At the airport
I was connecting from another flight and had already been issued with my boarding pass. Doha is a pretty simple terminal in terms of layout, although it can feel a bit oversized, so it was easy to find the gate.
The challenge with this flight is that it leaves in the middle of the night, so I found it tiring to be at the airport at that time and then fly. The timing for the Hong Kong flight later in the morning is preferable, I think.
The plane was operated by a Boeing 787-800.
There was a large seatback television with USB port, and a separate controller with its own small screen, which can be handy for watching the flight map occasionally without switching out of the main entertainment screen, for example.
At the seat was a pillow, decent blanket and simple amenity kit.
We pushed back on time and arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule at four o’clock at gate 42 in Hong Kong. This was a smooth flight although the pilot didn’t inspire much confidence in me as his English was so heavily accented it was hard to follow.
The crew on this plane have a hard job in the sense that for the first part they are padding around in Qatar’s darkened cabin, offering to serve people many of whom just want to sleep since it is the middle of the night. That said, they were generally reserved and not very proactive. Again I got no sense of warmth from this cabin crew.
Food and Drink
The menu for the flight was as follows.
I didn’t understand the sequencing of meals: the first meal though described as breakfast was more like a dinner menu, and the timing of shortly after take off matched neither. The dinner meal was decent – I had chicken biryani which was cooked well and tasty.
Qatar’s economy wine selection is unimpressive.
The timing of this flight is not attractive on its own (albeit that it may be the best connection, which is how Qatar runs its business). The weird meal timings make that more obvious, and the depressing cabin lighting Qatar uses doesn’t help me sleep.
QR816 is a better flight timings for these points, although it may not work with your schedule. But in general I find the stop in Doha to be disruptive, service underwhelming and the food and drink nothing special. If you are driven by price, Qatar can often be a good choice, but apart from that, it has little to recommend it.