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Tour & Travel | The Qatar Airways Experience — And Why It Is The Airline to Fly In 2018.

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Posted January 28, 2018 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Tour & Travel ~ 494 views

     

By Ronnie Mayanja — Returning from Uganda to Boston this month I had the opportunity to travel on Qatar Airways, an airline that has been the recipient of numerous travel awards for excellence, and I was excited to see how it compared to Turkish, Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines with which I have done business in the past.

In spite of the diplomatic crisis with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia which prevents Qatar Airways from entering the airspace of those Arab neighbors, the airline continues to expand its destinations elsewhere with strong backing from the government. The country is home to the flagship Al-Jazeera network and has the highest per capita income in the world as it rides high on oil and natural gas production dollars under the leadership of Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar.

For an airline that only started in 1993 Qatar Airways has experienced tremendous growth with 150 travel destinations, including 12 in the US. The airline also sponsors Barcelona FC and is living up to its slogan–“Going Places Together”. The airline recently added Qsuite on some routes for its business class travel, a private quad space with doors, blurring the difference between business and first class, in an effort to dominate this lucrative travel segment as we move towards the 2022 World Cup hosted by none other than Qatar.

Travel is all about the customer experience and I was impressed with the manager of Qatar Airways’ Uganda office who seemed to have clear ideas about attracting new customers and embracing the Uganda diaspora business. During our office meeting he encouraged me to try the airline and see how it compares to the competition and mentioned a special discount offer for diaspora travelers opting to use the airline in 2018.

Right from Entebbe the customer service experience is dazzling and business class was truly superb. My air hostess personalized the experience constantly, checking up on me, as did the head of the flight crew who who personally ensured that we were feeling at home throughout the flight.

We were wined and dined on our way to Doha’s Hamad International Airport before spending the night at the four-star hotel for business class passengers. At Hamid International Airport I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of my countrymen manning the airport security checks for G4S security company (one actually reached out and said hello) as I cleared security for my US-bound flight. It appears that the challenges of the economy back home in Uganda have convinced some of our young people to head to the Middle East in search of greener pastures.

The Q-suite in business class makes for a memorable travel experience for those whose wallet permits, with the benefit of more restful sleep. The entire customer experience, including the transfer between terminals at their main hub, was impressive. Perhaps where Qatar Airways falls a bit short is with its online user interface, customer feedback and in-flight entertainment (Emirates offers a more extensive menu for that which includes audiobooks and a selection of Nollywood movies). 

But overall I highly recommend Qatar Airways for your international travel especially now that they offer daily flights out of Entebbe when other gulf careers like Etihad are closing shop. 


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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