Delta, United, and BA, you can all suck it, because compared to Qatar Airways, you are all rubbish!
We tend to have a concept that the Western airlines are somehow better, particularly legacy liners in the US and the UK that have been flying the skies for decades. But once you’ve tried one of the incredible new airlines operating out of the Middle East, like Emirates, Etihad or Qatar Airways, or out of Asia, such as Thai Airways, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines, you realise that the old school Westerners really pale in comparison.
This was my first time to fly with Qatar Airways, and luckily was able to get a business class ticket, and I have to say I was blown away. It really does deserve the reputation of being a 5-Star Airline. I’m talking roses in the bathroom. I’m talking about flight attendants that go into the bathroom every single time after it gets used, and clean it up and put a fresh toilet seat cover and fold the toilet paper into that cute little triangle. I’m talking about “Indulgences” — yummy little treats that they serve you throughout the flight — designed by international chefs like Nobu. I’m talking about seats that go dow, ALL the way down, and allow you to stretch out and sleep. I’m talking cabin crew who put a lovely little napkin on your lap and set down fine silverware for your meal. I’m talking about cabin crew who never say no, who kneel down before you so that you never have to look up to them, who hold one hand behind their back as they serve you wine or champagne out of a bottle that is facing up rather than facing down so you can see the label. I’m talking a level of service, of attention to detail, of pride, that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
This is how travel should be.
This is how airlines should treat their customers.
This is what your hard earned money should get you when you buy a ticket!
My route was HKG-Doha-London on Qatar Airways, and then London to Port of Spain on British Airways. And well, what can I say… After flying on the traveller’s wet dream that is the Boeing 777 Dreamliner, BA seemed like a big soggy diaper. They ran out of beer half way through the flight, and served up a disgusting meal of bland potatoes and tough chicken. The cabin crew clearly couldn’t care less about your requests, and the floor of the bathroom was, of course, covered in pee. Uggh.
Oh but the Dreamliner. What bliss! What a plane! Windows that don’t even have shades because they dim to the touch! Personal movie systems that have HUNDREDS of movies! Just incredible.
And my little popo… what a spoilt child. As the seat next to me was empty on every leg of the journey, she got a business class seat all to herself to spread out in, as well as a drop-down bassinet with a fluffy blanket, and lots of toys and affection from the flight attendants. How oh how will I ever be able to take her on a low cost carrier after experiencing the joy of turning left on the jetway and being magically whisked away from the coughing, sneezing, stinky proletariat, the cramped conditions of economy where your elbow is facing a battle worthy of the Spartans, where utensils are plastic and the food probably is too. Nope, this is a Business Baby!
And now, after more than two months in Trinidad with my family, here we are back in Hong Kong again. And what can I say? It’s great to go to Trinidad, but it is also great to be back home in Hong Kong, because of things like this….
Anyway, the moral of the story is, if you ever see an offer with an unfamiliar airline from some faraway country, just think about it this way — once upon a time British Airways and Delta may have been hot shit in the skies, but countries like the UAE, Turkey, Thailand and even Indonesia have money to burn, they have bought a whole lot of brand new aircraft, and they’re not afraid to pimp their rides. So a stopover in Doha? Hell yeah! I’d recommend it, without hesitation.