninis. Seating was available everywhere and each seat had access to outlets. There were also lots of workers roaming the lounge cleaning, including the bathrooms where stalls and sinks were cleaned after each use.

After two hours in the lounge we walked to our gate for the flight to Muscat. The gate agents tried to get us to check our bags, we just said we had one world status and they let us through. Seats on this regional flight were rather tight, Eric’s knees just barely fit. Fine for 1-2 hrs, but wouldn’t want to fly much more than that on these jets.

Overall, we really enjoyed our long-haul flight with Qatar, and would gladly fly their business class again.

Our Itinerary

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