Review of Qatar Airways flight Doha Washington in Economy

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR707
Class Economy
Seat 16A
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 13:55
Take-off 15 Jul 20, 08:40
Arrival at 15 Jul 20, 15:35
QR   #7 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 527 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 4275
Published on 23rd July 2020

Report No: 2020-702E


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Welcome to this very new post-COVID series and after 4 months, I am flying long-haul again and a new series is starting. As I would head to the USA, with the quarantine for passengers coming from and transiting at some countries I didn't have that many choices and my options were Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Emirates. When it comes to price, Emirates was the most expensive one so I directly eliminated that option.


When it came between Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways, at the time I bought the ticket, TK still hadn't adjusted their post-COVID schedule and the full pre-COVID schedule was available for sale and they were known for their last-minute ( T72-T108 ) cancellations and Qatar Airways was $500 cheaper than TK so I didn't hesitate and booked with QR. In addition, after I booked the ticket, QR started a status match challenge and I matched my Turkish Airlines Elite Plus status to Qatar Privilege Club Platinum.


The second report of this series would be a review of a transatlantic flight from Doha to Washington Dulles onboard the Qatar Airways A350-900. Besides, this report would contain a brief review of the Al Mourjan Lounge at Doha.


Here is the routing



The following parts of this series would be revealed later on;


Loads for this flight

Business Class: %35-40
Economy Class: %40-45


DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT - DOH


After arriving from my previous flight and entering the terminal, the Al Maha stewardess that was assigned to me has taken me to an empty private security lane which had only a 2-minute wait, and then I was at the airside. Then the stewardess took me to the Al Mourjan lounge as the Business and First Class Lounges ( respectively for Oneworld Sapphire/Privilege Club Silver & higher and for Oneworld Emerald/Privilege Club Platinum ) was closed.


By the way, if you haven't read my previous report, I would like to remind you that Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold and Platinum passengers could benefit from the Al Maha Gold package for free.


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Qatar Airways AL MOURJAN LOUNGE - DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT


After coming to the lounge entrance, I was welcomed by a friendly agent that informed me that there are quiet rooms available at the lounge and one was reserved for me so I could get rested in my 9-hour layover in Doha.


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Here's how a quiet room cubicle looks, a large sofa and a sleeper-chair with a table


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And a TV


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I spent most of the time at the lounge in my cubicle, however, I also wanted to explore the remainder of the lounge.


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Before exploring the lounge, I had a look at the FIDS


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Before exploring the lounge, I've decided to head downstairs to the duty free area to check what's going on over there.


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The main duty free stores were going under renovation however some small duty free stores were open.


The small duty free stores mainly sold cosmetics and some chocolate & tobacco that was on sale. No alcohol was sold at the duty free stores during my layover.


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The food court was open


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The electronic store,


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And most fashion boutiques were kept closed, however, the Samsung store that was not pictured in this report was open


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Some of the WHSmith's were open, however, this one that I pictured was closed. WHSmith also had reasonable offers for food&beverage and books.


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It was now time to return to the lounge. By the way, the lounge did not get crowded at any time and it was always empty around which means plenty of space to social distance.


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Before having food, I visited one of the restrooms in the lounge which was kept clean.


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Then I've decided to sit and have a snack at the dining resort.


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The staff at the lounge was very kind to ask me to sit wherever I want. Here is the menu for the day.


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The first thing I was asked was if I preferred still or sparkling water. Then I've ordered a glass of brut champagne. Rosé champagne was also available.


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There is also a self serve counter which has cold snacks.


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I've opted for the falafel sandwich which was extremely delicious.


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Later on, I had the panna cotta which also tasted great. I was also offered drink refills by the staff during my time in the dining room.


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Before getting to rest, I've wandered around the lounge and noticed the game room, it looks like a nice place to spend time playing table football if you're traveling with someone.


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Later on, I went back to my quiet cubicle and ordered water and slept for 2-3 hours.


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When I woke up, I've asked for a shower room and in 10 minutes a room was available. Also, a reminder that shower rooms for men and women are separate in Doha.


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The shower agent welcomed me and asked if I need anything, I've asked for a dental kit as my travel size toothpaste was almost empty.


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And here is the cosmetic products in the shower cabin.


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After my shower, I've headed to the restaurant to have breakfast. Due to COVID-19, the full offerings were available, however, the food was placed to your plate by the chefs at the buffet.


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Here is my selection for the day, I've also ordered a glass of mango juice and fresh mint tea.


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Also one of the chefs proposed me to offer an omelette of my choice which tasted good.


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Unfortunately, it was time to leave the lounge for my flight and at the lounge exit an Al Maha stewardess was waiting for me and that agent kindly escorted me to my gate.


GATE AREA & BOARDING


After a document check and another security control, I was inside the gate lounge and both the gate staff and the Al Maha stewardess told me to be seated at the priority area and that I could board with priority boarding.


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Despite priority boarding not being offered in IST for elites traveling in Economy, it was offered in Doha.


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The gate lounge also had a payphone and two internet kiosks.


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Boarding had started 40-50 minutes before departure with passengers requiring extra assistance and then it was followed with Business Class & Privilege Club/oneworld Priority passengers.


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I was one of the first ones in Economy Class to board the aircraft.


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And the A350-900 that would take me to the USA.


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A7-ALZ is one of QR aircraft which has the oneworld livery.


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QR 707 DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT TO Washington Dulles AIRPORT


After being welcomed by the crew, I took my seat 16A which was in the first row of Economy Class.


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Although the seat was narrow compared to other carriers it was super comfortable and the legroom at this row was perfect.


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The overhead panel. By the way, this flight was my first A350 flight so I was also excited to fly on this aircraft.


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Each seat in Economy Class had a Thales personal screen with the Oryx One entertainment system installed.


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Also, the IFE system had a touch screen remote.


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Our neighbor was another Qatar Airways A350


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Boarding was completed on schedule and the crew started preparations for takeoff.


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Starting by distributing the refreshing towels and headsets


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And then, the safety video started to play.


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And we were pushing back


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Nothing except QR was on sight


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Later on, a safety video for COVID-19 was played.


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Shortly later, amenity kits were distributed.


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And we're taxiing to gate 34R.


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The Emiri terminal


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And we're up in the air


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The cargo terminal, which is quite popular these days


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On the left some aircraft parked at Hamad Airport and on the right Qatar A380's parked at Doha International Airport.


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Doha city center


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And we're heading north


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While we were taking of the child support project video was monitored from the personal screens.


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Al Khor stadium


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City of Al Khor


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While reaching our cruising altitude, the cabin supervisor came and greeted me personally because of my QRPC Platinum status and gave me brief information about the flight.


Later on, the cabin crew handed the COVID-19 protective kit.


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And a view of the route map for our 13h15min flight.


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BRUNCH - QR 707 DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


Shortly later after takeoff, brunch was served. The options were a frittata, an omelette or beef. I've opted for the beef stew option. It was served with mash potatoes and carrots. A fruit cup, bread, a bottle of water, a dessert, and a Godiva chocolate was also present at the tray. Due to COVID-19, butter was only available on request.


Beef Minced Stew, Mash Potato Marrow, Carrots Blch


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The meal itself was delicious and I enjoyed it. Also, I would like to remind you that due to COVID-19, no menus were handed in Economy Class and the cabin crew explained the choices in detail to all passengers. After the meal service, there was a tea/coffee service and I've opted for a cup of tea.


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The route map at that time


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Before getting to sleep, I've visited the lavatories which were kept clean at all times. During multiple visits to lavatories at the flight, I realized that it was always clean which is a nice sign.


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A view from the window before I slept


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IFE - QR 707 DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


Wi-Fi was available on today's flight, every passenger had the opportunity to get a free hour of Wi-Fi or pay $10 for the entire flight. I also find the price for Wi-Fi generous as the speed was really good and cheap compared to their competitors.


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Also, the IFE screen had a variety of movies and due to COVID-19, no onboard literature was available including the Oryx Magazine.


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During the flight, every 30 minutes, the cabin crew made drink runs which were appreciated.


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MIDFLIGHT SNACK - QR 707 DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


During mid-flight, a service was offered and the options were either a chicken sandwich or a vegetable sandwich. I've opted for the chicken sandwich which tasted good. I also had a cup of tea with the sandwich.


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A view from the tail camera


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I used my free Wi-Fi in the second half of the flight.


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The speed was enough to read a Flight-Report on flight-report.com


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Or tracking our flight on Flight-Radar 24.


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Later on, I decided to watch some episodes of Friends.


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At that time, we were over Greenland


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Shortly later, I've started another movie


LUNCH - QR 707 DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


As Qatar Airways has a correct policy that the first meal service starts from the front to the rear, the second meal service starts from the rear to the front to be fair to each passenger.


Because of my Platinum membership, the crew came and ask my choice before the meal service started, I've opted for the vegetarian option and it was reserved for me until my turn has come.


The tray contained a starter, a dessert, a bottle of water, bread, and chocolate. Butter was available on request.


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The main course was very delicious like the first meal.


Peas Rice With Dal Makhani
Green Peas Rice, Dal Makhani, Vegetable Jalfrezi


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Later on, tea & coffee service was made and I've opted for a coffee with Bailey's.


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A view from the window


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Route map for the last time


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The Hudson River


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We would be landing shortly


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Before landing, both of the cabin supervisors and the crew serving my area thanked me for flying Qatar Airways and I told them all that I really enjoyed the flight and they were perfect.


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Losing altitude



The metro construction to IAD


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The United hangar


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And we've touched down on time


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A UPS freighter aircraft


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Terminal A/B was empty. Only an American 737-800, a Copa 737-800, and a South African A340-600 were visible in the northern part of the terminal.


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The Saarinen Terminal and the tower


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An Air Canada regional jet parked at Terminal Z


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A Copa 737-800 that would head to Panama.


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And we would park at gate A23/A25 today.


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WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT - IAD


A view of the aircraft from the terminal


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In IAD, passengers are transported to the Customs & Border Protection hall by moon buggies, to leave the buggy first, and to skip people at the line, it's essential to stay in the front of the moon buggy.


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A last shot of our aircraft from the moon buggy.


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And after a moon buggy ride, I was in the CBP hall. Over there was a dedicated medical commission of people for arriving from countries that were on the CBP travel restriction list. Otherwise, normal immigration procedures applied and the wait wasn't surprising and the experience was like a regular IAD experience.


Shortly later, I claimed my baggage from carousel 21, and then I've headed to the bus stop to go to Washington DC from the airport.


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Due to COVID, buses were operating on a Sunday schedule every-day so I waited 45-50 minutes for the next bus which was also free due to COVID-19.


Also, it's bad news that the bus would be eliminated when the metro opens, with the metro in Washington DC being slow, the IAD bus is efficient to go from/to the airport from/to the city.


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The bus was empty with 7 passengers onboard to the city so social distancing was observed during the bus ride.


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This report has now came to an end.
The journey would continue in the next report.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you on another report.

See more

Verdict

Qatar Airways

9.8/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Meal/catering10.0

Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge

9.5/10
Comfort9.5
Meal/catering10.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services9.5

Doha - DOH

9.0/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Washington - IAD

6.1/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

This flight was my first flight on an A350 and it was a perfect flight experience with Qatar Airways. The experience in DOH was great including the Al Mourjan Lounge which is a different world and one of the best airport lounges that I've seen. The food, the staff, the quiet room cubicle in the lounge, etc... everything was perfect in the lounge. The airport experience was also pleasant with the checkpoint wait times, with the gate area being organized and with QR assigning me a free Al Maha stewardess because of my status. The only negative thing in the airport was most stores and boutiques were closed and duty-free had limited options: mostly perfumes, cosmetics, and some chocolate, toys, and tobacco. The boarding process was smooth as everyone respected their zone numbers and priorities were also respected. The flight experience itself was amazing as the crew made it better as they could with their great service. The seats were comfortable and the legroom was superb in the bulkhead row, however, it's noticeable that the seat width is not perfect for people who are fat. The inflight entertainment offerings were also great with many films and TV shows available, also the free 1 hour Wi-Fi is a nice feature. I also find $10 reasonable for the all flight Wi-Fi package and it's a great option if you need to work on the flight. The meal service standard was really nice, instead of serving a nut/pretzel service, it's understandable that Qatar Airways focuses on maximizing sleep onboard as well so the brunch service was served 30 minutes after we took off, which allowed passengers to sleep when it was night in the USA. It's also appreciable that there was a hot mid-flight snack onboard. Also, I would like to add that all meals were tasting super good and drink runs were made almost every 30-45 minutes by the crew. In addition, I would like to mention that the lavatories were kept clean through all my visits and I have never seen a dirty lavatory in the entire flight which was a good sign. The experience in IAD was a standard IAD immigration experience with bags being there when you arrived at the carousel and a wait at the CBP customs control. I would also like to mention that due to COVID-19 the moon buggies at IAD were transporting a limited amount of passengers. And, from IAD to Washington DC, Uber and Lyft services had higher prices than usual so I preferred to use the bus service but it wasn't nice that they've decreased the number of buses due to COVID-19; although, the buses were free of charge and everyone in the bus enjoyed a wide space for themselves.

To conclude this report, QR did a really great job on both flights and it was nice that they didn't do any cost-cutting due to COVID-19 while most of the carriers did. If they continue to maintain their service like this, I always look forward to fly them again.

DOH
(+) Al Maha stewardess service offered by QR
(+) Reasonable transfer security wait time
(+) Priorities respected throughout boarding
(-) Most of the stores were kept closed and the duty-free sold limited items
Al Mourjan Lounge
(+) A quiet room cubicle was reserved for me as I had a long layover
(+) Comfortable seating throughout the lounge
(+) The availability of lockers
(+) The toilets were kept clean at the lounge
(+) The space in the shower rooms
(+) Delicious food in all areas of the lounge
(+) Wonderful staff that really wanted to assist you at all times
QR 707
(+) Comfortable seat and great legroom at the bulkhead row
(+) Delicious meals at all services
(+) Drink runs were made throughout the flight
(+) The number of meals served throughout the flight
(+) Free Wi-Fi for an hour and the price if you would like to continue browsing the web
(+) Toilets were kept clean at all times
(+) IFE options
(+) Fantastic crew
IAD
(+) Free public transportation available
(-) Fewer public transportation options than usual

Related

18 Comments

  • Comment 559105 by
    Leadership TEAM SILVER 4673 Comments

    Hi and thank you for this report I was looking for.
    Consistency is key at Qatar Airways, and once again a very nice flight with comprehensive meals and attentive crews, still a 13hrs daytime flight can feel very long if you are not sleeping.
    Nice to have the Al Mourjan Lounge open, the quiet area is nice but can you really dim the light and sleep there?
    Thank you

    • Comment 559108 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hi there,

      Consistency is key at Qatar Airways, and once again a very nice flight with comprehensive meals and attentive crews, still a 13hrs daytime flight can feel very long if you are not sleeping.

      - It was easy for me to sleep as I minimized my sleep in Doha and indeed, I slept about 5-6 hours on this flight. However, yes, it can feel very long if I kept awake throughout the flight. I also agree that QR is very consistent with their product.
      Nice to have the Al Mourjan Lounge open, the quiet area is nice but can you really dim the light and sleep there?

      - I was able to close the light next to the TV but during the early morning when the sun rises up, the light may be bothering; but I was able to rest for a couple of hours at night.

      Once again, thanks for your comments.

  • Comment 559138 by
    grenouille 181 Comments

    Thanks for this very precise report.

  • Comment 559180 by
    pokcay 68 Comments

    Great report! Absolutely loved flying QR's A350! I was in J back in March when i had to abandon my studies in Netherlans and return back to Indonesia due to COVID. I was lucky to experience both the reverse herringbone and Q-suite on the way home. Service was outstanding, so does the food. And amazingly, the WiFi (which i prepurchased since i need to do some studies), was blazing fast!

    • Comment 559182 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hi Pockay and thanks for stopping by,

      Absolutely loved flying QR's A350!

      - Yes, my ride was enjoyable as well.
      I was in J back in March when i had to abandon my studies in Netherlans and return back to Indonesia due to COVID. I was lucky to experience both the reverse herringbone and Q-suite on the way home.

      - I'm glad that you enjoyed the Qsuites. The Qsuites is in my bucket list, and I hope to fly them soon.
      Service was outstanding, so does the food.

      - Qatar Airways never dissatisfies you when it comes to food.
      And amazingly, the WiFi (which i prepurchased since i need to do some studies), was blazing fast!

      - That was something I noticed, QR has a really fast Wi-Fi product and the Wi-Fi prices were reasonable.

      Once again thanks for your comments and hope to see you in another report.

  • Comment 559187 by
    NewYorker SILVER 95 Comments

    Hey ISTFlyer, and thanks for sharing your journey to the US! It sure is sad to see DOH so empty, but the Al Mourjan Lounge looks absolutely stunning, and I hope to visit it myself someday. It sure is nice that QR offers pre-Covid service onboard. I'm very impressed with what they offered, and they seems to make a 14-hour flight in Y bearable. Safe travels!

    • Comment 559188 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hey NewYorker and welcome to this report,

      It sure is sad to see DOH so empty, but the Al Mourjan Lounge looks absolutely stunning, and I hope to visit it myself someday.

      - I was also very lucky to visit the Al Mourjan Lounge as it's a huge upgrade compared to both of the frequent flyer lounges ( Emerald and Sapphire lounges ). In normal circumstances, passengers with a paid Business Class or First Class ticket could only access Al Mourjan.
      It sure is nice that QR offers pre-Covid service onboard.

      - Obviously yes, the pre-COVID service of QR is marvelous and QR did the right thing: maintain their standards with no excuses.
      I'm very impressed with what they offered, and they seems to make a 14-hour flight in Y bearable.

      - I was impressed like you as they are improving their service day-by-day where other airlines try to cost-cut.

      Once again thanks for your comment and hope to see you in the air soon as well.

  • Comment 559227 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 473 Comments

    And did you enjoy the A350? To me it is definitely one of my favourite longhaul aircraft to fly on as it's spacious, modern and yet very quiet. Airbus definitely beat Boeing here if comparing it to a 787.

    Also the service given by QR seems to be excellent and it seems that QR is still trying to provide the best possibile service to their pax instead of cutting heavily on catering like some major airlines are doing under the scheme of minimizing contact, which in practise isn't working out.

    Thanks for yet another great report.

    • Comment 559266 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hi ThomasDutch and thanks for stopping by,

      And did you enjoy the A350? To me it is definitely one of my favourite longhaul aircraft to fly on as it's spacious, modern and yet very quiet. Airbus definitely beat Boeing here if comparing it to a 787.

      - Yes, the ride on the A350 was pretty enjoyable and the ride was very quiet.
      Also the service given by QR seems to be excellent and it seems that QR is still trying to provide the best possibile service to their pax instead of cutting heavily on catering like some major airlines are doing under the scheme of minimizing contact, which in practise isn't working out.

      - That minimize contact stuff is completely a cost-cutting measure which I don't appreciate. QR is doing the right thing providing their regular service with small implementations and it still makes the journey comfortable.

      Once again thanks for your comments and hope to see you in the air soon.

  • Comment 559257 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5272 Comments

    Hi ISTFlyer, thanks so much for these very interesting post-Covid experiences.

    Qatar have clearly gone the other way and differentiated themselves as a true full-service carrier in times of Covid, where most other carriers are using the pandemic as an excuse to cut costs and provide little to no service even in Business and First class! Your meals in QR Y are as good or better than what we're seeing on many US and EU carriers in long-haul J/F right now!

    Also, it's bad news that the bus would be eliminated when the metro opens, with the metro in Washington DC being slow, the IAD bus is efficient to go from/to the airport from/to the city.

    The DC Metro is the worst! It's soooo slow and infrequent compared to most other cities with subway systems. The opening of the IAD Silver line station has been delayed so many times, who knows when it will ever open, so you don't have to worry about the Metro and Washington Flyer buses going away too soon I guess, haha!

    Thanks again for this grate series of very insightful reviews! Hope everything is well in DC!

    • Comment 559267 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hi Kévin and thanks for stopping by,

      Qatar have clearly gone the other way and differentiated themselves as a true full-service carrier in times of Covid, where most other carriers are using the pandemic as an excuse to cut costs and provide little to no service even in Business and First class!

      - That is completely something ridiculous, in the meanwhile, I would not pay for Business Class for an airline that does not offer full-service unless it's very reasonable. IMO, Qatar does the right thing and they've earned a lot of new customers during COVID.
      Your meals in QR Y are as good or better than what we're seeing on many US and EU carriers in long-haul J/F right now!

      - Completely agree, even in regular days, the meals that QR provided me are better than some carriers' actual flagship meals. They all tasted superbly good and I enjoyed all the services.
      The DC Metro is the worst! It's soooo slow and infrequent compared to most other cities with subway systems. The opening of the IAD Silver line station has been delayed so many times, who knows when it will ever open, so you don't have to worry about the Metro and Washington Flyer buses going away too soon I guess, haha!

      - Yes, when I am in the DC area, I hate to use the metro as it's so slow and infrequent. I usually prefer to bike or walk rather than waiting for the metro, at least the city does not have that many hills and you may be right on your assumption that the metro opening would be delayed one more time.
      Thanks again for this grate series of very insightful reviews! Hope everything is well in DC!

      - DC was really good during my visit; no tourists during the summer but extremely hot weather and very high humidity and now I am in somewhere else. The next report would come soon.

      By the way, thanks for your comment.

  • Comment 559281 by
    757Fan 587 Comments

    Looks like a great flight with Qatar, and there is little here that would differentiate a flight like this in a time of COVID. Thank you for sharing!

  • Comment 559284 by
    richynjoye 3 Comments

    Thanks for the good, detailed report. Crazy to see how DOH airport is empty... tells us this is not post-COVID traveling but COVID-traveling.

    • Comment 559291 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hi Richynjoye and thanks for your comment,

      DOH was actually not that empty, the hotel was fully booked during my layover, plus after the majority of Europe flights arrived at 01:00-02:00, the food court and the duty-free area got crowded.

  • Comment 559626 by
    Manbou 38 Comments

    Hi ISTFlyer,
    thanks for this detailed and well-written report. All in all, the experience around the flight looks very good with QR basically offering the same level of service as they normally do (only with the benefit of an emptier cabin). But I'm asking myself it is makes sense to "reduce contact" by not handing out a printed menu and have the flight attendants explain everything in detail to every passenger instead. Still, it's great that you could travel to the US despite everything that's going on, and I hope you enjoy(ed) your time there.

    • Comment 559655 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 237 Comments

      Hi Manbou and thanks for your comment,

      All in all, the experience around the flight looks very good with QR basically offering the same level of service as they normally do (only with the benefit of an emptier cabin).

      - Yes, that's one of the key factors why I choose QR during this trip.
      But I'm asking myself it is makes sense to "reduce contact" by not handing out a printed menu and have the flight attendants explain everything in detail to every passenger instead.

      - Actually I asked the same thing to myself, why couldn't have they loaded the menus to the IFE screens as they did in the past. It would have been a nice touch, however, with passengers having face shields and masks, and the crew wearing masks, the transmission level of the virus is not that much when the crew explains the meal preferences.
      Still, it's great that you could travel to the US despite everything that's going on, and I hope you enjoy(ed) your time there.

      - Thank you very much, hope to see you in another report.

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