Should you consider Qatar Airways as your flying chariot when considering your next economy long haul flight between Sydney and London, we think so. We were thoroughly impressed with the service offering and overall comfort levels on a recent long haul flight between Australia and England. So much so I understand why Qatar Airways consistently maintains their placement as one of the top 3 global airlines, from the annual Skytrax awards.
A smooth journey begins from having a good check-in experience. We checked the family online before travel and found the process to be easy and smooth. Our baggage drop off at Sydney Airport was very busy. However, the line moved quickly, and the kids are I were greeted warmly and provided clear instructions on flight boarding information, before waving goodbye to our bags.
The boarding process was as expected, with families being welcomed to board aircraft first. Settling aboard first does have its merits as we were able to familiarise ourselves with our Entertainment system and claim our allocated bin space for our carry-on bags, which filled up very quickly as people boarded.
There is no denying long haul is long and getting away on time is super important. We were pleased to see we departed on time from Sydney at 21:45 on flight QR909 Sydney to Doha, which had us on flying time of approx 14hours.
Transit through Doha
"Stretch the legs and explore all corners of Doha airport."
Time to stretch the legs! If you need to be in transit, Doha is a good spot to be in transit; we had fun exploring the airport. I can recommend a gentle stretching walk around the airport departures gates to clock a lazy 3km plus. If sitting is more your thing, you can relax in one of the many tasty cafes outlets. There are some amazing sculptures scattered throughout the terminal, plus areas for kids to climb and play. The free wifi on offer was also handy, allowing us to check in with family about our flight status en route to our destination.
Just like a swiss clock, we departed Doha at 7.55am on the next stage of the journey flight QR3 Doha to London (Heathrow) which had us on a quick flight duration of only 7hours! Our overall total travel time from Sydney to London was approx 24 hours.
Let's face it small children do not require much room; seat comfort plays more a priority for parents. The 34-inch seat pitch did give me a bonus extra inch of sanity over what you would expect on competing airlines, creating some real personal space. I did appreciate on both sectors the armrests were able to fold fully back which allowed us all to spread our wings. The seats were firm and supportive and enjoyed the ability to customise my headrest to support my neck.
"Personal space is important when flying economy."
The kids rated the whole comfort level highly. Considering both flights were near 100% capacity, I would say the overall comfort levels on both flights was good. Cabin temperature was fine and never felt too hot or cold. The inclusion of an amenity kit, good sized blankets were a nice addition to make the flight a little more comfortable. The variety of artwork of prints and photos throughout the cabin on the A380 was a nice visual touch to the overall flying experience.
The economy entertainment system is excellent, with a large selection of premiere movies and a good range of boring documentaries for dad, yes dad watched four episodes of Alone! The kids entertained themselves with my son watching movies non-stop between his dozing, while my daughter was bopping along to Megan Trainor.
The 3D interactive map was a hit with dad and the kids, and an excellent way to wash away the time by plotting our journey. The sky cam vision projected onto our screens was fun, and we all enjoyed watching take off and landing via the seatback entertainment system.
The service aboard both flights was warm and friendly, with the meal service not feeling too rushed. Big thumbs up to the cabin crew who at the end of all meal services quickly moved about clearing empty trays, this was a blessing when you are travelling with little ones.
Cabin crew did an excellent job of making sure the cabin was kept clean throughout the flight, with the bathrooms always being fresh and presentable.
“Best airline food ever dad” they are words from a kid who thinks pasta and cheese is a healthy meal option. The meal selection was the standard pick three Chicken, Beef, or Vegetarian. However, the meals were fresh and served with middle eastern flare, sweetness and spice. I was worried how the kids would find the meals, but they loved them. Best meal was the vegetarian offering from Doha to London, a rice dish served with a fluffy Roti style bread. There was a good range of alcoholic drinks offered on the flight. However, I found myself content on not participating in consuming alcoholic beverages. Trying to stay hydrated!
Our checked baggage allowance on the flight was a good amount for one adult plus two kids; we were allowed up to 90 kilos combined, plus our three carry-on bags up to seven kg per piece.
Flying long haul with children should not be a burden, and I honestly thought Qatar Airways did an excellent job of ensuring our long haul flight was comfortable and pleasant. Choosing a long haul airline can be an overwhelming choice based on price, service, comfort and connections. I was pleased that this flight did deliver in all areas of consideration.
Finally, big special thanks to QATAR Airways for hosting us on this trip to experience its long-haul service between Australia and England. As always, all comments, thoughts and opinions about our review are solely our own.
For flight information and to learn more about flying with children on QATAR Airways, check out their website.
Latest Special Offer Free stopover hotel stay in Doha when you book direct online.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">September 6, 2017
James is the founder of Little Nomads a family-focused travel site where he shares his experiences about travelling with kids. You can have a conversation with James on twitter @littlenomads or via his Facebook page.