Note: the following review was for a flight on 29th May – one week before the apparent ‘falling out’ between some Gulf States, including Qatar itself. The review was written on the day of the flight, on the ‘memo’ pad on my mobile ‘phone, and has only been edited to correct spelling mistakes – I haven’t tried to relate the review to subsequent news items.
Qatar airways LHR T4 to Tbilisi Georgia, via Doha (UAE).
Can’t comment on booking process (which was done by client company – I’d have chosen a shorter route myself!).
There was no online check-in facility (for me) and although I was able to select an aisle seat for the second leg, the seat map wasn’t available for the first leg. As I arrived at T4 the previous evening for an overnight in the T4 Yotelair, I was able to get that sorted by very pleasant ‘flight supervisor’ at the Qatar check-in desks, which were open for their late evening flight ( and just minutes walk from Yotelair).
Check-in desks would open at 5 a.m. and close at 8 a.m. for my 0900 departure.
It was only when I was trying earlier to do online check-in that I found out that laptops, kindle etc are not allowed in Qatar Airways cabin baggage – only mobiles/smartphones – nothing larger than 16x9x1.5cm allowed. Check-in itself was quick and pleasant – and there were ‘web checked-in bag drop’ desks, so not sure why I wasn’t able to do that.
Boarding was efficiently done with no ‘gate blocking’ crowd, as business and economy had their own separate queues.
My economy seat in this wide-body Boeing 787-8 was supportive and had better leg room than I’ve been accustomed to recently. This a/c had a type of ‘blackout glass’ windows (no plastic pull-down shades) which, after the breakfast was cleared away and lighting reduced, was adjusted (by cabin crew) and made for a more relaxing flight – as though we were flying at night and not in daytime! TIP! If you like doing word puzzles in a darkened ‘plane like this, choose seats on the left/right side depending on whether right/left handed (see photo).
Good sized entertainment screen (we were issued with ‘over the ear’ phones, not the wee ‘in your ear’ type, and socks, earplugs, eyeshield and a combi brush/comb) – plus hand-held controller for games, reading light, call attendant etc. A handy usb socket (I’d brought a cable with me) let me charge up my mobile phone during the flight.
Most entertaining safety briefing featuring Barca football team.
Good breakfast choice (see menu photo) – I went for the pancake with sultanas, cinnamon and apple compote (very nice too) – main choices came with fresh fruit bowl, yoghurt, a wee croissant and orange juice. The food offering (and lack of any nasty after effect) was the exact opposite to my only previous Qatar flight. The afternoon ‘sweet and savoury’ snack box had a ‘Harissa Chicken Toastie’ and a ‘Rich Chocolate Sponge’ … I avoided the meat and enjoyed the choc’ with a coffee.
Noted that the flight path appeared to avoid Syria/Iraq airspace (photo).
Doha airport Qatar…not crowded, easy to follow directions … arrived at 1640 local and the gate was already posted for our 8 o’clock flight. Didn’t buy from shops/foodhall.
Boarding for our flight was to be by bus at downstairs gates.
Doha-Tblisi (less than 3 hours flying time) leg was Airbus 320 with slightly less legroom and, sure enough, it was one of those days where the guy in front reclined his seat into my face immediately after the wheels left the ground – long before the seat belt sign went off. Fortunately, I was able to move into the vacant middle seat (had the row of 3 to myself). Smaller entertainment screen on this a/c and still had usb socket which some passengers used to power their small devices with their own choice of entertainment.
Boarding was again efficient and again a disposable refresher towel offered before take-off, along with headsets.