Tag Archives: medium

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Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Inflight Experience

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With their elitist tv commercials and tip-top rating in the World’s Best Airlines, we were expecting great things from our Qatar Airways inflight experience.

This is why we snatched up the opportunity to fly with them from Rome to Jakarta for around €500 per person, economy class.

We could have chosen cheaper flights with other airlines, but we thought it would be worth paying the extra just to savour the inflight experience of an airline which is regarded as one of the best in the world.

Longhaul Rome to Jakarta via Doha

Our return flight to Jakarta comprised 4 flight legs, stopping in Doha on both outbound and inbound flights.

The first leg from Rome to Doha took around 5 hours, and was something of an eye-opener.

Qatar Airways Inflight Experience

Crammed into the central row section, your legs will feel it…

Cramped Seating & Mediocre Service

Fairly cramped seating and distinctly average food and beverages made the flight quite unremarkable. This was the first long-haul flight we have taken where the red wine was served into plastic cups from an open bottle on the trolley.

Forget individual small wine bottles and spirit miniatures.

A 10-hour layover in Doha, with nothing offered to ease the discomfort, did little to improve our impressions.

The 8-hour onward flight from Doha to Jakarta provided us with more of the same mediocre service, leaving us jaded and somewhat disappointed by the time we arrived at our destination.

Qatar Airways Inflight Experience

Qatar Airways – We’ve seen better food offerings on budget airlines

These are perhaps some of the reasons why Qatar is dropping in the ratings.

Yes, each seat has its own USB charger, and there is free Wifi during the flight, but these are services that are now being offered by more and more airlines.

We’ve had better inflight experiences on KLM and Emirates, and even on Turkish Airlines.

On our return flight, we were packed uncomfortably in the central seating section, with the same minimal food and beverage offerings.

So is it worth the extra cost?

With an increasingly competitive market for flight tickets, Qatar Airways economy inflight services do not merit their premium costs and inflated reputation. You would do better to book with another airline, and use the money you save on upgraded accommodation at your destination.




If you’ve also suffered an underwhelming Qatar Airways flight, check out our other Airline Experiences. You may also like:

Qatar Airways

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Cebu City Guesthouse

Cebu City Guesthouse – New Era Pension Inn

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The first real experiences of our 20-day trip around the Philippines was our Cebu city guesthouse, since we had decided to skip Manila completely on our way in, and take an ongoing domestic Philippines Airlines flight to the islands.

We would spend just one day in Cebu City, before leaving early the next morning for Moalboal on the West coast of Cebu island.

On arrival at Cebu airport we exited the terminal, walked up the ramp across the road, and took a white taxi to the Ayala Shopping Mall.

The yellow taxis charge 350 pesos, but our driver ran his meter and charged us 230 pesos (58 pesos to the euro). The traffic was really heavy, so the trip took a good 50 minutes. The Ayala Shopping Mall doesn’t actually open until 10 am, but luckily one breakfast place (ArmyNavy) was already open.

We whiled away some time munching burritos and quesadillas, with beer and tea (470 pesos).

Cebu city guesthouse - New Era Pension Inn

Cebu city guesthouse – New Era Pension Inn, close to Ayala Mall Gardens

Our next priority was to find a suitable cash machine. When we arrived in Manila, we had no option but to get a small amount of cash from a Philippine bank ATM. The problem with that is you pay 200 pesos bank charges on any transaction, and the maximum you can take is 10,000 pesos.

We were therefore looking for a HSBC ATM, where there are no bank charges, and you can take 20,000 pesos. We found one opposite the Marriott hotel just outside the Ayala Mall.

We then went back in the Mall and bought a prepaid SIM card for 40 pesos.

Cebu City Guesthouse – New Era Pension Inn

After some inquiries, a helpful security guard gave us directions to our hotel, which was about 20 mins walk away. We’d booked our accommodation, New Era Pension Inn, because this was the only place we could find that offered early check-in (from 09.00 am).

Everywhere else had check-in from 2 pm, with a substantial surcharge for early check-in. This place was also reasonably priced at €32, including breakfast.

Although close to the business center, our hotel was located in a poor Filipino street area, with chickens and children dodging between the cars on the narrow congested streets.

Cebu city guesthouse - New Era Pension Inn

Cebu city guesthouse – New Era Pension Inn hidden away in the side streets

The New Era Pension Inn is surprisingly modern. Small rooms, but clean and comfortable.. but when we arrived, our hostess told us that check-in was normally from 2 pm!

I politely pointed out that her online booking form suggested otherwise.

The situation was quickly resolved in our favour, but it’s just as well we didn’t turn up at 7 am, straight from the airport: After 2 days travelling, we were desperate for a shower and a change of clothes.

Cebu city guesthouse - New Era Pension Inn

Cebu city guesthouse – New Era Pension Inn – Don’t get there too early!

The next morning, there was no sign of breakfast.

Instead, we were given 2 meal vouchers and told we could use them at a small eatery at the end of the road. After we had found the place, we were able to cash in the vouchers for a very basic breakfast of toast, eggs and coffee.

Cebu city guesthouse - New Era Pension Inn

Cebu city: Rooftops backed by the mountains

After breakfast, it was time to head over to the South Bus Terminal for the next leg of our journey – to Moalboal on the west coast of Cebu island.

Once there we planned to spend a few days settling in – with a little snorkeling – before continuing our journey to Bohol.


If you enjoyed Cebu City Guesthouse, check out Central Philippines – Cebu & Bohol. You may also like:

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