I had the pleasure of travelling with Qatar Airways some weeks back on my way to the USA. When you hear that you’ll be up in the air for almost 20 hours, it can be a bit daunting. Luckily the stellar services provided by Qatar make the trip so comfortable, that you hardly notice how long the flights are – time really flies.
I flew economy class; the travel agency did all the bookings so it was a package deal – 200K for flights, accommodation and breakfast in a 4-star hotel as well as a driver and a guide for a ten-day stay. This was a great deal as flight tickets are usually very expensive and could go as high as 100K shillings for economy class.
The experience created within the vessel is what I’d like to focus on. So I’ll give you the good, the bad and the bottom line.
There are no delays and the flight leaves exactly when it says it will. Finding your seat is relatively easy and once settled in and up in the air, the flight attendants are very accommodating and open. Qatar Airways is an award-winning airway so there is no surprise that they go to all lengths to make their passengers comfortable.
Once seated you get a blanket and a set of headphones for the in-flight entertainment which consists of a wide range of series and films from an array of cultures: they have Hollywood, Bollywood and some Arabic language films. They also have games and current music. You can easily catch up or begin a series, watch that blockbuster film you missed out on, or simply just sit back and listen to that new album everyone is raving about.
The next best thing is the copious amounts of food they dish out. Their menu has a starter, main, dessert and drinks selection stocked amply for all you foodies. As much as plane food often disappoints, theirs wasn’t so bad. Whether it is chicken, couscous, beef stroganoff or paneer you’ll be satisfied with your meal: a chocolate mousse dessert and a white wine pairing will surely satiate anyone’s taste buds. The breakfast was filling and consisted of pancakes, eggs, a cup of yoghurt and your choice of tea or coffee. Additionally, they give out crisps and chocolate bars to those who get peckish, and whenever you’re hungry, meal time or not, you can go to the back and ask for whatever you like, they’ll happily serve you.
Economy class has people sitting in rows of 3 or 5 people so you’d imagine it to be a little cramped – you get what you pay for. If you’re lucky, you’ll get an aisle seat that allows you to move freely in the plane without bothering anyone. But all in all, with a reclining seat and warm blanket, you’ll feel just fine.
Having so many people in one area must have a downside. The queues to the bathroom are hell and as the flight progresses; the condition of it can be disgusting.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Qatar provides world-class services and I would definitely recommend it to everyone; if you can afford it, I’d suggest you bump your seat up to business just for that extra comfort.