Friday, August 31, 2012

Qatar airlines

Named as best airline by Skytrax 2011 and 2012. We flew to Asia using this airline and either standards have fallen tremendously since our last trip two years ago or there is something amiss with the ratings. I compare with our last trip on Korean Airlines.

We flew IAD-DOH, DOH-BKK and back. The cabin crew did not help passengers get their bags into the overhead compartments. Help in the sense of directing passengers to compartments that were empty or partially empty. They either stood at the back or remained mostly invisible most of the time. This is important because the current Doha airport does not have gates so passengers are bused onto the tarmac. Passengers do not board by rows so it can be extremely chaotic.

On the DOH-IAD leg, a passenger had a flat fairly empty bag in a compartment. Another passenger who came later moved it so that he could fit his bag in and got snapped at by her. There was a tense exchange of words which could have be alleviated by the presence of cabin crew. In my mind the first passenger did not have the right to hog the entire compartment just because she happened to have been there first.

When going down the aisles to serve food or drinks or to collect garbage, the crew pretty much marches down the aisle rather than walk slowly turning from side to side to offer the tray they are carrying. I barely had time to put my trash in the box before they were off.

It’s highly doubtful that we’d fly Qatar airlines again for many reasons but the level of service was not really a deal breaker. It’s just a bit of a surprise that they’re considered airline of the year or whatever that Skytrax award is supposed to signify.

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