The Five Yen of Happiness! Qatar Airways Frankfurt to Doha aboard the Airbus A350
WARNING: IMAGE HEAVY
- I give in – I need a break (Introduction)
- To Heathrow and The BA Galleries North Lounge
- BA902 London Heathrow to Frankfurt Airport in Club Europe
- Bumbling around Frankfurt Airport with random #AVGeek spotting
- Meeting the A350 and the Air Canada Lounge
- Qatar Airways QR068 Frankfurt to Doha
- The joy of Hamad International Airport, and The Oryx Rotana Hotel
- Qatar Airways Flight QR812 Doha to Tokyo Haneda
- The Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo
- Shikansen Adventures to Hiroshima!
- Time in Hiroshima (featuring the ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima)
- Hirosihima – 70 years on
- A day trip to Itsukushima
- More Shinkansen fun to Kyoto (Featuring Kyoto Tower Hotel)
- A trip up to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
- Dinner with The real_jetsetr!
- The JR Central SC Maglev and Rail Museum
- Shinkansen to Tokyo
- The Strings by InterContinental
- Cheap evening – From the Tokyo Metropolitan Building
- The JR East Railway Museum, Saitama
- Shibuya nights
- Akihabara Days
- Gotta Catch them All! A few Pokemon Centres.
- Off to Narita
- Nartia Airport, The JAL Lounge
- Qatar Airways Flight QR807 Tokyo Narita to Doha
- Four and Half Hours in Doha Airport
- Qatar Airways Flight QR067 Doha to Frankfurt
- More time in Frankfurt
- BA8735 Frankfurt to London City Airport (Club Europe)
- And about that Five Yen Coin – The Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
QR068 Frankfurt-am-Main to Hamad International Airport Doha
Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900, Economy Class, Seat 30A
2854 Miles Flow, 1424 Avios Earned, 35 Tier Points Earned
Heading down the jetway, boarding was divided into Business Class, and Economy Class. I followed the signs to Economy Class and door 2L.
I was welcomed aboard, with the flight attendant actually reading my boarding pass and welcoming me aboard as a Oneworld Emerald. With that nicety done with, it was down to 30A.
Business Class looked nice as I walked past the last few rows of it (although if I was sitting near 2L, I wouldn’t be happy being trampled past during boarding), and I headed to Economy.
The economy seats are Recaro specials, with them outfitted in tasteful purples and charcoals.
Eventually, I arrived at row 30, and my home for the flight – an exit row.
Not bad at all here. Firstly, the exit slide didn’t intrude a lot into the legroom. The second bonus is that the exit row window seat actually has a window seat which doesn’t require you to know various yoga positions to get a decent view out of.
And there are no electronically dimmable windows here – just good olde fashioned window blinds.
Also looking up for the instruction signs (seatbelt and no smoking sign), I found this delight – the illuminated lights had been switched for LCD Screens:
Boarding took some time ,but it seems the flight was going out 3/4 full, with room left in economy (and more importantly, the middle seat free for my seat-mate and myself.
Moist towelettes were handed out to all passengers in economy too. Rather refreshing, but does the job.
The safety video played (and its a subject I’ll get back to another flight), and soon enough we were on our way around Frankfurt Airport.
With a short taxi to the runway, the Airbus A350 powered up for a power (and long) take off.
Take off was well… a bit long, but eventually our Airbus A350 took to the skies. Soon Frankfurt Airport was to the side of us, and the plane begun its six-hour trek to Doha.
With the flight under way, the first order of business was to explore the IFE system. And this IFE was smooth.
It’s a simple touch screen interface, and its fluid to use. Very few stutters or pauses when browsing through the content on the system.
There’s also a controller to the side as well – again, its interactive and offers a touchscreen/mouse interface. Again, nice implementation here.
However, there’s a downside to this system – and it’s in the headphones socket
I’m sorry – twin plug earphone sockets in this day and age are just not on. Not everyone has a converter to use their own headphones, and the supplied headphones aren’t what I call… great.
The system also offered in-plane Internet access too:
Investigating the prices – there were a variety of prices, including an unlimited option:
Thinking about it – the unlimited flight plan isn’t bad if you’re going to work or utilise it all the time. The trouble is it’s OnAir… and that’s normally short for poor performance.
Besides – I was on holiday. As much as I like being connected to the world, there’s nothing like being disconnected from the world every now and again.
The drinks service soon followed – and since I’m in the air, it’s Vodka and Diet Coke time. Cola was served from a drinks can into a cup, whilst the vodka was poured out… of a large vodka bottle.
Food came along shortly after – with the menu distributed electronically.
Well, it’s always good to lower expectations for economy class food, so I wasn’t expecting much. I chose the beef (for a change).
For an economy meal, not so bad here. There was a reasonable quantity (if the main was smallish), and there was flavour in the in the Beef and the cake – and it was more than acceptable to be honest.
I’ve had a lot worse… but not many that are better.
Drinks were refreshed with the meal, with some more vodka and cola arriving. How nice.
With that, it was time to sit back and watch the two forms of IFE – the form in the screen in front of me and the form out of the window.
And as it was a daylight flight – a lot of people kept their windows open. How nice to see.
People drew down the blinds – I kept mine half-shut and carried on. I even got on with a few things with the laptop as there was power-at-seat.
Which is useful.
With this flight being six hours – there was no fixed “second service”. Instead cabin crew came around with snacks and liquids on a regular basis.
Day turned into night, and thankfully mother nature gave one of her wonderful performances.
The cabin descended into darkness as the plane continued the flight – and it was a smooth run to Doha. The cabin itself was as noisy as any cabin, but there is one thing this cabin has – and it is space.
Seems the eXtra Wide Body in Airbus’s promo stuff is proving its worth.
As the plane begun its approach to Doha, the mood lighting kicked in and at forty minutes out – blankets were collected, along with non active headsets.
At twenty minutes, the cabin was secured for landing – and when I mean secure – the flight attendants were pretty much in their seats shortly thereafter.
As the plane dropped through the cloud level, lights begun to appear as we closed in on Doha.
Soon enough, the undercarriage was deployed, and the plane touched down with a bump at Hamad International Airport, and ending my first segment for this trip
Of course, it doesn’t matter what airport in the world you arrive at, you’ve still got a taxi and a half to do to get to a gate.
Thankfully, our plane was assigned a gate as opposed to a hard stand.
With our arrival at the gate, there were sighs as the engines powered down – the sound of ex-pats returning to Doha to work.
And they really sounded like they didn’t want to be there.
At this point, I gathered my stuff together. The crew waited for business class to disembark before undoing the curtains and letting the riff-raff in economy out of the plane.
With that, I grabbed my mini-rucksack, and headed off the plane.
The Plane: I might be pro-Airbus as I rate the A330 as one of Airbus’s best aircraft in terms of passenger comfort. The A350 smashed that perception with a comfortable atmosphere, a great ride and most importantly in my book – a comfortable space in the back of the plan for economy class passenger. I’ll leave my thoughts of the 787 vs A350 battle another day – but I’m sure you can guess my conclusions (least of all, my onward flight to Tokyo would be aboard a 787).
The Service: The crew was friendly – more business friendly than personable friendly. The product is an interesting one – with interesting cost savings (such as the massive vodka bottle). The lack of a proper second service or snack is… disappointing to be honest – but not unexpected for a six-hour segment. Still, it was a good meal, and the drinks were free-flowing. All good things.
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