Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Juan Ruiz
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Airline: Qatar Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200LR
Flight #: QR731
Route: Doha (DOH) to Dallas Ft. Worth (DFW)
Date: May 1, 2023
Duration: 16hr 5min
Cabin and Layout: Economy class, 3-4-3
Cost: $2,665 (for round-trip airfare Doha (DOH) to Asheville (AVL) via Dallas Ft. Worth (DFW))
While I often fly Qatar Airways from my home base in Doha, Qatar, I almost always sit next to one of my small children in economy. And come to think of it, there are very few flights I’ve taken in the last 10 years when one of them hasn’t been right next to me. Well, this mama was flying solo from Doha to Asheville via DFW, and the experience without kids, particularly how comfortable the long flight was, was pretty new for me.
I’ll walk you through how I booked the flight, my time at Hamad International Airport (including Al Maha Lounge), and the experience of traveling in economy class on Qatar Airways from Doha to Dallas Fort Worth.
I purchased this flight fairly last-minute, just over 4 weeks prior to departure. While there were several options to fly from Doha to Asheville that were around $1,000 cheaper, the layovers were much more significant, and faced with 21+ total hours of travel between the 2 flights, I was interested in getting to my final destination as quickly as possible. The 1:30 a.m. red-eye flight from Doha to Dallas had one of the most reasonable connections and would ultimately have me arriving in Asheville by 4 p.m. ET.Hot Tip:
The one-way flight from DOH-DFW can typically be booked for just under $1,000 or 35,000 Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios and ~$111 in taxes and fees.
For the $2,665 ticket, I charged $1,002.75 to my Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card to finish out a minimum spend requirement for a welcome bonus offer, earning 1,253 Capital One miles at a rate of 1.25x miles for any purchase. I charged the remaining balance of $1,662.09 to my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, earning 3,324 Ultimate Rewards points at the rate of 2x points for travel.
I was able to confirm my seat online but was advised by the system that I could not fully check in online and would need to proceed to the U.S. check-in counters.
I entered the Departures Check-in Hall at around 10:45 p.m. through the door closest to check-in area 3 where the self-service kiosks and bag drop for Qatar Airways were. I figured I would take a gamble to see if I could check in myself, but I was swiftly denied by the kiosk and told to speak with an agent.
I then proceeded to check-in area 7 where I noticed a sign for USA Flights. I was thrilled to see that there was just 1 person ahead of me in line.
With my economy ticket, I received a checked luggage allowance of 2 bags weighing 23 kilograms (~50 pounds) each. I only checked 1 bag and it was quickly tagged through to AVL, though I would need to recheck when transferring at DFW.
I was also allotted 7 kilograms (~15 pounds) of carry-on luggage. While you can bring a standard carry-on and a personal item, the weight allowance is for both pieces combined. My carry-on was weighed and was within guidelines, so I was given my printed ticket and passport and proceeded to passport control.
After passport control and the first security screening, I descended down the escalators into the Duty Free South Plaza.
The escalator to the lounge is marked with a sign, and there is usually an employee staged at the bottom of the escalator to visually verify your access.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day, and access is granted through several lounge programs. Or, you can pay a day rate of around $63 for 6 hours. I gained entrance with the Priority Pass membership I receive as a benefit of my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Al Maha Lounge is divided into 2 main spaces: a main lounge to the left of the check-in desk and a secondary lounge to the right of check-in. I spent most of my visit in the secondary lounge and will tour you through that space.
Upon entering the lounge, there are several clusters of low leather seats with side tables and lamps. These seats have clear views of the terminal area below.
Walking further into the lounge, the first food and drink options are a juice, coffee, and muffin station. The chair clusters in this section had multi-adapter outlets with USB ports next to them.
This lounge is shaped like an upside-down “L,” so once you reach the end of this portion of the lounge, turn left to see additional seating along with a small buffet of hot and cold options.
It’s worth noting that food options were the exact same across both sides of the lounge.
There were additional muffins to start the buffet, as well as rolls, pita, and focaccia.
Hot options included tom kha kai soup, tomato soup, and a creamy mushroom pasta dish.
A chilled case held prepackaged sandwiches and wraps, including a cream cheese, cucumber, and tomato sandwich; a coronation chicken sandwich; a beef and roast bell pepper wrap; and a tuna tartare with tomato sandwich. If you don’t have time to sit and eat (or if there are space constraints), these sandwiches are your best grab-and-go options.
There was also a small selection of mezze and cold salads, including hummus, quinoa tabbouleh, peppered chicken salad, and potato dill salad, as well as deconstructed black forest cake and espresso coffee mousse for dessert.
For my late-night visit, I sampled the hummus, coronation chicken sandwich, and black forest cake, which was the star of the show.
Coca-Cola and Schweppes products and bottled still and sparkling waters were available, as well as Budweiser and 2021 Santa Julia Shiraz-Malbec. There is no bar at this lounge, so alcohol options are very limited.
Amenity-wise, Al Maha Lounge features complimentary Wi-Fi (the speed clocked in at around 13.5 Mbps), family areas, quiet rooms, smoking rooms, restroom and shower facilities, and luggage lockers.
The showers are accessible on a first-come, first-served basis and were stocked with clean towels.
The bathrooms were kept clean and tidy, but my frustration with this space is that there were no hand dryers or hand towels provided — only tissues.
The DOH-DFW flight was boarding from gate C4 which was just a short distance from the lounge.
If you have kids, one of the play sculptures from Tom Otterness in the “Other Worlds” series is located between the lounge and gate. With slides and a dedicated play area, this is a great space to get the wiggles out ahead of your flight.
Adjacent to the play area are high-top tables and stools with plenty of outlets for last-minute charging.
Upon approaching the gate, I needed to check my ticket again with the agent and then proceeded to a secondary security bag scan. If you had stuffed a few drinks in your carry-on at the lounge, they would have likely been confiscated here.
As there is not much common area seating in the terminal, if you want to grab a seat while waiting for the flight to board, it’s best to proceed through security into this secondary seating area at the gate. Note that there are no bathrooms in this holding area, so if you need to exit you’ll have to go through the secondary security again to re-enter.
The 777-200LR has 42 Qsuites in a 1-2-1 configuration in business class across 2 sections and 230 economy class seats in a 3-4-3 configuration across 2 sections.
Qsuites have a pitch of 103 inches, a bed length of 79 inches, and a width of 21 inches. Economy seats have a pitch of 31 to 32 inches and a width of 16.9 to 17.4 inches.
Though business class passengers enter into the first half of the Qsuites cabin, economy passengers enter into the second half of Qsuites, so I was able to take a peek at how the seats were staged for this flight.
The economy cabin is divided into 2 sections, and my seat, 22H, was in the forward section.
This forward economy cabin is the smaller of the 2 with just 10 rows compared to 14 in the rear cabin. Row 22 was just a few rows ahead of the lavatories and galley.
Each seat was set with a small pillow, a wrapped blanket, an amenity kit, and wrapped headphones.
The headrest of each seat could move up or down for height, and the sides of the headrest could also adjust to support your sleep preference. I prefer this type of adjustable headrest to using the provided pillow (particularly on an aisle seat) or a neck pillow.
There was ample space in the overhead compartment for luggage.
Above each seat was an adjustable air vent and a light that was controlled by a button near the IFE screen.
Each seatback had a pocket and a tray table. One of my favorite features of this tray table is that it folds down in “half” mode, which is perfect when you just have a drink or want a little more distance between you and the tray table.
The table also folds out fully, but a meal tray can be supported no matter which mode you choose.
My knees are always comfortable on Qatar Airways economy flights, even when the person in front of me reclines. I find that I’m also able to extend my legs quite fully, as well.
The flight was scheduled to depart at 1:30 a.m. Doha time and arrive in Dallas 16 hours later at 9:35 a.m. CT.
The first meal service was a dinner, followed by movie treats, then a light snack, and finally a breakfast meal. For consistency, any service times listed below will be in Doha time.
After a 1:50 a.m. takeoff (about 20 minutes delayed), a drink trolley first came by at 2:31 a.m., followed by dinner service at 2:55 a.m.
The meal was served all on 1 tray with metal cutlery, a thick disposable napkin, and a bottle of water.
I chose the minced beef cutlet which was served with potato mash and sautéed broccoli, green beans, and carrots atop a yellow-orange buttery sauce. This was a little like a hamburger steak, and I found the meat quite moist.
An appetizer of hummus, chickpeas, and eggplant was served on the side. The hummus was a bit of a head-scratcher as the brown bread did not pair with it very well (mini pitas might have been more appropriate) and the serving was a bit too big for not having anything proper to dip in it.
The dessert was a cup of white chocolate mousse with strawberry compote and it was a nice light finish.
Trays were removed at 3:40 a.m., a full 45 minutes after being served. If I had wanted to get right to sleep, this is quite a long time for the trash to linger.
As trays were being picked up, I was offered another beverage and a Biscoff cookie.
About 3 hours later, around 6:37 a.m., a flight attendant came through with a movie snack basket with popcorn and chips, as well as cups of juice.
At 9:45 a.m., a light snack of a cheese pizza was served, along with another drink. It was a bit awkward to eat, but tasty nonetheless. This trash was cleared a touch quicker, just 38 minutes later.
The final meal, breakfast service, was served at 2:37 p.m.
I had the cheddar cheese omelet with chicken sausage, grilled zucchini, and roasted garden tomatoes. It was accompanied by fruit salad, strawberry yogurt with strawberry coulis, and a roll with jam. From experience, I find that Qatar Airways does quite well with its breakfast options, and I had no complaints about this hearty meal.
Because I find the tray table a little tight space-wise, you’ll see that I was able to fit my meal tray on the half-size tray table to utilize more of the forward space so that the tray did not crowd me.
The lavatory closest to my seat was ridiculously small and tight, with just enough room to get in and get out.
I did like that the sink offered hot or cold water.
Another bonus was the little bottle of perfume mist on the shelf as a quick spritz in the air gave the lavatory a fresher scent.
Economy seats were preset with an amenity kit, headphones, a pillow, and a blanket.
The amenity kit was a disposable package that you tear into to open.
Inside the kit was a toothbrush with single-use toothpaste, foam earplugs, an eyemask, and soft gray socks.
The headphones are the same design as from the 2022 World Cup time period, only in black, and are just downright uncomfortable. They don’t seem to adjust well and the ear cushions are made of plastic. As I wear glasses, I find that these pinch above my ear after a short time.
The pillow had a cover on it, but I put both this and the wrapped blanket straight into the overhead bin to have more space.
There appears to be a mild filter on each IFE screen so that you have some privacy with what you’re watching as the display is slightly obscured from side angles.
While the IFE should work via touch or remote, I found my touchscreen not very responsive with scrolling and ended up using the up/down functionality to navigate the movie selections.
Below the IFE screen were a headphone jack, USB outlet, and Ethernet outlet (?!).
An old-school remote could also pop out to make navigation or playing games easier.
The inflight safety video has been updated for 2023 and is now featuring “Postcards from Qatar to the World.” I never thought I would miss the soccer-themed video with Neymar Jr., Lewandowski, and Cafu, whose emergency exit song I knew by heart, but anything is an improvement over the La’eeb mascot video from the 2022 World Cup era.
I had previously flown on a Qatar Airways Airbus A350 in economy just 2 days prior to this flight and was surprised by the significant differences in selection on the ORYX ONE IFE system.
Even though April had turned to May, I found the selection was not really refreshed, and what was most noticeable was the decrease in movie options. ORYX ONE typically touts over a thousand movies, but that was definitely not the case with the more limited selection on my DOH-DFW flight.
One feature I did like about these 777 screens, however, was that you can pull the bottom up to angle the screen to your preference.
This is a great feature to have when the person in front of you reclines and you can no longer see your screen properly.
I was also very intrigued by the “share” feature within each movie. Apparently, I could enter a seat number and share my movie with that passenger. I couldn’t quite figure out what was supposed to happen here, but I’ll give this another try when I’m not traveling solo.
Qatar Airways’ Super Wi-Fi was available to purchase ahead of my flight for QAR 30 (~$8) for unlimited connectivity. If I had waited to purchase it onboard, the cost would have been $10. If you plan to work or need access, save the 20% and purchase a voucher ahead of time.
Privilege Club members also have access to 1 hour of free Wi-Fi.
I purchased the full flight pass and found the speeds quite low at 6.63 Mbps, with spotty coverage throughout the flight.
With a handful of meal and drink services, I saw the flight attendants servicing the cabin quite frequently across the 16-hour flight. They were polite and efficient, and the bathrooms were frequently serviced and stocked.
A little over halfway into the flight, a flight attendant named Edmer handed me a card and mentioned that I could get on the free hour of Wi-Fi to provide feedback on the flight. The URL listed, qatarairways.com/tellus, just redirected to Qatar Airways’ help page, so I’m not really sure if she was after positive feedback (there’s not really a place on the help page for this) or what the motivation for the cards was. She later picked the cards she had distributed back up, which was even more confusing.
We touched down in Dallas at 6:05 p.m. Doha time (10:05 a.m. CT), about 30 minutes past our scheduled 9:35 a.m. CT arrival.
Thanks to my Global Entry, also a benefit of my Capital One Venture X card, I was able to quickly pass through Terminal D’s Immigration, claim my bag, and recheck it with American Airlines onward to Asheville.
I did have to exit Customs and go back through the TSA checkpoint to re-enter the terminal. There was no TSA PreCheck at the entrance closest to where I departed baggage claim, but there was also no line, so I zipped right through.
Comfort-wise, I found the Qatar Airways 777 economy class seat width very narrow and cramped. Granted, I am used to having one of my kids next to me, affording a little bit more space, but with a full-size adult next to me on this flight, I definitely felt the need to make myself as small as possible for their comfort and mine. Fortunately, the aisle seat gave me the ability to easily get up and walk around the cabin frequently to stretch my legs.
I found the meal service to be adequately paced and more than filling, with plenty of options to choose from. If anything, I would have just preferred that the trash service after the first meal be scheduled a little sooner.
The inflight entertainment options were lacking, so I spent most of the flight working on my iPad. The Wi-Fi connection was intermittent, but I was able to work for a significant portion of the flight.
When living in Doha, Qatar Airways will almost always be my airline of choice for its network options, professional service, and inflight experience. While I may not have had the most comfortable experience in economy, there is certainly more to a 16-hour flight than just the seat.
The information regarding the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Qatar Airways arrives and departs from Terminal D at DFW.
The flight from Doha to Dallas is 16 hours and 5 minutes. The flight from Dallas to Doha is 14 hours and 55 minutes.
Qatar generally has 2 flights daily from DOH to DFW:
Yes, Qatar Airways and American Airlines are partners and both members of the Oneworld alliance. You can earn and redeem Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios or American Airlines AAdvantage miles on either airline.
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