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Doha?

I’m organising a trip for work from G to VK next month. Some of the best deals seem to be with Qatar Airways. Does anybody have experience of taking gear through transfer security at Doha?

Thanks,

Simon

Personally, I’d avoid Middle East transit wherever possible.

Singapore or Hong Kong before UAE or Qatar! All my bad experiences are in Dubai.

I have been through Doha (on my way to Delhi) without any issues. Just be prepared to walk down an outdoor jetway in a sandstorm, and have basically no food in the “terminal” (which appears to be 4 white walls with no art).

Do not fly Emirates through Dubai. The airport is run by idiots. Emirates do not have handheld radios on their list of non hand luggage items (check their website) and the airport does not allow them in your hand luggage. Brainless security - No wokkie tokkie! No wokkie tokkie! and hours of crap to sort it out. Their flights Dubai - San Francisco and back are the worst I’ve ever been on. My personal experience - Dirty planes, malfunctioning seats that wont latch, broken air vents blowing ice cold air, a certain countries passengers throwing everything including food on the floor, loud mouthed men congregating that have to be told: “This is an illegal gathering - Go back to your seats!” They listened, I think they thought I was an air marshall, dirty toilets, freaked out air hostesses, late food, food poisoning, all on A380. “Nightmare on Elm street” airline and I am not kidding. To be avoided.

Hi Simon

You might be waiting for my answer.
I’ve just been to European Alps via Qatar Airways in September.
Arriving at Doha from Tokyo(NRT), my camera was wiped by a wet gauze patch which was scanned using a GC/MS sensor at the transfer security gate.
They confirmed only my air ticket instead of my passport.
That was all. A Japanese undergoes basically the minimum check even in US. After passing the gate, you can go down to the main hall (see the picture).
Before flying to Geneva(GVA), I was in the lounge since Qatar Airways belongs to oneworld alliance and I have enough status as a JAL client.
DOH is a great airport in the desert, however, the connection was basically at midnight, and no shop and no restaurant was open then.
So I spent 7 hours in the lounge at the return trip and the sleeping room in the lounge was comfortable (without Washlet).
The BA status holders can also use this lounge.
My table illumination was powered off in QR807 but the aircrafts were clean and the on-board service was so-so for us.
Enjoy your trip and meal in the aircraft will hopefully be acceptable.

JI1TLL Jun,

Thanks for all your replies.

I’ve booked with BA and have a refuelling stop at Singapore. It seemed like the simplest, lowest-risk option. The down side is that it means connecting through Heathrow.

73, Simon

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Whilst Heathrow is one the most awful places on Earth and BA is a rubbish airline, I’d take them over a stop/change in Doha/Dubai etc. anyday.

Lots of fun things happen at airports. I’ve been subject to more problems at Heathrow than any other European airport of comparable size. I did have a gun pointed at me (an assault rifle to be accurate) at Taiwan Taoyuan airport by young soldier in an ill fitting uniform. All I did was walk through the metal detector and make it go “bong”!

Come on Andy!
Compared with AF, Iberia, Lufthansa, American, United , Delta, SAS, Alitalia, Icelandair, Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2, JAL, KLM and some others I forget - BA is ahead at least based on my experience albeit over 15 years ago, My favorites were Cathay Pacific and Virgin
Jim

A lot has changed over the past 15 years, Jim.

For one thing, BA and Iberia are essentially the same company now. The last time I chose BA was on a return flight from Heathrow to San Diego and back, and I found them pretty awful. The best long-haul airline I have travelled on is Air New Zealand. I found Qantas were OK too, in a “no-nonsense” sort of way. People in Australia use aircraft rather like we travel by bus in the UK!

There was a time - until about ten years ago - when all the major American airlines offered decent service, but not any more. By far the worst airlines I have ever had the misfortune to travel on were JAT - Jugoslav Air Transport (which no longer exists), and Garuda Indonesia (which for many years was forbidden to use airports in the EU).

I have never used Ryanair - and would not do so, as a matter of principle.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

BA staff are deplorable now Jim. In 2002 it was still quite an upmarket airline but it’s been going down fast ever since. Most of my work colleagues do their best to avoid BA flights were possible due to the surely and miserable cabin crew. As I always need to change at Heathrow, Schipol or Charles de Gaul because I fly from Edinburgh, the best of those is Schipol which means KLM. KLM don’t pretend to be the world’s best airline and you tend to fly on lots of older and well travelled planes. Like Walt’s “no nonsense QANTAS” in many ways. But, the cabin crew are brilliant, the best in the last 15 years of flying and that means that a 10hr long haul flight is fine. Only flown AF on one route, Edinburgh <> CDG then I got the TGV down to Avignon. The flight was staffed by really good cabin crew and I got the best coffee on a plane ever on that flight.

Easyjet and Ryanair, well I try to avoid. I’ve not flown Ryanair since 2005. After a few flights I decided I wasn’t going to be treated as cattle, I now happily pay more to fly with an airline that actually doesn’t have “treat the customer like dirt” in its operating ethos. Easyjet are a lot, lot better. Still fairly dire but just about OK for flights up to 2hrs.

Cathay and Singapore were amazing but it’s a long time since I had that privilige. I wasn’t paying either!

Then there’s Delta. I didn’t think any airline could beat Ryanair for making you feel unloved, unwanted and an inconvenience. Delta took the challenge and beat Ryanair handsomely.

We had no problems with Doha last year on our trip to NZ. KX2 plus lipos plus several handhelds and various antennas.

In January we flew to Sydney with Cathay Pacific. All good except when the plane took off from Hong Kong on the second leg it had a technical problem 3.5 hours into the flight, pilot took us back to HK at reduced speed and at lower height. We left HK after a further 3 hour wait and arrived in Sydney 12 hours late. The taxi in Sydney to daughters home in the suburbs cost me £72 - if we had landed the previous night daughter would have picked us up gratis. There is no compensation in the Far East / Pacific area for lateness unlike the good old EU and I have had to fight tooth and nail to get the £72 taxi fare back from Cathay Pacific. They eventually paid up as I never gave up with emails, tweets etc. Took almost 3 months to get paid up.

I suppose these events could have happened on any other airline, and it was a change to travelling through the middle east as we had done previously

All radio gear travelled in the hold case - FT-857 etc. The only thing in my hand luggage was a 7 amp LiFePo.

I had 2.5 days activating whilst I was there and my host was Gerard VK2IO - a great fellow. .

73 Phil

I have flown to Doha on my way to Nice from Narita using Qatar Airways this mid-June. I had radio gear in the suitcase including the FT-817 (without batteries), some antenna gear and some other small stuff. I had a LiFePo4 in my handhled. I did not have a single problem or question.

The service was very good. I was trying to change SIM card on my phone and did not have a paper clip to make the small tray pop-out of the phone. The stewardess gave me her name tag and I used the pointy pin on the back of it to do it and it worked like a charm. She was all smiles all along as well, very pleasant.

Doha as an airport: You have to a bus from the plane to the terminal in very high temperatures. Come on guys, this is the 21st century! The terminal itself is quite bland but clean and functional.

Qatar Airways is supposed to be one of the best airlines in the world. Somehow though, on one leg of the flight my TV screen did not work, on the other leg the sound did not work :slight_smile: oh well…

Hard to generalize based on only one trip but for me it worked out ok. They offer some of the best deals out of Japan to go to Europe at the moment, so they are worth a thought for sure.

Let’s hope it works out well on my way back.

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