Qatar Airways operates two business class lounges in its home hub of Doha, Qatar: the first being the Al Mourjan Business Lounge exclusively for business class passengers, and the second being this separate 'Business Class Lounge' for Gold-grade frequent flyers booked in economy, who can't access Al Mourjan.
There's a vast difference between the two lounges – whether you look at the overall footprint, the designs themselves or the food and beverage offering, the Al Mourjan Lounge is superior in almost every way and is clearly the lounge you should use when travelling in business class.
But if you are stuck in economy, here's what awaits in the other 'Business Class Lounge' before your Qatar Airways flight at Doha's Hamad International Airport.
Location & Impressions
If you can find the giant teddy bear sculpture, you'll easily find this lounge – the escalators are nearby and after a quick check of your boarding pass at the bottom and again at the reception desk upstairs, you're free to turn left and enter.
... although the lounge itself is quite small, so often feels very 'busy' in the main seating areas, even during the quieter times.
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold and Platinum members flying onwards with any Oneworld airline
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver cardholders prior to Qatar Airways flights only
- Other Oneworld Sapphire and Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers such as Qantas Gold and above prior to Oneworld flights
- Business class and first class passengers of any Oneworld airline
Privilege Club Platinum members and other Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers can also visit the adjacent 'First Class' frequent flyer lounge, with business class passengers enjoying access to the Al Mourjan Lounge and first class flyers to the Al Safwa Lounge.
Much as in the nearby 'First Class Lounge' for Platinum frequent flyers also stuck in economy, visitors here can help themselves to a selection of sandwiches, salads and sweets...
We didn't indulge during this visit but observed that travellers who did queue for beverages were assisted within moments.
As far as business class lounges go, that's somewhat on-par when compared to some domestic-grade lounges across the globe, particularly within Europe and North America.
Yet for international travellers making the long journey home from Doha to Australia, or indeed travelling onwards to Europe or elsewhere, we'd expect much more from a lounge in an airline's home hub – beginning with some hot food options.
That's much appreciated by travellers in transit, particularly those flying between Australia and European countries like France or Italy who might only pack a European plug and not think to bring a UK- or Indian-style adaptor as you'd usually need in Qatar.
Missing, however, is a dedicated wireless Internet network for the lounge – travellers instead need to use the airport's own free WiFi, from which we struggled to pull download and upload speeds of more than 1Mbps.
With Doha serving as a growing aviation hub, we like that boarding calls aren't made here – otherwise, that's all you'd hear.
... although the screen itself feels quite small for the space and would make it hard to read those same subtitles from the second row backwards.
Overall, we'd expect much more from an international lounge branded as 'business class' – especially in an airline's hub – although some improvements to the food and beverage offering and a few extra seats would go far to improving this lounge.
Also reviewed: Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Doha as a guest of Qatar Airways.
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