As I approached the desk to have my boarding pass scanned, the agent said ‘Sir, you are the only business class passenger today, would you like your own bus to the aircraft?’
There is that moment when we all would pause to think about the answer, and so did I. In truth it didn’t matter to me this time, but I should probably have said ‘Yes’. However I did say that I would take the bus used for the Economy passengers. About a minute later I regretted it.
In retrospect I realise that I had never taken a bus at Doha during the day. Goodness it was hot. Even by walking the 20 yards to the bus from the terminal I was sweating. Few seats on the bus, coupled with a small number of passengers, meant a long wait in the bus that had become a sauna.
Eventually we were moving off, but no air conditioning came on and the bus became more and more unpleasant.
We arrived at the A320 after 15 minutes and we climbed the stairs to the front of the plane. After taking my seat in Row 1, the crew suggested that I might like to move as there was more leg room in Row 2. They produced cold towels; I was suitably grateful.
The seats were pretty comfy but with limited recline:
Looking back at the Economy cabin most passengers had been seated at the back, presumably for weight and balance.
The flight attendant got me all excited when I asked for Champagne when she enquired whether I would like the Krug. ‘Oh Yes Please’. It was odd but I just assumed that it had been loaded in error. In fact, as I found a moment later, she was new and had forgotten that this flight was sold as Business and not as First. It was her second day flying.
As always with Qatar the menus are in the seat back pocket and so I was able to browse. The crew came along and asked when I would like to eat, being the only passenger I was not worried about them running out of choices.
The crew kept my glass topped up through the meal and arranged coffee for me after I finished.
I napped for about two hours, not very comfortably in the upright seats, and pretty soon we were landing at Columbo.
Qatar uses one of the gates closest to the immigration desks. I had pre-arranged my visa and was on my way in about two minutes past the final Duty Free Shops before baggage. They had a wide range of large domestic appliances for sale – fridges, cookers and air conditioners. I assume that they deliver them rather than expecting you to get them on an airport trolley.