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Doha Layover - DIY Accomidation or let Qatar Airways handle it?

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Old May 18, 11, 9:50 am
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Doha Layover - DIY Accomidation or let Qatar Airways handle it?

So after buying my FRA-DOH-DAR ticket where I assumed that I would get a layover hotel in DOH for free, I came to find out its $120 for a layover hotel, visa, and taxi. Or that's what Qatar Airways charges.

But looking at hotels there, I see decent ones for $65 and USA folks get a free visa. So what am I paying QA double for? Are taxis that expensive? Is the hotel that nice? And dare not tell me I have to take a shuttle bus to the airport 3 hours before departure.

PS: Ordinarily, I wouldn't be so cheap, but I am still steamed at the snippy woman at the German QA office I just argued with. She was adamant that the fare rules are clear, but the QA's website does not say that FRA-DOH flights don't get a free layover - I scoured the site and my fare details and saw nothing saying no hotel. Only that over 8 hour layovers got one.
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Old May 21, 11, 12:46 pm
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Are you sure that U.S. citizens get a visa for free? It's normally QAR 100, or about $27, for a visa-on-arrival, unless they have some special program to give transit passengers free visas?

The taxi flag drop is, I believe, QAR 25, or about $7, when leaving the airport.

So you may or may not save money booking through QR, but I would generally recommend doing it on your own anyway -- I would not want to have to depend on the airline's ground staff. I can envision looking around in vain for someone to help you then waiting around while they get their act together.

I am not sure what hotel you found for $65; the Oryx Rotana, the airport hotel, is very nice, but most likely a lot more. There are other international chains close by (Movenpick, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village, and Best Western Seef), but probably also not close to that price. Among local chains, I could recommend the Century or the Gloria, two mid-level places that are at least very new and clean but with minimal amenities, or the Coral, which is a step up from the other two, and brand new.
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Old Nov 20, 11, 7:31 pm
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A review of my QA hotel layover

So in the end I had Qatar Airlines arrange the hotel for me. They also did the airport transfer. I think the total came out to around $100.

At the airport they gave me a visa right quick and I had to wait about 5 minutes for a bus to the hotel. I used the free airport wifi while i waited.

The hotel was basic. They had a buffet out when I arrived, but I was too tired and went right to sleep. the room was basic, but clean, quiet, and after the A/C kicked in, cool. I had a good nights sleep - all I wanted.

The next morning they had a buffet out for breakfast and I took the bus back, but just 1 hour before unlike the 3 they recommended. No issues getting back into the airport, and I was ready for my flight with time to spare.

Overall, the hotel wasn't worth the $100 if I was staying more than one night, but it was worth $100 to have the airline arrange everything so I didn't have to deal with taxis, currency, hotels, etc.
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