Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge | Doha
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Boarding had just begun for economy passengers when I left the lounge, although a separate line for Business Class and passengers with status remained open.
Once through the gate, I proceeded down the hallway to the jet bridge, noticing both a security check and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers talking to passengers and walking up and down the jet bridge with a dog, likely sniffing for those who had excess currency on them. They even had a wheelchair passenger stopped as they asked him a series of questions about the currency he was traveling with. The scene was just like this one from the "Airport 24/7" tv show that was filmed in Miami.
While there is nothing to limit you from flying with a lot of money, CBP does require those with more than $10,000 to declare it when entering or exiting the country.
"There is no limit on the amount of money that can be taken out of or brought into the United States. However, if a person or persons traveling together and filing a joint declaration (CBP Form 6059-B) have $10,000 or more in currency or negotiable monetary instruments, they must fill out a "Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments" FinCEN 105 (former CF 4790)."
Two flight attendants stood at the boarding door, greeting each passenger. Upon seeing my boarding pass, I was handed over to another flight attendant in the galley and escorted to my seat (3J)
Qatar Airways Business Class
Qatar Airways Business Class
Before I had the opportunity to stow my bags, a flight attendant came over to introduce herself and offer a hot or cold towel along with the drink of my choice. Though a few glasses of champagne sounded tempting, I settled on what the flight attendant described as their signature drink, lemon and mint.
Moments later, another flight attendant came over with a set of pajamas and an amenity kit.
I only had a few minutes to look over the food and beverage selections before a flight attendant came over to take our orders. With another 15 minutes until the door closed, I was a bit surprised that they were in such a rush to take orders.
The drink menu was extremely detailed and contained over ten pages of available drinks. If I didn't already know, I sure wasn't flying on United!
As the boarding door was shut at 7:00, I was pleased to learn that the seat next to me would be empty. I have no problem hopping over the passenger in the aisle if I need to use the bathroom or want to stretch, but this makes it much easier...it also meant that I would get two power outlets, IFE screens and the extra blanket and pillow!
We had barely left the runway when the seatbelt sign was switched off and the flight attendants jumped up to begin the service. With fourteen hours of flying ahead, I turned to Oryx One, Qatar's inflight entertainment system.
While browsing what seemed like an endless selection of entertainment, I felt like there was too much to choose from! I spent a good ten minutes just looking at the various movie titles.
In the mean time, the flight attendant working my section brought over some Rosé to get the party started!
To start off the meal, a seafood amuse bouche was delivered. The flight attendant did not specify what it was, though it looked and tasted like crab.
The first course of the meal, the roasted pumpkin and chesnut soup, was delivered almost immediately after the previous dishes had been cleared away.
I wasn't too sure about the soup when I read the description in the menu, although it turned out to be delicious. It had a nice kick and seemed like a good way to start off the meal.
I was surprised to see the menu not offer a meze platter, something that seemed to be standard on the middle eastern three. Nevertheless, the chicken terrine platter was good. The chicken was very cold, as one would expect from a dish sitting in a chilled cart.
The herb crusted lamb was warm and tender, though it lacked spice. Comparing it to other lamb dishes I have had in the past, it was a bit disappointing.
Despite mild turbulence, the crew did a great job with their service flow. A big pet peeve of mine is airlines that take 3-4 hours to serve a simple business class meal.
Dishes were cleared and a small box of chocolates was delivered to each passenger. At this time, lights were dimmed, completing the meal service in just under two hours.
As we passed over Chicago, I suddenly remembered that we had not been served dessert. There were no flight attendants in the cabin, so I waited about ten minutes before I walked over to the galley to place my order. They seemed surprised that I wanted to place an order, though gladly accepted and brought over my dessert a few minutes later.
At this point, we had about ten hours remaining in the flight, so I reclined a bit further, figuring that I would try to watch another movie or some tv shows, though my body apparentely didn't agree with this plan! I fell asleep mid-movie, waking up a few more times as we passed through rough patches of turbulence.
A little over two hours from landing in Doha, I woke up for the final time and watched a movie until the meal service began.
Despite an evening departure and evening arrival, we were only offered breakfast. Not my favorite thing to eat on an airplane, though they did offer a variety of items.
New York Strip Loin with Cheddar Cheese Omelette
While the omelette and accompanying items were surprisingly good, the steak was one of the most overcooked I've ever had. It was so tough, I was only able to make one cut with the supplied knife before I gave up.
Approximately one hour later, we began our descent into Doha. Connecting flight information was displayed on the seatback screens and announcements were made with instructions for passengers who were connecting to another Qatar flight.
According to the 2015 SkyTrax results, Qatar Airways was rated as of seven "Five Star Airlines", so I had really high expectations for the flight. While the hard product was very nice, I was disappointed in the soft product. It is quite possible that I got a lazy crew or a crew on an off day, so I certainly don't plan to write off Qatar for future flights.