Old Apr 1, 17, 9:46 pm
  #27
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: 2,143
Flight 6: QR1301 DOH-CAI First Class


Although I was told that boarding would begin punctually at T-45, this was not the case as I walked quite quickly to the gate only to be told to expect to wait for another 15 minutes or so. I also thought it would be a full flight but ExpertFlyer was a hoax again – it doesn’t seem to work for QR.

The chariot today A7-BEH was in pristine looking shape and 77Ws never fail to appeal visually anyway With both first and economy being half full, everyone just boarded at a rather leisurely pace. F pax had their own jetbridge and I was met at the door by a CC but not escorted to my seat.

I managed to get my neighboring seat blocked at Al Safwa and my first thoughts were OMG, this could be the best oneworld experience one can ask for pretty much (Disclaimer: I haven’t tried CX 777 F tho :P). Once again I was very impressed with the level of detail and thought put into the design of the seat (like ample storage space and variable recline options) as well as how comfortably it was padded.





I am not sure if the CC were engaged in their ground prep but it was around ten minutes or so before anyone showed up to my seat. The lead CC (whose name I again unfortunately forgot) came and said hi, and once again was very (much more in fact) excited to know that it was my first trip with QR. She then offered me a PDB of their signature lime-mint drink which was fantastic.


As like the DXB flight a younger CC soon came around distributing mini-kits, menus and hot/cold towels, wrapping up with Arabic coffee and dates before we pushed. Interestingly bottles of Evian were preset at each seat so there is no need for a ‘where is my Evian’ CX-bashing-and-b**ching thread.






As we pushed there was a little bit more to see on the tarmac including an A350 and A380 parked side by side. The taxi took some time and we rolled off to a fantastic view of the Doha skyline. I found the Barcelona-themed safety video rather amusing, both the narration and the depictions.



The CC then finished their order-taking once we were airborne and settled. I was offered a glass of Billecart with heated nuts that I gladly accepted.

Soon, they laid out the table for me with the bread basket and all that…this CX flyer is not used to meals without trays! I also thought that the tray table was very sturdy and again loved the marble-like luxury-looking decal on it.


The menu is as follows:

Drinks on offer were on par with long-haul J flights:



etcetera.

The meal service continued efficiently with what I had ordered, basically a whole full meal




I must say that every part of the meal, including the soup, prawns and chicken entrees were of phenomenal quality and did not taste like airplane food at all. Even the breads were all very tasty. The CC were buzzing around the cabin all the time offering proactive drink refills and side toppings of mustard and ketchup etc (oh, what a luxury!). I had my meal with a viewing of the Japanese movie hit ‘your name’ which turned out to be a bad idea as you really need 110% full attention to watch a foreign language movie staring at the subs.

Anyway, a minor incident during the meal was that I had actually ordered the prawn appetizer rather than the prawn entrée, however I did not blame it on the young Korean CC that took my order as I did not specify clearly. The cabin lead was very quick to notice as she saw me flipping through the menu once she served the prawn course. Great attention to detail and service. She also said I could partake in the prawn appetizer too if I wanted, but I was already very stuffed by all of this! The male (I think Qatari) FA that assisted her was also wonderful, and was of the less robotic type across QR crew - walked past and gave me thumbs up with a smile and all that.

We were hitting some very bad chop where the CC had to take their seats immediately at whichever empty seat they could find. There was also spillage for everyone but it was minor at most. Because of that and how stuffed I was I delayed desserts until before arrival. Oh the wonders of DoD.

I then lounged a bit gazing at the amazing views out of the window of the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula, which all looked very foreign to me, but I had felt a lot less nervous now perhaps because of the great QR service so far.




I also lounged a bit in flat bed mode and found the seat to be moderately comfortable – but I believe there are extra padding and duvets for long-haul flights so I can’t compare right away, plus the pillow was absolutely amazing in terms of its thickness and squeeziness. Around 50 minutes before arrival, I opted for desserts but was still too full to take everything in. So I only took the chocolate ganache which was served with cappuccino and Godiva pralines. All I can say is that this again wasn’t airplane food to me.


Prior to landing, the cabin lead came back and chitchatted with me a bit, asking me how I thought about my first QR experience. I said I was utterly impressed with the catering, and we delved into what must have been a deep discussion as she asked me if I were also a cabin crew (I just shared with her how understaffed and underwhelming it is when it comes to meal services on CX, and how I felt completely blown away by QR in this aspect. I also commented on how comfortable the seat was and the attention to detail in the cabin design and all that.)

Our approach into Cairo gave us decent views and first glimpses of the city, and we landed uneventfully taxiing into our gate at the new deserted Terminal 2 around 15 minutes ahead of schedule.




I think at this point it was still too short of a flight to properly offer any comprehensive comparison or judgement, but I must say that the DoD concept is just fantastic - and most importantly there is enough manpower (and I lucked out on a light load too!). But for a non-business premium cabin flyer, every bit of the experience counts so that's why I was already 'blown away' by QR, coupled with the amazing offering of Al Safwa at DOH right beforehand.
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