Welcome to the 2nd report of this new series covering my latest trip to Sri Lanka and Maldives with Qatar Airways and Korean Air.
The whole trip plan looks like this:
01 FEB - WAW-DOH, QR 264 - A330-300 you can find it here 01 FEB - DOH-CMB, QR 662 - A350-900 - you are here 10 FEB - CMB-MLE, KE 473 - A330-300 14 FEB - MLE-CMB, KE 474 - A330-300 16 FEB - CMB-DOH, QR 665 - A340-600 16 FEB - DOH - WAW, QR 261 - B787-800
CONNECTION IN DOH
Unlike last year's experience with more than 15 hours between the flight and a whole day spent in Doha, this time we had a very short (or even minimum for an airport of this size) connection time of 50 minutes that grew up a little bit to 1 hour and 20 minutes thanks to an early arrival from WAW. The extra time was really essential as we needed to pass the security check and make quite a long walk from the very end of concourse C to the very end of concourse B as our next flight was departing from gate B9.
I haven't seen this guy last year…
a quick photo of my favourite Lamp Teddy!
There's our gate finally
As always in DOH the whole boarding process is divided: first our passports are checked, then they are checked again together with our boarding passes and we are told to seat in zone 1 as we are going to board the aircraft in the first group of economy passengers. Then boarding passes are checked again when the final boarding commences.
In Doha it is usually difficult to spot the aircraft during boarding, in this case it's even worse because it's already dark outside. Anyway I have no photo, so I need to use this picture as we are going to fly one of the LATAM's A350s leased by Qatar Airways.
So it won't be a pure QR A350 experience, rather an interesting hybrid ride as the aircarft has LATAM seats and interior but of course everything else is purely QR.
Anyway it is nice to be onboard this beauty, even if I heven't seen much of it from the outside. Unlike the A333, A350 smells and looks new and modern. The IFE screen is small but it has a great resolution!
Legroom is not the best I have seen , at least there is no giant IFE box, so my both legs will have the same comfort. General impression from the LATAM economy seats is that they are a little bit short and it could be a disadvantage on a longer flight (our is gonna last only 4:20).
A350 has huge windows with traditional shades
The overhead pannel
And cabin view from my seat after boarding is completed. This tall guy's bald head is going to be my landmark for the next 4 hours…
The wing with sharklet in LATAM colours
Our flight's details and the flight path are displayed
The A330 pushes back and reveals our aircraft's QR sister
Our turn for take off. Comparing to A330 it's much more smooth and quiet.
We have a companion that has just taken off from a pararell runway
Doha looks great at night
The Pearl Qatar
We head eastwards towards Iran with some strong but happily short turbulence period
Menus are distributed as the fasten seat belt sign is off. It seems that due to a shorter flight time there is no snack service and there are only 2 options of the main dish (there are usually 3 on longer flights)
I chose chicken as I wasn't really sure what the vegetarian option was going to be. Once more the chicken dish is not the one mentioned in menu. Full tray:
A warm roll (there is butter, cheese and small Godiva chocolate underneath)
Greek salad that is very tasty!
The main doesn't look impressive but is ok. One week later I wouldn't have ordered any chicken with rice knowing that this is the most popular food in Sri Lanka.
It was hard to say what the dessert exactly was… it looked like noodles in sweet condensed milk and it was no doubt sweet but was it good?
I decide to watch a movie after dinner as the screen is of a good quality. The A350 has a traditional headphone socket so I may use my own headphones as the the ones offered onboard don't want to work. It's the same in whole row: my boyfriend and the guy sitting next to us can hear anything only in one ear. I need to express here my deepest appreciation to a male flight attendant working in our row: he told us he would help and he really did. First he made a reset of the IFE in our row but it didn't help. Then he disappeared and after a while he came back with some kind of adapter that made my boyfriend's headphones work normally. I really admired this guy's helpful attitude and commitment - other airlines should watch and learn how the cabin crew work should look like!
Our flight path is over Iran, then Oman, Indian ocean and the very south edge of India. Due to blocade, we can't enter the UAE airspace which makes the flight significantly longer.
We start our descent as we are over south of India
Landing is not as smooth as I expected but all the sounds: flaps extension, gear release are the ones of a new and modern jet (unlike some old planes when you start to worry a part of the fuselage will be missing in a while).
Spacious cabin during deboarding - after this flight A350 is my second favourite aircraft after A380.
We arrive to Colombo at 2:40 local time and even if it's not that late in our home time zone, we feel exhausted after two flights with a very short break. The first impression of CMB: it looks as if time has stopped here 20 years ago but it's very clean and tidy!
To be continued soon! Many thanks for reading!
Doha - DOH
Colombo - CMB
My first ride on the A350 was a very pleasant one. LATAM A350s don't have too comfortable seats but the IFE screen was of a good quality. Generally the cabin was very fresh and clean and it felt very spacious. Once more we had a very nice experience regarding the crew: hard working and extremely helpful, showing their interest and care towards passengers. Short transits in Doha may be difficult as the airport is huge but as we had some extra time, we made it (and I'm pretty sure we would have made it within the standard 50 minutes too).
10 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
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