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jeudi 6 février 2014


I just had a chance to fly Qatar Airways from CGK to DOH, use their Premium Terminal there and carry on to BRU from there.
The crew is truly multinational. On the flight from CGK to DOH, one of the flight attendants was from Asuncion, Paraguay!

The person attending to my section of the aircraft spoke perfect English, could speak at least two other languages. 
While other airlines, especially those based in USA and Europe, pay lip service to wanting to put the passengers first, their actions are clouded by the fact that the management’s loyalty is not to the passenger but the shareholders of the company, and make money for them. During the last quarter of the year, their profits were at a record high, but those of us who have flown them during that period internationally have not noticed any change in their arrogance towards the clients. It is a service with a mind but not with the heart.
Qatar Airway’s service seems to come from the heart of those who work for the airlines. 

The cabin crew are professional and polite and anticipate your needs. They rather work, they said, during the flight, rather than sit and do crossword puzzles whiling away the time.
Qatar airways had contracted world-class chefs to design the appropriate menu on various sectors. Champagne and wines and softer drinks are all available.
Cabin service began soon after the take off and the meal was sumptuous indeed.
Also I had time to get to know some of the cabin staff that all had been recruited after rigorous selection process. There were 700 applicants during a recruitment in Jakarta and only two were selected, my friend the fluent English and Chinese speaker was one of them.
I was already looking forward to my QR flight when I was on my way to Asia from the USA. While the service on the Dreamliner 787-8 from NRT to SIN on Japan Airlines was polite and efficient they did not exude the warmth of the Cabin Staff of the QR cabin staff on the DOH-BRU portion.
If it is cultural, then the Japanese cabin staff displayed the cultural aspects of their country, whereas the display of efficiency and politeness of the QR staff must reflect the management since in one day, I said hello to Cabin Staff from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Pakistan, Paraguay, Sri Lanka.individual cultures so vastly different from one another!
The morning has broken in Brussels, I had slept well. The sky outside is cloudless and the day promises to be temperate. I thought of fondly of my newly found friends at QR, now preparing for their journeys to DOH from BRU or DXB.
The new friends from QR enrich my life more than a fellow passenger ever would. When I looked at J or K or M, what I was seeing was more than the person, more than the Indonesian or Philippine or Pakistani face or culture but a nascent humanity of another sort. I am glad to be witnessing this new birth of an International Person, who struggles against all odds: separation from families, lovers and culture; living in cities and climates so odd, putting out their best each day so that they can make a few hours of life of another person memorable. Imagine during the two or so years they have been flight attendants, how much pleasure they had brought to the eyes, minds and palates of such a multitude of passengers!  In short, if your mind is open, they open a pathway for you to touch the universe. They demand your respect, their presence commands your love and affection and more importantly, with the proper connection to their minds, you would discover an unending curious world of limitless possibilities.
As Pablo Neruda may have described these new friends of mine:
They are as delicious as an Unending Bakery in the Sky!
I truly appreciate the service orientation of QR management. The Premier Terminal at DOH is nothing short of incredible. Five restaurants and bars fully staffed from young men and women from all over the world, courteous, curious and pleasant.
I have been very lucky in that I am mistaken for different nationalities during my travel, especially when they hear me speak. For reasons I cannot explain I speak Spanish with a Brasilian accent so I am mistaken for a Brasilian in South America and Miami; In Asia, the first question usually is, are you from?
Sri Lanka? Pakistan? Bangladesh? Burma? Malaysia? It is like a great gift the life has given me, this outward appearance that opens so many doors and of course, the mind is the product of my living amidst various cultures of the west: USA UK Sweden France Cuba and extensive travels in South America.
An young man, of Tamil and Sinhalese background talked a little and told me about Sri Lanka of his fondness, while making me a delicious cup of coffee. 

I had a long wait for my connecting flight to Europe, and thus it afforded me a chance to speak to many in the Lounge (never other passengers since they are too busy or self engrossed and also I am interested in the stories presented by these new adventurers from the East)
Truly one good flight with QR and a stay at the Premier Terminal would increase your respect for these young men and women from various Asian countries and the cultures that produced them. 

After this last flight with QR, there is no doubt in my mind where my loyalties lie when it comes to Airlines from the GCC!
Qatar Airways!
I told my new friend from Jakarta, the Chinese businessman, that he should fly QR when he is thinking of a Valentine Day Holiday with his wife and family in Europe! And on the 5th of March, my dearest friend from Bogor, HP, will be leaving from CGK to DOH on his way to JFK, then MIA and then ORD.
I will try to be there at the airport in the USA, waiting for them! And also see some maroon clad attendants with smiles of relief after that long flight from DOH!
My next trip to Asia is scheduled for next month, arriving in Kuala Lumpur, but wouldn't it be nice if I could leave from RGN via DOH on QR?