DOH: Doha Qatar Business Class Lounge
NEWS: The new Al Mourjan Lounge at Doha Airport is now open. You should head here, and not to the Business Lounge, if you have a business class ticket.
The answer is of course that they haven't - at least, not entirely. For the Business Class lounge is not designed for Business Class passengers: it is for oneworld Sapphire passengers, and Qatar passengers with a silver Privilege Club member card somewhere to sit. If you hold a real business class ticket, the much better Qatar Airlines Al Mourjan Business Lounge is the one for you. However it has to be called the Business Class lounge to satisfy oneworld rules - rather like the BA First lounge at Heathrow is not designed for First class customers.
At the entrance the new Doha Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge looks amazing - at the Teddy Bear you take the escalator up to the lounge - and have your boarding card checked both at the bottom and top of the escalator by staff who warn you that 'the lounge is very busy today'. Isn't it always.
Then you turn left - to be greeted by a wall of humanity. The lounge is typically so packed you can't actually see the seats for the people. A long thin lounge, it was obviously designed with plenty of space and a few chairs around the outskirts, which would have looked great in the architects drawings. Alas in reality it all falls a bit flat. Like the passengers who are standing, and getting nowhere near the premium experience they expected.
Right in the middle of the new Doha Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge is a large pool of water on an upturned silver shell. When small children aren't flicking the water at you, this is a good place to sit, as it is typically the most empty place in the lounge.
All along one wall is a 'living wall' with plans cascading down the slats overlooking the window, through which bright lights of the duty free adverts shine. There are some artistic purple swivel seats here, around small coffee tables, which look great but which are totally impractical. Never mind - most of the seats are occupied with passenger's luggage anyway.
Further up is the dining area, with harsh plastic seats around large plastic tables, which are typically piled high with rubbish from other passengers. There are always a vast number of staff milling around here, but it seems cleaning anything is something that is contracted out to other staff who never arrive. Beside here is the main kitchen and food area.
At the far end of the new Doha Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge is a large cinema area, with a big screen - and only four seats. The big screen typically shows a low-res version of CNN anyway, so it's not too much of a miss that you can't sit down.
Further back in the lounge is a big computer area - and, if you can get a seat - this this is the most comfortable area in the lounge. There is also a meeting room here too, and as a family group this stark, concrete lined room is definitely the area of choice to sit it: it's the only place you won't be trampled by other customers.
FoodFood is OK in the new Doha Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge. Indeed it looks impressive as you walk in, with chefs preparing a vast amount of bread in all sorts of shapes and sizes at the corner of the food counter.
Around the corner is main server, with tourines filled with rice and curry. There is a small salad bar beside this, with some quite good bowls of salad.
Another fridge has the dreaded 'dips' - here Qatar has taken a hint from US Airlines, and just has carrots and celery, with two types of dip: mayonnaise and thousand island.
Next along in the fridge are some deserts in bowls. The fruit salad is quite good.
BarForget the bar in the new Doha Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge. It's dire. The lounge is dry during Ramadan, while the rest of the time there Heineken in cans in the fridge, or wine on the work top. And that's it.
BathroomsIn lounge, with showers.
Business FacilitiesBusiness Facilities are oddly, better than you'd expect in the new Doha Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge.
There is free fast wifi in the lounge.
There is also a meeting room, which is normally the only place in the lounge where you can sit down and have a bit of peace and quiet.
There is a small newspaper rack, however the magazines here tend to be of the 'what watch can I spend a load of money on' type.
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