Nice to see the familiar Hamad International Airport as we approached it. At the First stop someone takes your luggage and soon you are at a seperate check in where there are no lines because there are so many agents checking passengers in.
The flight to the USA left from gate E1, a little further away and there is always extra security. But I wanted to go to Al Mourjan and say hello to some of my friends there, I was not disappointed, as I ran into my friend Aksam from Sri Lanka and managed to chat a little and have a hot cup of coffee.
As expected the security was tight, computers had to be taken out and parceled and sealed tight, and randomly selected travellers were further scrutinized. I chatted with the security agent from Uganda, it seems most people who are in security in Doha whether in the hotel or at the airport seems to be from Uganda. Bangladeshis monopolize the toilet and cleaning. Indians, Sri Lankans, Nepalis and Filipinos all outnumber the native Qataris.
A very sweet agent at check in by the name of Jasmin changed my assigned seat to 1K, my favourite seat, very private and all to myself.
My side of the cabin was serviced by a Romanian and a Kenyan, and i had a chance to speak to both of them. This job suits me perfectly said the Kenyan and I love it. She had travelled to various ports of call of Qatar Airways. I have travelled with QR to : Casablanca, Marrakech, Doha, Colombo, Cochin, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore, New York, Boston, Miami, Houston but they fly to 150 different destination so any Flight attendant with QR would have visited more places than I would ever manage to visit. I also noticed that some of the South Asians working for QR will go on short breaks to various spots around the Middle East and Central Asia where QR flies. My friend from Al Mourjan lounge recently spent a couple of days in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Kenyan Flight attendant said, she spent a few days in Zanzibar. Qatar is being good to thousands of people like my friends in Doha.
The flight time, I noticed was one hour shorter than the usual and I saw from the flight route that they were taking a more southerly route. I was hoping they would fly over Iran, instead flew over the Persian Gulf, and then on to Iraq and Turkey before entering Bulgaria, Czech republic, crossing into England and Ireland and then the open Atlantic Ocean.
The service onboard QR is one of the best in the world. You can eat what you want when you want and unlike other airlines they dont just shut themselves down after serving the meal. The galley is always open and I have seen meals being served 30 minutes before arrival.
There was an Indian plate among the offerings, Aloo Paneer tikki with jeera potato, Green pea Uppma, makhani sauce and sambar. It was delicious and many hours later I requested another serving of it.
I normally do not eat desserts but always make an exception at QR flights.
Dacquoise biscuit with chocolate panache
Since the Indian entree was delicious, I requested another Indian sounding dish, without knowing what it might be, and it lacked the same quality as the Uppma,
Hariyali paneer with spiced beans and potatoes.
I had two flutes of Lanson 1760 champagne and also had a chance to taste Leyda single vineyard Garuma 2016 from Chile, a sauvignon blanc, which tasted much less sweeter than the favourite Kim Crawford and others from the Marlborough valley.
Leone D'Almenrita, Terre Siciliane 2016 from Palermo, Italy.
I did not prefer either of them. Scientific studies have shown that once the palate gets used to sugary taste, it begins to dominate and will not accept easily the other varieties of taste
Crossing over to the North American coast, one could snow covering the entire northern part of Canada and patches of it below the frontier.
Soon the 13 hour 5 minute flight came to an end. The service was superb, I enjoyed talking to the Kenyan and the Romanian and the Cabin Chief who was a pleasant man from Romania.
I always look forward to my QR flights and I have never ever been disappointed. This flight also lived up to my expectation and as I went through the Immigration and Customs I knew I would be flying QR once again within four weeks, for yet another long journey to Asia.
I am hoping "my seat" 1 K would be allotted to me!