There was an instance on a recent journey from London to Bangkok that cemented Qatar’s position as my favorite airline.
I knew that I was taking a chance with a tight connection at Doha Airport. But I figured that if my outgoing flight from London Heathrow was delayed, I would simply be put on the next available connecting flight to Bangkok. An inconvenience, but not the end of the world, and I was prepared to take a calculated risk.
Mitigation I hadn’t reckoned on was the charming personal escort to the gate at Doha to ensure that I made it in time for my connecting flight. This is just one example of Qatar Airways stellar customer service and just one of the reasons that you should fly with them.
I have traveled with many airlines over the years. Some are average – as a minimum, they get you there and back safely – and a few are good. Fewer still are dreadful (hang your head in shame Royal Air Maroc). But Qatar Airways is exceptional.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
Why you should fly Qatar Airways
1. Qatar’s customer service
I have flown with Qatar in both the economy and Business Class. Although the service is more personal in the premium cabin, I have experienced consistently high standards of customer care regardless of where I was sitting in the plane.
The onboard service is exemplary. The crew appears to genuinely care that you have as comfortable a flight as possible and passenger safety is a priority. Unfailing good humor mixed with Middle Eastern hospitality is this airline’s trademark.
In Business Class, not only is there a personal introduction from the flight attendant but also from the Customer Service Manager, not something that I have experienced on every airline.
2. The aircraft
My last Qatar Airways flight was on a Boeing 777-300er in Business Class. This is a beautiful hard product.
Qatar Airways has invested a lot of money and research to develop a Business Class cabin to provide the best possible premium flying experience. With its rose gold and burgundy color palette and purple mood lighting, this space felt more like an upmarket, trendy bar than an aircraft cabin.
Importantly, the cabin was arranged in a 1:2:1 configuration, providing all passengers with direct aisle access.
3. The seating
The airline’s seating is second only to their legendary customer service, the QSuite is one of the best reasons to fly Qatar Airways.
QSuite (Business Class)
More akin to the seats found in First Class cabins, the QSuite provides the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Storage space is good, with a roomy ottoman to the side of the seat, and a large table.
The QSuite felt expensive. The seat was clad in a premium grey fabric and had a leather headrest. When fully flat, the seat was roomy both in height and width.
Video of Qatar’s QSuite
Qatar Airways Economy Class
In Economy Class, legroom is excellent with a seat pitch of up to 33 inches on their 777s with adjustable headrests and large seatback pockets. A pillow, blanket, and headphones are provided for every passenger.
4. In-flight entertainment
Oryx, Qatar’s inflight entertainment system is one of the best in the business, boasting up to 4,000 entertainment options, including 560 on-demand movies. It also features TV shows, music, games, news, and flight tracking.
In Business Class this entertainment is delivered via a 22-inch high definition screen, navigated via the touchscreen or a handset.
5. Food and drink onboard
Onboard catering is exceptional in Business Class and I argue that it approaches restaurant quality.
Qatar Airways has a dine-on-demand system that allows you to eat at a time that suits you. On my flight, the menu offered lunch options and a ‘snack platter’ menu, lighter bites that are more like canapes.
After a pre-dinner drink glass of champagne, served with warm cashew nuts and almonds, I was served an amuse-bouche of smoked salmon and cream cheese. The main course of Pad Thai washed down with a South African Spier Chardonnay, was excellent. To round it off, I finished with a cheese board accompanied by a glass of 20-year-old tawny port.
I liked the attention to detail; an artificial candle placed on the linen tablecloth and the mini salt and pepper grinders. No fiddly sachets of seasoning served here.
The same high standards apply to Economy Class. Its upgraded catering service – Quisine – is being rolled out across the fleet. This complimentary food and drink service includes the option of a pre-dinner drink for longer flights, a re-designed menu and a wider selection of inflight snacks.
6. Qatar Airways Business Class lounge, Doha Airport (Al Mourjan Lounge)
For my money, the Al Mourjan lounge in Doha airport is the best in the world.
Can you name another lounge that can boast an indoor lagoon?
Free for those traveling in a premium cabin, Economy Class passengers can pay to use the lounge for the princely sum of 450 Qatari Riyals (approx. 120 USD).
7. Qatar Airways safety rating
But let’s face it. None of this matters a jot if you are not going to reach your destination in one piece.
Qatar Airways has been rated seven out of seven stars by AirlineRatings.com. The airline has had no fatal incidents since it started operating in 1994 and has only lost two aircraft from fire incidents (one in the hangar during maintenance and during routine works).
Bonus: Video documentary of Qatar’s first A350-1000 flight to Paris
More reasons to fly Qatar Airways
Still not sure whether to fly Qatar Airways? Here are another couple of reasons to try to convince you:
Qatar Airways plethora of awards
In 2019 alone, the airline picked up a grand total of 16 awards, including Airline of the Year (Skytrax), World’s Best Business Class (Skytrax and TripAdvisor) and Best Cabin Service (Airline Passenger Experience Association).
Choice of destinations
Qatar Airways flies to a staggering 160 destinations worldwide, including cities in North and South America, Europe, Middle East, India, Asia, Africa, and Australasia.
Membership of the OneWorld Alliance
Finally, the ability to be able to earn and redeem frequent flyer points through the OneWorld Alliance, and to earn those important tier points, is another important reason to fly Qatar Airways.
Qatar was one of the first in the Gulf to join an airline alliance. However, it has been threatening to leave the group since October 2018. There has been no final decision made and I am one flyer who hopes that they stay put.
Featured Image: Qatar Airways.
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