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Review: Qatar Airways

Airline

Worst ever experience!

  • By SilverTraveller RonFog

    1 review

  • January 2018
  • LHR
  • Cape Town
  • Friend(s)
  • Business / Club

74 people found this review helpful

As a frequent flyer, I hope to make other travellers on this forum aware of one of the worst check-in experiences I have ever experienced with Qatar Airways.

I frequently travel long haul usually in Business Class. I have three airlines that I prefer, each of whom have a generous checked-in baggage allowance:
• British Airways (2 × 32 Kgs)
• Virgin Atlantic (3 × 32 Kgs)
• Cathay Pacific (3×23 Kgs)
I don’t always read the small print, but as a business class passenger I expect a measure of tolerance and I definitely expect to be treated with dignity and respect.

This January, for the first time I was encouraged to book with Qatar, a long haul flight from LHR to Cape Town via Doha, and a return flight from Sydney back to LHR. My check in at LHR T4 was nothing short of the worst I have ever experienced. I must admit to not checking my baggage allowance, but I did not consider that having two suitcases one of 23 Kgs and the other of 24 Kgs was excessive. However, it seems that Qatar has the smallest Business Class baggage allowance of a total of 40 Kgs.

As I was being checked in I was told that I would have to remove the additional weight. I asked to speak to the manager and someone called Rocky appeared, I said that I would not be able to carry the excess as hand luggage as I had a bad back, but he stood firm either I repacked or I couldn’t check in. I refused to repack in front of everyone so he walked me to a quieter area and the check in staff and other passengers watched while a 62 year old woman with a bad back scrambled on her hands and knees trying to redistribute the weight of her cases. I ended up with four large and heavy pieces of hand luggage which I had to carry around three airports LHR, Doha and Cape Town.

This was a humiliating, belittling and disrespectful experience aimed to strip me, a white western woman of a certain age, of any dignity whatsoever. As I crawled around on the floor I caught one of the check-in staff laughing. I was not given the option of paying for the additional weight.

I started my long awaited trip with a bad back and ‘lost’ several items in the chaos. After spending in the region of £2500 on this ticket it was outrageous to be treated worse than a Ryanair passenger. As far as I know having excess hold luggage is not a crime, therefore, it should not be a punishable offence. I made my representations to Qatar, but the customer services were just not interested and could not care less.

My return flights home were a complete fiasco as the controller operating my in-flight entertainment did not work, not just on one leg of the journey but on both. The first flight supervisor, apologised profusely and promised chocolates and WiFi, but nothing materialised. Doha airport the hub where you will always be transferred to and from, is a huge sprawling disorganised mess. It can take an hour just walking from one gate to another!

Having an ‘award winning airline’ is not just about good in-flight service, it is the whole package. Others do it better, I would not fly with this airline again if they paid me!

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 3 Comment(s)

  • Jacks10
    6 months ago
    I find this review very difficult to understand because as an economy passenger on Qatar Airways I have always had an allowance of 2 bags and a total of 46 kgs . My next trips are in January and April and both of them have the same. I have to say check in services really depend on the people manning them. Had problems at London, Gatwick who refused to let me check my luggage to Gaborone as they said I had to clear customs etc at Johannesburg. They were totally unaware that Gaborone was not part of South Africa and was in fact the capital city of a different country, Botswana!!!! I stood my ground and they went away to check and then rather shamefaced checked my luggage to Gaborone. I have always found Qatar Airways respond very well to complaints and find it very strange that she has not received any recompense for her inflight problems. The cabin crew go out of their way to try and assist with problems one is encountering. I presume the flight was full and they were unable to move her to an alternative seat. Doha is an efficient hub and as a 71 year old I have never found it too difficult to transit. In fact it gives one the opportunity to stretch one's legs. I do hope this very negative review does not put off people from trying Qatar Airways and NO I am not an employee or even an ex one!!!!
  • RonFog
    about 2 years ago
    Business class flights to US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Casablanca all have a generous 2 x 32Kgs checked allowance in Business class. It is every other destination that has a maximum of 40 Kgs. It begs the question why? Economy seems to be very generous, all the destinations above with 2 x 23Kgs, except Brazil 2 x 32Kgs and Casablanca and Africa its a total of 45Kgs. All other destinations are 30Kgs.

    You would have thought that with these variances in weight there would be an element of tolerance and I am certain there is for some passengers. Just not me.
  • HMJ
    about 2 years ago
    Like you, we usually fly business class and I wouldn't have thought about checking luggage allowances if I was only taking 23 and 24kg. If business class is only 40kg, I wonder what it is in economy?