Qatar Airways showed that even on a relatively short overnight flight, it consistently offers superior service and catering.
We spent most of our four hour layover between flights at the Al Mourjan Business Lounge. Boarding began 40 minutes prior to the flight.
Qatar Airways 664
Doha (DOH) – Colombo (CMB)
Monday, August 2
Aircraft: Airbus A340-600
Seat: 4A (Business Class)
The aircraft was identical in layout to our Colombo to Doha flight. Word of caution: the economy class cabin is extremely dense. Extremely.
Business Class, however, is quite comfortable. The cabin filled up with mostly older German and Dutch tourists.
As usual, a choice of hot or cold towel was offered, with towels nicely scented in rose water. Qatar’s signature mint/lemon drink was also gratefully accepted by both of us.
We asked Mohammed, the pursuer, about the lack of dates and Arabic coffee and he said that is only for first class (this aircraft had no first class).
A small amenity kit in a flexible pouch was also offered.
We took off at 2:22am.
Menus were distributed and contained dinner items. We had expected some snacks and a full breakfast menu, so this menu surprised both of us.
As always, meal service was on-demand. Having eaten only a small cheese sandwich in the Al Mourjan lounge, I partook in a full dinner. Better to eat first then sleep then try to sleep and wake up in time to eat something.
A Delicious Late Dinner
To Qatar’s credit, the menu was extremely impressive–
And service was also efficient, maximizing our time to sleep.
Service began with a table cloth, place settings and bread basket.
For our first course, we both had wild mushroom soup, which really hit the spot.
Next, I ordered Arabic mezze, which included humus, tabbouleh, and mujadarra.
Ben had chicken cheese tikka with mint chutney. He made the better choice, but I felt that was like eating a second main course so I am glad I ordered the mezze.
While meals were being prepared, we watched Dr. Ken. Let’s just say Dr. Ken is not nearly as fun as Mr. Chow…
For the main, I ordered an exceptional herb crusted lamb loin, which was one of the best lamb dishes I have ever had on a plane. Truly delicious!
Ben ordered chicken korma and also highly praised it.
Finally, we each had chocolate florentine gateaux with nuts for dessert. Wow! It was great.
Bottom line: the food was exceptional.
With three hours left in the flight, I placed my bed into the fully reclined mode and quickly fell asleep.
I awoke about 30 minutes prior to landing. Ben had so kindly ordered me a cappuccino, which was waiting for me on the center console, piping hot and delicious.
We landed slightly behind schedule but quickly taxied to the gate.
Honestly, I could not have asked for anything more on such a short flight. A tremendous multi-course meal, good service, great coffee, and a comfortable bed with good bedding added up for an ideal combination. The issue of subsidies aside, there is no denying (in my mind) that the exemplary product on carriers like Qatar is a tremendous blessing to consumers.