I have received quite a number of queries from my Tbilisi post on how I managed to get there so this update is definitely way overdue. This trip was taken some months back on Qatar Airways. I transited in Doha for about 8 hours before boarding my 3 hour or so flight to Tbilisi, Georgia.
The terminal was basically the same one I transited in when I flew to Iran (also with QR) just a few months prior to this trip. The terminal was in the midst of upgrading and those of us with connecting flights were given color-coded boarding passes for easy identification.
Here is the rundown:
after 8 hours of waiting, I was relieved to see this
I did not have to check-in as this was a connecting flight. As previously stated, I had an 8-hour transit time which was mostly spent dozing off in Doha’s Airport. Given the relatively small-sized terminal, it was a consolation they had a sleeping area for passengers to use free-of-charge. Spaces were limited however. Silver and gold tiered Privilege Club members have lounges which can be used free-of-charge.
It was low season so the flight was only around 20% full. QR had just started services to Tbilisi a day before my flight so most passengers had probably booked the earlier flights.
It was an Airbus A320-200 being used for the flight. Even though I was already so used to this aircraft, I was still quite impressed with QR’s furnishings. The plane was new and hence, immaculately clean. Each seat came with the personal entertainment system, Oryx and the legroom was more than sufficient to keep oneself comfortable for a 3-hour journey.
oryx… we meet again
The entertainment system being used on the A320’s, although still under the Oryx brand, was slightly different. Nevertheless, I still had more than a hundred movies at my fingertips. I decided to watch “Saturday Night Fever” which was responsible for my LSS later on upon arriving in Tbilisi, but i digress.
esfahan, shiraz, amman, cairo, luxor, tabriz, ashgabat, baku, herat, dushanbe, aleppo, kabul… this is practically my travel wishlist summed up into a map
Our flight was supposed to make a stopover in Baku, Azerbaijan before proceeding to Tbilisi. However, there was a snowstorm in Baku at the time which prompted their airport to close and the passengers which were supposed to land at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Airport thus had no choice but to tag along and be dropped off in Georgia. Our flight continued on to Tbilisi and arrived in the snowy capital more than an hour ahead of schedule.
In-flight meal service:
I was pleasantly surprised when the cabin crew singled me out and asked me for my meal preference way ahead of the other passengers. Later on, I realized this was due to my Privilege Club membership. I am not even a gold member so this little gesture by them was certainly appreciated!
the western breakfast
There were 2 breakfast choices – the typical Arabian breakfast and the Western breakfast. As I was quite hungry due to the long transit and was wanting of some protein, I chose the latter. Consisting of omelette, a sausage, croissant, naan and fresh fruits; it was a relatively simple spread. But it belied the fact that it was one of the better inflight breakfasts I have ever had in any airline. If anything, I would have appreciated a larger serving!
- Food – No complaints whatsoever. It was a morning flight so we were served a relatively light meal. The breakfast was prepared well.
- Comfort – The experience I usually have when it comes to A320’s is that of cramped seats on budget airlines so the QR product was certainly a refreshing change. The plane utilized for the flight was new so it was very clean.
- Service – Great service! I do not know if it’s because the flight was only 20% full but the service on this flight certainly beat all the other QR flights I have taken. The cabin crew addressed me by name which only happens to me when I’m taking business class.
- Entertainment – QR’s Oryx entertainment system has always been a major draw for me and they did not disappoint again. New movies, old movies, foreign movies — movie buffs will certainly have a field day here
Would I fly with QR again? Why, certainly! I have flown with QR several times (I flew 8 sectors with QR in a span of just over 3 months) and while I was quite satisfied with the long haul flights I’ve taken with them, this DOH-TBS flight certainly restored my preference in flying with them for my future journeys.
This is Part 2 of my two-part post aboard Qatar Airways. Click here for Part 1 – SIN to DOH