Houston Executive Club Lounge

Introduction
Houston Executive Club Lounge
Qatar Airways B777-200LR Business Class | Houston to Doha
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge | Doha
Qatar Airways B777-300ER First Class | Doha to Abu Dhabi
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways Premium Lounge | Abu Dhabi
U.S. Customs PreClearance | Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways B787-9 First Class | Abu Dhabi to Washington
Park Hyatt Washington D.C.
Conclusion

My flight from Dallas landed around 3:00pm in Terminal A and I made my way to Terminal D to check-in with Qatar. Although I had received my boarding passes when I checked-in with American in Kansas City, the agents suggested I still visit the Qatar counter to pickup boarding passes printed on their stock.

The trip took about ten minutes of walking and riding the funky underground train.

 

Qatar's ticket counters were located at the end of the terminal, next to Emirates.

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Though we had about three and a half hours before departure, the line was quite long with most passengers making use of the airport baggage carts. I appeared to be one of the few, if not the only passenger who was not checking a bag!

Neither of the lines were marked, though the check-in staff did have a paper list at the entry to the business class counter to verify who was allowed access. Even with several passengers ahead of me being asked to move back to the economy line, it still took about fifteen minutes before I reached the counter.

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The friendly agent seemed quite happy that I wasn't planning to check a bag. She mentioned that her record for most bags checked was 22 among a family of three. Each person receives two bags free of charge, though bags 7-22 each cost $250! The terminal even had a tax back counter, allowing passengers to reclaim the taxes they paid for items purchased in the United States.

My boarding passes were printed, lounge invitation signed and I was on my way, though not before the agent went in the back and brought out plastic Qatar Business Class luggage tags.

In Houston, Qatar uses the Executive Club Lounge, located near gate D4. Inside, a Qatar agent took my lounge pass and then offered me a wifi code.

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The agent also mentioned that she would keep an eye on my seat assignment. The seat next to me was empty and had been showing as blocked when viewed on ExpertFlyer. With a few empty seats in the Business Class cabin, I hoped that the seat next to me would remain empty.

Inside the lounge, it was broken into a few different section. To the left, there were three blocks of seats, followed by a quiet room at the end of the hallway.

 
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The wifi in the lounge was surprisingly fast, allowing me to get some work done before boarding the fourteen hour flight to Doha. The first thirty minutes of my lounge visit were quite productive...and then a family with four kids arrived to the lounge. The next two hours saw the lounge turn into a playplace, as the kids ran up and down the lounge, screaming most of the time.

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The bar offered complimentary alcoholic beverages and even had champagne available. Knowing that the stuff offered on Qatar would be much better, I just grabbed a bottle of water.

The lounge offered a buffet with hot and cold items, with some more surprising than others. Before they were eaten by the (out of control) kids, the hot buffet offered chicken tenders and zuchini fries. Later on, the tenders were replaced by vegetable egg rolls.

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For a U.S. lounge, the food was surprisingly good. Like the offerings at the bar, I didn't partake too much, but it was more than sufficient. I think the only downside would be the lack of bathrooms. Passengers must exit the lounge and use one of the bathrooms available in the terminal.

Shortly before boarding, I took a walk around the terminal to see all of the international 'metal' parked at Terminal D.

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At 6:15, the Qatar representative in the lounge announced that boarding was available for Business Class & oneworld elite passengers. I packed up, walked across the hallway to gate D4 and was quickly onboard the flight to Doha.

Comments

Heh - I remember riding on that funky train when I was a kid. Doesn't look like it's changed much in the last 30 years.

I didn't realize Interjet had Sukhoi Superjets in the fleet. I might have to head down to Houston to catch a flight on one of those things.

#2
Jeremy October 4, 2015 at 02:50 pm

You come off as very over entitled asking for seat blocked on a nearly full flight especially traveling on a free ticket! I mean do you think you're better than everyone else and someone need the additional space?

@Jeremy: You obviously didn't read the post very well if you 1) think I asked for the seat to be blocked or 2) think I am coming off as over-entitled.

As my post references, the agent in the lounge mentioned to me that the seat was currently empty and she would see what she could do to keep it empty. I didn't ask, nor did I expect, that they would block it. There have been many reports that some oneworld airlines will block seats for oneworld Emerald passenger. When I flew JAL last Nov., the agents told myself and the three other EXPs I was traveling with to CGK that if loads allowed, they would block the seat next to any emeralds in economy.

I think we can also agree that having an empty seat makes the experience more enjoyable.

I don't see an award ticket as a free ticket. I don't do manufactured spending like most in the FF game, so I had to spent quite a few bucks to rack up the miles necessary for the trip.

Thanks for playing...

#4
Bob October 5, 2015 at 11:37 am

Another great report, Daniel! I am glad to see this Executive Lounge at IAH here in your report. I haven't used this lounge before, but I will definitely visit it next month before my LH A380 to FRA. I've only used the Salon Air France in D and the various UA Clubs at IAH. That's too bad the parents allowed their kids to ruin the lounge experience for the other lounge guests.

Did you also get to take the TerminaLink (upper level monorail train) or did you only take the underground train? The TerminaLink is much nicer than the underground one.

Cheers for this excellent report!

#5
Melinda McGraw October 5, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Hi Daniel! I was one of your flight crew on your recent RDU/SEA inaugural flt and I will verify that you are the least demanding or entitled feeling pax, ever! You were an absolute delight and your seatmate was hilarious!Hope you had a grand time in Seattle , even without us! Melinda

Hi Melinda! Thanks for the comment! My friend, Charles, and I very much appreciated the fine service and conversations we had with you and the rest of the crew! Hope to fly with you again!

Safe Travels!