Member since 11 Sep 2016
Total posts 10
Qatar Privilege Club - a victim of its own success?
Just flew PER-DOH-LHR with Qatar and Privilege Club Gold. Miraculously managed to land a busines class points upgrade the day before flying for the PER-DOH leg but not after multiple previously refused attmepts which I appreciate is to be expected with a high demand route. Decent service in the air (apart from some niggles with the IFE).
I was however very surprised (and not in a good way) by the scene at Hamad Int in Doha. Gone is the priority security queue for Privilege Club members. The airport was visiably much busier than I recall in any previous trip and that was echoed with a lounge that was rammed full, no seats available with long queues for toilets and no chance of a shower (which is possibly the thing I look forward to most in transit). I did politey enquire about the problems and was then told that they were exceptionally busy and I could have access to the Al Mourjan Business Class lounge with Gold staus...all in all a bonus I guess but I was wondering why I hadn't been directed there in the first place. Clearly this over-spill had a knock on effect in that lounge too, which was also very full with 30 minute queues for showers.
But at a time when I'm considering switching allegiances to Emirates it did cetainly get me thinking; has Qatar's rapid expansion and generally well received service come at a cost? Have others noticed similar issues with Privilege Club benefits dwindling or was this just an isoltaed incident? Although my overall experience was still decent, the quality of service has definitely deteriorated and had it not been for persistence on my part I'd have been wondering exactly why I'm bothering with my loyalty to a rewards programme who's benfits seems more difficult to acquire.
* whose (apologies...autocorrect and jet lag)
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 09 Sep 2013
Total posts 94
You can just about be forgiven for anything due to jet lag and the dreaded auto correct...
Member since 01 Aug 2015
Total posts 3
It's not just the privilege club - we flew QR ADL-LHR in May and my partner wasn't able to have a shower during a three hour layover (something never experienced on SQ). Completely agree with you - but will also add, too much space dedicated to the *bling* in the lounges, and not enough space dedicated to the essentials (i.e. showers...).
I think that's a very interesting observation. A huge amount of space devoted to style (which is lovely of course) but perhaps not enough on the substance of what transit passengers truly need.
On this one journey I noticed the following things which I hadn't seen before in four years of being a Privilege Club member...
* Inability to book extra-leg room seats in economy on-line (apparently for security reasons this must now be done at check in on a FCFS basis).
* Real difficulty geting a points upgrade (possibly just reflected luck in the past).
* Parking up a mile from the terminal at DOH...no airbridge (not seen that since the old terminal)
* No more fast track security queue at DOH for Privilege Club (haven't tried the Al Maha service in fairness so perhaps that was my my own fault)
* Louge that is completely full with queues for toilets and no chance of a shower on a 2.5 hour layover.
When you take that lot into consderation the overall experience is fairly diluted...EY seems particulary appealing, esp with the A380 all the way to LHR...still waiting on the QR A350 to PER.
Member since 29 Jul 2016
Total posts 34
I presume you also checked (or were directed) to the showering area at the far end of the Al Moujarn lounge, as this has never been full in my experience. That's because it is not at all well signposted, is accessible through the second staffed restaurant food area on the main floor at the opposite end to the lounge entrance and seems like you're walking down a "back-of-house" corridor to get there. It's adjacent to the quiet sleeping pod area. I've seen showering queues in the main toliet area in the middle of the lounge and staff didnt direct customers to the other area, only telling them that "there will be a short wait for showers." Upon walking to the quiet zone shower area, voila, vacant!
Haj traveling season is upon us as well and that tends to increase numbers dramatically through DOH.
Indeed I was and it was that shower area (by the quiet sleeping pods) that I was asked to wait for 30 minutes. I hadn't considered the impact of Haj, interesting point.
I guess what I'm concerned about is whether the overall Privilege Club experience is becoming a rather ironic contradiction in terms. I spent five minutes in the "Business Class" Lounge before hot footing it out of there, I'd have had a much more pleasant time wandering around the concourse. Could never have said that on any previous visit. Time will tell but interesting to hear others' experiences...the shower issue is clearly not an isolated one.
Member since 02 Jul 2011
Total posts 835
Query if its Qatar PC members, or Qatar being overwhelmed by the number of oneworld Emerald/ Sapphire members not flying in J/F.
I do agree that it does appear that Qatar didn't get the shower numbers correct in either of the Business lounges.
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Qatar Privilege Club - a victim of its own success?
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