Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

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#1 Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby fountainhall » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:23 pm

Qatar Airlines, soon to start flying in to Chiang Mai, is adding U-Tapao as its next Thai destination. There will be 4 flights a week from January 28 using a 787 Dreamliner with 22 flat bed business class seats and 232 in economy. Be warned, though, for the primary target markets are Russians, Ukrainians and the other former Soviet republics!

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transp ... -on-jan-28

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#2 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby Brooklyn Bridge » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:11 pm

Will the new terminal at U-Tapao ever open? Or will immigration queues stretch to Rayong?

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#3 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby gerefan » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:21 am

This may be good news for travel from the UK to Pattaya if you are prepared to stop in Doha and happy to fly with Russians. Well at least only on the second leg.
I used to fly Qatar a lot until I fell out with them a few years ago when they really put up prices.
Maybe anything to avoid Swampy. U-Tapao is a breeze...even with the old terminal. There are very few flights or passengers at the moment.

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#4 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby fountainhall » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:32 pm

Yes, I found the prices rose dramatically almost 3 years ago. But I now get emails from Qatar virtually every week announcing yet another price sale. Bt. 67,000 per ticket for two travelling together in business to/from London is a steal these days. The lack of Saudi, Egyptian and the other countries which have banned their nationals from flying the airline is clearly hurting. If you don't mind the plane change in Doha (I don't as long as the connection is relatively quick), I guess there may also be a degree of promotional pricing to promote the new route.

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#5 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby firecat69 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:41 pm

I posted recently about my first and only experience with Qatar. I found them at best average but recognize that experience can be driven by the type aircraft and the fares available. Certainly in many cases the Business Cabin being full of Russians might even make them less of a choice for me.

I flew out of Atlanta on a B777 which was a worse seat then I get on UA and far worse then DL. Plus the electric connection did not work and the service was ok but certainly nothing to rave about. My flight on the 787 was much better because of the seat and newness of the AC vs the ancient 777.

My flight on A330 was the worst of all. Terrible seat in all respects . I am quite sure if I had flown on the A380 or even the A350 my experience might have been better.

I found the airport ridiculously large and you better make sure you have a large connection time depending on what gates you can end up at. My preference would be at least 3 hours to take advantage of the Business Lounge which is excellent. However if you are in the back of the airplane and no Lounge access then everything eventually reverts to price, no matter what class you are in.

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#6 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby fountainhall » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:46 am

I haven't flown United for years and it was a pretty dire experience. I know the airline is rolling out a new business class product that looks excellent, but it will take until 2020 before all aircraft are retrofited. Certainly anyone's experience of an airline is subjective dependent to a large extent on the cabin layout and other factors they actually experience. Firecat and I disagree on the 777s which I like a lot, but I totally agree about the A330s. And I note that it is the A330 that will be serving the Chiang Mai route. The 787 on the U-tapao service is excellent. The huge Doha lounge, too, with two separate full restaurants and endless other facilities is better than any other I can recall. There has to be some reason why Qatar has been voted the Best Airline in the World for 2017 by the 19.87 million fliers who took part in the annual poll.

Although Russians and East Europeans will be specifically targeted, I cannot believe the flights will be full of them. Doha is a hub and so I expect a good number of Europeans and European expats will take that flight.

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#7 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby Moses » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:03 pm

Qatar fights for market in Russia on SE Asia direction. Prices are very competitive: US $ 400-420 for two-way tickets and they have 6-8 flight daily only to Moscow. But only few percent of Russians agree to land in U-Topao - too much old. So from about 110 flights to Thailand weekly from Russia only few of them has landing to U-Topao - low-cost chartes from Syberia .
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#8 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby firecat69 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:10 pm

fountainhall wrote: There has to be some reason why Qatar has been voted the Best Airline in the World for 2017 by the 19.87 million fliers who took part in the annual poll.

I have to admit I pay little attention to awards and would never base my purchase on something I have no idea how it is constructed. It is true Qatar is ranked #1 in this poll. Quite ridiculous since 2017 is far from over and I am sure the poll was finished months ago when 2017 was probably not even half over.

Again with limited experience , I find the fact that just about all routings increase the travel time substantially plus even worse since their fight with all their neighbors, is a big negative factor for me. Most of my travel the last 10 years has been in Business and for me the most important things are:

1. Seat
2. Personal Space
3. Privacy
4. Storage around seat.
5. Total time in airplane and connections.
6. Lounges if connection times exceed 2 hours

Things I find unimportant but recognize others use for their loyalty or purchase decisions.

1. Wine and booze.
2. Food even on the best I get better food and service at my local restaurant with a few notable exceptions in the last 10 years.
3. Movies etc. No interest I travel with everything I want to watch on my iPad.
4. Amenity Kits. Who cares, I have draws full of them at home.

For a US international Carrier DL is hard to beat. UA was far behind but their new Polaris seating is quite nice .

I find most of the European Airlines far behind in the things that are important to me. I think Asiana is extremely good , noting that I have no opportunity to fly Singapore which may still be the best.

But after 55 years of traveling on these silver tubes , overall nothing has gotten that much better and compared to advances in almost any other segment, the advances are sad and pitiful.

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#9 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby firecat69 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:09 pm

I did forget to mention one thing about this supposed Best Airline Poll. If you look at what economy travelers ( the vast Majority of passengers) get you will find in many aircrafts they easily have the worst seats in pitch and even width in some cases. They run great ads and many poll takers probably react to that BS rather then actual experiences. Just Saying!

Of course price is still by far the most important thing to most people and since as a Government owned or financed airline they can lose as much money as they like , it is easy for them to offer better fares.

So yes if I see them offering a fare 20% cheaper then any other airline on a trip I am planning , I will balance that against the aircraft being used and the extended travel time and may still fly them again. But #1 not even close in my book.

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#10 Re: Qatar Airlines flying into U-Tapao from Jan 28

Postby fountainhall » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:59 am

firecat69 wrote:I have to admit I pay little attention to awards and would never base my purchase on something I have no idea how it is constructed. It is true Qatar is ranked #1 in this poll. Quite ridiculous since 2017 is far from over and I am sure the poll was finished months ago when 2017 was probably not even half over.

The Skytrax poll is the most comprehensive of all and is recognised industry-wide as the "gold standard" of all airline polls. It covers all issues relating to an airline, including those which are of little interest to you but might be to others. The 2017 poll result was announced at the Paris Air Show in June this year and reflects voting made during the period August 1986 to May 2017 inclusive. Personally I always read several pages of the latest Skytrax reviews of every airline I am considering as they more often than not give me an indication of trends. Like all reviews, I reject the best and the worst and then take the median.

I am slightly surprised that you pay little attention to polls. But you obviously check sites like seatguru.com which give the pitch in all classes -

firecat69 wrote:If you look at what economy travelers ( the vast Majority of passengers) get you will find in many aircrafts they easily have the worst seats in pitch and even width in some cases.

In fact, the pitch in Qatar economy is identical to the pitch in United economy after retrofitting for Polaris, as indeed it is with many other airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France and most Qantas flights. All are the increasingly standard 31". Since pitch in economy is clearly an issue for most. Emirates 777s are amongst the best with 33" - 34". But Qatar is far from the worst in terms of width. Its A380s have 18.5" whereas United's Polaris fitted economy aircraft are 17" or 17.1" or 17.3". Your implication is partly correct, though, as some of Qatar's 777s vary from 17" but others have the most generous of any, 18.9".

But if, prior to taking your Qatar flights, you had looked on the same seatguru page at the description of the A330 business class seating, you would have seen this -

angle-flat seats with 165 degree recline

When I see "angle-flat" on any airline, I avoid it like the plague because I know it will be cramped - other than once when I took Royal Jordanian because there was no other non-stop to Amman. I would never opt for Qatar's A330s or A340s.

FInally, in the last 10 years of the Skytrax Airline of the Year Awards, Qatar has won 4 times, Cathay Pacific and Emirates twice each and Singapore and Asiana once each.

I would love to try United's new Polaris service. An entire Business Traveller programme on Polaris was recently aired on CNN. It looks virtually identical to the Emirates A380 layout. But how do you know that you will get that new configuration when United has told the public it will not be fully rolled out over the entire fleet until 2020? And what do you do if you turn up at the airport expecting flat bed seats and discover there has had to be an aircraft change and you are on one with the old angle flat? That has happened to me once and I was very pissed off!

We all base our views on our own experiences. You had a bad trip. I, fortunately so far, have had generally excellent flights with Qatar - but then I am also partial to their excellent wine selection and occasional movies!


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