My next flight from Doha to London will be operated on a much older A330-300 aircraft. The aircraft has just arrived and seen taxiing in.
Departing from Gate C2.
Holding area. Seemed like a very full flight up to London.
05 August 2015 Qatar Airways QR 5 Doha (DOH) - London Heathrow (LHR) A330-300 A7-AEB Economy Class
Boarding began on schedule, again with priority followed by zones. A7-AEB is still fitted with QR's oldest products and offers 3-class service. However, the aircraft is due to be retrofitted soon with newer products.
Boarded from Door 2 and passed through the Business Class cabin fitted with the previous generation of angled flat seats. Well, still not too bad a product for a mid-haul, I would say.
Entering the economy cabin fitted with Recaro seats, which felt like a flashback to the 90s', after having flown on QR's latest products. Again, pillow and blankets on each seat.
Legroom was just average, but felt constricted due to the IFE box taking up half the underseat space in front. What a glaring difference in comfort from the previous A350 cabin.
Boarding in progress. This old A330 is configured with a mega economy class cabin, with the only galley and all lavatories located at the rear. This configuration definitely poses some inconveniences for the crew, especially during meal services when passengers some passengers seated upfront need to visit the lavs and were blocked by the meal carts. A very inefficient layout I must say. The cabin filled and was almost totally full. Interestingly, the passenger profile on this flight was very diverse, ranging from Africans, Middle-easterners, Indians, Asians to Europeans. QR is indeed successful in making Doha a mega transit hub!
Worn out safety card. Rest of the inflight mags were similar to the previous flight.
Old-school IFE controller located below the armrest.
And old-school IFE system and interface as well. Selections not as varied as the newer system, but sufficient for mid-hauls. Saving grace was the big screen, which was also touchscreen enabled.
Pushed back for the 7h flight to London.
A short taxi later, we took off from Rwy34L slightly behind schedule.
Watch the video of the takeoff here.
Flying into the sunset as we headed north towards Iran.
A run of beverages was first offered. Had a pineapple juice and water. I don't really liked the pineapple juice offered by QR. However, the mango juice was very nice!
On flights to Europe, menus were not handed out. Instead, the menu would be flashed on the IFE monitors for a couple of minutes. For some reasons, the menu displayed did not tally with what was offered, and so I will not show it here. But basically, 3 choices of chicken, beef or vegetarian was offered.
Meal service in progress. Up to 6 meal carts, manned by all 6 crew in economy, were used to speed up the meal delivery.
Chose the chicken option and had a white wine and orange juice to go along. Again, the wine bottle was shown to me very professionally before pouring. Meal came with a starter and dessert, as well as warm roll with butter, cheese spread, a pot of water and a mini Valrhona chocolate stick.
Starter of a mixed bean and vegetables salad, which was not really to my liking (personal preference of not liking raw onions and herbs). Dessert cake was delicious though.
Chicken in brown sauce with potatoes and peas. Tasted just like any average airline meal.
Roll, butter, cheese and chocolate.
Unlike the flight from Singapore, metal cutlery were used on this flight. Maybe as LHR is a premium route?
My travel partner opted for the vegetarian choice and was presented with a hindu vegetarian meal of curried mushrooms with rice. Tasted ok.
Dessert was enjoyable though.
Ending the meal with some hot tea.
Somewhere over Iran now.
Starting on my next movie.
Cabin view from the rear.
Lavatory with the standard QR amenities.
After the second movie, I took a short nap. Not sure if any snack service was conducted mid-flight. After I woke, we were somewhere over eastern Europe.
Pre-arrival refreshment was served.
As usual, the warm snack box was handed out. I had a coke light to go along. Similarly, there was a spicy chicken puff and a warm cake. I don't really care for the puff as my body was screaming Sleep! but the cake, a usual, was rather moist and tasty.
Arriving in London soon. As per previous flight, blankets were collected back and cabin was prepped for landing.
Cabin was flooded with this hideous blue mood lighting during the descend.
Last streak of light over London.
Landing in Heathrow Rwy09L, right on schedule.
A rather lengthy taxi to Terminal 4 where we parked.
Disembarking the plane, the economy cabin looked as if a hurricane has swept through it. Newspapers, pillows, headphones and spilt food on the floors. Wonder how do some passengers can mess up a cabin so bad. Pity the cleaning crew…
My seat for the last 7hrs of flight.
Passing Business Class.
And the 12-seater First Class cabin.
As we were the last international flight into T4 at that time, immigration only took a record of less than 5 minutes for me! There was a bit of wait for bags, but customs checks were non-existent. Never had it so smooth through LHR arrivals before!
I stayed at Dorsett Shepherds Bush, which was newly opened just a year ago, and offers decent room rates and modern, comfortable rooms.
Scenes of London
Visit to Winsor Castle
Followed by the ancient roman town of Bath.
Ending the day with the Stonehenge.
Doha - DOH
London - LHR
Overall, the QR experience on this flight is not up to par as the previous, not helped by the older, cramped seats and a full flight. Service was friendly and professional as usual but with the full load, there is only so much that the crew can do. Catering was average and nothing memorable. However, overall still of acceptable standards.
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