Flight-Report

Review of Qatar Airways flight Doha Abu Dhabi in First

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR1050
Class First
Seat 3F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 20 Mar 16, 16:05
Arrival at 20 Mar 16, 18:05
QR   #6 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 478 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 2996
Published on 27th April 2016
Greetings Flight Report community and welcome back to this series of flight reports.

Star Alliance Lounges LAX and Singapore Airlines LAX-NRT (A380) (Suites) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13908.html
ANA Suite Lounge NRT and Singapore Airlines NRT-SIN (A380) (Suites) SQ "Arrivals" Lounge http://flight-report.com/en/report-13917.html
The Private Room and T2 First Class Lounge SIN and Singapore Airlines SIN-KUL-SIN (A350) (Business) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13999.html
DNATA and SATS Lounges SIN and Qatar Airways SIN-DOH (A350) (Business)http://flight-report.com/en/report-14020.html
Al Safwa First CLass Lounge DOH and Qatar Airways DOH-AUH (A320) (First) (This Report)
Etihad Premium Lounge(s) T1 and T3 and Etihad Airways AUH-NRT (A340-600) (First) http://flight-report.com/en/report-14112.html
JAL First Class Lounge HND and Japan Airlines HND-SFO (777-300ER) (First) (Coming Soon)
Admirals Club SFO and American Airlines SFO-LAX (737-800) (First) (No Report)

In the last installment I was whisked across the Indian Ocean in an airplane with a tail camera. There were other details but that's the basic theme. Now, after alighting said A350 and boarding a nice air conditioned bus I am deposited in the ground floor of Hamad International Airport. Up a series of escalators and to the transit desk I head. There is no wait check in and I receive my boarding pass promptly.

Of course I could have done the trip on one ticket but I was unclear of the lounge access rules. I was certain that a passenger originating in DOH and flying QR in regional F would get access to the Al Safwa Lounge. Does one who is inbound in J and connecting to regional F? I thought maybe the J -> F scenario might be treated as a J passenger. Anyhow, the amount of Avios was the same, I probably paid some additional taxes/fees but it was not punitive.

The Al Safwa lounge is one floor above the transit security checkpoint.

photo 20160320_040005

I'm still blown away by the look of this lounge. The high ceilings, the water feature, the materials, all stunning.



My first stop was the dining room. The service was non-existent initially. I was seated for a few minutes before I was offered service. It was not because they were busy.



Finally a menu. The options are underwhelming to my palate.

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I opt for a glass of Krug, the cheese sambusak, and the vegetable tart. Both food items taste of frozen supermarket food. The wine is sublime.



Bread and a nice assortment of spreads was also placed ot h table.

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The service was abysmal and I only picked at the food. There was not a clear staff assigned to my table to it was a random flow of staff repeating the same questions between long absences. Eventually I was able to secure a cup of coffee after flagging someone down. Maybe AAB was in the dining room so everyone was running scared.

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I walked about the lounge after the failed snack and discovered an entire dining area that I didn't know existed. Judging by the lack of people in the room I might not be the only one. It's a great concept with sushi, salad ingredients, breads, and beautiful sandwich meats. There is a chef and server there so you may customize your meal. I wish I knew before wasting my time in the dining room.



With the remainder of my time in this amazing space I had a brief respite in one of the family rooms.



It's so staggering to me how few people are utilizing this most beautiful lounge.



A look at the departure board and my last chance to take in the grandeur of the main hall and it was off to the gate.



It's a good walk from Al Safwa to C13 which is appreciated.



I was curious/puzzled by the airplane parked at C13. At the time I had no idea what Al Maha was. It was later I read that it's a Saudi start up airline owned and operated by Qatar Airways. They have yet to launch service in Saudi so they use the airplanes on the QR mainline.

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Boarding was under way when I entered the gate area so I went aboard. The A320 is in a very basic configuration and not nearly as nice as the lie flat seat equipped A320 of the standard QR fleet. However, for a 30 min. flight, it will be perfect.



The equipment box under the seat is annoying. Especially as there is no IFE/AVOD/Screen!

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I was offered water or juice and cold or warm towel. I selected water and a cold towel.

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Menus were distributed. I was oh so curious how the crew was going to manage a meal service on this short flight. There were 7/12 seats occupied in the first class cabin. The answer turned out to be part hustle and part several passengers declining the service. I am not one to decline service however…



Arabic coffee and date were on offer proir to push back. The young flight attendant doing most of the service in first was absolutely fantastic. She was enthusiastic, friendly, and always addressed me by name. I got the impression that she may be a newish hire. She's a keeper and definitely an asset to QR.

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The Al Maha branding in the cabin.

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During taxi I spot the A350 that brought me in form SIN as well as the VIP terminal.

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Cool looking island on view shortly after take off. What is this? Resort? Prison? QR training "camp"?

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Service began immediately of course. I opted for the vegetarian dish. I had a taste of everything and it was a lovely dish and better than anything I tried at Al Safwa. I was truly amazed at how this could be the offering on such a short sector.



After no time at cruise we dropped down to approach AUH.



Hello Long Beach, CA!

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A look at T1.

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One final look at the cabin.

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See more

Verdict

Qatar Airways

7.4/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering8.5

Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge

8.2/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services8.0

Doha - DOH

8.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Abu Dhabi - AUH

7.0/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Thank you for joining me on this short hop to AUH.

The Ground Service: Transit was very efficient, even collecting my onward boarding pass. I didn't notice a premium security line but perhaps I was in one as it was a very brief wait.

The Lounge: Al Safwa is a treat for the senses. The visual aspects of the design, the materials, the waterfall, all of it. The service this time was sub par. The food in the dining room was unremarkable but the sushi, salad, sandwich area looks very promising. Also, where are all the people?

The Cabin: This Al Maha aircraft was very basic and more a kin to US first class. The space the equipment box occupies on the window seats is terrible and rather confusing as there is nothing in the housing.

The Crew: Very professional and efficient crew. Everything was delivered with a smile and enthusiasm. I was very impressed considering the high workload on such a short sector.

The Food and Beverage: Excellent food and beverage options considering the stage length. Again, very impressed with the QR short haul product.

Overall: A very enjoyable flight on the Qatar Airways.

Information on the route Doha (DOH) Abu Dhabi (AUH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Doha (DOH) → Abu Dhabi (AUH).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Qatar Airways with 8.3/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 41 minutes.

  More information

9 Comments

  • Comment 162842 by
    kevincrumbs 2 Comments

    The island in question is Banana Island Resort Doha, operated by the Anantara.

  • Comment 162884 by
    eminere™ 270 Comments

    That water feature in the lounge is such a stunner. Just heightens the walls and tall ceilings even more.

    • Comment 346555 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 839 Comments

      Greetings Eminere™ and thanks for the comment. It's hard to believe it's an airport lounge and not an art or design museum. Al least an exclusive luxury hotel.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

    • Comment 346693 by
      jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

      That's nice of you to say.
      - Just giving to Caesar what is Caesar's. ;)

    • Comment 346601 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 839 Comments

      Hello Jetsetpanda and thanks for the comments.

      You did a fantastic job showcasing the architectural details and expansive size of QR's flagship lounge.
      -That's nice of you to say. The black ceilings are such a great touch as they make the walls seem like those of a castle.

      Despite its impressive layout this lounge feels somewhat austere and the lack of service compounds to this perception.
      - I hadn't considered the austerity of the space but that is a keen observation. Perhaps also the lack of people lounging and enjoying the space adds to this.

      Thank you again Jetset and happy flying.

  • Comment 162972 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    You did a fantastic job showcasing the architectural details and expansive size of QR's flagship lounge. Despite its impressive layout this lounge feels somewhat austere and the lack of service compounds to this perception. Perhaps the lack of people is a good thing since it heightens the exclusivity of the place. Or maybe you were there during down time.

    The service during this short flight was solid and the meal adequate.

    Thanks Christian.

  • Comment 163140 by
    mogoy GOLD 9144 Comments

    Hi thanks for the sharing !

    Same conclusions as mine for the Al Safwa lounge, the catering is underwhelming.
    Banana island,doha, it's a resort. Should allow nice spotting from there on DOH.

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