Qatar Airways — first class disaster
Whatever you do, do not book this airline - here's a timeline of events and a summary of what happened to us!
Timeline, 24/ 25 march 2017
14:15- due to depart from london heathrow, qr4
15:00- left heathrow, 45 minutes late - no explanation why
01:00- due to leave doha for dubai international airport, qr 1002
12:45 arrived in doha late so missed the connection - was not directed anywhere for our transfer, I had to ask random staff in the airport where to go
01:00 managed to get to the transfer desk where no one was manning the first class desk - waited 15 minutes for someone to come and speak to us - wasn’t acceptable for first class. when the member of staff did arrive, we were told that the next plane was at 02.30am, we were issued new boarding passes for the next flight (qr1004). there was no mention of any delays or bad weather.
02:00 checked in at the gate for the flight, was no seats, no separation for business class/ first class passengers - we stood for 45 minutes until we were told that there are delays due to bad weather.
02:45 (approx) the gate opened and there was an announcement asking first class passengers on the plane - everyone stampeded to the door and the staff were allowing them to pass - we had no chance of getting through. as first class passengers, we have paid an extortionate amount for the service but yet I had to go to the front near the door whilst everyone was giving me horrid looks and to be told by the staff to stand in line (there was no line just a herd of people all over the place). I showed her my ticket so she let my husband and I pass.
02:55 (approx)- we got onto the plane, were seated. an announcement was made by the staff to say that there was bad weather and that we should take off in 10-15 minutes. an hour later, the same announcement was made but this time it was said 20-30 minutes. another hour later, we were told that the plane was in a long queue due to the backlog, the weather was fine to go. there were no announcements after that and the plane had hardly moved. so my husband had to keep asking the steward for updates. the pilot only had the courtesy to speak once. we were stuck on the plane for 5 hours exactly!!! we were not even allowed to get off our seat to go to the toilet. my husband asked for some water to take for his medication, 4 hours into the wait and he was told rudely - ‘we are about to take off, not now’. it was absolutely unorganized and inhumane to force everybody to stay in a plane which was not moving for 5 hours and with no substantial update. the plane eventually moved to the front of the queue to the runway and we were next in line to take off. we could see from the window planes landing and taking off alternatively on the runway. just as we were about to leave (to our relief), another plane qatar airways aligns side by side to us and takes off. we were then told that our plane is cancelled due to no slot allocation at dubai intonation al airport and we then had to go back to the airport - we were held for 45 minutes after that message - it was torture sitting in a confined space for 5 hours when it should have been a 55 minute flight.
08:00- we got on a bus to the airport and weren’t told where to go or who to speak to. using our initiative, we queued up at the transfer desk (yet again!!) and was told to go to the lounge and wait for updates.
08:10- we waited in the lounge but were not informed on anything until we got up and went to the desk to ask - we were told, ‘sorry, the flight is delayed due to the weather’. after half an hour, we were told that we would receive new boarding passes. we were then issued boarding passes for a flight boarding at 8.45 (qr 1024).
09.00- we got onto the plane after having to go through a large crowd and ask staff to let us through as we were first class passengers - again!! after getting onto this plane, we were given updates by the pilot and staff saying we would leave in 10-12 minutes (but we didn’t) then again saying ‘sorry due to weather conditions we are delayed’ then again to say ‘due to slot allocations we will leave soon’ and again to say ‘ delayed for passengers connections, waiting for their suitcases and paperwork to be sorted’. 5 buses of people had arrived at this time which I saw from my seat. there were conflicting stories - the weather, slot allocation to land in dubai and then waiting for passengers’. the communication between all of your staff is so bad, we were left out of the loop and when told reasons, everyone had a different story - false information.
11:30- finally left doha for dubai 2 hours 45 minutes later!
• in total it took us 24 hours to get to dubai, when it should have only taken 10 hours max.
• in total we were stuck on planes for 9 hours: 45 minutes on qr4, 5 hours on qr1004, 2 hours 40 minutes on qr1024 just waiting for no substantial reason.
• there was an identical flight landing to dwc at the same time as our flights at 02.30am - they reached fine with no weather issues, so why didn’t we? why did we have to wait 5 hours on that plane!? so why was everyone blaming the weather because we saw many planes take off and we know that the dwc plane went to dubai with no issues.
• we are frequent flyers with emirates and fly first and business class all of the time. we were ‘wowed’ by your advertising campaign on business travel but we are extremely disappointed with the way you handled the delays and treated us at every stage of the journey.
After complaining to them, they gave me a template reply with 'standard lines', apologized and said there's nothing they can do! if they treat first class passengers like this then i'd hate to think what they'd do to economy passengers!