Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: Qatar Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Route: Doha Hamad – Stockholm Arlanda
Flight number: QR171
Seat number: 4A
Cabin: Business
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

As I had already checked in for this flight in Singapore, I didn’t have any need to visit the check in desks at Doha. However, as there is a dedicated Business security lane, I made a pass of them anyway. It was probably one of the better Business check in areas I’ve seen, however this doesn’t come as much of a surprise due to the fact the airport is virtually brand new. It seemed as though if I had checked in, it would have been a very relaxed experience.

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As I was the only person at security, I was processed in just a minute or two.

Lounge

The lounge was the same one that I had previously visited on this trip. Thankfully, it was deserted at this time, meaning I could get a good look around. It was of a decent size and included quite a few separate areas, but in my opinion, despite being visually impressive, it lacked any real wow factor.

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Upstairs was a restaurant area, complete with manned bar.

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There are menus available, but they aren’t present on any of the tables – you have to approach the podium to get one.

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There was also a pretty sizeable business centre

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As well as a small gaming area.

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At the opposite end to the main restaurant, there is a “dining resort” where you can get any option of sandwiches made.

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Boarding / Onboard

As seems to be frequently the case in Doha, Business class was boarded after economy. From what I could see, the boarding order was strictly enforced. Once onboard, I made my way to seat 4A.

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Ready and waiting was a blanket and pillow.

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Also this seat features plenty of storage options.

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Service

The service started on the ground with welcome drinks and hot towels being handed out.

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However due to push back starting, menus had to wait until we were in the air.

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Once we were airborne, an initial drinks run took place.

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Although mine got forgotten, and it was only when distributing the nuts did the crew member in question then remember.

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Also around this time, the Georgio Armani amenity kits were handed out.

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Followed shortly after by the meal service, of which I went for the fish option.

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Once everybody had finished eating, the cabin lights were dimmed, the 787’s unique windows were dimmed and that was that. No chocolates after dinner, a drink that I had ordered never turned up (again), a hot towel that was handed out after eating took a good hour to be collected and the on board bar wasn’t even set up.

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Arrival

Arrival was made around thirty minutes ahead of schedule into a rainy Arlanda. There was quite a wait for a jet bridge to be attached, but once we were released, it was pretty quick to clear passport control. The wait came for the bags – there was just one going round from the flight for quite a while – surely it didn’t travel in a container by itself?! When things did get moving, mine was one of the first out.

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Conclusions

After two generally decent flights with Qatar on the out bound sectors of this ticket, the return two were a bit of a disappointment. You can read my thoughts on the Singapore – Doha sector in that report. This flight however I felt the crew let things down a bit. As previously mentioned I had asked for a drink, which never turned up and I always feel that when a crew turns the lights down and closes the window blinds on a daytime flight, they generally cant be bothered with the service. How hard could it have been to set the on board bar up? And to forget a drink not once, but twice is very poor.

The positives though: The ground set up in Doha is great. The check in area is very classy and the business lounge is streets ahead of other airlines offerings. The airlines hard product on their long haul aircraft is also very decent – again, it puts a few other airlines to shame really.

It does seem a shame however that both the hard and soft product across the airline lacks consistency.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Look out for the YouTube video soon!

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Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: Qatar Airways
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Route: Singapore – Doha Hamad
Flight number: QR947
Seat number: 1K
Cabin: Business
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

Despite arriving well over three hours before departure, check in was open and the economy line was a little busy. There wasn’t anybody at the business line however, and I was seen to straight away. This flight was scheduled to be on the A350, however it was downgraded to an A330 a few days before hand. The check in agent confirmed this.

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Passport control was pretty quick and I was stamped out of the country in just a couple of minutes.

Lounge

Qatar Airways use the dnata lounge in Singapore.

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Whilst its not the best lounge in the world, its not too bad for a third party lounge, with a decent amount of seats and some good snack options. The only issue could be that it might get a little crowded at peak times, as its not awfully big. Another thing to note was that the wifi was very slow – I actually found the airport wifi provided better speeds.

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Boarding / Onboard

Security is carried out at the gate at Changi, and it was a pretty quick process. Boarding was announced around thirty minutes later, with Business class priority boarding being enforced at the gate.

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I was welcomed at the door and directed towards my seat.

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Service

Upon boarding, Welcome drink orders were taken and hot towels were handed out. Also before departure amenity kits and pyjamas were also distributed.

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Shortly followed by menus being handed out and dinner orders being taken.

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Once airbourne, the service started pretty quick – being a night time flight, I guess the crew wanted to give as much rest to everybody as possible. First off was a drinks run, although they got it wrong – giving me water instead of champagne.

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Then the dinner service started. I skipped the starter and went for the main course of pasta, followed by the chocolate cake.

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As I didn’t want to sleep on this flight to reduce jetlag, I opted for a coffee after dinner. This arrived, along with some cookies.

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Later in the flight, I ordered the chicken sandwich.

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Arrival

Arrival was made behind schedule. And then to top thing off, we were then given a bus gate. However, as I was arriving into Doha, rather than transiting, it was a very easy process, as there is an almost lounge like layout for business and first passengers immigration. Along with the fact it was empty, it meant that it was a very easy process.

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Conclusions

A little disappointed with this flight actually. I had heard that Qatar had refurbished their A330’s since I last flew on one two years ago and thought that it would be a forward step. In fact, it was a backwards step as they have fitted essentially a narrow body seat (the B/E Aerospace parallel Diamond) – by way of example, the same seat that American Airlines have fitted to their TransCon A321T’s. I therefore found the seat itself not much wider than an economy seat. Sure, there is more elbow and shoulder room than in economy, but you still don’t have direct aisle access, which I think QR really have dropped the ball on. Another minus point was that their didn’t seem to be anywhere near as much choice on the IFE as there was on my previous flights a week earlier. It does seem to me as Qatar Airways intend the A330’s to be used on more regional sectors.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Look out for the YouTube video soon!

Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: Qatar Airways
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Route: Stockholm Doha Hamad – Singapore Changi
Flight number: QR944
Seat number: 4K
Cabin: Business
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

As I was transferring, I didn’t use the check in facilities in Doha. Although I did use the fast track security – and it was a pretty rushed affair, with everything and everyone being shoved through at lightening speed. I know I normally complain when so called fast tracks aren’t fast, but this was a little too fast – how can they possibly screen everything sufficiently in such a short space? Either way, I was back into the departure lounge in a minute or two.

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Lounge

As I had a 13 hour layover, I made my way up to the Business lounge for some dinner. I was pretty much the only person in this very large and spacious lounge.

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I found the food options to be of a decent quality, but lacking in quantity somewhat. There was a main restaurant at one end of the lounge, with a sandwich bar at the other.
I also returned for breakfast the following morning. Much the same as the previous evening but a little busier on this occasion.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was a little stressful. My boarding pass showed boarding at 06:30, yet at 06:35 the FID’s in the lounge were showing no information. I asked one of the lounge agents and they said 06:45. I made my way to the gate anyway as I preferred to be early, and it was quite a long walk – around fifteen minutes or so, and I’m a fast walker. By the time I made it to the gate, it was showing final call. Although the business bus was yet to show up, so I still had to wait a couple of minutes.

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Once at the aircraft, I made my way up the stairs and was welcomed on board. One thing that struck me almost immediately was the crew seemed a lot warmer on this flight compared to yesterdays.

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Service

Much like on my previous flights with Qatar, the service started almost immediately with hot towels, welcome drinks, amenity kits and menus handed out.

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Once we had lifted off, the main meal service started. I opted for the yogurt, followed by the eggs.

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The crew on this flight were far more pro active on this flight, constantly coming through the cabin and seeing if anybody needed anything.

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Arrival

Arrival was delayed a bit, due to the fact we had to hold due to the weather.

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When we did land, it was straight through a security check – the first time I’ve had to do this at Changi, and then on to the shuttle to the main terminal. Everything was pretty quick and I made it from the plane to my hotel room at the Crowne Plaza in around 25 minutes.

Conclusions

My first flight on the A350 and I thought it was a great plane. Considering its competing with the Dreamliner, its a major step ahead – wider, quieter and better mood lighting. The one thing I did notice though was that Qatar seemed to have crammed a few more seats into it, as it just didn’t seem quite as spacious as the 787 – despite the wider cabin.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Look out for the YouTube video soon!

Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: Qatar Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Route: Stockholm Arlanda – Doha Hamad
Flight number: QR170
Seat number: 4K
Cabin: Business
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

Check in was a little slow – it would appear I’d arrived at rush hour. Plus both of the premium lanes seemed to have people having a few issues with the process. I was handed a couple of boarding passes, my bag sent on its way and I made my way to the Fast Track, which worked reasonably well.

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Lounge

The lounge that QR uses here is a third party one (The Arlanda Lounge), and therefore a little on the busy side and food offerings somewhat basic.

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Boarding / Onboard

Upon arrival at the gate, there was a fast track available, however it wasn’t a separate lane – just a partitioned area that let you jump the queue. Not a fan of those personally as you get a few evil eyes as you pass through. No real priority boarding was given – economy was announced followed by “plus business and status holders”

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Service

The service began shortly after boarding, with a cold towel and Qatar’s signature lime and mint drink, menus and a Giorgio Armani amenity kit.

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Once airborne, the drinks service began, followed by lunch. I started with the Salmon.

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Followed by the beef

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And finished with the Panna Cotta, Baileys and finally chocolates. That was pretty much it for the service.

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Arrival

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Descent was pretty slow due to having to take the scenic route. But once we were down, it was on to a jet bridge and then a case of following signs for transfer. There was a fast track available.

Conclusions

A good enough flight with Qatar Airways. Their latest Business seat is a great product, and the presentation of the food couldn’t be faulted. Although I do have to admit, the quality of food itself wasn’t too much different to what I’d had on other carriers. I’d also seen online that the airline only distributes WiFi vouchers some of the time – and on this occasion they didn’t. On the subject of the crew (I know this raises a lot of discussion online) they were a little on the cold side. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad by a long shot – it was more a case that they got the job done and not much more.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Look out for the YouTube video soon!

Qatar Airways/Air Berlin | B788/A332/B738 | SIN-DOH-BCN-TXL | Business

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Maps generated by theGreat Circle Mapper -copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Hi there, and thanks for taking a look at the eighth part of my series following my trip down to Australia that took place back in April 2014.

This part will focus on my return from Asia with Qatar Airways, and onwards journey to Berlin with Air Berlin. As I had a few days between arriving back in Barcelona and having to go back to work, I didn’t really fancy flying straight home from BCN. I looked at a few options and as I’ve been wanting to visit Berlin for a while that’s the one that stuck out the most. Since trying out their home airline last year, I was generally impressed with them so I turned to them to fly me there.

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There were a few flights throughout the day, but just the one would fit my schedule as I was due to arrive on QR at 14:15. Unfortunately, much like last year, the AB website didn’t recognise my BA status and wanted to charge me £9 to pre book a seat. No thanks.

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After a warm and wet few hours looking around the last few sights of Singapore, I headed back to the hotel to grab my bags before heading off to Changi.

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Around 45 minutes later, I was at T3 but as I was so early, check in wasn’t open.

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Never mind though, I headed up to the viewing deck instead.

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Although photography is a little difficult, viewing was good enough.

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At 17:30, check in did open, and I was seen to fairly quickly.

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I made my way through security.

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Instead of heading straight up to the lounge, I took a look at some of Changi’s other attractions.

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Eventually, I did go up to the lounge.

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It wasn’t a massive lounge. The food options didn’t really appeal to me – I’d eaten in town, but as long as they had a steady flow of cool drinks I was happy.

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I checked out the business centre to see if I could print my boarding passes, and therefore keep my QR ones, but it was a bit of a fail.

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So I decided to do something I’d never done in an airport before – take a shower! After getting very hot and rained on walking the streets of the city, I felt it was a good time to make my debut. Unfortunately, there were remnants if the previous occupant. But other than that it was clean enough.

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By the time I was done, there was something on the food table that took my fancy.

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Feeling very much refreshed and rehydrated, I made my way down to gate A10 where boarding would begin shortly.

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There wasn’t a priority line for security, which was surprising as there were 4 metal detectors/X-ray machines.

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I was though pretty quickly, and although I couldn’t actually see my jet, I could just about make out ‘CI’ on the nose wheel doors – meaning I’ll be on one of QR’s newer 787’s, delivered just a few weeks previously. As I sat and waited, I noticed a bit of a storm brewing outside. It didn’t seem to be affecting the movements all that much though.

Boarding was announced, and as usual there was the mass stampede towards the door. The ground crew did a great job at sorting it all out though.

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QR941
SIN-DOH
April 2014
Boeing 787-8 / A7-BCI
Seat: 4A/ Business
Scheduled: 21:20/23:45
Off Stand: 21:32
On Stand: 00:28

For some reason, I thought that the QR Dreamliner seat was almost identical to the CX one I’d experienced previously, although I was more than pleasantly surprised to see it was much better.

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The captain announced a flying time of 7 hours 20 minutes.

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Many seat positions

Ready and waiting for me was a pair of amenity kits and a menu.

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One of the crew took my drink order – a lime and mint.

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Meanwhile the purser came and introduced herself and offered some pyjamas and a hot towel.

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All about the QR 787

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Good amount of connectivity

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Not so good IFE controller. Way too complicated.

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We pushed back a little behind schedule, and made our way out to the runway on the opposite side of the airport. It was a pretty slow process. We would inch forward, then stop, inch forward some more then stop again. We would eventually make a quiet takeoff some 30 minutes after push back. We did a 180 degree turn over the masses of ships in the harbour, before passing SIN and then disappearing into darkness.

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Soon after departure, my PJ’s were delivered.

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Magazine rack at the rear of the cabin

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Standard flower in the 787 premium washroom

When I’d got back from changing, I found the following waiting for me. I was impressed that the crew seemed to sense my liking for the lime and mint – and therefore kept bringing me refills! After a warm day in Singapore, all of them were very much welcome.

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I decided to watch an episode of Top Gear on the IFE.

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Headphones and water in the armrest.

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A few moments later, dinner orders were taken. I skipped the starter and went for the duck for the main.

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Followed up with ice cream for dessert.

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After this, I put the seat into full recline, and fell fast asleep.

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I only awoke when the seatbelt sign came on for landing, so that goes to show how comfortable the seat was! It was a bit of a mad rush to get changed and ready for landing. A few moments later, we were on to finals and touching down into Doha.

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We initially braked a little hard before seemingly just rolling down to the end of the runway and letting the plane slow itself down. There was method in the madness though. As we had been assigned stand 1, it meant we could pull straight off the runway and on to stand.

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I took a few moments to gather my things and I was last off.

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It was then a tour of DOH, first stopping at the Doha arrivals terminal, and then the premium terminal. Once more, a couple of economy passengers managed to get on the premium bus, and were left a little red faced when they weren’t allowed entry to the premium terminal, and there was no bus to take them to the standard terminal.

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I cleared security, had a brief wander of the duty free shop before heading upstairs for a nice 8 hour layover.

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Around 2AM, I was approached by one of the staff saying the buffet was about to close so if I wanted anything to eat, I should grab something now. Not fancying anything from the buffet, I made my way to the deli instead, but I was informed that was now closed. Luckily, I wasn’t too hungry. I was now totally reliant on my iPad for entertainment…

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Pretty empty at this time of night/morning.

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A bit of Jack Dee later on.

It appeared everything would start coming back to life at 5 AM.

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Once the lounge did start waking up again, I ordered some breakfast.

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About the most I got to see of Qatar from ground level.

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At around 07:10, feeling like I’d seen enough of the lounge, I made my way downstairs as according to my boarding pass, boarding was due to start in 10 minutes. It was a little off however, as things were a little busy.

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Boarding finally did begin at 07:45, and it was on to a bus over to A7-AEG

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QR139
DOH-BCN
April 2014
A330-300 / A7-AEG
Seat: 3K / Business
Scheduled: 08:20/14:15
Off Stand: 08:29
On Stand: 14:22

I turned left at the door and was immediately met by a very orange looking Spanish steward offering me a drink. I took the lemon and mint. I must admit, I preferred the lime.

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Amenity kits, headphones and a menu were already waiting on my seat.

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Just when I thought I’d got lucky, my seat mate showed up. Shortly after, hot towels were brought around.

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The French captain announced a flying time of 6 hours 30 minutes and a cruising altitude of 36,000ft.

We pushed back and made our way over to the active. We sat and waited for around ten minutes without moving, before finally lifting off over the bay.

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Around fifteen minutes after departure, the breakfast service began. First off was the smoothie – very refreshing.

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At around the same time, I decided to put a film on, Fargo. I’d seen it before, but not for a while. That was the theory. A system reset and a new pair of headphones later and I was good to go.

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Breakfast continued.

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I then missed most of the film due to falling asleep.

To try and wake up, I went and cleaned my teeth and had a chat in the front galley about my trip. During which I was offered some fresh baked, straight from the oven cookies – well, I won’t say no!

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I returned to my seat and I tried my luck with the taking of Pelham 1,2,3 instead. It was filmed in [url=]the museum I visited in September 2012[/url]

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During the film, the crew member looking after my side of the aisle came and placed another three cookies in the centre console.

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With around two hours of the flight remaining, the snack service started. I didn’t indulge though, as it was still feeling a little full. The Spanish crew member did his best to try and persuade me otherwise, but I just didn’t feel like it. Even when he brought my seat mates meal, he once again asked if I had changed my mind.

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Around 35 minutes before arrival, the captain said we would shortly be starting our descent and gave a weather update.

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The crew gave out yet another hot towel.

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We turned over the city to some pretty decent views.

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Touchdown came at just before 14:20, and despite only being a minute or two behind schedule the crew were very apologetic about the delay. We taxied over to our stand, which just happened to be next door to the EK A380.

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There was then the usual scrum to disembark.

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It was then a case of following the signs to baggage reclaim.

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Once there, our belt was shared with no less than four other flights, meaning it took a good twenty minutes or so for the first of the bags to emerge.

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Once they did, mine was in the first batch off. It was then through customs and upstairs to start all over again!

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I ventured outside to grab some fresh air, as I’d not really had any for a while!

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When I came back in, the AB check in area was still setting up. They appeared to be having issues with their signs. They either both showed priority, both standard or the airport logo. Not one priority and the other standard.

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Once everything was set up, the agent announced that the line I was in was for priority passengers only. Despite this nobody moved. Check in was a little slow due to the guy in front checking in 4 people without them being there. There seemed to be a bit of a discussion as to why they needed to be present, but in the end he gave in and moved.

I asked about lounge access, and the attitude seemed to be ‘guess you’ll just have to go and try it…’

After this, I headed through security which took only a couple of minutes, before heading off to grab a shot of the QR jet that brought me here.

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After this I made my way up to the lounge and was granted entry without issue.

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It was basically the same as the non Schengen lounge, but the other way around. And not as busy.

I waited here for a while, until I spotted a blue tail out of the window. I recognised it as Aerolineas Argentinas, and immediately set off to investigate, as I’d not seen the new livery in the flesh before.

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I also took the opportunity to see what else was around.

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Once I’d seen what I wanted, I took a wander down the B pier before heading in the direction of the C pier where my flight would be departing from. There was an AB 737 on stand, and I figured that would be my ride up to Berlin.

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In the mean time, I found a quiet area with a view and waited for boarding to begin.

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Boarding was announced at 17:20, and I was the third on board behind a pair of AB golds.

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AB8793
BCN-TXL
April 2014
Boeing 737-800 / D-ABBG
Seat: 5F / Economy
Scheduled: 17:55/20:25
Off Stand: 17:47
On Stand: 20:15

As I boarded, the crew were handing out boiled sweets but I didn’t indulge as I’m not a fan of them.

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The flight seemed full, but boarding was completed quickly. So quickly in fact, that we pushed back a good ten minutes or so ahead of schedule.

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A flying time of 2h25 was announced. Normally I’m all up for longer flights, but this was the one occasion I wanted something a little shorter. I was starting to feel a little tired by now. We sped down to the runway and lifted off without hesitation.

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We made a couple of turns over the sea and then made our way through the thin cloud layer.

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Shortly after departure one of the crew members came through the cabin asking if anybody wanted the enhanced catering – basically a hot meal for around €10. And after this, the regular snack service. A choice of cheese or salami roll. But rather than the prepackaged option you get on LH, this was fresh in a paper bag.

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Impressive! AB have a pretty decent model here – snacks for all and the option of paying for more if you want it.

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There’s not an awful lot more that can be said about this sector – there weren’t even any views to be had really.

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Descent started, and we landed into TXL.

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Annoyingly, we were given a remote stand. Normally, I wouldn’t mind this but I just wanted to get to bed now.

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Unlike my previous flights, the crew weren’t giving out chocolate hearts on disembarkation. Shame, as I would have taken them up on that offer! It was then on to a bus for the very short ride over to the terminal – that was more like a warehouse.

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There was a bit of a wait at baggage claim, but my bag was still the forth out. It was then on to a bus to the city.

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I arrived at my hotel, the Park Inn, and was told there was a problem… Due to the hotel being sold out, they would have to upgrade my room to a suite therefore it doesn’t have a window… Whatever, as long as it’s got a bed I don’t care!

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40 hours or so after leaving my hotel in Singapore, it was finally bed time. I surprisingly woke up pretty early though and made my way downstairs for breakfast.

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Following this, it was out to see the city.

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My hotel with the Fernsehturm next door

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Berlin Cathedral

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The Amplemann

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And his very own shop.

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Brandenburg Gate

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In the city

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Checking out the Ritter Sport shop

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Luckily, the sun finally put in an appearance. Something of a rarity on this trip!

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I decided to take a look at the pretty interesting (and packed) DDR museum.

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Much like my outbound flights, the service onboard Qatar couldn’t be faulted. The only complaint is that going from their latest J product to arguably their weakest was a bit of a shock. Although the A330’s are designated to mid haul routes so I guess it doesn’t make much sense for them to fit them out with full flat seats.

Air Berlin were fine too – a decent and tasty snack option and a cheerful enough crew. Just a shame about the terminal they use at TXL.

Look out for the final part of this series that will finish off this journey with a flight on Turkish Airlines over to Istanbul, before flying on BA’s 767 in Club Europe back to London.

Qatar Airways | Airbus A330/Boeing 77W | BCN-DOH-SIN | Business

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Maps generated by theGreat Circle Mapper -copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Hi there, and thanks for taking a look at the second installment from my trip down under in April. If you missed the first part, which saw me position to Barcelona on EasyJet, then it can be seen here:

The focus of this report will be on the following outbound flights:

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Those eagle eyed readers will notice a bit of a difference in equipment from the original itinerary posted in part 1. One of the A330-300’s was subbed for an A330-200, which would be a new sub type, and the 777-300ER scheduled to operate the return from SIN had been swapped out for a 787. Again, this suited me, as it would be by first flight on a 787 that was longer than about 2.5 hours.

Check in was made 48 hours prior to departure.

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Picking up from the last part then – I checked out of my hotel and headed towards the beach and the Olympic village – the plan was to spend the morning walking back to where the bus left in the city centre. Unfortunately it wasn’t as sunny as it was, but at least it was still warm enough.

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After a pleasant walk, it was on to a bus to the airport, arriving around 25 minutes later.

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I made my way to the Qatar business check in, which was pretty much right where the bus dropped me.

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The agent was more interested in chatting to her colleague than acknowledging I was there. Black mark against Qatar straight away there, although if this is the worst thing that happens then it will have worked out well. When she did acknowledge me, it was only to inform me that the flight had been delayed by 20 to 30 minutes or so as the aircraft now wouldn’t arrive into BCN until 15:00 local. Somehow, I think it’s going to take some effort to turn an A330 around in an hour and fifteen… She was also so wrapped up in her chat, she forgot to put a burgundy bag tag on my cabin bag. Not a major issue, but still shows a lack of attention.

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Due to the delay, rather than make a bolt through security, I found a bench outside and enjoyed some fresh air – especially as the sun had now put in an appearance.

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Eventually, I submitted and made my way through security.

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Instead of going straight through passport control, I took a wander through the Schengen area for a while.

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Although not a huge amount was going on outside, so I made my way up to the lounge.

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Upon reaching the lounge, there was a slight issue with my entry – which slightly confused me as I was both flying business and had OneWorld status – so either ways should have been granted entry without issue. Eventually I was let in and I grabbed a couple of snacks.

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A few moments after I sat down, the lounge agent approached me and asked if I was flying with Qatar… Yes. She then asked if I’ve got a boarding pass… Yes, that’s what I just showed you. Do you have a proper boarding pass… I reached into my bag and grabbed the one I was given at check in. She was happy enough, and said that she just needed to see that I had a real one (as this had the lounge entry written on it) and not the home printed one. Strange. I wonder what would have happened if I was flying in Y and wanted entry from my OneWorld status? The lounge was comfortable enough, but it was a little dark and they didn’t seem to offer any Wi-Fi either – just the free airport one for 15 minutes… Which I used up my share of previously.

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I amused myself in the lounge with a newspaper, until gate E70 was announced at 14:45.

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Feeling like a change of scenery, I made my way down, only to find there wasn’t an aircraft on stand. At least I could amuse myself with some of the other movements.

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By 15:30, when there still wasn’t any sign of an aircraft, and the crew were still firmly planted in the waiting area, I figured the 30 minute delay quoted by the check in agent was now looking a little optimistic. A few moments later, the familiar grey and burgundy jet appeared from around the corner and pulled on to stand – ten minutes before scheduled departure time.

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Soon after, an announcement was made saying that boarding would begin at 16:10. Still a little optimistic in my view…

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I had tried to work one of these into the schedule. Flight times weren’t on my side though.

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The plane is here, so everybody seems to think we will be boarding in the next 2 minutes…

Boarding eventually began at 16:15, although it wasn’t actually announced. As it turned out, it was the same gate agent that checked me in, and she insisted that I used the boarding pass she had given me… So no souvenir boarding pass for me today. I made my way down the jet bridge, where it forked. Business passengers to the left, economy to the right. So no left turn for me today.

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QR140
BCN-DOH
April 2014
A330-200 / A7-BCJ
Seat: 2K / Business
Scheduled: 15:45/23:15
Off Stand: 16:46
On Stand: 23:44

I was welcomed on board and shown to my seat. Ready and waiting was a seat of noise cancelling headphones, pillow and a quilt.

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I always like seeing this sort of thing.

A few moments later the crew member serving my side of the aisle introduced herself and commented on the fact I was heading on to Singapore after this flight. She returned a few moments later with an amenity kit and probably one of the cheapest menus I’ve seen. Followed with some water.

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Is this mine or the crews?

A few moments after this, both hot and cold towels were distributed.

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Safety video shown whilst still on stand.

Pushback commenced an hour later than scheduled and we made a pretty quick taxi out to the runway.

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Followed by a private A318

We made a quick takeoff roll before immediately banking to the right, over the sea. Therefore views were limited.

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I took the opportunity to see what was in the amenity kit.

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Once the crew was released, they came around taking meal orders – and apologised for the rather naff looking menus. Apparently, this was due to a last minute catering change.
I ordered the noodles and some champagne. A few moments later, the purser came and introduced herself and apologised for the delay. She said we were due to arrive into Doha at 23:40, so around 25 minutes behind schedule.

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I noticed a magazine rack at the back of the cabin – I went and took a look and found the latest edition of T3 to keep me entertained until the meal service began a few minutes later.

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Mountain on one of the Italian islands

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It was finished off with a cappuccino, a hot towel, and some chocolates ‘courtesy of Qatar Airways’.

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Following this, I decided to check out the IFE. To be honest it was pretty poor. There wasn’t any front end to it, so it was a case of flicking through the thirty odd channels, and waiting for the opening credits before you knew what you were watching. At least until I had a look in the IFE guide anyway. Then it all made sense – it was pre set to video mode, when it needed to be set to interactive instead. I went with the secret life of Walter Mitty.

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As the film went on, the light was fast disappearing outside, and the mood lights came on for a little while.

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Later in the flight, as I was one of the few people still awake, I was handed a survey to fill out. I was glad about this, so I could let the airline know about the poor showing of the contract workers back in BCN.

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Darkness in the cabin

Just as I was filling out the survey, the ever attentive crew member approaches me and asks if I’d like something to drink and some cake before landing. Of course, I couldn’t turn down the cake! And feeling adventurous, I thought I’d try a Cointreau too. Yet another hot towel appeared too.

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Descent started into pretty much darkness. It was out over the water before swinging around into DOH.

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Arrivals video shown on descent

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We touched down and made a short taxi on to stand. Upon arrival, there was a bit of a wait before making my way down the stairs on to a waiting bus.

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It was then a tour of DOH – first stopping at the arrivals terminal before heading off in the opposite direction, past the plane that had brought us here to the standard terminal, as an economy passenger had slipped on. It was then on our way to the premium terminal, through a brief security check, and then upstairs into the lounge. I didn’t go too mad in the duty free area as I had more than enough time to explore on my return.

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As I entered, I noticed the Singapore flight was boarding. Not being quite with it, I thought it was mine – it seemed a little early, so I checked with one of the staff members. As it turned out, it was the earlier flight. Oops.

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The lounge was pretty busy, as it took me an awful lot of searching to find a seat. In the end, I sat in the restaurant area.

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The food selections were decent enough, but I didn’t go too mad as I planned on eating on board.

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Within just a short period, the lounge cleared out and I moved to a more comfortable seat.

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Boarding was called at 01:40 and I made my way down to gate 2.

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It was on to a bus and then over to A7-BAX.

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QR944
DOH-SIN
April 2014
Boeing 777-300ER / A7-BAX
Seat: 1A / Business
Scheduled: 02:25/15:15
Off Stand: 02:50
On Stand: 15:18

Upon making my way up the stairs, it was immediately apparent that QR had put the extra space on this jet to much better use.

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There was a lot more legroom.

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Almost immediately, I was offered a welcome drink. A very refreshing lime and mint. A pair of PJ’s also showed up.

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The menu on this flight was a lot more professional.

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Boarding was completed and for the second time I didn’t have a seatmate – the only spare seat in this business class cabin! Although I hadn’t lucked out for long. Somebody who was sat further back wanted the bassinet. Oh well. Pushback was a little delayed, but it wasn’t really announced as to why. When we did get going, it was over to the active for a bumpy take off, followed by a pretty good view of downtown Doha. Much like the previous flight though, it was straight out over the water and that was it for the views.

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Once the seatbelt sign was switched off, I made my way to the washroom and changed into my PJ’s. There was a stack of toothbrushes and razors as well as the slightly higher quality soaps and lotions.

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When I returned to my seat, the crew took my food options. I took the salmon palette pleaser followed by the cookies for the moment, followed by the omelette a little later in the flight.

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As the food turned up, there were some decent views of the UAE.

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Dubai in the distance

Shortly after departure, the crew came and attached the babies bassinet to the bulkhead, which completely blocked my escape path. Despite the fact that both mother and baby were fully reclined in their seat and fast asleep. Surely common sense would say that if they both seemed fine, leave it as it was until requested? Ironic how I had so much space in front of me, yet I was still marooned in my seat.

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Although it didn’t matter anyway. Soon afterwards, I decided to put the seat into bed mode and the next thing I knew the sun had come up, we had passed India and there were only a few hours until landing.

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I drifted off for another hour or so until the cabin lights came up and breakfast was served.

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Some nasty clouds over Kuala Lumpur.

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Can I be dropped off here?!

Not long after I’d finished a very tasty breakfast, descent started. Luckily, the bassinet had vanished overnight, and I was able to escape to the washroom to freshen up unhindered – despite my seatmate still being fully reclined. Descent was a pretty cloudy affair.

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Once we had cleared the quite turbulent clouds, there was a thud as the gear came down

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we well and truly hit the deck at Singapore, along with some heavy braking action and full reverse. The 77W can be a noisy thing when it wants to be…

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As I’d spotted the QR 787 on stand at the far end of the airport, I figured we would be going to join it. Instead though, we pulled on to stand just a short time after exiting the runway.

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One of the locals

There was a bit of wait whilst the dual jet bridge was attached, and then it was off through T3.

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Another stamp for the collection

Immigration was a bit slow, but by the time I had cleared it, my bag was ready and waiting for me – in fact it was one of the last going around the carousel. I’ve always wondered who that bag belongs to which comes out first and then you see doing lap after lap whilst you’re waiting hours for yours… turns out its me on this occasion!

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Made it safe and sound all the way from BCN via DOH.

Following this, it was over to T2 to catch my connecting flight… But that story will have to wait for another day!