Saturday, 12 January 2013

Delayed in Doha January 9th 2013

Doha City
Delayed in Doha...

Descending into Doha (the capital of Qatar) isn't doing my ears or nose any good whatsoever! It seems to be a rather steeper descent than normal. The first glimpse of dawn on the eastern horizon as the aircraft prepares to land - all the flaps hanging out and hopefully the wheels are pointing straight down, ah yes, the clunk. A bounce, maybe it was 2 and then the harshest braking I've experienced since the days of the old 737's! But we'er down and can walk away from this one, fully intact. The place is crowded with aeroplanes, all seemingly crammed onto a ramp far detached from any arrival terminal. Looks like we're all going on a bus ride - about 15 minutes to get off the plane.

Packed like a can of sardines, We'er taken to the arrivals building where 2 from our bus get off,  everyone else must be in transit then! At last the transit hall. About 1h20 before the next flight, time enough to have a poke around, get some nice photos and of course find Starbucks!

In Brief - no Starbucks, everyone you see looks totally knackered and the initial information board for onward connections is in Arabic! Actually, the staff are very helpful and soon I discover the best spots for looking out across the airport, where to get nice coffee and...oh yes, better find a loo.

Soon to learn of a delay - turns out to be a six hour estimated technical  issue. At best guess, they need to fly in a spare part from Rolls Royce! A food voucher is issued and gratefully accepted, access to the exclusive Oryx lounge is granted and, well, I can think of worst places to be delayed. Food on tap, hot and cold drinks till you drown and it's quiet, so time for a couple of hours sleep.

Tip: anyone planning a flight to Doha with a tight connection time might like to take into account that getting off the plane then having to be bus'd to the opposite side of the airport by indirect roads takes about 30 minutes.

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