Monday, April 25, 2011

Qatar Airlines is to 5 Star Airlines like Chili's is to 5 Star Dining: The Disillusionment Story

I was so excited to fly on Qatar Airlines on my recent trip from Moscow to Thailand. This was my first experience on a 5-star airline, and I was looking forward to a yoga session in my chair, lobster served on an airline tray, neck massages in my chair, on-deman live Vince Vaughn entetainment (don't you judge me).

I should have known as soon as I saw a flight attendant wearing a scrunchie and a bun (two of the worst hair don'ts of our time, save, you are a ballerina or were recently thawed from a block of ice and displaced from your era of 1992). Scrunchies may be able to predict impending doom. This is my opinion, not scientific fact. If you ever walk into a party and see a girl wearing a scrunchie, just leave, it isn't worth your time or the hangover from the alcohol you will have to drink to salvage a good time.

There was no bottle of water awaiting me on at my in-flight cabana. In fact, imagine my surprise, when my in-flight cabana is actually just a polyester-I-have-say-in-one-of-these-on-every-flight-I've-ever-taken normal airline seat.  No cabana boy either?

This was NOT my seat

The seats weren't even as spacious as Finn-Air, my favorite airline, who does not have a 5-star rating.

I ordered a vegetarian meal, as I always do on airlines, despite not being a vegetarian. The meals are usually better and fresher. They messed this up, they did not have any vegetarian meals left, and would I mind having a meat meal and just eating around the meat? If I were a real vegetarian this would have upset me, however, since I am not I OK'd the meat meal and thought it may actually be good since it is being served on a 5-star airline who boasts about their cuisine on their website. I got a tray full of pureed slop, as did everyone around me. My Grandmother used to often enjoy telling the story of a time she was royally angry at my Grandfather and tricked him into eating dog food. This meal was reminiscent of the mental image her story always conjured up for me. Poor Grandpa.

My meal came with a ho-ho. I had Xanax for dessert instead.

I woke up a few hours later to a microwaved burrito on my tray. The expiration date was 4 years from now. No real food should be good that long. This burrito wasn't even GOOD now. Bleh.

I made it to Thailand sore, hungry, and dehydrated.

On my return flight, my husband and I were separated by an very...fragrant man who stole my headphones while I was in in the restroom. The food was no better and I spend 10 of the hours being kicked in the back of my seat by a Russian boy whose father gave me the apologetic "He is kid, what do you want" shrug when I asked the kid to stop kicking me. The flight attendant did not answer my urgent button pushings.

I will not say QATAR airlines is a bad airline. They are OKAY. That is it, they are just okay. I would have enjoyed flying with them perhaps if my expectations weren't so high based on their website and advertisements. Don't advertise you are 5-star when you are not.

I mean afterall, their beverage cart did provide Vodka, at no additional charge.

Has anyone else been less than dazzled by QATAR? Have any other airlines impressed you?

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