Qatar Airways — an awful experience travelling with infant
There are things I’d like to share concerning my last 2 trips with Qatar Airways.
1. Priority boarding when you travel with young children is ### in Doha
As written in this link: http://www.qatarairways.com/qa/en/travelling-with-children.page passengers travelling with young children or infant get the priority boarding. But what I experienced in Doha is far from that.
On June 24 (QR 670), I travelled from Doha to Jakarta with my 1, 5 old baby. I didn’t ask for a priority boarding because on 25.09.2011 (Doha-Jakarta trip, QR 81), I asked for a priority boarding since I was with my sleeping infant, but the crew looked at me as if I was an irritating client who asked for a huge favor. she then asked other passengers if they didn’t mind.
Not wanting the same thing to be happened, that time I chose to queue. The female crew which was on duty noticed my presence but didn’t do anything…She, instead gave a priority to an Arabian family (a father, a mother, and 3 kids age around 10, 6 and 3). I looked at her, puzzled. How could she only gave the priority to that family, and ignore a mother (without the husband) travelling alone, carrying a 1, 5 yr old baby and a big backpack? (My journey lasted 23 hours in total so I had lots of diapers, baby clothes, baby foods and some toys in my backpack). Is it because I’m not an Arabian? From my experience being 4 times in Doha, I noticed the Qatar ground crews were nicer and more friendly to Arabian passengers.
On August 29 (QR 81), I flew from Doha to Rome, and this time I was with my husband. When it was time for boarding, my baby was crying because he wanted to have some breast milk. My husband asked the crew if we could have the priority boarding so we could get into the plane immediately to breastfeed my baby. Guess what…he didn’t allow us to! Frankly speaking, I really wanted to punch him on the face for his refusal. I ALWAYS got the priority boarding EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD, but in Doha! So there we were…my husband did the queue for about 30 minutes and I did my best to calm my crying baby.
2. Bassinet seat problem
On August 28, we departed from Jakarta to Rome and we had seat issue for Doha-Rome trip (QR 81). The ground crew in Jakarta told me he couldn’t give me the bassinet seat for the Doha-Rome trip using the computer system in Jakarta. But later in Doha, I could ask the ground crew to get my seat changed. Soon after we arrived in Doha, I went to the information center and they told me to get my seat changed on my gate. Since the gate was closed, we waited for about half an hour and when it opened (for another flight, not for ours) we asked them to change our seat but they said they couldn’t do that since the flight was full. However, they said we could go to the transfer desk and ask them to change the seat.
Not wanting to give up, we went to the transfer desk. It was full of people, and after 40 minutes standing in the line, we finally got our turn. The lady who was working on the extreme right desk that night (it was past midnight, and I feel so stupid for not remembering her name) told us there was nothing she could do since the flight was full. It was unbelievable… That lady was a big fat liar, I should write down our conversation to make it clear how bad the Qatar Airways ground crew in Doha.
Me: But how come you didn’t give me the bassinet seat though it was requested months before?
The big fat liar: because this flight is full, mam
Me: full with what? With adults? Or with infants?
The big fat liar: the bassinet seats are full with infants, mam (### #1)
Me: ah ok, (I felt somewhat upset)
The big fat liar: But the seat you have now is also a bassinet seat, mam (### #2)
Me: Really? But my seat is seat #43, the bassinet seats are in #10
The big fat liar: we also have bassinet seats in the back part of the plane…(### #3) and that is yours, mam
Me: (overwhelmed) thank you so much.
When we got in the plane, we found out the seat #43 is a regular seat. I asked one of the cabin crews if I could move to the bassinet seat. I also told her if the bassinet seats were all occupied with infants then it was not a problem, but if there were adults sitting there, then the seat should be mine.
To make the long story short, several cabin crews were involved, trying to convince us to stay where we were, but how could we sit in a regular seat with an infant on our lap? For a 6 hours flight??? We could barely move! And what the use of requesting bassinet seat months before?? I was so pissed off! That was the worst flying experience ever!
I got fooled by a big-fat-liar-ground-crew after doing a 40 minutes queue, then I got refused for a priority boarding so I had to queue for another 30 minutes with a crying infant, just to find out that there was nothing that the cabin crew could do to help me to get my bassinet seat. So in the end I told them to just fu*k off because I was sick of them. And suprisingly it worked! After seeing me mad, a cabin crew named Mr.Ashroush (I suppose he was the head of the cabin crew) tried to calm me down and asked the passengers who were sitting in the bassinet seats to switch place. They were unhappy, of course, but we thanked them anyway.
And surprise…surprise…..all the bassinet seats (there are 4 bassinets in total) were occupied with ADULTS! My baby was the only infant on board, yet they gave the bassinet seats to adults instead. Requesting the seat was useless, asking them to change the seat politely was useless, you have to show them your anger in order to be respected. What a shame!
3. Burgundy membership inconsistent policy
My husband and I have privilege card and last year we collected 80 Qpoints (on September). I know that you have to collect at least 50 Qpoints to be in the Burgundy level, but we forgot to ask for it, and on January 2012, our Qpoints was 0 again. This year (on august) we also collected 80 Qpoints and yesterday (Sept, 26) my husband’s burgundy card arrived at home. I tweeted Qatar Airways, asking why we didn’t get burgundy membership last year, despite the 80 Qpoint that we collected, but they were useless, they just told me it was automatic and I should send email to Qatar. If they had given us the burgundy membership last year, we could have obtained the burgundy facilities on our previous trips this year.