By Rashmita Solanki
FOR those among us who want to travel in the utmost comfort to reach their destination in a happy, positive mood ready for our holiday, the only way to travel is by Qatar Airways.
I experienced their service first-hand on my recent trip to Coimbatore in south India for the festival of Mahashivaratri at the Isha Yoga Centre, in the presence of Sadhguru.
My flight took me from London Heathrow to Cochin via Doha and then by car to the ashram in Coimbatore.
I had not thought of travelling by Qatar, but in my search for convenient, reasonable timings, I found that they offered the best flights.
With the help of our friend Hitesh Mehta, the managing director of Citibond (www.citibond.co.uk), my travel was booked on Qatar Airways.
From the check-in to boarding the aircraft, it was a smooth experience. Staff double checked my travel documents before boarding, which made me feel that I was in safe hands.
Once I was finally settled in my seat, I noticed the little things that matter to frequent fliers. Qatar had thought about the comfort and convenience of passengers down to the last detail. They had karak chai (saffron or cardamom, the choice is yours) on offer.
After the welcome drink, each passenger was welcomed onboard and offered a hot or cold towel and also whether they wanted a quick low-down on all that the flight had to offer.
We were asked when we wanted our meal to be served after take-off. This was really helpful as I have experienced being so hungry on a flight and waiting for my meal with the utmost patience only to find that they’ve run out of my first choice meal. Not on Qatar Airways. They will bring you your meal when you want it. They even present an electric tea light in a beautiful holder alongside your cutlery and condiments of your choice.
They served me soup in a ceramic soup bowl with a lid to keep it hot, served with warm breads and a choice of flavoured olive oils, followed by the main course. The quality of the food was excellent, and the drinks menu was also impressive.
Passengers can also enjoy the lounge where they can sit down and chat while having a drink from the bar, with warm mixed nuts or packets of ready snacks.
There were fresh red roses along the bar and in the toilets, which provided a touch of elegance. The air hostesses were friendly and attentive, checking if they can get you anything.
The entertainment was excellent; from Hollywood to Bollywood, classics to new movies, the choice was to everyone’s taste; along with music channels of different genres.
Qatar Airways have put the passenger first. They have a drawer for your shoes, while you relax or sleep. The seats have arm rests that go up and down, so if you are eating with your table out you can put your arm rest down to slide out of your seat if the need arises.
The TV screen is positioned in front of you with the table sliding out from underneath, giving you space to manoeuvre. This is the only way to travel. Bliss.
I have travelled on many airlines and I would recommend Qatar Airways as the benchmark. They made my trip to join Sadhguru founder of Isha Centre for Mahashivratri the highlight of my month.
With award-winning service, super comfortable seats and up to 4,000 in-flight entertainment options, your holiday begins before you have even taken off when you fly Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways flies from the UK to Doha 72 times a week from London Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and from May 1, Qatar Airways will commence direct flights from Cardiff, Wales.