Flight-Report

Review of Qatar Airways flight Helsinki Doha in Economy

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR308
Class Economy
Seat 17A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 07:20
Take-off 12 Dec 18, 21:40
Arrival at 13 Dec 18, 06:00
QR   #8 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 470 reviews
AXY2002
By 1091
Published on 14th January 2019

Introduction


Hello! This is the third report on my trip to Sweden and Finland.The itinerary is as shown below.
SIN → DOH | QR943 | A359 | Click Here |
DOH → ARN | QR171 | A359 | Click Here |
HEL → DOH | QR308 | A320 | You are here |
DOH → SIN | QR944 | A35K | Click Here |

Check In


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Taking the train to vantaa airport. I would recommend using the train to get to the airport because it's affordable and very fast (it only took 35min to get to airport from the central station). The train departs every 10 minutes.


Arriving in the airport. I arrived very early hence check in has not opened yet. However there were already quite a few passengers waiting. Once check in open it was relatively fast though. One thing to note was that tax refund in Finland was quite confusing as when I tried to get tax refund at the global blue desk they told me to go down to customs. At that point you have to take out your receipt and also show them the item you purchased. The process itself was relatively fast but the whole system is very complicated so you might want to check which desk you need to go to beforehand. Public area in Vantaa airport was very nicely decorated with high ceilings that made the place looks spacious and it probably helped that at the time of departure there wasn't a lot of flights so the airport was practically empty.

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Security was very fast as there was no one there. In Vantaa airport, after security you will get to the transit area. For passenger travelling to outside the schegen area you will go through passport control before being allowed into the international terminal. One thing to note however was that there was significantly less restaurants and shops in the international terminal so if you arrived early you might want to check out the shops before immigration. Immigration was also very fast as there were only a handful of international flights.

Take Off


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About 30 minutes before departure boarding was announced in groups. It was rather chaotic as passengers were already crowding around to gate before boarding was announced. There was quite a jam both on the aerobridge and on board the aircraft. The good thing was that I got a very clear look at the cockpit while waiting for the passengers in front to be seated. One thing I should mention was that it was very nice of the crew at the door to greet us by our last names as we boarded - even though she was reading of the boarding pass but it does make the service seem more sincere.


The seat pitch on this aircraft seems rather generous although the IFE box was quite annoying. The screen on this aircraft was - for the lack of better word - terrible. The screw was extremely unresponsive and I had to press very hard to get it to work (they could at least give us a handset). The resolution was also quite bad but it wasn't a huge problem as I slept through most of the flight.


Timelapse of departure from HEL

Cruise


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The menus were given out after takeoff. The service started off with dinner. I choose the chicken tikka masala. This was easily the best meal I ever had on a plane. The chicken and the rice complemented each other very well and the sauce used gave it a nice flavour. I had an apple juice to go with the meal.


Went to the toilet after the meal service. It was kept clean although nothing to special.

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A snack service was conducted before landing. It consisted of a Arabic pastry with turkey and egg along with a coconut and vanilla muffin. The muffin was very sweet and nice although the pstry was a bit hard.

Landing



Timelapse of the landing.

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There was some very nice view during landing and the seat I am on gave me a spectacular view of the wing.

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Arrived at a remote stand in doha.
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Verdict

Qatar Airways

8.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
In-flight Entertainment7.0
Meal/catering9.0

Helsinki - HEL

9.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Doha - DOH

9.4/10
Efficiency9.5
Access10.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The small plane and full flight makes the aircraft feel very noisy and small and the IFE was particularly annoying. However what the plane lacks in IFE was made up by the polite crew and the delicious meal provided.

Both Doha and Helsinki had very efficient security procedures and did not take a long time to clear the security and immigration. This was even more impressive at Doha as we arrived during the peak hour so there were many travellers transferring at HIA and yet security still took minimal time. There were many shops at both airport (but of course Doha wins in this aspect). The downside to doha was that because there were many flights departing at the same time the gate information takes a very long time to appear. My flight left a 8:15 but at 7:15 the gate was still not shown. I had to google to find out the gate. There were also many other travellers waiting at the FIDs for their gates to appear.

Related

10 Comments

  • Comment 483966 by
    atco 93 Comments

    Great report thanks!

    Wow, 7 hours 20 in an A320 that almost seems inhuman to me! Congratulations on surviving such a test of endurance!

  • Comment 484149 by
    temppuflyer 2 Comments

    Nice review! Please note, the area you called "transit area" is actually main terminal where the most european and domestic flights depart. So actually there is no separate area called "international terminal", though flights to non-schengen destinations must leave after passport control.

  • Comment 484223 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4655 Comments

    Hi AXY2002! Oh wow, so it wasn't a typo...the flight really was operated by an A320! I see on flightaware that the flight averages about 6.5 hours...that's long for an A320, but not terrible. 757s and 737s with narrower cabins and seats regularly fly longer routes and are more uncomfortable.

    Catering looks great, as usual on QR and glad you had a good cabin crew. Like you say that really helps to make the experience better.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 484247 by
    02022001 4241 Comments

    A320^^ But if the pitch is fine, the flight can be nice ahah.
    Thanks to share ;)

  • Comment 484267 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hello Axy2002, and thanks for sharing this latest installment in this series.

    Is this the longest scheduled A320 route around currently? If not, it’s got to be close. It’s hard to beliieve that something like Helsinki to Doha is only nominally longer than JFK-LAX.

    At north of seven hours, that is a real test of the A320’s endurance, and that of the passengers. Although arguably, it might be a better seating experience than 3-3-3 on the A350. But there are other factors than seat width, such as the number of lavs.

    Disappointing that the IFE quality was lackluster and hard to use, especially given the length of this flight, and what you enjoyed on the previous widebody.

    Once again, Qatar catering looks great in all classes, and it sounds like it lived up to your expectations.

    I love the timelapses of both departure and arrival. I should play around with doing that sometimes, if you don’t mind me swiping your idea.

    Thanks again for sharing, and happy flying!

    • Comment 484384 by
      AXY2002 AUTHOR 12 Comments

      Hello hometoyyz! I think the longest A320 route is Bahrain to London - at least according to google. But flights that are more than 4-5 hours on a narrow body is really pushing the plane and pax to the limit. Although with the A321LR we can very possibly fly narrow body on flights up to 12 hours... so fingers crossed that we continue to fly on wide body. With only 2 lav on the plane it could very likely cause a huge problem but most passengers will be sleeping so if you avoid the meal times sit should be fine. Can't say for other flights though.

      IFE was a huge letdown but the meals were really nice so overall the flight was not that bad.

      You should definitely do the timelapse and I hope you have a better luck of capturing the city skylines than me!

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