Old Apr 1, 17, 6:04 pm
  #23
G-CIVC
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX GO, AA EXP (til 2.2019 thats it), HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, GE
Posts: 2,139
Flight 5: QR 1025 DXB-DOH First Class

Let's pretend I had a very very very long stopover in the ME and now we'll continue. In reality first week of school is always hectic and I was also sorting out last-minute options for a quick trip home next weekend (OMG, ended up going for JL F!), but here goes:

My idea of DXB was the busiest airport in the world, but perhaps this was only for the Emirates terminal or another time of the day. The airport was eerily quiet and I walked into the QR lounge where it was completely empty.




Soon, the very friendly Indian host came running from the service corridor to welcome me. She informs me that I will probably be the only one for a long time as they only expected three passengers and it was more than two hours to departure time.

Apparently the DXB lounge is a ‘premium’ new QR outport lounge but it was not as fancy as I thought (e.g. CX TPE, also a ‘feeder’ port lounge, may be better). Anyway, having a lounge all to myself was amazing! But it was also a bit creepy at the same time with 4-5 staff that checked on me quite often (non-intrusively) that made me feel bad not ordering/requesting anything from them. Well, given the rather tight and windowless confined space, I think the designers have done their best:



I soon settled at a semi-private lounge that is for dedicated F pax, with its own mini-bar and some not-so-private partitions. But everyone eligible flying out of DXB should be an F pax so…I don’t know.



The food area was very impressive and I can’t imagine all this food going to waste. Although there were quite a few restaurant-style seating areas, I was informed that everything is buffet style all day long however. After I took what I wanted from the buffet, one of the servers offered to carry all my stuff over to my semi-private lounge area.






Here’s the bathroom and shower area which was again very meticulously appointed (in fact as nice as those at Al Safwa) and although I did not take a shower, the entire bathroom suite was refreshed after I entered it. Very impressive!



The second and third passenger never showed up so I bid each of the staff farewell. They were actually very engaging and were fascinated to know about how I managed to end up there coming from HKG (although they all asked if I flew EK) :???:

I headed out around 50 minutes before my flight and boarding, even for a short hop to DOH, did begin punctually at T-45. I was excited to know that this A320 would be equipped with the long-haul B/E Diamond seats. It’s hard to elaborate here using words but the padding and attention to detail in seat comfort and design is so well thought out and really gave me a great first impression of QR. You can see that the seat padding is smooth and I can imagine in flat bed mode you will never feel the contours and bumps of how it folds up.





The pre-departure service for this 50 minute hop featured a welcome drink of any choice, hot/cold towel offered, menus distributed, a mini amenity kit with socks and eyeshades, Arabic coffee and dates…wow wow wow! The cabin lead (whose name I unfortunately didn’t catch) came by and said hi, and was very excited to learn that it was my first ever trip with QR. She then said she would be sure to impress. There were two crew for 12 in F but we only had four passengers and I was the only one that wanted food I think, judging from the order-taking done before departure.




We soon rolled off after a rather lengthy taxi and viewing a plethora of EK A380s. The Dubai skyline, while not like HKG at all, was stunning if only the haze weren’t that strong. Hey so I still managed to do a little bit of sightseeing







Once the seat belt sign was turned off, the CC came to set up my table and asked for my drink order. Again, not having any knowledge about QR, I opted for the So Jennie non-alcoholic bubbly which tasted great. The food platter was then presented in a tray-less porcelain plate of six partitions. I can only say that every item was incredibly tasty, didn’t feel like airplane food at all and the lamb kebabs of my choice (vs falafel) were well heated.



I had wanted to try the flat bed position but before I got to settle myself the captain announced preparation for arrival. First world problems of a flight too short…

We landed at a very deserted HIA (presumably because all the morning departures had left) and deplaned without having to go through security for connecting pax. Interestingly I think most pax were O/D since no one was after me as I could see.


Overall I considered this a preview of QR and what to expect on my upcoming ~40 hours of QR F/J experiences. I felt that the hardware were certainly very well polished, but I can’t say that the service is on par with CX (yet) – I think the fact that I can’t remember the CC names tells you so. They also sounded absolutely uninterested when they made the announcements. On CX, if the younger CC spoke aloofly when they do their Cantonese PA, they will get screwed by the ISM for sure…Oh well, the flight was very short tho, so I reserve further judgments.
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