By Naz Iskandar, 2nd Year Politics and International Relations Student
The Croft Magazine // Naz Iskandar shares his experience flying from Kuala Lumpur Airport to Doha
After having returned to Malaysia for the holidays, it was time for me to fly back to Bristol. Here is a simple, student review of my long-haul experience with Qatar Airways, as I had a great time flying with them.
I was flying out at 0915 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Doha for my onward journey to London, on a Qatar Airways Airbus A350. The flight time was 7 hours and 30 minutes.
You want to eat before clearing immigration at KLIA, as there’s nothing affordable air-side. Security at KLIA takes place at the boarding gate, but there is a cursory customs inspection after immigration. If you have an international flight, you usually have to take an inter-terminal train to the Satellite Terminal.
Boarding took place very quickly, as the flight was only half-full. To my excitement, my plane was a very new Airbus A350, tail number A7-AMI. I highly recommend using SeatGuru to check out where the best seats are - I was seated by the window in seat 17K! Qatar’s A350s have a 9 seat abreast 3-3-3 configuration in economy, which is more than comfortable.
I found the legroom to be very roomy – and I’m 5’8, for reference. There was ample space to stow a backpack under the seat in front of me, along with a few seat pockets. Seat pitch - the distance from the back of your seat to the seat in front of you - was about 31”, but it somehow felt roomier than that. There was even a cushion and blanket on each seat.
Everyone was given a simple amenity kit consisting of lip balm, a toothbrush, and eyemask, earplugs, and socks. The inflight entertainment had a touchscreen, with a wide selection of films and series. It even had a tail camera feed! WiFi was free for an hour, and only 10 US dollars for the whole flight. There was a USB power port alongside a socket that fits most plug types.
We took off around ten minutes ahead of schedule, something I watched from the tail camera feed – the newer Airbus planes seem to have this feature, so keep an eye out!
Later in the flight, we were all handed menus. Qatar Airways lay out the order of service chronologically, meaning you could plan around it. Pretty neat, huh? I chose the prata and fish curry, which tasted a lot nicer than it looked, and they hand out actual steel cutlery - even in economy.
One thing I love about Qatar is how pleasant the flight attendants are, even in economy class. They seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs, and exuded enthusiasm throughout. Having flown business class on Qatar once before, I would say that their flight attendants in both economy and business are polished just the same – at least to my undiscerning eye.
After the meal service concluded, I settled in to enjoy the view – the A350 has huge windows which allow you to wonder at the scenery. The flight attendants regularly passed through the cabin with drinks - juices, hot drinks and alcohol - which I liked. I was given a bag of pretzels and water when I asked for a snack. Later on there was a snack service consisting of a hot chicken pie and drinks, and it was actually fairly good!
After a smooth flight, we landed in Doha at 1154 local time, 21 minutes early. Since I had a tight 45-minute connection for my flight to London, I was relieved. Upon arrival in Doha, we were escorted to our gate. Once again, I hadn't expected us economy passengers to get such five-star treatment!
I would just like to note that Doha airport is great: there is an internal train that goes from one end of the airport to the other, and it’s just so easy to navigate.
Featured Image credit: Epigram / Naz Iskandar
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