We booked directly with Qatar online about 5 months in advance. The procedure was smooth and hassle free.
Then.....the Qatar/UAE dispute developed. Flight times were changed left and right but Qatar Airways remained silent without any notifications WHATSOEVER!
At the time of booking we booked the only flights that came up as available to our destination which resulted in a 9½ hr layover. I wrote to every Qatar contact I could find including Facebook in an effort to find out what they had available to make the layover more comfortable for us. None of my messages where even acknowledged! I approached them 14 different times (yes, I am patient and persistent) but received nothing from them except computer generated responses advising that the communication had been received.
As for the flights (4 total) themselves; they were average, very average. Don’t be fooled by the wonderful reviews etc as they apply to Business Class and up – in economy you are considered a non-entity taking up space in the cattle truck! I elaborate – by row six the pasta dishes weren’t available and this happened on every flight. The scrambled eggs for breakfast were also depleted soon after serving started and your only alternative was Chilli Chicken!!!! – for breakfast??? On board entertainment was, to say the least – PATHETIC.
AT DOHA - ORYX LOUNGE: Yes, we paid around $50 each to hopefully enjoy a little comfort during our long 9½hr layover between the long hours of midnight to 09.00. Another really bad experience:- Noisy undisciplined children running around chasing one another and screaming on top of their voices. The recliner lounge was fully occupied for the entire duration of our stay. Don’t even think of trying to put your feet up on a different chair to the one your bum occupies – they pounce on you as if you are committing a criminal act!
FOOD: The food was okay but I fail to understand why ‘feet up on a chair ‘is treated with such horror whilst people are allowed to help themselves before leaving the lounge for their flights to handfuls of dates and nuts and such with their bare hands grovelling around in the bowl....yuck!
The most pleasant experience at this venue for both of us was the shower. After a 10hr flight, a 9½hr layover and another 5hrs ahead the fact that we could freshen up was worth a fraction of the $50 spent.
I reiterate – never again – other airlines to that part of the world treat you much better so for us its Emirates from now on.