The first part of the trip was Muscat to Doha, which is only 61 minutes in length. As I had the luxury of a 1st Class seat - it was rather disappointingly short.
We landed at 0445 - Doha being 1 hour behind Muscat, and went to the new airport terminal, when I say new - it was new for me.
Obviously this is part of the "Who has the nicest airport" contest, I would certainly say that Doha is in the top 4 that I have been lucky to visit. I wonder what the new Muscat Airport will rate when it is eventually finished.
Duty Free & Services
All were top quality (as you rather expect they would be) - but we did not really go and explore any of these options to any significant degree, as having had to get up at 0100, today is a marathon not a sprint.
The standard check-in process was much more painful, as all electronic items had to be emptied out of my ruck-sac. No doubt this is some TRA rule - but it seemed needless especially as at this stage we had already passed 2 security screening sessions, in Muscat and on Transfer at Doha. However we complied - and did not grumble. Juliet then got singled out for being chemically tested (I would guess drugs and/or explosives) - and not surprisingly was back with me again very soon.
How not to load a plane
With a ful plane and all boarding tickets being marked as Zone 1, 2,3 and 4 - why or why do airline staff pick up a microphone and say
"Good morning ladies and gentlemen - this is not a boarding announcement"...
Because at this point 50% of all the passengers are already standing up and heading towards the point of embarkation.
Now having caused chaos - just like when you were at school - someone should take control - using the PA system - but no, you get the smallest Filipino lady, who then seemingly tries to reason with the mob that is waiting to board the plane.
Total and utter chaos then ensued.
Business Class Qatar
Presently I am sat in 7B - it is a small cabin, of only 18 business class seats; It is however totally full. Juliet is behind me in 33D - she was offered the choice of an upgrade, but I am suspecting that she is going to use the money she saved by not upgrading her seat for essentials like handbags.
Flight Doha to Washington DC
The flight is 13.5 hours !! Which is rather a long time. However I must complement Qatar on their service and the quality of the food, it has been excellent.
The Boeing 777-300 is a nice plane, but Business class on the A380 is superior - especially the standup-bar at the rear of the plane. On this 777 there is no-where to stretch and to move around.
Economy is very densley packed - I did check up on Juliet during the flight - but she was fast asleep.