August 2012

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A look inside Qatar Airways Doha Premium Terminal

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100_0891_560.jpgDOHA -- Though I hold an economy class ticket on all legs of my journey to and from Dubai, Qatar Airways provided me with a look inside their Premium Terminal for First and Business Class passengers transiting through Doha.

The terminal is separated into three primary areas, first class and business class and security screening and staff waiting area. Once I got off the Airbus A320 (A7-ADJ) in Doha and I boarded a people mover specially fitted with lounge seating for a trip to the terminal that takes less than a minute. Upon arrival I passed through security and made by way up the main escalators of the spacious naturally lit terminal.

One thing you won't find in the Premium Terminal are loud speaker boarding announcements. When you first check into the terminal, a staff member notes your attire so they can find you individually when it's time for your next flight. When it gets a bit busier, staff members will roam the area to make personalized group announcements starting 45 minutes before your departing flight.

It becomes immediately clear that Qatar Airways has spared no expense for its premium customers, with showers and beds (for use up to 6-hours) for both classes. First Class lives up to its name with an area for spa treatments, a jaccuzzi and a sauna. Access to the spa is actually the only area of the terminal that is not included in the cost of the ticket and passengers can select from a menu of indulgent options during their layover.

Small things like play areas for little children and families, as well as a room with Playstation 3 terminals are all available to pass the time (for kids of all ages). The terminal also features twin male and female prayer rooms for Muslim passengers, an indication of airline's cultural heritage.

The First Class area can accomodate around 125 passengers and the Business Class area was expanded four months ago to accomodate up to 600 passengers. During peak evening hours, both room are very commonly filled to capacity. Both areas have business centers, free wi-fi terminal wide (thank you!), as well as buffets to fuel up before or after a long flight - which I'm doing as I write.

I want to thank Qatar Airways for the opportunity to visit their Premium Terminal. It's good incentive to try and return one day as a premium passenger. A guy can dream, right? In the mean time, I'm perfectly content with whatever class I long as I'm in the sky.

(More pictures later)

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