Al Safwa paid entry and cash upgrades at Doha Hamad International

By ian62 | Jan 20, 2019, 04:11 PM
1. Thought readers may wish to know (apologies if already on this site) that J passengers are now "at the managers discretion" able to pay for access to the Al Safwa F lounge, previously restricted to Qatar F and One World F passengers. On 16/1/2019 I paid 500 Qatari Riyal for 2 persons for 6 hours.

2. The lounge has been reviewed extensively, so I will only add a few comments, highly subjective as most of these reviews are:

(a) It is a vast, architecturally overwhelming space with the highest ceilings of any F lounge in the world (guessing here) - it can feel minimalist in a Nordic/Japanese way OR like a cold tomb with too much space and too few people, depending on your own disposition.
(b) The food was very average, not rising to their J menus inflight. However, their wines were astonishing compared to say QF, LX,LH,CX,EK and JL F lounges. For example, I had a choice of either Pommery "Louise" 2002 or Veuve "La Grande Dame" 2006 9(I had both!) a Premier Cru white (Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 2010) and a Grand Cru Bordeaux (Ducru-Beaucaillou 2008). As if that weren't overwhelming they also had a 1992 Colheita Port, which I commented to my son, pre-dates me meeting his mother!
(c) It allowed us to use the sleeping rooms (King single, ensuite) prior to our 0230 departure to Perth.
I would pay for the F lounge again

3. Qatar also have an upgrade desk (not easy to find) where there was a significant queue, where you arrive 3 hours prior to departure and can pay a non-negotiable fee to upgrade ( I used this from J to F). Once again, other than the caviar service (tiny portion, forgettable) the F food inflight was woeful and I thought the meal on the outbound Q suite flight from SYD-DOH much better.
Again, the wines were stellar (Krug and/or Bollinger Rose 2006 and another Premier Cru white and Grand Cru Bordeaux). The bed was huge and more comfortable than both the A380 J seat and the Q suites (I am neutral about enclosed suites in F). I asked for an empty seat to be made up as a bed so I could move between the two.

4. I wouldn't pay for the upgrade again if I could use the F lounge pre-flight



Member who gave thanks

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By jrfsp | Jan 20, 2019, 04:32 PM
Interesting. I have just booked a rtn trip to Europe in J with them (also oneworld Emerald), so might enquire as to the First lounge on the way out as its a three hour layover, ill see what the price is at least...
No member give thanks

By ian62 | Jan 20, 2019, 04:55 PM
The feeling I got was that this offer is in a "trial" phase (I have not read a formal offer on a frequent flyer website endorsed by QR) and I suspect that if large numbers of persons present for it, they will withdraw it.
No member give thanks

By Joshb | Jan 21, 2019, 09:38 AM
I did this on Friday out of necessity. J lounge full and shower wait was 40mins and my flight started boarding at that time. Was flying J to JFK and QF platinum and told them the situation (unsure if paid entry was still being accepted), they accepted and I paid the 250 Riyals. Lounge was practically empty and the cost was easily worth it to shower and have a couple of glasses of La Grand Dame.
No member give thanks

By moa999 | Jan 21, 2019, 03:18 PM
So 250 riyal is about A$95 each per pax.
Certainly not a cheap upgrade by any means but possibly worthwhile if that's the only option for a shower
No member give thanks

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