This is the second part of the Qatar/British Airways Codeshare – London To Melbourne Via Doha by reader Carole. You can read the first part of the review here.
I’ll keep this to the actual outgoing flights.
As I said previously, my aim was to have Qsuites throughout the journey, hence booking through Qatar rather than BA.
As it turned out, we ended up on a codeshare with BA to Doha and Qatar to Melbourne.
As I was booked in Club and my granddaughter was in Economy, we went to the Club check-in at T5 where I discussed the various options as to how I could ensure that my granddaughter was able to disembark quickly as we had a short connection.
Subsequently, I upgraded myself to First and her to Business in the first sector. This meant we were both able to check in at the First Wing with a delightful and helpful BA rep, who advised that all our luggage be checked in under my name as being First it would have priority (see previous review). It also meant that I could guest her into the Concorde Room (which apparently I could still have done if she had remained in Economy)
Security was empty and we cleared it with no hassle or need to remove our shoes – a bugbear of mine
Once through we headed straight to the Concorde Room through the small door just after security – on a side note, I am always frustrated when visiting Galleries at having to hike through the terminal, down an escalator, walk all the way back and then go up two escalators just to access the lounge.
We opted to sit at a high table in the main body of the lounge and of course, I ordered a glass of LP Grand Siecle and my granddaughter a Pawnstar Martini initially followed by a Mojito. I opted out of the Marmite Martini as I have had it before, and although I love Marmite, it just didn’t do it for me!
I started with a quenelle of salmon, Layla ordered sandwiches and was somewhat amused by their delicate nature, so she ordered more.
I had the burger but left the bun as I was looking forward to the delights of the four (at least) impending airline meals
Unable to resist we shared a ‘mango’ sorbet (definitely not Mango but quite delicious) and a selection of cheeses.
Sadly we had to leave as our plane was due to board – or so we thought. We sat at the gate for an hour being told that the delay was due to a cleaning issue.
Eventually, we boarded, and I was offered a glass of champagne. I asked for the LP Rose Siecle to be told that she wasn’t supposed to open it until after takeoff. However, she had done so. Sadly none of the crew introduced themselves otherwise, I would have names for reference.
There were already Temperley Pyjamas, Slippers, Day Cushion, headphones and a Temperley Vanity Bag with a really good array of toiletries, socks, mask, pen, toothbrush & toothpaste and earplugs.
The menu was offered and orders are taken pretty quickly, probably because the crew wanted ‘lights out’ as soon as possible, even though it was a day flight!
I chose the chilled (well, freezing) Beef Wellington and for some inexplicable reason my second course was the lamb (I like red meat)
I rarely eat dessert, so opted for the Cheeses. I was really looking forward to trying some of the wines, but after copious amounts of champagne, I can only recall having the Marlborough Pinot Noir (which was very good, I think)
and then the lights were turned down and a post-luncheon nap was very much needed. The bed was too comfortable and I slept through the whole flight.
No idea regarding the IFE – I didn’t even turn it on.
Breakfast was offered about an hour before landing. I would have thought it should be afternoon tea. It nevertheless I just had fruit and tea.
What I found interesting was that the first cabin did not have the ‘closing door’ whilst business did, although the doors are so low, there is little privacy. When I checked on my granddaughter though she didn’t appear to have a problem with it!
AND THEN THE FUN STARTED!
We touched down about five minutes before our Qatar flight was due to leave for Melbourne. My granddaughter got off before me, and as there was a Qatar Rep there to meet me, she told her which gate to go to. I was escorted by her to C7. It was a mad dash and quite a way from the A gate where we had landed
I waited just inside the door of the aircraft to make sure Layla had made the flight. Thankfully I witnessed her sprinting to the door. I took my seat and was offered a glass of Qatar’s infamous Rose Champagne together with a dish of warm nuts. This turned into two or three as the flight took off an hour late. Unfortunately, the seat I had reserved for Layla had been re-allocated and whilst she had a bulkhead seat it was a middle row with her luggage having to be stored in the business cabin (can I really be bothered to ask for a refund, I think not – the same with the $10 paid internet that didn’t work at all throughout the flight
My table was set for dinner with the often commented about, candle & holder. An amuse bouche preceded the ‘must have’ Trio of Arabic Mezze which was as expected with warm pita bread.
I see in my photos I had a glass of red wine (no idea what it was but I was very impressed with the selection of wines. I had pre-ordered a middle-eastern spicy chicken dish which was delicious. I skipped desert. I also remembered reading from a previous reader review about the lemon dipping oil which was exceptional!
The Steward made up my bed with a fairly thin mattress topper and a fairly substantial pillow. There was no duvet, just the cosy blanket that was on my seat when I arrived.
Then it was ‘lights out’ until about an hour before landing. I think I slept at least ten hours though I found the seat to be very hard with various uncomfortable spots. I did close my cabin door and turn on the DND but the crew still leaned over with no warning to put down hot towels and the cute box of two chocolates.
I had been looking forward to the Arabic Breakfast which sadly had sold out so I had the omelette with a couple of veggie sausages and spinach mornay. I just love the mini bottles of Tabasco even though they are hard to open.
I asked for tea with milk and no sugar. It was not drinkable. More like hot milk with a tea bag shown on it. I had the same crew member on my return flight so remembered to ask for milk on the side on that flight
All in all, I was not super impressed. I felt that the crew were ‘cold’. Efficient but not proactive and at no point were any drinks offered. The BA crew were more engaging, though as I said earlier they did not introduce themselves and there was hardly any dialogue.
My previous review then tells the sad tale of the baggage that didn’t make it and the total disinterest of Qatar in solving the problem
Would I fly with them again? NEVER!
Part 1 doesn’t seem to be accessible either from the link above on this article (page not found) and nor is it from the email today. A shame as I can’t remember part 1 and really wanted to give it another scan before reading Part 2 :(.
It’s now available.
I agree with Lou above. Part 1 hasn’t been provided yet and the link doesn’t work (it lands on Page not Found). Maybe this is supposed to be Part 1 given that it’s starting at LHR?
It’s now available. There was a technical error.
Part 1 is missing
So sad the author will not fly with Qatar again – mind you having been asleep on both flights – it didn’t leave much to report.
I’ll skip part 1
It’s a pity the author’s experience was poor. I have flown several times with Qatar to SE Asia via Doha and on each occasion have really enjoyed the flights and would certainly fly with them again (thinking of Tokyo in 2024 – if the price is right).
Part 1 is now available which explains a bit more.
Shame not to fly QR again. We have always found the FAs to be so nice, attentive, and always! Offering drinks. And they did REALLY well to get you into a plane where the doors were closing. Shame your bags missed, but definitely not possible by the sounds of a 2 minute connection.
However, hope you had fun shopping, and claimed on your insurance to restock. And that the bags finally got there on the next MEL flight…
Would hope readers are not put off by this report.
Part 1 is now available which explains a bit more. But I agree Qatar are usually good. Plane swaps are more an issue at the moment
Thanks for taking the time to write up your experience.
Pity about the baggage, which sounds like it put a dampener on the whole experience. I love Qatar and have flown many times – super food, attentive service, lovely lounge in Doha. And multiple pre departure drinks top ups which is very rare in business class. Agree seats can be a bit hard, they need a decent mattress topper!
My fav is their A380 with the on board bar. No QSuites but seats a bit more comfy. Sadly they’re going back into retirement at some point…I think.
Happy Easter all!
Customer Service in the post Covid era is very hard to find as this lady also discovered. “Can I be bothered- no?” Is a statement I completely understand.
I Recorded Delivery wrote to Sean Doyle at BA in November which was received- no reply. Don’t get me started on British Gas…And yes, it is exhausting and raises the blood pressure.
For all the love that QR receive from bloggers (no offence Michele, as I do like your travel blog and videos) and travellers who pay them compliments on the blogs, my experience has been closer to that of the author.
Over several trips from 2015 to 2018, I found the food to be tasteless. And I have lost count of the number of times I have had to switch from English to Spanish, Korean and Hindi/Urdu to make myself understood.
If they have good offers, I might fly them again. Otherwise, the other two ME airlines are a better choice for me, despite their own issues.
Hi, I’m curious as to why you chose to visit the BA lounge in T5, rather than the Qatar lounge in T4, Qatar depart from T4? How did you get from T5 to T4 easily? Also, intrigued at how you got into the South Lounge without having (as you said) to trek half the length of the terminal and back again, is that only for first or Concorde, can you access via BA Gold status?
The first flight was swapped to BA so she was flying BA and therefore from T5. I think maybe you missed that part as there are two parts. You can’t go between terminals to use lounges. Usually the only way to go to a terminal you are not flying from is with a personal shopper if it’s not available from the terminal you are flying from. That’s assuming they still do that. Any gold cardholder can access the First and Concorde room at the south end by using the first wing which takes you directly into the First lounge. There’s also a door for the Concorde Room as you exit South security but you can only use it for the Concorde room, not the other lounges.
I have flown with Qatar Sirlines twice 2020 London Heathrow to Clark, Philippines( diverted to Manila but only told as the plane landed at Doha).
Second flight March 2023, Gatwick to Clark, Philippines. The return Doha to Gatwick flight I originally booked was cancelled a couple of weeks prior to the flight date and left very little transfer time. The 1st connecting flight after this had an 8 hour wait but I had no choice – changed the flight and subsequently charged £110 for the privilege!
Would I ever choose ´The World’s Favourite Airline ´ again? Not a chance!
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