Qatar Airways Nightmare Flight Review

Qatar Airways flight attendant

Writing about Qatar Airways’ inflight experience got German YouTube Blogger Josh Cohill banned from this One World Five Star member airline.

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After a recent “honest but critical flight review”, this Doha-based airline’s reputation may be in serious trouble after it left Josh Cahill stranded at an airport and banned him from flying Qatar Airways again. His crime was to post a critical flight review video on YouTube, and not accept a free PR flight from the carrier to take it off.

Qatar Airways doesn’t like critical reviews, and in trying to wash critical reviews clean, this attempt turned into an absolute PR nightmare for the carrier.

As an additional punishment, the flight crew working the flight the critical report was about was fired.

In his review, Josh referred to private conversations with QR staff and learned about a questionable corporate structure and demotivation among workers for this wealthy 5-star airline owned by the State of Qatar.

A Shocking Decline of Qatar Airways

The journalist was wondering why Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker resigned after Josh called his flight experience a shocking decline of Qatar Airways.

Josh explained: “This is the story of Qatar Airways trying to remove my previous video from YouTube and their attempt to bribe me. After I declined their offer they decided to ban me from flying with them.”

Why Qatar Airways is still flying aged A330?

In April 2023 Qatar Airways started to ground its Airbus A350 fleet citing concerns about the accelerated rate at which the fuselage surface below the paint seems to be degrading which could potentially cause safety issues.

Half of Qatar’s fleet may have not been safe in January 2022 due to the A350 issue reported by eTurboNews.

While this matter is no longer a concern as both the airline and the manufacturer, Airbus has reached an “Amicable settlement”, the situation in the past interrupted the planned moderation for some of QR’s fleet.

Therefore 15 of the old A330 fleet is still operating at QR today, and some of the A330 aircraft used by Qatar Airways are close to 20 years old.

This was the case when German Airline Review expert Josh Cahill flew on Qatar Airways from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Doha, Qatar. He happened to be booked on one of the aging A350 aircraft operated by Qatar Airways.

A Great Review after a Bad Review on Qatar Airways A330

eTurboNews publisher Juergen Steinmetz also happened to fly on Qatar Airways from Colombo to Doha at about the same time and on board a Qatar Airways A330.

Steinmetz said: “While Josh flew economy, I was booked in business class to Doha and on to Cairo in first class.

“I flew Qatar Airways this year on numerous occasions on routes via Doha from Los Angeles, New York, Bali, Riyadh, Jeddah, Frankfurt, Cairo, Colombo, Kathmandu, Mumbai – and every single experience was overwhelming, with flight attendants going out of their way to treat you nice.

This happened also on the only economy flight segment I took from Doha to Bali in September.

Every time I visited a bathroom on Qatar Airways, I noticed a flight attendant going in and cleaning after me.

I can understand every airline has good and bad planes, good and bad days, and good and bad crews, and the experience of Mr. Cahill was a bad one. It was very different from what I had experienced again and again in 2023.

For the record, all of my tickets were paid in full, and no special fares or upgrades were received.

Cameras on Qatar Airways

Josh mentioned in his report Qatar Airways flight attendants would not allow cameras to be used onboard.

“On a recent flight I took from Los Angeles to Doha,” Steinmetz said, “a flight attendant came to my seat offering to take photos of myself. “

IMG 5466 | eTurboNews | eTN

“I loved the attendiveness, and the quality of the personal attention and service I received this year on the 10+ QR flights I took,” Steinmetz said.

Unfortunately, every time I flew home and landed in Los Angeles to connect to American Airlines to Honolulu (in First class), the good experience with Qatar Airways was forgotten fast after experiencing disappointing “first class service” on a narrow Airbus Neo on my 5-hour flights from LAX to HNL on American Airlines.

The Call Center & Lounge

Qatar Airways First Class Lounge in Doha.

“A photo I took from the first-class lounge in Doha this summer was shared close to a million times. I visited the Qatar Airways First Class and Business Class lounges, and also a Premium lounge on my economy flight I took from Doha, and all lounges are simply excellent.

“American Airlines refused me entry to its LAX lounge, even though I am a Platinum Executive with AA and had a first-class ticket issued in connection with Qatar Airways. The reason: I had a 48-hour stopover and was considered a domestic passenger for American Airlines. I guess domestic is the key word for bad service in the United States aviation and hospitality world.”

Calling the American Airlines Executive Platinum Line is as frustrating as calling the Qatar Airways call center.

“Both airlines are not empowering their call center staff to make meaningful decisions. To get someone from Qatar Airways to pull up a reservation is a nightmare if you don’t remember your booking code or what credit card you may have used to book your flight. At least onboard service on Qatar Airways is fantastic.”

Steinmetz added: “I took an American Airlines flight from New York to Doha in economy class in September, and I wished for 13 hours to be on a Qatar Airways plane instead.” AA operates codeshare flights with QR between the United States and Qatar,

Josh however called his experience on QR the SHOCKING DECLINE OF QATAR AIRWAYS.

After the video was published more than 648,000 people watched it so far and close to 3,000 comments were received.

Angry Comments left for Qatar Airways

Comments on YouTube summarized the concerns of many passengers:

COMMENT to Qatar Airways: Honestly, Josh’s bad review would not prohibit me from flying with you guys – after all, it’s just two flights and may not be representative of all of your flights. There are also times that I disagree with flight reviewers and have had better experiences than what they commented. However, paying for the video to be removed, banning the reviewer for an unfavorable review, and dismissing the crew would make me decide against flying with Qatar Airways as I don’t want my airfares to be supporting such disgraceful acts.

COMMENT: “You’re doing a great job talking honestly and showing everyone the ups and downs of flying. Qatar Airways has shot itself in the foot here; they should reinstate the staff affected and apologize for their (over)reaction to your honest review. If only they’d done this in the first place they wouldn’t be trying to justify their actions now. Honesty is always the best policy, and I for one salute you for yours.”

COMMENT: To Qatar Airways: Honestly Josh’s bad review would not prohibit me from flying with you guys – after all, it’s just two flights and may not be representative of all of your flights. There are also times that I disagree with flight reviewers and have had better experiences than what they commented.

However, paying for the video to be removed, banning the reviewer for an unfavorable review, and dismissing the crew would make me decide against flying with Qatar Airways as I don’t want my airfares to be supporting such disgraceful acts.

Is Qatar Airways a good airline?

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • eTurboNews publisher Juergen Steinmetz also happened to fly on Qatar Airways from Colombo to Doha at about the same time and on board a Qatar Airways A330.
  • While this matter is no longer a concern as both the airline and the manufacturer, Airbus has reached an “Amicable settlement”, the situation in the past interrupted the planned moderation for some of QR’s fleet.
  • Every time I visited a bathroom on Qatar Airways, I noticed a flight attendant going in and cleaning after me.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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