I have used recently for the first time Qatar Airways for a flight between Paris and Bangkok with a
stop of two hours in Doha. The main reason of my choice was the competitive price and I did not
expect a high quality service. I was well surprised : brand new Airbus - crew very friendly always at our service - good food and wine.
The transit in Doha was not a problem because Doha Airport is small and well designed. So
considering the service and the low price, I think that QA is really a good choice.
In October 2002 my wife, daughter and myself were booked on a Qatar Airways flight to Bangkok
from Heathrow, transiting in Doha for an hour. As we had never travelled with them before we expected
the worst. On the contrary, we had very helpful check in, (especially as my daughter decided to
arrive with 45 minutes to departure). The aircraft was splendid, as was the food and service.
When we re-checked in at Doha the staff could not have been more helpful. One small blot.
-do not buy
anything out of the cafeteria there. The second leg of our journey to Bangkok was equally as good, except
for two drunks who the staff were too nice to. Looking forward to our next trip.
I have used Qatar Airways quite a few times now and I think they are pretty good. Especially for
the M. East Flights and Europe, they are getting there. Their First Class product out of Dubai to
Jeddah via Doha is good and also from Khartoum to Dubai via Doha. Also, if you are a F/C passenger
disembarking in Doha, be prepared to get pampered with the exclusive BMW 7 series car which picks
you up at the door of the plane and drops you off again when travelling. Doha airport as a transit
is not bad as they have a comfortable F/J Class lounge with many amenities.
In the air they are very, very good. On the ground they are truly hopeless.
The business seats are very comfortable ,the food excellent and the cabin crew are very helpful.
Just be mindful that you need to check, double check and get all your paperwork in order prior to
departure. Even then you may come unstuck with the apparent total lack of information flow between
Qatar Airways admin staff.
I found Qatar's business class product to come second only to BA's flatbeds on the London-Doha
sector. New quiet Airbus' with a 2-2-2 config. Brand new seating, big 10inch screens and impeccable
service. Book the right flights and you'll be in Doha for around an hour (to Male/Colombo etc.)
I found QR to be an average airline in terms of service in economy. I travelled on QR before the
addition of the A330 to their fleet, and so found their aircraft to be dated and lacking a decent
entertainment system. The stopover at Doha is tolerable if it is short, otherwise can be a bit of a
bore. The main selling point for QR is price, often the cheapest fares available in economy.
We have a few of the customers at our travel agency who regularly use QR and they are usually pretty
satisfied - the consensus seems to be that they are at least as good as other "mid-ranking"
airlines, like KLM and Gulf Air. However beware that QR are apparently very strict on
Airways service is generally quite good, especially in Business class,
but coach class is also okay. Staff are very friendly and efficient -
food is okay but not as good as say Swissair or Air France in coach.
Yeah, the stopovers can be a pain and Doha is a terrible airport when
compared to Dubai or Bahrain - that is the only bad part, but fares are
cheap of course.