Review of Qatar Airways flight Sydney Doha in Economy

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR909
Class Economy
Seat 80G
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 14:50
Take-off 18 Mar 23, 22:00
Arrival at 19 Mar 23, 04:50
QR   #8 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 626 reviews
koresh
By SILVER 3792
Published on 26th April 2023

Qatar Airways QR909 Sydney to Doha


Flight Details:
Airlines: Qatar Airways
Flight: QR909 SYD - DOH
Reg: A7-APH
Aircraft: Airbus A380-861
Class: Economy
Departure Sydney Airport Terminal 1: 9:00 PM [Actual: 9.20PM]
Arrival Doha Hamad International Airport: 4:55 AM [Actual: 5.25AM]
Flight time: 15 hours 20 mins
Distance: 12530 kilometers or 7785.78 miles


VIDEO: Qatar Airways QR909 Sydney to Doha



Introduction


This report is from Mar 2023. I was travelling to Mumbai for family union.  I checked with my family members to coordinate our flights as we would visiting for a short duration.

Once I received confirmation, I checked Qatar Airways along with other airlines. Srilankan was the cheapest with the best time connection in both directions, followed by  Singapore Airlines, Malaysian and others. Qatar Airways was the highest fare among the options.

Selecting Qatar Airways would also mean backtracking to Mumbai. It's not a preferred routing for someone travelling to western part of India.

I think this a 1st report of this flight in economy class and also post-covid. I haven't found Youtube video on Doha as a destination, hope this experience helps those wishing to stop-over in Doha.


Booking Flight


 I thought about the ticket for a few days and decided to book flight with Qatar Airways along with 4 days stay in Doha.


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I booked hotel through Qatar Holidays , which was not required but I didn't want hassle of a separate hotel booking.


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At the time of booking, I selected seat 53A.


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You will notice the return flight has less baggage allowance as the flight is code-shared with Indigo Airlines.


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I could have selected return trip on Qatar Airways but it would have meant 14hrs transit in Doha. I decided to keep the selection as the transit time of 1 hour 45 minutes was perfect.

Entered the passport details, made payment and the ticket sorted.


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PRePeration


I started researching about Qatar- Sim card, currency, travel, cost. Watched Youtube video, checked out car rental.  After watching the video, realised renting car wasn't a good idea.

Doha has a good metro rail network and taxi's are cheap, decided to use public transport.

Qatar has good telecom network, with 5G available. Ooredoo [formerly called Qatar Telecom (QTel)] being the best. I found information on visitor sim for Qatar Riyal 35 QAR  available at the airport.


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I called my family friend in Qatar and informed him that I would be coming to Doha. He said he would take day off from work and drive me to places of my interest. I had local travel sorted.

Wondering why going off the usual route - Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand.

Qatar has eluded me for 27 years prior to this trip. My father worked in Qatari-Norwegian company for 22 years.

My 1st trip to Doha was on 26th Jan 1980. I had travelled on my mother's passport as a minor. For context, photo is from my mom's passport.

In those days, minors did not have a separate passport till age of 10.


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As a government employee, had family residency permit while my father worked in Qatar.

My last visit to Qatar was in 1996. I was to travel from Sydney  to Doha in Dec 1998 but due to some reason had to cancel the plan.

We, kids had booked a trip to Doha for parents and family members in June 2020 but due to Covid, tickets got cancelled. Got refund from Air India Express, whereas Air India did not reimburse nor provided vouchers till date.


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Money Exchange


I wanted to exchange few dollars to Qatar Riyal priors to departure, could not find any exchange in city that would sell QAR. After searching, I found 1 exchange in the Centrepoint, Townhall but the exchange rate was terrible. Was offered QAR1.89 for a Aussie dollar. Whereas the official rate is AUD $1 equals QAR 2.43. I decided to buy some at the Sydney airport to pay for transport to hotel.

Interesting fact about Qatar Riyal, it is a very stable currency. Since 1980 till date, US $ rate is same against Qatar Riyal.


Pre-Departure


With my travel plan sorted. I was busy with work till the last day. I check-in the flight day before departure.


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I had noticed that my seat had changed to an aisle seat at the time of check-in.


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I checked if I could change to another, only option was middle seat. None of the windows seats were available. Being a long flight, I didn't change.


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After completing the check-in process and ticking the notice. Received a message that boarding pass would be issued at airport.


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Day earlier on Friday, checked the inbound flight information. Qatar Airways A7-APH would be operating to Sydney.


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Being a Airbus A380-800, information from Airfleet website.


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Seating information


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Aircraft rotation information.

Qatar Airways flies the Doha - Sydney then back and after few hours flies to London. This pattern applied to most aircraft which operate the QR909 flight.


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Another interesting observation was that all flights were delayed by half hour and the previous days flight was diverted to Mumbai.  During flight, captain informed delay is due to headwind during the time of the year.


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I tracked the incoming flight QR908 to Sydney.


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Arriving at the Airport


Started early from home.


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I wanted to arrive early, knowing it's a Airbus A380 and not having received boarding pass.


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Check-in counter- J for Qatar Airways flight at the entrance


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Entered the departure terminal.


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Check-in


Check-in information display inside the terminal


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Looked towards the check-in counter and people had formed queue before check-in opened.


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As the queue was getting longer, I joined in so as not to fall behind.


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Within few minutes check-in opened and the line moved into the check-in area. Waited about 20 minutes to be called for bag drop. I was asked my destination, passport was checked and bag was tagged to Doha.


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Immigration and Security


After receiving boarding pass. I passed the food court to enter the immigration.  There was no queue at the immigration, scanned my passport and walked into security check area.

In security, there was hardly 2 or 3 people ahead of me, I had no issues and was in the departure area in no time.


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Planespotting


I went to food court, placed order and planespotted while waiting for the food to get ready. It was around 6-7pm, evening peak had not started.


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Got a chicken kebab


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Walked towards gate, which was on the other side of the terminal.


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Duty free shops


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Mostly luxury brands, shops weren't busy at the time.


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Airside view


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Entering the pier


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Flight schedule


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I was early and the gate area was empty.


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Qatar Airways flight QR908 had arrived and was parked at gate 60


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I had to charge my phone and found a working charging port. Blue light port is working.


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While waiting and charging, had chicken kebab. Not that good, even though didn't have expectation from airport food.


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As always, I take a photo of the boarding pass and passport, just in case I lose it.


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Waiting area started to fill up with 3 flight to Arabian Gulf - Etihad, Emirates and Qatar departing within few minutes of each other. First flight to board was Etihad Boeing 777-300 to Abu Dhabi followed by Qatar Airbus A380 to Doha and then Emirates Airbus A380 to Dubai.


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Passenger gathered around the gate,waiting for boarding call.


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Boarding was to commence shortly by Zone numbers.


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Time was 9.05 and boarding gate opened for the flight.


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Boarding


After the business and first along with Zone 1 passengers, next group was Zone 2. I joined the queue when the Zone was called. Boarding pass was scanned.


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Entered the corridor and a second boarding pass scan was conducted before being allowed on the aerobridge.


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View of Aircraft - Qatar Airway A7-APH operating QR909 to Doha


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Short queue formed on the aerobridge.


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OnBoard


Cabin crew at the door checked the boarding pass and directed passengers to their seats.


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Economy seats


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Economy seating in lower deck 3-4-3.


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I was seated in the last section of the aircraft.


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Walking towards the last section.


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Seat


Seat had blanket, headphone and amenity kit placed for all passengers. The fabric seat was comfortable. My neighbour, a girl working in financial firm heading to London for working. I found that when I chatted with her at end of flight.

Being long flight and seated in the middle seat. I said to her, if she want to get up to stretch or get up for toilet, let me know without hesitation.


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Seat pocket material on the tray.


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Switched on the IFE, to check flight details.


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Seat Pocket MAterial


Amenity kit, air sickness bag and safety card.


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Qatar Airways Airbus A380-800 safety card


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Full page


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Back view


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Amenity kit pouch contained eyeshade, socks, toothpaste and brush


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Boarding completed.


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Some people have no understanding of dimension. Cabin crew organised the bags and close the overhead storage.


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Pushback and Taxi


Aircraft pushed back on time, safety demonstration was displayed on personal screen


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A long taxi to runway.


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Light were turned off for takeoff, Seated in aisle had to rely on onboard camera for outside view.


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Flight information


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Checked the flight path while aircraft taxied.


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DEparture


Departure for this flight would be from runway 34L, heading north and then turning West. Flying over Western Sydney and out towards West NSW.


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Flight path after departure


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I checked the IFE as I had planned to sleep after cabin service.


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Had my phone charged


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WifI


Aircraft was equipped with WiFi, but I had problem connecting while in the seat. Later I tried connecting while in the toilet it worked. As I wasn't able to use, I stopped trying.


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Wifi was available as a paid service


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Messenger plan offers an hour free


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I felt internet was pricey and did not purchase the package due to data limit.


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Economy class menu was available online.


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Attempting to login. It didn't work, gave up after few tries. From previous experience, Etihad offers better value for money. On Etihad had paid  AUD $35 approx for 24 hrs. Read this report: Etihad Airways A6-APH EY455 SYD-AUH


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Inflight Entertainment System


I browsed the IFE and checked the offering. As written earlier, I was waiting for cabin service. I had planned to sleep the first half of the flight after meal and then watch the IFE in the second half as it was past midnight Australian Eastern Time.


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Checked some information on Qatar.


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Cabin Service: DINNER


Cabin crew came out with trolley an hour and 45 mins after departure. Somewhere over Northern Territory.


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Watched the video to hear the food options. I chose the chicken.


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Chicken thigh roasted with mashed potatoes. I asked for gin with tonic for drinks. Chicken was soft and moist.


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Flight information when food was served.


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Food was good and enjoyed the preparation, tray was cleared soon.


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Flight information


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Cockpit view


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Flight location


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Crew came out with trolley for another round of drinks. I asked for whisky with ice and received a wafer chocolate.


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Before sleeping, I went to toilet. Toilet was clean with perfume and handwash available for economy passengers.


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Cabin lights were switched off after meal. Found my seat and slept for next few hours.


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Somewhere near the Equator, experienced turbulence, seat belt sign was switched on. That broke my sleep.


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As I had woken, crew in my section asked if I would like something to eat. I said yes. Received a Veg roll along with orange juice.


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I would like to say from this experience. Crew pro-activeness is what makes Qatar Airways, a well awarded airline. Much different experience from the one, I had on Singapore Airlines last year. Read report: Singapore Airlines SQ424 Singapore to Mumbai


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Veg roll and orange juice.


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Past the half way point, aircraft heading towards Srilanka.


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Closer to Srilanka with 5 hours 30 minutes to arrival.


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Flying over Kerala and then heading West over the Arabian sea.


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Flying over the Lakshadweep islands of India.


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Entertainment


With less than 4 hours left for landing. I switched the IFE. Headphone in the jack.


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Checked Hindi movie


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Message on screen


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Pilot view


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Lighted switch on


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I scrolled through the IFE, surprisingly there were very few Malayalam movie. In Arabian Gulf, Keralites are the majority of Indian demography.  While in school, we used to have Kerala V/s Rest of India games as we barely could form a sports team.


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Interestingly found 15 movies in Marathi language. Which is the official language of State of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located. Decided to watch a Marathi movie based on a real event after browsing the options.


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Cabin Service: Breakfast


Crew came with trolley and distributed breakfast 2 hours prior to landing. Somewhere close to coast of Oman.


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Option was Veg, chicken or beef. I selected the chicken. On opening it was chicken with noodles. Food was good and had taste.


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I was not exactly in a mood for watch the movie early in the morning, switched off and listen to some music.


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Switched between music and flight information. Pilots view as Aircraft flew over Oman.


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Flight information over UAE


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Captain came on the mic and announced descent would be commencing. He informed the flight is behind schedule due to strong headwind and to make up time they have commenced descend shortly. Aircraft would take a Northern approach to minimise taxi time after landing.


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I started to chat with my co-passenger where I gathered details of her next flight and destination.


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Landing


Heading North and then turning West and then South to land on runway 16L.


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This flight is a red eye throughout its journey. Due to delay, sunrise was visible at landing. Passenger on the starboard side had a beautiful view of lit-up Doha city, flying past the Lusail and West Bay skyscrapers. If flying into Doha, better to sit on the right side, if lucky to will get the city view at landing when northern approach is taken. Port Side is better when taking off towards North. View is better during landing as aircraft is slowing.


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Arrived at gate after a quick exit and taxied to Gate.


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Disembarkation started soon after landing. I was in no rush and moved towards the window to enjoy the outside view.


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Disembarkation


I collected my handbag and waited for others to disembark as Doha was my final port.


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Video: Qatar Airways QR909 Sydney to Doha flight route



Aerobridge to terminal, Not spotter friendly. Can't view the outside.


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Took escalator up for baggage claim. Departing passengers board from both level.


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Arriving passenger have to walk through a long corridor. Arrival and departure area are separated by transit desk and security check. Signage shows the transit and baggage claim direction.


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Discover Qatar


After reaching the end of the corridor, have to take escalator down to enter the immigration area. As I had a Discover Qatar, I checked with the ground staff where the counter was. It was on the left side with a sign.

Qatar has new mandatory requirement since Feb 2023 that all visitors must have health insurance. It has to be purchased from Qatari company, list is available on the Discover Qatar website. I paid QAR50 for months cover. At the time of purchasing the insurance, have to enter the passport details and date of entry in online form.

I showed the Discover Qatar voucher to the staff manned by local women. She entered the voucher code and returned the print paper back.
She did not ask for any details as all the information was already available from booking and insurance.


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Immigration and Security Check


After getting the details checked. I joined the immigration queue. The line moved slowly compared to others as someone has some issue with visa or passport. When my turn came, I handed my passport to the immigration officer who was a local women. She asked me where I was coming from. I answered her question. She scanned my passport and then asked me to look at a mirror then took my photo.

She stamped my passport with a 1 month visa. All this took a minute.

After immigration, I entered security check, where the handbag was x-rayed. The person was contractor from Africa .He asked me "How are you?"  I said "I'm fine" He said "Are you ok?" I said "Yes, I'm coming to Qatar after 27 years".
To which he said "Welcome to Qatar".

The x-ray was monitored by local man. I took my hand bag and walked in the baggage claim.


Baggage Claim and Exit


By the time, I reached the baggage claim, my bag was already on the belt.


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Took the bag and then passed the customs, which is divided into Green - nothing to declare and Red - To declare sections. As I had nothing to declare walked outside. The custom officers where directing some passengers to red section after while they were walking towards exit.


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Arrival Area


Exited the custom to enter the arrival area. I first looked for money exchange.


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I found the money exchange on the right side in the corner. I changed AUD $100 and received QAR192. Being an airport exchange, I knew the rate won't be good. I had to accept the rate as I needed money for the Sim card and taxi.


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After exchanging money, I looked for the Ooredoo kiosk for the sim card which was near the entrance. I got the visitor Sim. Got it set in my phone, called my friend to inform him of my local number.

All set I walked towards the taxi bay which is in the corner of the terminal.


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Exiting Airport


Got into the Karwa taxi - government operated. Taxi driver was from Ghana. I told him the address, he wasn't sure. Anyways he entered the road details and set off to the hotel.


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Video: Taxi Ride to West Bay, Doha



Green Karwa taxi. Traffic was heavy being a working day in Doha.


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Video: Le Méridien City Center - Doha, Qatar


I reached hotel around 7a.m.  I had a long chat with the receptionist and porter. Got the room key and got organised and then went for breakfast which was included the booking.





Hope you enjoyed the trip. Thanks for reading.

End of Trip

:)


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Verdict

Qatar Airways

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Sydney - SYD

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Doha - DOH

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Qatar Airways excelled in inflight product and customer service. Flight was delayed but the reason was acceptable. WiFi is a weakness as it did not work and the prices for the available data is very pricey. I wasn't happy about the seat change at check-in. I would praise the cabin crew as she was proactive and helpful.

Overall a very good ultra long flight experience .

Information on the route Sydney (SYD) Doha (DOH)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 6 avis concernant 1 compagnies sur la ligne Sydney (SYD) → Doha (DOH).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Qatar Airways avec 8.3/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 15 heures et 4 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 627301 by
    philcheungc 7 Comments
    It seems the legroom is quite generous. What do you think about the red mood lightings? How was it? I think it must be so strange to turn on those
    • Comment 628033 by
      koresh SILVER AUTHOR 129 Comments
      QR909 is a all the way- 15 hour red-eye flight. Moodlight helps in calming and putting passengers to sleep. During cabin service light is set to normal.

      Thanks for your comment. :)
  • Comment 627546 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6859 Comments
    Hi Koresh, great report as always! Very cool to see a report on the QR A380--it's so nice to see A380s returned to service for several carriers that had previously announced their retirement. And it looks like that A380 capacity was needed given the full flight--and sorry about your window seat being changed for aisle, yikes.

    The QR A380 cabin is really nice and modern, compared to some carriers' A380 cabins which already look dates despite only being a decade old--I'm thinking LH, BA, and AF (before they were retired) off the top of my head. As far as seat comfort goes, you can't beat an A380 with the widest Y seats around.

    Meals all look very good as well, as one would expect on QR. A top notch Economy experience.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 628035 by
      koresh SILVER AUTHOR 129 Comments
      I like the A380 cabin but not the windows. I was annoyed with the seat change but the service on board was excellent. The crew in section was professional and attentive. I had a good experience on Qatar Airways on all the flights I have flown with them.
  • Comment 648150 by
    Airlineinsider 11 Comments
    In terms of service, how well do you think Qatar Airways has returned to pre pandemic levels of service ?

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