Review of Qatar Airways flight Doha Jakarta in Economy

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR956
Class Economy
Seat 21K
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 9:05
Take-off 16 Oct 15, 02:20
Arrival at 16 Oct 15, 15:25
QR   #10 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 369 reviews
garuda89
By 3295
Published on 17th October 2015
Welcome to my second flight-report on the site! For those who wants to see my last report (QR78 TXL-DOH), the link is here:http://flight-report.com/en/report-11023.html

But first,

some of you that read the original version of my first report might have remembered that I promised to write a report of the same trip earlier on my previous TXL-CGK vv last June… but that didn’t went as smoothly as expected. Because I lost my phone, the one i took the photos of second part of my TXL-DOH-CGK with *sobs*. The phone that’s not even 4 months old. So I could write a report still, but then it wouldn’t have any pictures, which is a no-go for a report in FR.

However, in time for the fall break in my school, I got the chance to go home to Jakarta once again. I have several problems with my passport that I have to take care of in person (plus applying for an Australian Tourist Visa. And yes, I’m making a report for that trip!). All in a week. So you can guess how busy I am. Very. And also because of a Qatar Airways offer: book between 15 September and 15 October for flights between 15 September and 15 December and get double points and miles (when flying in any Y class and fares except Promo, and J and F classes). I figured it's time to use this opportunity to get upgraded to Privilege Club (QR's FF programme) tier Silver (equivalent to Oneworld Ruby).

So, with the stars lined up perfectly, let's start this report!

(photos taken by the replacement Galaxy S6, all taken in Auto mode, shot in 2.4M 16:9) And speaking of which, there are incorrectly rotated photos that were originally taken as a portrait picture. I couldn't right them back up, so I guess those have to make do.




I arrived at Doha after flying on QR76, arriving just slightly late at 23:33 AST(Arabian Standard Time). When I finally got out of the airplane and cleared security checks, it was already 00:00. Since I spent my laptop’s battery watching movies on the flight, I went to the food court, as always, in search of food and power outlets.

Some interesting sculptures in the airport along the way:

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After arriving at the food court (nothing special), I ordered BK as usual. Here’s the 1st corporate shot:


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Since the food court is facing Terminal C, this place is a good spot for some planespotting:

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I spent the next 1h30m watching movies and replying emails and messages from my family. When it was 1:30, I decided to start heading to my gate, C13, at the far end of the terminal. With the food court at concourse B, it took me ~15mins to arrive at the gate.


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By the time I did, it was already full with people queuing. I guess I picked the right time to head back, as soon as I cleared security, boarding was announced. I got to board ahead because of my Privilege Club membership (that, and being a young passenger). That’s when I noticed something familiar…

The airplane taking me home is the same one flying me earlier from TXL-DOH! It’s A7-AEI.


photo a7-aei-qatar-airways-airbus-a330-302_PlanespottersNet_518779


Such coincidence! Such luck! Last time, it was a 777-300ER(Qatar flies a variety of airliners to CGK: A332, A333, B77W, and soon, B788 as Qatar Airways adds additional flights to CGK. Pretty much every plane they have).


I was kinda bummed when I realised that the jet gate didn’t offer much view, but then, just before the entrance, I spotted a tiny sliver of window, and grabbed that opportunity to get the 2nd, and most important corporate shot:


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The inverted, but clearer picture:

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No surprises here as I board the aircraft. I was just here 3h ago! The same cabin can be found on my other report; you can look at it for more info.





And now let's unpack the amenity kit. Pretty standard issue really.


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The main difference was: I was in 16A on the previous flight(which had no window) and now I’m in 22K (which do have windows). However, as soon as I settled in, i noticed a problem: my IFE wouldn’t work! Now I felt that I was doomed; that this is the price to pay for not having a seat mate, but then, a gentlemen in front of me, which also have a broken IFE but at least it was showing a map, offered to swap seats with me since he saw me irritated with the IFE. I took his kind offer, and am now sitting in 21K(hence why I decided to set 21K as my seat for this report). He also doesn’t have a seat mate and wasn’t interested in using the IFE, he said. It’s nice to see this simple acts of kindness still exists even in economy class.


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We departed on time with all passengers on board. I was relieved that this flight wasn’t as full as the one I had before. To top it off, there were NO CRYING BABIES, like the one I had just hours earlier. This would be a quiet, red-eye flight - perfect for anyone hoping to catch some sleep. The pilot announced that the flight would take ~8h40m, and that it’s cloudy outside and we could experience some turbulence along the way.

Gotta love the blue head lighting, tho


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Happened to spot an A350-900 of QR's. Not sure which one; it was too dark to make out the registration. And the windows are dirty.


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A video of the takeoff from RWY34R. This is when I realised that I made a booking mistake: no lights lighting the wing at all.





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The climb was uneventful. However it does took a while before they started serving “lunch” (imo I think supper would be more appropriate, or breakfast). We were over Oman when they started serving it.

Here’s the menu:





And the meal:




I chose the fried spicy fish with rice option. I picked this from experience: During my June trip on the same route, I had the same meal and I swear to God it’s one of the most delicious FOOD I’ve ever eaten. While the portion is small and the fish is not crispy as its “Fried” name suggests, the fish was succulent and juicy. The sauce in fact wasn’t spicy but tastes savoury-sweet and delicious. The only downside, really, was the rice: it was dry from being overcooked, an ointment in the otherwise superb catering in Y.

The strawberry cake also taste good. I can actually feel the texture of the cake's sponge, and the strawberry cream wasn't too sour nor sweet. Average, really.


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After the dinner, I felt extremely sleepy and decided to catch some sleep. It’s been a long day for me, and it’s still night (edging morning, I have to admit). So far there’s no good view anyway, since the view from here would be just the ocean. And it’s pretty cloudy too.

I slept for a long time. When I woke up, the brunch service was already underway, and we were in the vicinity of Sumatra.


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From my knowledge (I can’t risk losing the moving map thanks to the nightmare IFE), there’s at least ~2-2,5 hours of flight left. For brunch, I (again) chose the fish option, being satisfied from my dinner. So imagine the surprise/relief when I opened the food and it was extremely similar to the meal I had for dinner. But still, despite having high hopes for a wetter rice, it too, was dry and overcooked. Not that I mind though, I’m hungry!





The first shot of the outside world. I didn’t realise that it’d be this bright outside!


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No wonder all the blinds were closed. Only now I remembered that earlier on the flight the pilot said that the weather would be cloudy outside for the most of our flight. Looks like there’s no chance of getting a picture of the Indian Ocean, then.


Later I went to the toilet. Here it is. Again, standard issue stuff here - nothing interesting/special…





The rest of the flight until descend was uneventful. I decided to dedicate the last 2h to write this report, read books, and watch movies I had on my Mac.


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It’s still really cloudy outside… looks like the weather had little changed as is in line with what the pilot had said.


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Shortly thereafter we started our descent. The pilot announced that we should be able to land at 3:10 - some 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. The temperature is 32 degrees celsius. Looks like a normal Jakarta summer then.


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It was quite smoggy outside, however such weather condition is natural for Jakarta.


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We landed on RWY07L. Just to our right is a Citilink A320 landing on 07R.





Smooth landing as usual from Qatar. Just moments after we landed there is a CI A333 taking off to TPE

And I nearly missed it: an EK B77W arriving from DXB


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We made our way to Terminal 2E. For those who usually travel through Soetta(abbreviation for Soekarno-Hatta) this terminal houses almost all international flights operated by foreign carriers. Soon to be moved to Terminal 4 as soon as it's complete.


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I also passed through one of GA's B77W. God, I wanted to fly on one of them to AMS asap…


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As I exited, the cockpit door was open, and I asked to take a picture. Thank you Capt. Sulley from Doha to let me take a picture of this magnificent machine!


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And speaking of which here's the course of my flight


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As I exited the airplane I found the EK B77W parked just beside us.


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After immigration, I went to the baggage collection area.


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It took AN HOUR for my luggage to arrive. Doubtlessly because of the sloppy job they’re doing here in CGK - and because some of the handlers sometimes loot the baggages of “potential” passengers (I’d never forget what they did to my baggage 2 years ago - ripped open with only my clothes left). It’s becoming standard practice for me to check the insides of my luggage after I retrieved it. Nothing happened this time, but it’s a good idea to remain vigilant.

After passing through customs, I stepped outside and greeted by the harsh and humid 32 degrees celcius summer. It’s harsh, especially since when I left Berlin it was 4 degrees, and raining. I quickly took a cab and went home.

Some pictures as I left the Airport:


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That’s it! Thanks a lot for reading! Constructive comments would be appreciated!




See more

Verdict

Qatar Airways

7.1/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment6.0
meal/catering8.5

Doha - DOH

8.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Jakarta - CGK

5.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

Departure Airport: Hamad International Airport is truly a world-class airport, and one that QR deserves in its quest to beat Emirates and Etihad in the Gulf.Clean and efficient, its an immeasurable improvement from the old Doha Airport. However, at the moment tere isn't much to do yet. Hamad just turned 1 year old, and the southern portion of the airport isn't finished yet, although it also houses passenger gates. But the future looks bright for the airport.

Flight:The flight was uneventful. Our departure was slightly late, but we arrived early. We took off and landed without a hitch. There are some turbulences along the way, but nothing major. The seat is just like any other Economy seats.

Crew:Noticed why I didn't really write anything about the cabin crews? Despite the calm flight, the crew of this flight is not as good as it could've been. It's nowhere near the near-business class level of service I've experienced on my last flight with QR. Crews were helpful, with smiles, but that's it. Well-deserved for economy class, but I was expecting more.

IFE:Awful this time. Went through 2 malfunctioning IFEs. The old Thales IFE should've been long consigned to the history books anyway. In fairness, QR does keep their IFEs updated with the latest movies and TV shows.

Meal:Good for an economy class flight such as this one.

Destination Airport: Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta isn't the best airport in the world for sure. Immigration is slow due to the number of available counters. And the baggage handling is still really bad: give or take it'd took 30 minutes for your baggage to arrive. And even then it might not be in one piece - some luggages are potentially damaged or broken into. There are reports of handlers throwing luggages to the ground(damaging them in the process) and stealing stuff from potential luggages(which might explain why it took the luggages so long to arrive). Things are looking up, though: Those with Indonesian e-passport could now use a dedicated e-pass immigration counter and pass the long queue(as it's new and uncommon for many Indonesians), and that handlers are now watched by additional CCTVs. But the queuing time... that hasn't improved.

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 149180 by
    marathon 7637 Comments

    Sorry for you about the lost phone. When traveling, I always download into my laptop each night the pictures I took during the day, to minimize the risk of loss.
    I like airports' children playgrounds; I had not seen the oversized sculptures of that one.
    Remote controls inside an armrest are usually not a good idea, but this one seems deep enough to avoid pressing the keys inadvertently.
    Seat exchange, no neighbor, no crying baby... wow you were lucky that night !
    Long lines, long luggage waiting, thefts and traffic jams : CGK is not an enticing proposition
    Thanks for sharing !

      0
    • Comment 327435 by
      garuda89 AUTHOR 11 Comments

      Yeah... that's true. Should've backed it up earlier, but I lost the phone merely 3 days after I arrived. There are some photos thankfully backed up to Google Drive before I lost it, but it wouldn't be enough for a full report.

      Hamad is quite a children-friendly airport, however there's nothing much to do yet for the more mature audience. However, conveniently there are internet cafes around terminal A and B and C. With iMacs(!). So people can browse in their free time, which is smart.

      The remote control has a gap-sort-of padding that keeps the button from being pressed. However, if you press hard enough, it might get turned on.

      Yeah... my flight was a bliss compared to the fiasco I had on the first leg...LOL XD

      For CGK's current condition, we Jakartans are used to it hahaha... sadly enough. And if you think terminal 2 is bad enough, try travelling through Terminal 1 during peak season. Thankfully I used to travel with Garuda Indonesia (GA), which operates through Terminal 2. It's better now than it was, and with terminal 4 looks like CGK is ready for the 21st century(terminals 1&2 are built in 1980s).

      thanks for your comment!

        0
  • Comment 150572 by
    NGO85 1581 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR with us.

    The hard product on the QR A330s looks so far removed from the newer cabins we’ve recently seen on their B787s, A380s, and A350s. That is a massive entertainment box under your seat. The older IFE doesn’t help either. As Marathon said, I despise the remotes placed on the tops of the armrests, but at least it is recessed.

    Catering looks strong on this route. I normally find the meal trays on QR to look small, but two full meals on this route is quite generous. Distribution of menus and amenity kits is also a nice touch showing their service level.

    I always find crews on redeyes to be iffy: it’s hit or miss.

      0
    • Comment 328596 by
      garuda89 AUTHOR 11 Comments

      thanks for stopping by!

      True, the big IFE box is a huge issue, however by European and American standards I think a big IFE box beats having no IFE at all, doesn't it? If we see BA and KLM's offering on their old planes its awful compared to the ones onboard QR's A330s, so I'm happy with that, but left wanting more.

      In my opinion, QR is going to either retire their A330s as new 787s and A350s come, or like Emirates, using them for lesser, pioneering routes. That's probably why they don't feel the need to update their hardware on their A330s. On a rather interesting note, the return leg from this trip on QR959 (a brand-new service as QR increases its frequency to CGK) I flew on an A333 which has got an updated interior. The seat design is more reminiscent of their 787s and A350s, and the Business Class has been updated as it has the same Business cabins like on the 787. The Thales IFE remains in the Economy but receives an all-new UI, the same as the one on their 777s. It was difficult to navigate though, the software being a touchscreen-based one whereas the IFE isn't a touchscreen. I'm probably going to publish it soon...

      And for the food, I don't feel that QR's meal portion is generous. Definitely less than Emirates' and Etihad's. On the upside I never had a bad meal onboard QR flights. From my experience, QR usually serves 2 meals onboard flights to Asia and the Americas as they tend to be longer than flights to Europe (from their hub at DOH), and you have to ask the FAs for a second meal in flights to Europe.

      For the crew... I couldn't care less about the crew since I was usually busy making myself comfortable anyway, but in the context of a 5-star airline, I agrre with you, it could (and should) have been better. It's just not the case this time.

        0

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