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235 miles on an A340-600 – Qatar Airways Economy Class Flight Review

Discussion in 'Trip Experiences' started by vegli, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. vegli

    vegli Hangar Gold Member I

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    Qatar Airways’ A340-600 at LHR – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

    QATAR AIRWAYS A340-600 ECONOMY CLASS FLIGHT REVIEW BASICS:

    Airline: Qatar Airways
    Aircraft: Airbus A340-600
    Departed: Dubai (DXB)
    Arrived: Doha (DOH)
    Stops: Non-stop flight
    Class: Economy Class
    Seat: 38A
    Length: About 1 hour

    On a recent trip to the Middle East, I had to take a flight from Dubai (DXB) to Doha (DOH). While the flight distance is only around 235 miles, with flight times rarely more than one hour, there is a surprisingly large selection of flight options. These range from low-cost carriers such as Fly Dubai right through to the full service options of Emirates and Qatar Airways.

    As I had never flown Qatar Airways before, I thought I would give them a go, especially given all the hype about them being a five-star airline. Qatar runs many flights per day between the two cities, and they pretty much utilize their entire fleet on the route from A319/A320s right through to Boeing 777-300ERs. The type that excited me the most, however, was the Airbus A340-600, a type normally used more for ultra-long-haul 14+ hour flights rather than hot hops across the Arabian Gulf.

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    Economy class on the A340-600; the color takes some getting used to – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

    I arrived at Dubai Airport Terminal One a little over two hours prior to departure. Having now experienced all three passenger terminals at Dubai Airport, I must say T1 is the worst by far. While the terminal is functional, the demand for the terminal far outweighs its capacity. It took me one hour, yes one hour, to get from the check-in desks to my departure gate. Most of this time was spent waiting in the line for outbound immigration. It was not that there were not enough desks open – in fact they were all open – but there were just too many passengers to process at the time.


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    I’d like to know where all the passengers in T1 went as my flight was very empty – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

    When I arrived at my gate, I was delighted to see the scheduled A340-600. Apparently Qatar Airways has a tendency of substituting to smaller aircraft last-minute for the Dubai flights when the seat factor is low. Luckily, this did not occur for me, despite the light load of only 65 passengers, due to the inbound flight having a healthier seat factor, thus justifying the use of the A346.

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    This aircraft was equipped with the older IFE, more than enough for an hour flight – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

    Once on-board, I was warmly welcomed by the crew members who almost outnumbered the passengers in my cabin section. Prior to departure, moist towels and boiled candy was handed out — this was very impressive and a sure sign Qatar is ahead of the competition, even in the economy class cabin.

    Despite our light load, there was no spirited take-off from our A340-600. Aside from the shorter take-off roll, you would not notice the difference versus a fully-loaded flight. The climb out was also as equally unimpressive and in true A340 fashion it was very, very slow.

    More...
    http://www.airlinereporter.com/2015/01/235-miles-a340-600-qatar-airways-economy-class-flight-review/
     
  2. cgm

    cgm Hangar Associate Member IV

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    great writer !
     
    Brent Heiss likes this.
  3. David Barnshaw

    David Barnshaw Hangar Gold Member I

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    The days of the A340 are numbered.
     
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