Browsing Tag

Qatar Airways

Airlines, Travel

Qatar Airways A380 Upper Deck Economy

July 13, 2015

Okay, I don’t usually review airplanes, because well it’s an airplane! But this was a special treat for me. Since I moved to Qatar, I fly almost exclusively with Qatar Airways for several reasons. One is that they are in the One World Alliance and all my miles before moving here were with American Airlines. Second is that they have a direct flight to my hometown of Dallas. Third, my work uses them and I get to keep my miles that I earn flying for work. Last is the exceptional service and quality of a Qatar Airways. It didn’t take that long before I reached Gold Status with them, which equals Sapphire on One World.

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What does this all have to do with a plane? The flight to Paris was on the fairly new A380, which is a double-decker plane. I have never flown on a plane so large! Not only that, but QA Privilege Club members are given priority to the upper deck. That meant me! I flew upstairs both going to Paris and on the return.  Overall the experience was amazing. There are a few cons, but first I will tell you the pros. I boarded and not to long after, they made the announcement informing the cabin crew that all passengers were on board. There couldn’t have been more than 8 people in the Upperdeck Economy section. This was true on the flight back as well. This meant I had four seats all to myself. This is especially great on an early morning flight with little sleep. I knew I was going to be able to lay down. Usually, it is an issue on Qatar Airways flights because the seat design on the other Qatar Airways planes do not allow for the armrests to go back fully and you have to shove yourself underneath it. Not on this plane, all the armrests went up and I laid down with all four pillows placed around me for extra comfort.

The onboard entertainment is always great on Qatar Airways. I loved that on the A380, the USB plug was located there and easy to find. You can use the remote or touch the screen. Since I had the row to myself, I turned all the others off so I could sleep.

The view into the Premium Class lounge. I don’t think it got much use on either flight, which is a shame because I would have used it if I had been allowed! Look at all the room. I did sneak a peek after take off and it looks lovely and there were cupcakes!

Yes, I posted pictures of the bathroom! It was the nicest Economy Class bathrooms I have seen on a plane. The lighting was actually flattering and there were faux hardwood floors. The best thing is that you are sharing two bathrooms with a lot fewer people than downstairs.

On to the cons. First was the fact that the in-flight entertainment system box is still under some of the seats. The have eliminated this on some of their planes, so I am not sure why it is still on this new plane. It was under my seat, 26G and 26E and F, which E and F had an advantage as there is no middle seat bar under the seats there. Not a big deal on either flight since I had the whole row. However, I changed my seat on the way back just in case to 26D that did not have it.

The other con was boarding and disembarking from the upper deck. For boarding, you have to enter through the lower-deck and then climb the stairs. This might be an issue if you have a heavy carry-on. You are also the last passengers to disembark. You have to wait for the First and Business Class passengers to leave and you can’t go downstairs to disembark. This was the case in both Paris and Doha.

The plane overall is great and I would love to fly it again. It’s too bad it isn’t used on many routes. Right now it only flies to Paris, London and Bangkok. Come on Qatar Airways, make Dallas one of the routes.

Medical, Travel

Are There Any Medical Personnel On Board?

June 4, 2015

IMG_1267No one wants to hear this announcement on their flight, especially when you are the person the announcement is being made for! This is what happened to me on a flight from Washington D.C. to Doha, Qatar. I had already been delayed getting back to Qatar because of a medical emergency in the US. I had been in the E.R. about five days prior and had traveled from D.C. to Dallas and back before getting on this flight. I wasn’t feeling great before I got on the plane, but not sick at all just tired. I couldn’t get comfortable on the flight and didn’t sleep much. I was also really anxious about having to be on such a long flight after being in the E.R. so recently. This made the 12 and a half hour flight even longer. I don’t remember when, but I started to sneeze and then I started to feel like I was getting a horrible cold. No big deal, just felt terrible.

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The real issue began about two hours before we were about to land. Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. My asthma was kicking in! I haven’t had an asthma attack in years, so my inhalers where in my carry-on in the overhead compartment and not in my handbag under the seat in front of me. As I was desperately trying to get to them, a flight attended saw me and I must of looked scared out of my wits, as she asked me if I was okay and I shook my head no. She helped me get my suitcase down and told me to sit still and that she would be back. That is when I heard the announcement.

Fortunately for me I think there were four doctors on the plane, including one in the seat in front of me! Although he ended up being a surgeon, so not to helpful in this situation. They took me to the back of the plane and put me on oxygen. Several doctors came back and the one who was an internist stayed with me. It was then that I realized Qatar Airways is fully prepared for a medical emergency! Several black cases of medicine came out. The doctor wanted to give me steroids, but I asked her to wait and see if my emergency inhaler would kick in. During this whole thing, they blocked of one of the bathrooms and in addition to the doctor, a flight attended was with me the whole time. One of the pilots even came back to see me! Eventually the attack stopped and I was able to go back to my seat, although on oxygen till we landed. When we landed, I was asked to stay seated and then the Qatar Ambulance Service came on and asked if I wanted to go to the E.R. I declined, as all I wanted to do was go home and sleep.

The Saudi Arabian man sitting in my row was very patient with this whole ordeal. He waited with me till I was able to leave the plane and carried my bags. He then insisted on getting me a wheelchair and a porter when we got to the terminal. This was in the days of having to take a bus to the terminal in Doha at the old airport. After I got the wheelchair, he disappeared and I barely got to say thank you. I also found out that being in a wheelchair gets you to the front of the line at immigration!

I have now been on several flights were this announcement has been made, although thankfully not for me again. Now I know that if it does happen again, Qatar Airways is fully prepared to help me. They were all so calm and very caring. I don’t remember any of their names and I am sure I didn’t thank them or the doctor that helped me properly, but I will always remember them. So, thank you!

Have you had a medical emergency while traveling? What did you do?

 

 

Apartment, Qatar

My apartment and more

August 12, 2013

Last Wednesday, I arrived in Qatar. My last flight from Frankfurt to Doha was on a new 787 Dreamliner on Qatar Airways. It was the most luxurious experience on an airplane ever! That was until I walked off the plane onto the tarmac into the the steamiest night I have ever known! My jeans were sticking to me within seconds. Luckily, it hasn’t been that humid since. I was met by several people from the school and another new librarian at the airport. We then went directly to my new apartment. Here are some pictures of my new digs!

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IMG_2046My building

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Looking down the street

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My front door

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My living room

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Dining room attached to living room

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Kitchen

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Laundry room

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The master bedroom

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The fabulous walk-in closet!

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Master bathroom with bidet

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Guest bedroom (come visit!)

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Guest bedroom closet

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Guest bathroom

The apartment is huge and my closet looks very empty because it is so large. I most excited about the washer and dryer and the dishwasher. There are few strange things. Everything has a power switch and every door has a lock with key, including the indoor storage closet. Here are the switches.

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The plug has a switch

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And all the appliances

My view is basically of other buildings and the compound is on the edge of town so there isn’t much to see. The fun stuff is downtown near the water. I am hoping to make it there next week. I got a rental car on Friday and managed to make it home in one piece and have ventured out a few times. Hopefully, I will have more pictures after next weekend. Tomorrow starts new employee orientation.