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Melbourne-Brussels $793 Return Feb - Mar Qatar Airways Promo!

Melbourne-Brussels $793 Return Feb - Mar Qatar Airways Promo!

Jan 24th, 2011, 08:53 PM
  #1  
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Melbourne-Brussels $793 Return Feb - Mar Qatar Airways Promo!

Be quick!
farrermog is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 12:34 AM
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The service on Qatar was magnificent
MissGreen is offline  
Feb 15th, 2011, 03:33 AM
  #3  
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MissG - that's good to know, thanks.
farrermog is offline  
Feb 26th, 2011, 12:28 AM
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Hello Farrermog, still on my trip, but here are a few of my observations on the outgoing trip. The Melbourne to Qatar leg was pretty good, although long. Each seat has power for laptops, back seat touch screens. You can also control the entertainment screen using the pull out console. You get a small amenities kit, consisting of socks, a toothbrush and ear plugs.

The plane for Qatar to Brussels was older- no touch screen, no power for laptops.

Food was fine, although I felt the pasta was a bit rubbery. You get plastic cutlery.

Service was fine, although the intercom messages constantly remind you that Qatar Airways is a "five-star airline".

When you touch down in Qatar you pile onto a bus, get driven to the transfer terminal, and you wait until you get piled on to another bus. There is free wifi at the airport, but it's got limited bandwidth.

My quick summation is that QA are perfectly adequate, service is what you would expect, but I think I had a much better experience flying Emirates on the same route.

Just on personal notes, the Melbourne flight was half empty. Chatting to a couple of women on the same flight, it seems that the March flights are going to be packed. As such I was able to get three seats to myself and lie down at night. Problem is that the arm rests stop at a 45 degree angle, and it was really annoying.

What's your itinerary for your trip?
Sydney2K is offline  
Feb 26th, 2011, 04:51 AM
  #5  
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Hello Sydney - thanks for the intelligence. In contrast to previous always-on-the-go big circuit Euro travel by train, I'll be mainly basing in Paris and London and doing lots of walking punctuated by a few side trips. How have your train trips worked out? Any trouble getting passholder seats?
farrermog is offline  
Feb 28th, 2011, 10:20 PM
  #6  
 
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Hey Farrarmog, I'll reply to that on the other thread. However, I do have a spare Paris Viste card if you want it. I never got around to using it as I didn't think I would get enough use out it. Now, I'm not getting *any* use out of it- what kind of logic was that

Still in Europe at the moment, BTW- will return on the Friday.
Sydney2K is offline  
Mar 1st, 2011, 06:08 PM
  #7  
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Sydney - thanks for the offer, but probably best to keep the Paris Visite card for someone who will make more use of it - I have plenty of time to wander around town and with a bit of luck will only need to take an occasional bus or metro, so will probably just buy a carnet (which I'm told I should be able to get on the Thalys). Have a good trip home.
farrermog is offline  
Mar 9th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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Oh, here's another report, on the way home. Try and book yourself a seat around rows 28-31 on the flight to Doha, as when the plane lands and you have to transfer, they also deplane from the rear door.

Flight home, the movies in the entertainment system had been updated for March for the Brussels to Doha leg, but not for the Doha to Melbourne leg. Fortunately I had watched the movies I wanted to see, but it was annoying to open the entertainment magazine, see the March movies there, but be only be able to watch the February movies.

When do you leave Farramog?
Sydney2K is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 10:07 PM
  #9  
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Sydney - left on the 6th, now in Paris. Qatar Airways in-flight service and food very good I thought. Plane fairly full as you suggested might be the case. The 14 hour first leg in the dark a bit of a drag. After that second leg of 'only' 7 hours went pretty quickly. Can't help feeling everyone would be a lot more comfortable if all seats were kept upright. I managed, so the passenger behind me got a bonus even if I didn't. Didn't watch much as I mainly read and because the subtitles which I tend to rely on appeared to be all in Arabic. Also, Boeing 777 noisier than I was expecting - perhaps the heightened sensitivity that comes with hearing loss. Used free wifi at Doha to email on my iTouch, but not much time there for passengers on this service from Aust, so need to stay on the ball.
farrermog is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 08:20 PM
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farrermog, how was the return trip?
Sydney2K is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Hello Sydney - just back, flew into Melbourne Thursday night and to Canberra yesterday. Service was of the same high standard on the return trip - five star as Qatar would remind us (but bear in mind I have no recent experience to make first hand comparisons). The food on the return journey was not quite as good as on the way over, but the cabin crew was just as pleasant, attentive and efficient, even with a medical emergency they had to deal with only a couple of hours after leaving Doha (ambulance was waiting at Melbourne, but couldn't have been too serious as the aircraft would have diverted). Just the bare minimum time transiting at Doha after the 6-7 hour flight (Airbus 330-200) from Brussels - so don't know that the security screening at Doha is really warranted - and the 13-14 hour leg to Melbourne was again a bit of a stretch - the more so because the aircraft (Boeing 777) was stuffy, although not quite as full as going over, and, as I said above, fairly noisy I thought. For some, trusting fate to two engines for a long flight mainly over water might be an issue and of course the need for an overnight in Melbourne is a hassle not really needed at the end of a long flight. Overall, however, a very positive experience flying with Qatar - the consensus among the few I spoke with.

Very pleased with my accommodation choice at either end - the Scandic Grand Place at Brussels, just five minutes walk from Brussels Central station (train to airport) and just a few minutes the other way to the Grand Place via a very attractive long gallery/ arcade - and in Melbourne, the Airport Best Western with its free and very responsive 24 hour shuttle bus. Both had very good buffet breakfasts (included at the Scandic). Rooms were not the most up-to-date, but very clean and with most facilities including free wifi and at the Scandic a welcome bath (I'd be lucky to have one a year at home, but a big plus when on the road and doing lots of walking). The Scandic room was a bit warm but still very comfortable - I turned the 'climate control' down to the minimum and opened the window to the internal building space/ atrium the little it would go, but presumably the cooling would be effective in the warmer months when it might otherwise be very stuffy (as in similar European hotels).
farrermog is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Excellent! Would you fly them again? I must admit, I would probably fly Emirates over Qatar- not because Qatar was any worse, but probably because Emirates felt to me that much better. I note that Qatar have got more specials going, but none nowhere as cheap as the one we went on.

And when I overnighted in Melbourne I stayed at the Formule 1 hotel- but that's because I have an Accor Advantage card. In Amsterdam I stayed at the Ibis that's right next to the train station. They were doing work on the floors, so it was a little dusty, and the water pipers were a little dodgy too.

The flight home to Canberra (how coincidental I was scheduled to go at 6pm, but Virgin Blue gave me a free change of flight because of delays in Sydney, and I go to go home much earlier.
Sydney2K is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 09:15 PM
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Yeah, would definitely fly again with Qatar, especially if the price is right. Have also heard good things about Emirates. Pity they both can't combine to move the Gulf a bit closer to us because the long 13-14 hour leg really is a drag, particularly when the seats go back (I stayed upright the whole trip there and back - how's that for a boast, even if I'm just talking about my seating position!). In the not too distant 'olden days' it took longer - typically 26 hours to get to London/ Europe - but there were two short stops to break up the journey so each of the three legs was a more comfortable 8 hours IME.

You mention the welcome change of flight Melb/Canberra - I had a similar surprise with my non flexible Eurostar ticket from London to Brussels. Arrived at St Pancras a long time before my train as I'd been staying at the Royal Horseguards (on another great deal) and felt it prudent to make a quick getaway as there were two big demos that day in central London and Whitehall was a focus - anyway the Eurostar people were keen to get people on their way before work in the channel tunnel really slowed things later in the day, so I was given an earlier train and saved some of the the wait.

I might not have mentioned that I came across the great Brussels deal when I was actually looking up Japan fares. Turned out lucky there as well.
farrermog is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 09:25 PM
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