When I finally decided to travel to Japan the first thing I did was try to find out how much the airline ticket cost. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I had an unrealistic astronomical price in my head to start out with so I started checking the ticket prices for all the airlines in the region like Emirates, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Gulf Air etc. Surprisingly, ticket prices didn’t vary that much from one airline to the other and I quickly narrowed my choices down to Emirates and Qatar Airways. In the end I went with Qatar Airways because I heard some good things about them plus their offices were located next to mine in Kuwait City.
My experience with Qatar Airways was pretty positive, except for one issue at the start of the trip. My flight took off from Kuwait at 11:10PM and it was supposed to land at the Doha airport at 12:30AM and then my flight to Osaka would take off at 1:25AM. Problem is when my plane got to Doha it didn’t land right away. Instead, the plane kept circling around the airport for quite some time way past my boarding time. When we finally did land I realized three things:
– I wasn’t close to my gate
– The Doha airport is under major construction
– After being dropped off to the arrival terminal I had to take another bus to get to the transit terminal
I was already late for my flight and I started panicking. The bus ride to the transit terminal took around 15 minutes (it felt much longer) and as soon as I got to the terminal an airport attendant came up to me and asked “Osaka?” I replied yes and he then took my passport and started running. I started running as well and when I caught up to him I asked him what was going on with my flight? He laughed and said I was the last passenger and that he was looking for me and was about to give up before I showed up. I was super relieved I didn’t end up missing my flight.
Besides that early drama I loved Qatar Airways. Their seats are comfortable, their food is great and the entertainment system is actually not that bad. One big bonus is that all their economy seats have a USB plug so you can recharge your iPod, iPad or any other USB powered device which is pretty cool. My flight from Kuwait to Doha was packed but I didn’t feel cramped in my seat and the entertainment system had very recent movies and some addictive games to keep me distracted. The flight to Osaka on the other hand is where things got much much better. The plane was practically empty! When I got to my seat I had 2 empty chairs right next to mine, a European couple had an aisle each, an old Japanese man had an aisle to himself, basically each passenger in my section had an entire aisle to themselves. The first thing I did was check what movies were playing and found out that there were about 11 to choose from, all recent except for one (which I chose), Lost in Translation.
Food wise we had two meals, one right after the flight took off and the other before arriving. For flights to Japan you have the choice between “regular” or “Japanese” meals. The regular meals seemed boring to me so I went with the Japanese ones. One meal included beef szechuan, noodles with fish cake, a salmon roll and a small salad with some dessert, while the other meal was chicken noodles and some fruit.
The flight attendants were really friendly and since I had three seats all to myself I took the liberty of raising the armrests and slept across the three seats like a bed. This was definitely the most comfortable and enjoyable flight I’ve ever had and so I highly recommend them. The cost of the ticket was KD518 when I booked it.
Posted by Patrick