FLIGHT QR943
CLASS OF SERVICE Economy
SEAT NUMBER 37A
AIRCRAFT Airbus A350-900
TAKEOFF 16-05-09 10:45 a.m.
VIEWS 1882
LANDING AT 1:15 p.m.
marathon
The 28th May 2016

Photo review of Qatar Airways flight from Singapore to Doha in Economy

This is the looong FR of the first flight back home after a wonderful week of culture, rest and meeting with friends in Singapore.

[url=http://flight-report.com/fr/report/15151/Qatar_Airways_QR38_Paris_CDG_Doha_DOH : QR38 (A330-300)
DOH - SIN : QR944 (A350-900)
SIN - DOH : QR943 (A350-900) You are here
DOH - CDG : QR37 (A330-300) to be posted later

photo img_6423a.
The subway ride from door to door took exactly the same time as in Paris when there is no incident (but we had incidents each way in Paris), more or less the same distance, but it cost 1.84 SGD, i.e. eight times less than the 10 EUR fare in Paris.
photo img_2575a.
Arrival in the departures hall in SIN Terminal 3, with a ceiling decorated with soundproofing panels
photo img_2576a.
The BP obtained one line specified that check in was until ETD-90’, versus ETD-60’ on QR’s website and also at the airport. I decided to play it safe and added safety margins to manage improbable transportation glitches which did not occur. The result was that we were of course much earlier than needed: it was ETD-120’ when we arrived here, where the waiting time was all the more limited that the staff at the J/Elite counters processed the Y passengers too, rather than doing nothing (I have patronized many airports where the ground staff would do nothing rather than serve passengers).
photo img_2577a.
The Marathons’ suitcase had taken on weight during tht vacation, less because of souvenirs and more because in that direction, we had no need for essentials in case the checked suitcase had missed the connection, and only fragile / precious / forbidden in the hold items deserved being in our hand luggage.
photo img_2578a.
QR grants a 30kg checked luggage quota in Economy, which meant that even thought this suitcase was officially heavy, it was no problem. Our hand luggage suitcase was weighted too, but the check-in staff did not bother to check the weight of the laptop case (unlike in CDG). “It is always lightweight”, she said, but it was actually packed with two laptops and magazines and was slightly above the meager 7 kg limit for a hand luggage.
photo img_2579a.
There were virtually nobody left when we left with these BPs in hand. The yellow envelope for the connecting flight’s BPS is a short connection indicator (1h15’, nearly the same as on the way in), but it appeared useless in DOH.
photo img_2637b.
The green wall and the palm trees which dominate the luggage delivery facilities.
photo img_2583a.
SQ displays their Y, Y+ and J seats of their A350s
photo img_2584a.
But it was not possible to test the comfort there:)
photo img_2588a.
photo img_2590a.
photo img_2585a.
We had nothing special to do landside and went directly to the immigration controls
photo img_2595a.
The opinion of the Marathons who took different lines was unanimous :
photo img_2596a.
… on all criteria, the most smiling smiley was justified, with a bonjour in French at the sight of our passports and a very natural looking smile, and all that without any waste of time.
photo img_2597a.
A playground with a slide several meters high : that is serious business !
photo img_2598a.
Some plane spotting with SQ aircrafts photo img_2599a.
Arrival of an MH 738
photo img_2601a.
An SQ A380
photo img_2602a.
… with one reactor undergoing maintenance
photo img_2603a.
A departing A380
photo img_2621a.
Arrival of the QR A350, seen here above the reactor #4 of the A380
photo img_2606a.
Seats with multistandard power ports
photo img_2609a.
photo img_2610a.
Internet access station, to be used for free, but standing only, with twenty minute renewable sessions
photo img_2611a.
They provided me an opportunity to display the front page of Flight Report which had shifted to Revision 3 since our arrival in Singapore.
photo img_2612a.
Water fountains for adults and kids (or wheelchair handicapped persons)
photo img_2613a.
From a distance, the baby care room appeared open to men
photo img_2614a.
But I had a doubt when I reached the door.
photo img_2615a.
I diregarded the ambiguity of the pictogram to show you these facilities.
photo img_2616a.
The toilets were spotlessly clean
photo img_2619a.
And deserve the most smiling smiley
photo img_2617a.
Mrs Marathon liked these flowers alongside a corridor
photo img_2628a.
If you forgot that a boarding ax in your hand luggage is not accepted when boarding a plane, this facility can send it for you.
photo img_2631a.
Arrival of the crew of our flight at the safety check, which in SIN is dedicated to each group of gates. The only facilities beyond are the toilets.
photo img_2635a.
Apart from a flight to Jakarta which was to close after the breathless arrival of the last passengers, this was the only flight here, which meant that the vast space was really empty.
photo img_2638a.
Some internet stations, which provided me an opportunity to display flight reports that I recommend you;)
photo img_2653a.
How about power ports ? No, there was none near the boarding gates.
I had to go all the way in the far end of this panoramic view, on the right, to find some
photo img_2650-1 panoa.
No multistandard power ports : the ports were Type G only.
photo img_2649a.
The baby care room, also for female use
photo img_2648a.
Firefly ATR72
photo img_2639a.
A320 Jetstar, just above the winglet of the A350
photo img_2641a.
Etihad A330
photo img_2660a.
The very unusual design of the A350 windshield
photo img_2652a.
Priority boarding of J/Elite passengers : only four showed up.
photo img_2662a.
Next was the time of the Economy passengers who were really few. This picture of the bar in the middle of the J cabin got me a kind smile of the FAs who proposed to take a picture of me there. I am not a selfie collector, but I appreciated their gesture
photo img_2663a.
We had been nearly first to board, in a nearly empty plane
photo img_2666a.
The considerable volume of the overhead luggage bins makes it possible to place standard hand luggage on their thinner edge, but the low load ratio made that useless.
photo img_2668a.
See : the central luggage bins remained unused, because there weren’t any passengers in the central seats.
This passenger, among the last boarding, had a window seat passenger in the wrong row move to her correct seat. A rather meaningless change…
photo img_2691a.
For this A350 was marginally more loaded than the DOH-SIN flight ten days earlier : 95 passengers versus 77, or 30% of the seat capacity. A QR FA confirmed it to me with a slightly embarrassed smile: all the flights on the DOH-SIN line are very empty. For that line, an A319LR would do (in capacity and autonomy), but QR has only one in their fleet, and a longish flight in a small single aisle aircraft might deter customers even more.

Both QR and EK operate three daily flights with twin aisle aircraft : there is an obvious glut on the market for flights connecting in the Gulf from SIN.
photo img_2671a.
The deep headrests which keep the head from falling aside during sleep.
photo img_2673a.
The seat pitch, measured this, was 27cm from the magazine pocket to the front edge of the seat.
photo img_2814a.
And a comfortable 45 cm width between armrests
photo img_2816a.
A reminder of the seat number on the IFE remote control for passengers who did not read correctly the traditional overhead seat numbers.
photo img_2795a.
The folding tray table which was nothing revolutionary
photo img_2715a.
The blocks of three seats on the window side have only two supports : the tubing on the aisle side is there only to keep the luggage placed under seat from straying from their space.
photo img_2806a.
The seat’s reclining limit was quite symbolic
photo img_2783a.
I hope that the cleaning staff will abide by this recommendation, engraved on the outside window (I inverted the picture to make it legible).
photo img_2838a.
The safety car both sides
photo img_2717a.
A man was in the shade of the wing.
photo img_2674a.
He later went out the sun drenched tarmac. What was the use of an armed policeman there ?
photo img_2696a.
Some plane spotting through the window before the pushback.
Air Asia A320
photo img_2676a.
Batik Air A320
photo img_2679a.
Malindo 739
photo img_2683a.
Shanghai Airlines A330
photo img_2687a.
I wished I could have boarded this CI A330 heading back to TPE ;)
photo img_2694a.
Two Jet Airways 738 following each other
photo img_2703a.
This was the second one
photo img_2705a.
Mrs Marathon liked the design of the accessory holding the hair of the female FAs.
photo img_2677a.
They do not hesitate to help place luggage in the overhead bins.
photo img_2709a.
A very short prayer (less than ten seconds ?) in Arabic
photo img_2710a.
The the safety demonstration, made in a humorous manner on a soccer them, in English and then in Arabic.
photo img_2733a.
A spectator on the bleachers of a stadium shows the use of the whistle of the life jacket
photo img_2734a.
Why the hell did the referee blow his whistle ?
photo img_2735a.
You can understand why it is recommended to wait until you are out of the plane to inflate your life jacket
photo img_2716a.
Some more plane spotting during taxiing, with an SQ 777 in Star Alliance livery
photo img_2755a.
The Batik Air A320 seen previously just after her landing
photo img_2742a.
SQ 333
photo img_2745a.
787 Scoot (a LCC subsidiary of SQ), and a TNT 747 freighter in the background
photo img_2746a.
SQ A350
photo img_2747a.
A series of SQ rgoup aircraft
photo img_2748a.
The screen on the bulkhead separating both Y cabins shows the image of the front camera.
photo img_2754a.
An Air Asia A320 was landing Runway 02C
photo img_2757a.
There she was on the ground after we had taken off from Runway 02L
photo img_2768a.
An ANA 787 seen shortly before
photo img_2764a.
Overall view of SIN’s terminals
photo img_2765a.
photo img_2767a.
The technical installation beyond the terminals
photo img_2770a.
The runways end close to the shore
photo img_2772a.
Pulau Urbin, an island belonging to Singapore which has remained undeveloped. Beyond, this is Malaysia.
photo img_2773a.
Steel and possibly oil factories on the Malaysian side
photo img_2776a.
photo img_2780a.
Meanwhile, with the dedication of a Flight Reporter’s spouse, Mrs Marathon recorded the best shots provided by the ventral camera.
photo img_6429a.
She provided me this picture of the causeway linking Singapore and Johor Bahru,
photo img_6434a.
…and the straits between Singapore and Malaysia.
photo img_6437a.
And also the image of the camera from the top of the vertical stabilizer
photo img_2798a.
The characteristic six finger hand shape of the Sultan Iskander water reservoir.
photo img_2784a.
The straits between Singapore and the left and Malaysia on the right, after image enhancement.
photo img_2789a.
A paper menu was distributed on this flight, whereas the choice of hot meals was simply announced by the FAs during the service on the CDG<>DOH flights.
photo img_2794a.
photo img_2793a.
The outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, with and without image processing.
photo img_2810-2a.
photo img_2810a.
In the lower corner of this picture, the runway of Subang Airport (the Kuala Lumpur domestic airport).
photo img_2822a.
In the immediate vicinity, Avenue Persiaran Balairong with Avenue Persiaran Singhasana run three quarters of a full circle, making them an easily recognizable landmark from the sky.
photo img_2823a.
The localization provided by the air show was curiously shifted time- and space-wis: the plane was represented here 20 km north-east of Subang airport, which is slightly top left of the P in Petaling Jaya (the new satellite city of Kuala Lumpur).
photo img_2820a.
I don’t think that the plane was 35 km from these islands, located south-east of Kelang.
photo img_2825a.
photo img_2827a.
The exact location did not matter : this was the time for lunch, brought this way.
photo img_2830a.
The label confirms that I chose the lamb tajine, which was good.
photo img_2832a.
I actually chose lamb only because my wife chose the chicken and noodles.
photo img_2842a.
To the health of Flight Report, version 3 !
photo img_2838b.
When she saw me take this picture, or rather this series of multiple picture tries, a FA proposed to take me with my camera.
photo img_2836a.
The drinks on the trolley, with the smiling complicity of the FAs. This was really one of the crews most open to the photography of every single detail of the aircraft that I had had in the past years.
photo img_2837a.
The good news were that this cake contained few calories. The bad news was that it did not contain much chocolate either. I was not far from suspecting the use of much cheaper artificial coloring.
photo img_2844a.
I was impressed by the linguistic skills of Mrs Marathon who asked for a can of a drink whose name I am totally unable to read.
photo img_2846a.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and we used the empty seat in our row to store our loose stuff
photo img_2847a.
This suggestion appeared for a few seconds at a time at repeated intervals. She needed to be fast, but this an admirable determination of a Flight Reporter’s spouse, Mrs Marathon kept trying until she could recommend you to remain seated will praying on board.
photo img_6452a.
The home page which had not changed on most IFE screens betrayed the very low load ratio.
photo img_2850a.
The toilets were quite standard, but there was a discreet colored lighting at the bottom of the furniture. Note the used syringe container in the center.
photo img_2851a.
Could using a cell phone perturbate the operation of the flush ?
photo img_2852a.
Airlines became smoke-free around the year 2000, but a Flight Reporter taught me that the presence of ashtrays remains compulsory, possibly to make it possible to safely extinguish the cigarette of an offender.
photo img_2853a.
photo img_2854a.
The cabin moodlighting (it was not mandatory to close the window shields)
photo img_2855a.
There was a decent movie offering ; note the indication of the remaining flight time and the flight number : it was reassuring to have the confirmation that we had left SIN and were heading to DOH),
photo img_2856a.
…. but both the initial advertising and the poor sound quality discouraged me to watch a James Bond movie. I am definitely no movie fan when in flight .
photo img_2857a.
But I kept an eye from time to time on Titanic watched by the passenger seating in the row ahead …
photo img_2829a.
… and saw that this was the most explicit scene left by QR’s censors.
photo img_2845a.
The alarm clock had rung very early in our hotel room, and the day was going to be a very long one, but Guanyin had been merciful to us : thanks to the very low load ration, we had two hours of sleep, each in a full flat 144 cm long bed on a central 3 seat row. This was a rare case where I felt slightly too tall for perfect comfort in an aircraft, but I was not going to complain about being able to actually choose which 3 seat row I would use for sleeping !
photo img_2873a.
What did this wrap received after our siesta contain ? Like on the previous flight, the box did not provide any information, apart the fact that I had chosen the vegetarian option and that it had been made in Turkey.
photo img_2878a.
photo img_2879a.
Mrs Marathon’s reprobation, followed by shock and eventual resignation did not deter me from doing a vivisection of my wrap which probably contained mostly spinach and sorrel. I apologize for the lack of decency of this food porn.
photo img_2880a.
It was much better than on the way in, whereas the chicken one chosen by my wife was somewhat stodgy.

Water and fruit juice was available in the galley, but the FAs came several times through the cabin to propose them to the passengers.
photo img_2860a.
India’s western coast
photo img_2870a.
photo img_2871a.
Arrival in view of Oman’s coast, south of Muscat
photo img_2890a.
These were some of the many means of knowing where we were with the air show.
photo img_2886a.
photo img_2887a.
photo img_2888a.
photo img_2889a.
My camera’s autofocus had such a hard time in such a featureless desert that I took this picture in manual mode.
photo img_2897a.
The dryness of the air was so dry and the uniformity of the landscape are highlighted by the dark line in the top third of this picture, which is simply the shadow of our plane’s contrails.
photo img_2900a.
The characteristic winglet of the A350
photo img_2894a.
The FAs started preparing the cabin for the descent. A colored lighting which remained discreet because the natural light was so strong.
photo img_2911a.
Details of the overhead panel ; note the smartphone in the pictograms
photo img_2913a.
photo img_2864a.
I may be picky, but the air show did not display the projected route, and simply drew a straight line to the destination.
photo img_2915a.
A partially built artificial peninsula at the northern edge of the new city of Lusail.
photo img_2924a.
The end of Pearl Boulevard
photo img_2928a.
The passengers on the other side could see this marina – I took this picture on the way in
photo img_0613a_
The Isola Dana string of artificial islands
photo img_2934a.
The one on the left below has been built, but most of them are still bare standardized artificial land.
photo img_2932a.
Clearly marked wrecks
photo img_2935a.
These pictures of the front camera on the IFE have been taken by Mrs Marathon
photo img_6467a.
photo img_6469a.
photo img_6471a.
Touchdown at 13 :11 local time : the flight was perfectly on time
photo img_6473a.
Plan spotting during the short taxi was limited to this 788
photo img_2942a.
And this A340 at the terminal
photo img_2943a.
Going briefly through the J cabin, shortly after the final stop since there were so few passengers before us.
photo img_2947a.
What happened next belongs to the FR of the last flight of this trip, and you can skip the ensuing tourist bonus if you are not interested in Singapore’s architecture.

The architects who worked in Singapore have sometimes a hard time drawing straight lines, like here in Reflexions at Keppel Bay, a luxury residential complex located alongside the bay of the historic harbor of Singapore.
photo img_1341a.
Or the towers on Beach Road, designed by Foster & Partners
photo img_1716a.
And when they have plain rectangular building blocks, they have a hard time not making a jumble out of them, like here at The Interlace, another residential complex out of the beaten path of architecture.
photo img_1481a.
photo img_1472a.
At 25 SGD (15 EUR) each, these fruit juice glasses were by far the most expensive we drank in our vacation, but they deserved the view,
photo img_5193a.
Or more accurately, they were offered with the view from the viewing platform on top of the One Raffles Place building, which justified the price tag
photo img_1584 panoa.
The One Raffles Place is one of the tallest buildings in Singapore, where there is a 280 m height limit on most of the country because of the proximity of the airports and airbases.
photo img_1607a.
You have recognized the unique silhouette of the Marina Bay Sands hotel (and casino in front)
photo img_1582a.
This hotel is famous for its infinity pool which provides a spectacular view on the heart of the city, but it is for guests only.
photo img_1620a.
But if you balked at the price of the rooms there, you can go to the Skypark located on the daring cantilevered end of the building. The ticket is somewhat cheaper than at One Raffles Place (23 SGD vs. 25 SGD, but the view is less too). On the other hand, the One Raffles Place viewing platform is accessible until 5 pm only : the view at dusk and night is reserved to the clients of the restaurants, whose prices are on par with that of the fruit juice.
photo img_1632a.
This open corolla at the foot of the Marina Bay Sands is that of the Art Science Museum which accommodates temporary exhibits.
photo img_5196a.
The Louis Vuitton Island Maison (sic), the leading facility of this brand in Singapore which must have cost a bundle to LVMH.
photo img_5241a.
There is a perfect 360° vista from this terrace, especially at noon : since Singapore is only a few degrees north of the equator,the sun at the zenith guarantees perfect lighting conditions in any directions. Better bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun, but on a weekday, we felt like on a private (albeit costly) terrace where we were completely by ourselves.
photo img_1596a.
photo img_1599a.
There are many noteworthy buildings in the immediate vicinity of this ideally located viewpoint.

In the foreground below, the buildings of the immense and remarkable of the Asian Civilizations Museum.
photo img_5202a.
The Victoria Theater and concert hall
photo img_1598a.
The twin concert hall and theater of Esplanade - Theater on the Bay have been compared to two oversized durians… and criticized for their 600 million SGD construction cost.
photo img_1604a.
The metal flower on the top of the Capita Green building
photo img_1605a.
The lines for turning right at the foot of the tower.
photo img_1626a.
The housing high rises built by the HDB (Housing Development Board) , a government agency which can be credited for the elimination of the slums and overcrowded shophouses where the lower classes of the population of Singapore was packed fifty years ago.
photo img_1615a.
photo img_5255a.
The cranes in the distance are a reminder that Singapore’s opulence owes mostly to the strategic location and efficiency of its deep water harbor.
photo img_1590a.
In the center, the very narrow shophouses of Chinatown, whose typical architecture has been preserved.
photo img_5185a.
This long white structure is the canopy of the pedestrian Nankin Road, which protects passers-by from the heat of the sun (and of the monsoon rains).
photo img_5191a.
In the foreground, the gopuram of Sri Mariamman Temple, oriented in a different direction from the grid pattern of the streets of Chinatown.
photo img_5232a.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was built in 2005-2007 in a neo-Tang Dynasty (7th -8th century) style. The rooms inside are marvels up to the importance of the relic coming from Burmese pagoda.
photo img_5237a.
On the left, the new building of the Supreme Court, whose flying saucer top symbolizes its preeminence above all other powers. The Supreme Court was previously housed in the building on the right, where the National Gallery – a wonderful museum of art – was opened in the end of 2015.
photo img_5200a.
From its terrace (where access is free, unlike the viewpoints mentioned earlier), there is an admittedly lower, but nevertheless interesting view.
photo img_5389 panoa.
The durians of Theaters on the Bay
photo img_5413a.
The Marina Bay Sands, dominating theArt Science Museum on the left and the Louis Vuitton Island Maison in the center.
photo img_1712a.
The jetty built to provide more and better viewing space of the Merlion, the mermaid-lion hybrid which has become the symbol of Singapore.
photo img_5218a.
There it is from the there. The One Raffles Place is the narrow white triangular building in the background center.
photo img_1662a.
The St Andrew Cathedral is very accessible, but it is impossible to take satisfactory overall pictures from the ground level because of the trees which surround it.
photo img_1603a.
Nobody calls the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School that way: it now goes under its acronym CHIJMES, pronounced like “chimes”. This former convent has been converted into a fashionable and pleasant set of shops and restaurants.
photo img_5219a.
The restored chapel can be rented for wedding ceremonies.
photo img_5220a.
The 165 m tall Singapore Flyer was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel when it was inaugurated in 2008. The consensus on the internet is that the view during the 30 minute ride is not worth the rather expensive ticket, and the first operator went bankrupt in 2013.
photo img_5207a.
The Ferris wheel dominates the floating scene and the multicolored bleachers of The Float@Marina Bay. Singapore’s Formula 1 circuit passes in front of this bleachers.
photo img_1600a.
The air conditioned cabins of the Singapore Flyer, in front of an SQ 777 SQ
photo img_5405a.
She was landing in Changi (SIN) of course, not on the runway of Paya Lebar airbase, which was Singapore’s international airport until 1980.
photo img_5223a.
After this 360° tour of the city center which brought us back to aviation, it is time to reach the conclusion.
Thanks for reading me all the way to here!

Verdict

Qatar Airways 

Cabin 10.0
Cabin crew 10.0
Entertainment 8.0
meal/catering 7.5
TOTAL 8.9/10

Singapore - SIN 

Efficiency 10.0
Access 9.5
Services 10.0
Cleanliness 10.0
TOTAL 9.9/10

Doha - DOH 

Efficiency 10.0
Access 7.0
Services 7.0
Cleanliness 10.0
TOTAL 8.5/10

Conclusion

With three daily flights, competing with three daily EK flights on the Gulf transit routes, the market is not enough to fill QR’s brand new A350s on the Singapore line. This translates into exceptional travel conditions for the passengers in these empty aircraft.

QR’s FAs are also among the best on that line, based on my statistically irrelevant sample of two flights only.
I kept finding the IFE navigation unnatural and confusing, and the audio –video offering somewhat disappointing. On the other hand the air map makes maximum use of the good screen, with crisp pictures, a lot of flexibility and excellent touch screen response times.
The catering was also slightly below expectations.

All in all, it was nevertheless an excellent flight, much better than my expectations before starting this trip,thanks to the comfort of this grand new aircraft and cabin, magnified by it being empty, and the excellence of the crew.

Changi was up to its reputation for excellence when departing too. That the flight as empty and that plane spotting was possible from the boarding room made the dedicated safety check arrangement tolerable – I usually dislike that. The only tiny reproach was that it is a long (but reliable and comfortable) subway ride to the airport.

The grades of DOH will be explained in the FR of the connecting DOH-CDG flight : the transit was efficient, but the comfort was less than what could be expected in a brand new airport of a rich country.

Related