Qatar Airways let downBack to Forum
Anonymous17 Jan 2012
Whilst Qatar Airways has an excellent product in Business and First classes, their approach to customer satisfaction in Economy still leaves a lot to be desired.
The concept of “the Five Star Airline” remains laughable.
On a recent trip from Doha to Istanbul as a family party of seven travelling in Economy we found that five of the seven In-flight Entertainment touch screens were unresponsive. Whilst the system, as a whole, was working the touch screens were not and, on this aircraft, there was no other way to control the screens and choices.
I explained this to a member of the cabin crew, when one could be found – Qatar crew in economy do enjoy squirreling themselves away in the rearmost galley and avoiding any active service – who simply stated that the system would start again and the matter be resolved.
The matter was not resolved, indeed it was wholly ignored for the rest of the flight with no apology or apparent concern expressed. I did also see other passengers pressing the screens with two thumbs or stabbing them with a pen, all to no avail.
So I wrote to Qatar Airways expressing my disappointment and inviting them to offer some form of compensation given that at least five of their travelers were inconvenienced and could not experience what in QR’s own words is:
“a wide selection of world-class audio and video entertainment options with our state-of-the-art Oryx Entertainment System.” Or “…, take command of your personal screen.”
as clearly and excitingly offered on the QR website.
Qatar did reply, expressing both disappointment and deep concern. My feedback was, naturally, valuable and solicited thanks.
They stated that the “cabin crew had suggested that you could have moved into one of the available seats on the flight in an attempt to assist you with this issue”.
This was simply not so. My point was that, in addition to the IFE failing, the cabin crew’s attitude was one of simple ambivalence. They did not care. There were no seats, other than single seats, available so our group would be essentially split up if we were to move.
Qatar Airways graciously offered me 5,000 miles as compensation which, as a Gold Privilege Member, I considered to be derisory. I told them so and got nowhere.
Caveat Emptor. The airline has a good premium product but economy class and subsequent problem resolution falls way below expectations.17 Jan 2012
I am also a Gold Priviledge member with qatar airways.
My family of 4 also had the same bad service on their economy class on an holiday trip to Barcelona. My family blames me for booking them on Qatar airways and not Singapore airlines….
Cannot agree more than you. I had only 4000 miles as compensation…. lesser than you…..
For those wanting to fly with qatar airways, an advice, better wait until the new airport is ready because I am done with the badly managed airport!
Looks like I will stick to star alliance in the near future for my travels….17 Jan 2012
1) I’m impressed that QR responded that the crew suggested a change of seat. That shows me they have a good internal reporting/communication policy in place so that when things in future go wrong, I can rest assure QR management will be able to reference my complaint back to something.
2) No airline can guarantee a fully working TV. A broken seat is grounds for compensation but a non-working TV for a 3 hour flight? Hardly a major issue, IMHO.
3) Crew at the back of the galley: they aren’t robots to be roaming the aisles every 10 minutes. That is why aircraft manufacturers invented the call button.
4) To be reseated elsewhere is a viable solution on a plane inflight. But to expect your whole family to be reseated together is simply beyond reasonable expectation. If you REALLY need to use the TV, then reseat yourself elsewhere. Should the crew refuse you do that, then that is ground for your title “let down”.
Overall, I think you have nit-picked a bit too much here. Overall, I was pleased to see they were aware of the situation AND they compensated you with 5,000 miles. I think QR did well here, unlike other airlines who simply ignore your complaint and expect you to move on.17 Jan 2012
My point was that whilst QR claimed that the crew suggested a change of seat, the truth was that no-one ever mentioned changing seats. This comment by QR in reply is a pure fiction – so much for their good internal reporting.
My second issue is the blatant lack of interest by the crew in the problem highlighted. They simply ignored it.
I travel as often as I am sure many readers do and, whilst I do not expect crew to roam the aisles, I do expect to see them more than twice in a four hour flight. QR in economy has a habit of leaving passengers alone until the crew deem fit.
On a flight to Singapore recently it was over 90 minutes after take-off before anyone emerged offering the intial drinks round.
No airline can guarantee a working tv? Well perhaps not one but five from seven amongst others in the cabin clearly experiencing difficulty?
I assume that you travel regularly on QR and are satisfied with their product in economy. I can accept your view.
However it galls me that the airline that holds itself so high simply does not meet expectations at the basic level.17 Jan 2012
Actually MichaelB, I’ve flown QR just twice in my life; back in 1999 and then again in 2007. Both were short intra-GCC sectors. So my comments above really reflects my opinion on airlines in general, rather than defending QR per se.18 Jan 2012
There is no excuse for this alround poor service
pity the purser didn’t get involved .
Not only is it annoying to the viewer that the touch screens dont work, but being the guy one seat ahead infront having the back of his head pummeled by the stabbing pressing action on a dodgy screen means an annoying experience all round
Thanks for the feed back18 Jan 2012
Standard letter from QR. Like most airlines I doubt they really give a monkey’s. It’s all a numbers game in Economy and getting you from A to B is as good as it gets and other than in premium classes it’s a myth that they are interested.18 Jan 2012
Having read the posts about travellers’ experience (with families) in Economy, I really questioned my choice to book a family holiday on Qatar Airways (in Economy). I too am a Gold Privilege flyer and have only ever experienced the ‘pointy end’ (Business Class) of the plane.
To my delight, I found my concerns extremely unfounded and in fact consider our experience on Qatar Airways a benchmark for other carriers to follow. We had ready, fresh comparisons to make as we have travelled long-haul on both American Airlines and British Airways (separate trips) over the past 3 months.
To start with, our request for a bassinette (for our infant) was granted – giving us the best seats in Economy (lots of leg-room). After boarding, and before take-off, the crew stopped by on at least 4 occasions to ask if there was anything they could do to help us prepare for the flight. 2 children’s bags were then given to us (one of which included a digital watch and the other a brand-named soft toy), shortly followed by sweets for our older child.
After take-off, one of the flight attendants again stopped by and said she’d like to take our older (3 years old) childs meal order first as they wanted to be sure that some of the options had not run out by the time they got to our row.
Immediately following, another flight attendant stopped by to give our younger child a fairly large bag of food – including 3 jars of Gerber/Nestle-type baby food, a banana and other suitable and appropriate food for a child of that age. Having flown some 10 long-haul return flights (more than half of them in business class with BA and Lufthansa) with children over the past 3 years, this was an absolute first for an infant/lap-child to be given his/her own baby food.
Even though the flights both outbound and return were nearly (or completely) full, the cabin crew couldn’t do enough to make sure our children were well looked after – even offering to hold our infant should we need to visit the lav.
The service support for our children aside – we found the quality of food for us adults to be very good too. 3 choices of mains with a good selection of 3 reds and 3 white wines (in individual bottles) too. Coffees were served with a pre-packaged biscuit/chocolate that we purchase at our own local market for 1.5 GBP/2.5 USD each. A nice, if not somewhat luxurious, touch for economy.
The entertainment system seemed to have the same type and selection of options that I am used to in QR’s business class and the screen (at least at the bulkhead – basinette row) was about the same size at BA’s CW screen. Unlike my experience to the USA 2 weeks ago (both on the outbound and return) in BA’s Club World – the enterntainment system on Qatar Airways worked flawlessly.
All in all, we experienced a very fine Economy class product with an efficient and enthusiastic crew.5 Mar 2012