We had around 2 hours before departure (even though boarding starts an hour before departure, we decided to go to the gate later) and decided to visit the Oreo Cafe on the way. We passed through the train that runs alongside the main corridor of the terminal, which is really cool IMO.
The Oreo cafe! We came here per my friend (who's a QR crew)'s recommendation. It was a cool place for pictures.
The food there though, was really expensive and a simple piece of cake costs around 60 QAR (about 16-17 USD).
The terminal was really busy during the evening rush hour, and it was probably due to a high number of users that the wifi stopped working completely…Not a great thing as I didn't have mobile data in Qatar. Even though the airport looks great, they should really improve on their infrastructure.
Anyways, it was time for boarding.
We're at a legitimate gate, but with only an Airbus A350 parked next to us. No sign of our A330 anywhere…
Turns out, we had to take a 25 minute bus ride to the plane…That gave me a nice chance to see some pretty interesting planes like this IranAir B747 though!
Here's our plane, A7-AEG, a 17.7-year-old Airbus A330-302 (with GE engines!). These planes were supposed to be gone by 2024, but obviously, with the Qatar & Airbus dispute over the A350, they're staying longer than they should be.
Front shot of our bird tonight!
The stairs in the back had already been unattached, as QR does boarding from back to front.
2 friendly crew were welcoming us at the door, saying "good morning" to us. Not a great morning having to be up at 1am to catch my flight! (It was 6am in HK and I hadn't slept yet)
The only window shot I could get before my seatmate arrived. The flight was completely full today.
Arrived at my seat, 17B. When flying on the A330s, make sure to NOT choose the A, D, G and K seats as there's an entertainment box obstructing half of your legroom! The B, E, F and J seats don't have this issue though. The seat is definitely less comfortable than the ones found on the ex-CX 77Ws (surprisingly less thin) but still has generous recline.
Each seat has a pillow and blanket, but no amenity kit.
Thankfully I kept the amenity kit from my previous flight!
Legroom was pretty good though. The Qatar site said the seats had 31-34 inches of pitch, and I think this one is closer to about 31-32. I personally find it misleading to publish such a large range of the seat pitch.
The seat comes with a cup holder, and a tray table which could not be folded in half.
Each seat had a sad 6-7 inch TV, which of course isn't touch screen. I found it really hard to use with the remote to be honest.
Disappointingly, this plane doesn't even have POWER SOCKETS/USB ports! That's absolutely unacceptable to me. Cmon, is a mid-life refurbishment that hard to do Qatar? I know they don't intend to keep these planes for that long, but it's still their fault for getting into such a dispute with Airbus, leading to us passengers having to suffer in this old plane.
I guess it's safe to say that they never refurbished/updated the in-flight map on this plane…It's of course not interactive as one could expect.
We had a 40 minute delay in the departure, due to the extra time required for bus boarding. It's surprising how boarding took 1.5 hours to complete, which is definitely unheard of in Cathay (they have 1.5 hour aircraft turnarounds instead of 1.5 hour boarding sessions!).
Anyways, gotta apologise to y'all here. I fell asleep even before pushback started & got some sleep on and off for around 4 hours in total. Woke up to this view around 1 hour before landing, with a super quiet cabin. Most passengers were still sleeping, though the crew were still busy with drink requests.
In case you are interested in the menu, I have a screenshot of it here. I find it weird how dinner is served at 3 am, instead of a small breakfast before landing…My seatmate did say the food was decent though.
We were cruising at 38000 feet, over Ethiopia.
Weirdly, all toilets are either in front of the Economy cabin, or behind it, none in between. There are 2 toilets in front and 5 toilets at the back of the plane, which made the rear galley super crowded. (The front of the plane is surprisingly fine though since there are curtains between the toilet and the cabin, though they are generally seats that require payment) Avoid the last few rows on Qatar's A330s for better sleep.
A standard toilet here, without any amenities (no paper cups or toothbrushes too…I just relied on the one I was given on the previous flight)
We were soon approaching Nairobi. The screen quality & design of the map should tell you a few things about how old this plane is…
We are definitely flying on an A320 today!
At least there was this cool view…
Nearing Mount Kenya.
The captain came on the announcement and told us we would be landing at around 07:35 NBO time (there's no time difference betwen DOH and NBO), 10 minutes behind schedule due to our late departure.
Landed, and parked next to a Kenya Airways 787.
Disembarking via stairs, giving us a good view of our GE engine!
Note how even though there's a jetway, NBO uses a separate facility to handle its arrivals, which meant we had to be bused to a separate terminal for arrivals.
Thanks for the ride, A7-AEG!
An interesting bus ride to say the least, with rare sights of planes I have never seen in Asia.
We arrived at the terminal, which was a warehouse…
After a mere hour of waiting for immigration, baggage claim and getting picked up by the organisation hosting the conference, we were out here.
Overall, it was a flight which fell below my expectations - the cabin was old and worn out (and by no means comfortable compared with the 77W I had on my previous flight), the IFE was hard to use & not user-friendly (at all). The crew were friendly (though nothing more apart from that) and even though I did not eat, my seatmate did say the food was decent. (I don't like how they serve dinner at 3am though)
Qatar has to step up their game by retiring the A330s ASAP! Thankfully they'll be replaced by the A350s as the disputes have been settled, which is great news for passengers flying on these secondary routes.