TRIP REPORT: Qatar Airways to Belgrade on A330


My flight from Doha to Belgrade a few weeks ago was by chance operated by the A330-300 since the airline upgraded the plane from the usual A320. I arrived at Doha Airport from a connecting flight some eight hours before the departure to Belgrade. I am a Oneworld Emerland tier holder, so this gives me access to the first class lounge in Doha which is huge. Since Qatar Airways only has first class on its A380s, which they use only to Paris and London at the moment, they categorise their business class passengers on Gulf destinations as first class passengers. Because these flights are limited, the lounge is never busy. Access can be purchased, and I believe is it a bit over 200 euros but am not sure. The lounge itself is massive with its own restaurant, duty free shop, spa etc. A great feature are the private hotel rooms with bathrooms that connecting passengers can use. Usage is limited to six hours and since I came off a long haul flight, I was pretty glad to make use of it.

Boarding for Qatar Airways flights begins exactly an hour before departure. As per usual in Doha in the morning, many European flights use bus gates and Belgrade wasn’t an exception. At the bus gates, economy class passengers are boarded first. As I waited, I noticed that around 50% of the passengers were Indian. Interestingly on my flight a few weeks later, I would say a good 40% of passengers were Chinese, although there were a few Indian passengers too.

After waiting around half an hour, business class passengers were invited for boarding and taken to the remote stand by bus. 

There were thirteen passengers in business class. The Qatar Airways A330 cabin is pretty good. The seats are comfortable, in 2-2-2 configuration. They also have an extendable divider if you are seated next to someone you don’t know. There was water, two pillows, a blanket, food menu, wine menu and an amenity pack at the seat. These A330s were meant to be retired but Qatar brought them back after they grounded 20 A350s because of paint issues, which has now turned into a major spat with Airbus. A few minutes after taking my seat, the crew came around to introduce themselves, I was asked what pre-departure drink I would like and informed that my meal order would be taken shortly. I chose their sweet lime and mint juice and received a wet wipe along with it (which is the current replacement to hot towels due to Covid). The purser on the flight was Serbian and he came around to introduce himself as well.

The menu is quite extensive. Despite this flight taking off at 8.30AM, there is no breakfast offered. Rather, there is a full lunch menu, as well as a “brunch platter”, which is made up of six small meals. One of the crew told me that they are trialling this sort of service on these morning European flights since most of their passengers are connecting and most never order breakfast. I decided to have the lunch menu and ordered a meal each for the entre, main and dessert. The crew also asks what kind of condiments, olive oil (they have three or four choices) and when you would like to eat. Drink orders are also taken at that point.'

We pushed back with about an half hour delay and were treated to nice views of Doha. The in-flight entertainment system is good and offers a lot of movies, TV shows, documentaries and music. The television set was responsive and worked well. After departure the drink and warm nuts were served, after which the meal was served too. I also included a photo of the brunch platter so you can see what it looks like.

The seats are lie-flat so I actually fell asleep for most of the remainder of the flight.

Prior to landing the crew place a pack of chocolates next to all passengers. Despite the late departure we arrived in Belgrade right on time and taxied to the C6 gate. A nice feature is that Qatar Airways send you updates on your phone and upon landing I got the message that my bags were loaded on the flight and on which belt in Belgrade they would arrive.

At the time we landed, there were no other arrivals, so passport control was empty and I passed through it really quickly. In the baggage claim area, the bags had already started coming out by that point. Overall, it was a great experience on board Qatar Airways, and it was nice to fly in on a wide body jet.

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  1. Anonymous09:14

    Great trip report, food looked fantastic. Nice that you got to fly on the A330 on this route

  2. Anonymous09:31

    Do you happen to know what the load was in economy class? Nice to see 13 passengers in business, that's really not bad.

  3. JU520 BEGLAX10:41

    Flying QR is still the non plus ultra. The brunch platter looks very tasty. Thank you for the report

    1. Mario11:27

      Totally agree. QR is even in economy a great experience. Loking forward to my flight in October:-)

    2. Mario11:28


  4. Anonymous14:32

    Oh my goodness.....and people praising Turkish
    I do not think any European airline comes close to QR. Plus, the A330 is already an older aircraft for QR and just look at that service and menu...
    The writing on the pillow in blue says: "Today will be a great day" - very positive message.
    You travelled like a true king, man. Good for you! :D Just look at that lounge in DOH. Jeez!

  5. Anonymous16:00

    This means first class service. And that lounge at the airport, OMG. I am interested what autor of the report is doing for a living, so that he can take flights like this??


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