SIN – LHR via Doha

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  K1ngston 24 May 2017
at 14:08
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

  • K1ngston
    Participant

    I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my forthcoming trip to the UK to get married. I am finally back and thought I would update on the excellent service on QR between Singapore and London via Doha.

    My fiancé and I were flying in Economy and with my OW status (Sapphire) we were able to check in with the premium lanes and as you all know Changi is a breeze to enter and to leave from, so within minutes we were in the departure lounge.

    QR flies from T3 at Changi so we we had time to enjoy the great shopping experience, as there were a few last minute things we needed to buy for the actual wedding ( we had been arranging all remotely from SG)

    We arrived at the gate with time to spare, and were quickly checked through and almost immediately we were boarded onto the A350 plane

    The plane was reasonable empty, this is the second time I have flown this service and whilst slightly busier than the last time, we had a 3 to ourselves and were able to keep the middle seat free ( my fiancé is a nurse and had worked the night before and wanted to sleep)

    The welcome was excellent and I have to say the on board service throughput is excellent even in the back, and I highly recommend it over MH and BA who I am comparing them too

    An old friend was also on the plane travelling in J and when he found out that we were flying to get married he tried to get the crew to bring us forward to have a drink with him in the bar area which they were not prepared to do, however they bought us champagne and a plate made up of cakes and fruit which had been hand prepared with a congratulatory note from the crew! This was unexpected and really well received and just added to the total ambience of the flight

    The food was edible ( I am not a big fan of airline food) and once they knew our situation the crew couldn’t have been nicer, and the 7 hour flight was soon over.

    We landed into Hamad Airport and had a 90 minute turn around, and we slowly walked towards the gate, my fiancé was able to browse through the stores and I wandered to the gate with all the hand luggage to get checked through to the departure area.

    One thing that happened (I thought it may have been a one off but happened coming back yesterday too) was that there were no more security checks at the gate, we literally walked off one plane and onto another, I have to say I find that refreshing and makes the whole airport experience nicer but I was surprised.

    The flight to LHR was fuller also on a A350, I do love the aircraft and the way QR have set it out even in Economy, the IFE is superb with a great assortment to watch and I have to say it did not appear that the content had been edited for content like on MH recently!

    All in all the flight to LHR was easy and without hitch, and then we landed in the disaster that is known as T4 at LHR. My fiancé is Singaporean and waited 3 hours and 15 mins in a queue to go through immigration, this is absolutely unacceptable, what 3rd world disaster allows the flagship airport of the UK to do this to people?

    There were people fainting in the hall, this was not about anything other than incompetence of a magnitude I have never encountered before. I am used to going into third world countries throughout Asia and there is nowhere that anyone has to wait for that length of time, it is an embarrassment and spoilt the whole experience of using Qatar as they only fly into 4. Some of our guests also arriving on other airlines into other terminals did not suffer the same way…

    All in all the QR experience is a great one, I like the fact the aircraft are new ( our flight back Monday from LHR was supposed to be on A350 but was changed at the last moment to A330 old config) the staff are great and the service makes BA look exactly what it is ( old and tired)

    Will I use them again absolutely ( if travelling alone) but as now happily married if we travel together I would have to seriously consider changing airline to avoid T4


    conc001
    Participant

    Hi

    I am sorry to hear about your partners experience at ternimal 4. This is due to the pathetic little England approach of u our government who treat anybody foreign with contempt.

    Some of us are better educated and I hope you have a great wedding.


    K1ngston
    Participant

    Thank you conc001, we had a great wedding, it was a memorable day and by the time it came around my anger had subsided with immigration, but as I said I will at all costs avoid T4 when travelling together which means not benefiting from the superb service offered by QR…..


    alainboy56
    Participant

    Actually at LHR they treat EVERYBODY with contempt as I have often written here before. LHR is an embarrassment and nobody seems to want to get to grips with this ‘national disaster’. It basically sums up unfortunately UK today – incompetent, overladen with rules and regulations and with the overlying rule, that nobody anywhere must be offended!


    K1ngston
    Participant

    alainboy56 I normally dont get to see witness as when I arrive back its through the electronic gates and away,I have always heard people say that its a disaster and never took much notice.. Obviously the odious way most people are treated leaving T5 and others should be a pre cursor to what its like coming in, and now I know …..

    I am currently in Dhaka and when I landed the other day, the immigration officers (even with a manual VOA process) were polite and I was through in 20 minutes …..

    I agree with everything you say ….


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    K1ngston, sorry to hear about your spouse’s horrible experience on arrival. Apologies on behalf of my compatriots!

    I hope you both have a wonderful and happy life, bereft of immigration issues and with flights full of champagne and cake!


    K1ngston
    Participant

    Thank you Ian, they are my compatriots too unfortunately and I share the embarrassment that we all feel for the small minded “little England” approach at our Premier Airport.

    Again thank you for your very kind wishes and when next in SG or indeed when I am next in HKG lets raise a glass of the good stuff to the future? Martyn and I have done so in HKG and BKK many times …


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    That would be good 🙂

    Martyn can give you my email address


    AleRomUY
    Participant

    Dear K1ngston, first of all, congrats for the wedding and I am very sorry for the torture for your fiancee at LHR.

    You say that you will skip Terminal 4 from now on and so it means you will not fly QR any longer to LHR.
    First of all, I would suggest you to re-consider your decision since QR is simply fantastic, even in Economy class as you describe.
    I am a QR Platinum member, already for a few years and I always fly Business Class on them, out of Jakarta where I live and work; and it is always the BEST!!!

    But now I would like to share with you some recent experience transiting LHR that, for me being from Uruguay and coming from Indonesia, was extremely amazing.
    To be honest, I was expecting the worse but I was completely surprised and amazed. Of course, maybe I was lucky that day but, who knows. Anyway, it is with the purpose of comparing with your experience so you verify that not everything is that bad.

    I was flying QR from JKT to LHR (via DOH) in Business Class arriving into Terminal 4 (like you), and then transiting land-side to Terminal 5 to catch IB so to fly LHR to MVD (via MAD) also in Business.
    I was doing that simply because the sum of both tickets in Business was much cheaper than flying QR to GRU and then connect with LATAM to MVD. And since I am also an avgeek and had the time, it was planned to be great. And it was!

    I had scheduled to have plenty of time in between QR and IB flights at LHR just in case (I left almost 6 hours for the transit and connection), and at the end, because everything ran so smoothly, I got completely bored and spoiled at the Galleries First Class Lounge just killing too much time I had to spare.

    How did it happen?

    Upon landing in LHR, I can tell you that the total time from the moment I step out of the plane in T4 until I was already at the Galleries Lounge in T5, was not more than an hour!!
    And it included: disembarking >> going thru Immigration >> collecting bag >> going thru Customs >> getting out of the terminal to smoke a cigarette >> picking up the bus (for free) to Terminal 5 >> arriving in there, smoking another cigarette before entering the building >> going to First Class check in (due to my Emerald status) >> passing thru Security and >> going to the lounge!!! All in 1 hour!!

    Being Uruguayan (I do not need visa for UK) and coming in from Indonesia, I expected to be longer at Immigration: I guess I stayed there not more than 5 minutes. The rest was the same breeze. Everything ran perfectly; even at Security in T5 after checking in!!

    So, as bottom line, I always read the entries from lots of you guys stating how bad LHR experience is, but I have to honestly confess that I had one of the best experiences I ever had transiting in an airport, and particularly in this case going from T4 to T5.
    I just wanted to share this experience with you, I guess not everything is that bad at LHR. I would be very dishonest if I say that. Cheers, Alejandro


    AleRomUY
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    Dear K1ngston, first of all, congrats for the wedding and I am very sorry for the torture for your fiancee at LHR.

    You say that you will skip Terminal 4 from now on and so it means you will not fly QR any longer to LHR.
    First of all, I would suggest you to re-consider your decision since QR is simply fantastic, even in Economy class as you describe.
    I am a QR Platinum member, already for a few years and I always fly Business Class on them, out of Jakarta where I live and work; and it is always the BEST!!!

    But now I would like to share with you some recent experience transiting LHR that, for me being from Uruguay and coming from Indonesia, was extremely amazing.
    To be honest, I was expecting the worse but I was completely surprised and amazed. Of course, maybe I was lucky that day but, who knows. Anyway, it is with the purpose of comparing with your experience so you verify that not everything is that bad.

    I was flying QR from JKT to LHR (via DOH) in Business Class arriving into Terminal 4 (like you), and then transiting land-side to Terminal 5 to catch IB so to fly LHR to MVD (via MAD) also in Business.
    I was doing that simply because the sum of both tickets in Business was much cheaper than flying QR to GRU and then connect with LATAM to MVD. And since I am also an avgeek and had the time, it was planned to be great. And it was!

    I had scheduled to have plenty of time in between QR and IB flights at LHR just in case (I left almost 6 hours for the transit and connection), and at the end, because everything ran so smoothly, I got completely bored and spoiled at the Galleries First Class Lounge just killing too much time I had to spare.

    How did it happen?

    Upon landing in LHR, I can tell you that the total time from the moment I step out of the plane in T4 until I was already at the Galleries Lounge in T5, was not more than an hour and a half!!
    And it included: disembarking >> going thru Immigration >> collecting bag >> going thru Customs >> getting out of the terminal to smoke a cigarette >> picking up the bus (for free) to Terminal 5 >> arriving in there, smoking another cigarette before entering the building >> going to First Class check in (due to my Emerald status) >> passing thru Security and >> going to the lounge!!! All in 1.5 hour!!

    Being Uruguayan (I do not need visa for UK) and coming in from Indonesia, I expected to be longer at Immigration: I guess I stayed there not more than 5 minutes. The rest was the same breeze. Everything ran perfectly; even at Security in T5 after checking in!!

    So, as bottom line, I always read the entries from lots of you guys stating how bad LHR experience is, but I have to honestly confess that I had one of the best experiences I ever had transiting in an airport, and particularly in this case going from T4 to T5.
    I just wanted to share this experience with you, I guess not everything is that bad at LHR. I would be very dishonest if I say that. Cheers, Alejandro


    AleRomUY
    Participant

    Ooops, sorry, I clicked something wrong. I just wanted to edit my post clarifying the total time at LHR experience to be 1.5 hour instead of 1 hour, and I clicked on wrong button, now it says that the post has been reported for inappropriate content!! WTF!!


    K1ngston
    Participant

    Firstly Ian, please get my details from Martyn and I look forward to hearing from you. AleRomUY thank you for taking the time to give me your opinions. Firstly I agree with you the QR service in Economy was great we were well looked after once the crew knew we were travelling to be married.

    My fiancé at the time needed to get a stamp in the passport on the marriage visa so I am trying to find out whether coming in next time things would be or could be easier, but let me assure you the 3 hours 15 minutes that we waited is and was totally unacceptable for an airport in the 21st century


    paulkaz
    Participant

    AleRomUY, as an aside to the thread, was your QR IB ticket via LHR cheaper than QF JKT SYD SCL and then LATAM to MVD? I would pay extra to go via LHR for the plane spotting but wondered the price difference. Thanks.


    AleRomUY
    Participant

    Dear paulkaz,
    Doing JKT-SYD-SCL in QF + SCL-MVD in LA, was more expensive; as it was doing JKT-DOH-GRU in QR + GRU-MVD in JJ.
    Ironically what was making the tickets more expensive, was the final leg because it was around Easter/Holy Week.
    So the QR ticket for JKT-DOH-LHR + IB ticket for LHR-MAD-MVD, return both in Business Class, was cheaper.

    Also, I was earning many more miles and points because I was doing directly QR half of the trip, and then IB grants you good amount of points for QR (very important to keep the status) on its flights.
    To compare, doing QR + IB, I got 234 Qpoints. If done Qantas + LATAM, it would have given me 134 Qpoints, 100 less and much more expensive.

    And as you say, it was a plus for doing plane-spotting at LHR!!
    Also, as I said on my post above, everything ran so smoothly at LHR and the transit from one terminal to the other that I could not believe it. I forgot something else that happened: you know that normally the gates are not announced at LHR until the last reasonable minute; however in this case, I was shocked when I saw the assigned gate for the IB flight (an A330, leaving at 18:30) more than an hour before departure; so I had plenty of time to go to the C-gates, and still had to wait there for boarding.

    So, as you see, this was my most amazing experience at LHR as a whole!!
    Cheers, Alejandro


    peter19
    Participant

    k1ngston, Congrats on the wedding. I myself have that to look forward to next year! Have you any Honeymoon plans?

    Re T4 thats a shame and a shocking amount of time to be waiting – not a great impression for visitors. What it staffing issues or the general processing taking all the time?

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