My route for the trip QR905 Melbourne - Doha ( you are here ) QR243 Doha - Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen ( Click here )
Melbourne - Doha is served daily with a Qatar Airways A388. This route was only codeshared with S7 airlines. ( S7 4736 ) Most of the passengers were transfer passengers. %95 of the passengers were heading to transfer security instead of the arrivals hall at Hamad International Airport.
Checked-in online for both sectors online. I had already booked my seats and no better seat was available at the time of check-in. Before the seat selection process, the system offered me to upgrade to Premium ( Business ) Class for 1000$ only for the MEL-DOH section. I have also jenerated mobile boarding passes for both of the flights.
Entering the airport:
Arrived Melbourne Airport at 20:15. Two hours and fifteen minutes before takeoff. Terminal 2 was quite crowded that day due to the time of day and the holiday season around the world.
There was a service counter, one first class desk, two business class and Oneworld Sapphire, Emerald desks, five economy class desks and five bag drop and web-check-in desks. I have chosen the web check-in desk for today and waited approximately 15 minutes. My bags were all the way checked-in through Istanbul and boarding passes were printed for both sections. Ground staff has told me that they don't prefer mobile or web printed boarding passes to make the boarding more efficiently.
There were signs that indicate that the boarding gate would close 20 minutes before departure. Instead on FIDS, it was written that boarding ends 10 minutes before departure but it didn't apply to QR.
Passport and Security Checkpoint:
Waited 10 minutes on the queue for security in the general line. It was also interesting that an 17 inch laptop didn't fit inside the security trays. Passport check was made by e-gates that scan your photo and take a picture. Also if there was a problem with the e-gate an immigration officer checked passports manually at a desk. No departure cards were required to be fillen at that time.
Waiting for the Flight:
New shops and cafés has been opened to the airport since I've last visited at Jan 2016. Duty free was operated by Dufry instead the Australian company that use to operate before. The duty free was quite expensive to those in Europe. Brunetti Cafe was my choice today that I had a cake and a coffee before the flight. The service was good and the prices were OK for an airport.
The super jumbo jet was waiting for his passengers at gate 16 next to his brother which operated for Singapore Airlines. ( Registiration for our flight: A7-APD )
Boarding had already begun when I arrived to the gate. Boarding was made by zone numbers starting with zone 1,2 and 5 followed by 3 and then 4 but I was one of the last ones to board.
The seat was comfortable for a 14 hour journey. Pillow, blankets and a small personal amenity kit were offered. Thales personal TV's were installed to each seat with the Oryx entertainment system installed. The tray table of the seat was different than the one from Doha to Melbourne and there was neither a remote control on the seat that flight. Legroom was great but the entertainment system box limited the space under the seat in the front.
The safety video was shown in English and Arabic.
Afterwards, refreshment towels were distributed.
Our route today
9V-SKT was at gate 14 serving SQ218 that day.
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER was being prepared for his flight to Hong Kong
Fiji Airways 737-800 service to Nadi was at gate 20
EK & QF A388 are both heading to Dubai that evening and behind them an Air Asia X A330 was parked. 2 NZ aircrafts ( 1 in Star Alliance livery ) and a VA 738 were parking at remote stands. Also a QF 738 appears at Terminal 1.
Takeoff was on time and we were scheduled to arrive early to Doha at that moment.
Some flight information at that point.
Menus were distributed just after the seatbelt signs had been switched off.
Chicken, beef and pasta was offered for this service.I've chosen the beef which was served with potatos and vegetables. Besides the main course the tray contained salad, bread-cheese-butter, a chocolate cake, water and a small Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. Due to the heavy turbulence at that time meal service was stopped for 15 minutes then I had been able to recieve my drink.
The entertainment system had lots of selections for the long flight. Headseats were pretty OK for economy class. The remote control also contained it's own map which I can check at the same time enjoying my movie. I haven't checked if there was power but there was an USB port in each seat.
Also the Oryx magazine and the Extravaganza Duty Free catalogue were inside the seat pockets with the safety card.
Complimentary in-flight wifi was offered today which was limited to 10MB. The wifi worked perfectly when using messaging apps and recieving mails but had some difficulties opening attachements.
A savoury pastry and a cake was served at the middle of the flight.
Flight information at that time
There was three options for the breakfast service which started 2 hours and 30 minutes before scheduled arrival.
I've chosen the cake option which was served with cherry compote. The tray had a passion fruit yoghurt, some fruits, orange juice and a croissant served with butter and strawberry jam. Everything was fine and delicious at this meal service.
The crew was OK and I didn't have any contact with them except the meal services.
Videos about Hamad Airport and the child care program was shown just after the seatbelt sign had been switched on.
Flight information before arrival
Due to restrictions to Qatar our route had slightly changed.
No arriving gate, belt number and transfer information was shown on the entertainment system.
Because of the foggy weather in Doha we needed to fly over the city for 20 minutes and we have touched down safely at 5:35 in the morning. Almost nothing except the runway and taxiway lights weren't visible at that time. Arrived at gate C13 and I have headed my way to transfer security.
Melbourne - MEL
Doha - DOH
There was no negative point about the flight so everything happened in the way it should be. 3 options for each meal service were one of the best points of the airline, last time when I flew this route in 2013 ( it was QR 31 that time ) they offered three selections for the dinner service but only one selection for the breakfast which wasn't that good. The seat was comfortable and every type of movie can be found in the entertainment system so I wouldn't expect more from Qatar Airways for this route.
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