After our extra wait at T5, we finally boarded about 90 minutes late and got to see the QSuites cabin. As I mentioned in the last segment, my wife and I were switched from the quad to seats in row 2 across the aisle from each other. I was in a window seat closer to the aisle and she was in an aisle seat closer to the aisle with the divider up. The kids were in their original seats in row 4.
I asked the flight attendant if we could sit in row 3 for dinner and she sent over the purser. He said it should not be a problem, but I would need to ask again after takeoff just to make sure both seats were still open. I also expressed some concern about our connection and he seemed confident that we would make up enough time in the air to allow us to make our flight to Nairobi.
With those issues out of the way for now, it was time to enjoy the experience. We received pre-departure beverages and I asked for a glass of the rose champagne. We also were offered pajamas. The amenity kits were already in our seats when we boarded. I changed into the pajamas while economy was still boarding. Here is the amenity kit and contents. Women received a different style bag with different lotions.
Scheduled 18:35pm-16:55pm (+1 day)
Actual 20:03pm-18:07pm (+1 day)
We pushed back just after 8pm and I pushed the thought of our delay out of my mind as there was nothing I could do about it. We were wheels up around 8:20pm and headed east across the lake.
When service began, I asked again about sitting together for dinner and we were given the go-ahead. It was fun to sit together, have a drink and toast the new year. I ordered an Old-Fashioned which was served with warm nuts.
Here are the menus and drink list:
I logged in to get my free hour of Wi-Fi which all Privilege Club members are entitled to in business class. It was a bit spotty, but I was able to check emails. We all ordered dinner and then right on cue, the turbulence started. It wasn’t too bad at first and we received our amuse bouche and bread.
Service continued with the soup and appetizers.
Then, the turbulence got significantly worse and the flight attendants were required to take their seats. Once they were allowed to resume service, my beef came out very well done. The “surf” part of the surf and turf was just a large shrimp. My older daughter ordered this as well and enjoyed it as she prefers well-done meat.
As for the others, my younger daughter enjoyed the duck and my wife decided to test the a la carte concept by ordering the cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. She said the burger was good but a bit spicy.
The chocolate dessert was good, but a bit rich.
Following dinner, we had more turbulence. I also noticed we had quite a southerly routing. My wife and I returned to our assigned seats and when the bumps subsided for a few minutes, I went to the restroom to get ready for bed. The flight attendant came by to put on my mattress pad. I went ahead and paid for the internet service for $10 for the whole flight, which seemed like a good deal.
Before I went to sleep, I watched the movie Confess, Fletch. It was actually surprisingly good. Jon Hamm was a good Fletch and channeled his inner Chevy Chase (without being a jerk in real life). Qatar Airways silenced out all the cursing in the movie, but it was still pretty obvious what they were saying.
I’m not exactly sure what exact time zone we were in when midnight occurred. No announcement or toast was made as many people went to sleep long before midnight. I managed to sleep for about three hours or so, but the intermittent turbulence kept waking me up. I decided to watch Licorice Pizza. In this movie, they did not bleep or silence the cursing. Go figure.
Considering this is Qatar’s premium product, I thought the moving map was pretty bad. Plus, there were no cameras on this aircraft (not that I would have seen much in the dark but flying over Europe in daylight would have been nice to see).
After I woke up, I asked for the purser to get an update on our connection, but he was apparently dealing with an onboard medical/security emergency in economy. My oldest slept through most of the rest of the flight, but my wife and youngest were like me, sleeping off and on.
When I was hungry, I decided to order the afternoon tea instead of the usual breakfast as I wanted something other than eggs and meat. It was quite tasty. I ordered an orange juice with it and it tasted fresh squezed.
I ordered an iced cappuccino but then I was cold, so I ordered a hot one as well.
I was still a bit hungry so I ordered the deli platter, but it was very small although tasty.
Before landing in Doha, hot towels were brought around. We landed around 6pm and had a short taxi to a gate in the A section. If we had been allowed to deplane right away, we might have made our connecting flight (6:30pm), but due to the medical (and also security) issue in the back, we were asked to hold in our seats a few minutes. Eventually, the purser allowed us to exit through the forward door.
We grabbed our things and rushed off the plane. In my haste, I left my jacket in the overhead bin. I had only brought it for our brief stop in Amsterdam at the end of the trip, and I never was able to get it returned by Qatar Airways.
As we exited, there was a Qatar Airways rep waiting for us at the end of the jetway. He told us that we had just missed the flight even though we were still 15 minutes from the scheduled push back time. I asked if he could call the gate and hold it, but he said the captain makes the final decision and would not wait for us. He had already printed boarding passes for the next flight to Nairobi at 1:45am. I already knew that this was going to be an A330 instead of the 787-9 on the earlier flight.
At this point we were resigned to wait. I texted our safari company to let them know about the new morning pickup and chatted with our hotel in Nairobi to let them know we would not be arriving until the next morning. Then we were led to transit security.
I really enjoyed our QSuites experience. The delay and broken seat were out of Qatar Airways control (assuming the seat wasn’t broken before the aircraft left Doha). The crew were all friendly and worked extremely hard to make the flight enjoyable for our family. The food was good (although mostly on the heavy side) and the seat was comfortable for lounging and sleeping. The overhead air vents on the 777 were also most welcome.
Minor nitpicks: The moving map is terrible relative to the rest of the entertainment options. The inconsistent editing of IFE content was weird. These are fairly minor annoyances.
Would I fly QSuites again? Absolutely. It’s a great use of American Airlines miles (if you can find availability). I would also like to try the new 787-9 suites as we missed that chance on this trip due to the missed connection.
Up Next: Review of the Al-Mourjan Lounge in Doha.
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