TRIP REPORT: Qatar Airways, Auckland - Zagreb via Doha


Written by Zemo

CARRIER: QR Qatar Airways 
AIRCRAFT: A350-1000 & A320 Business class

Before starting this trip report, I would like to note that this is the first one I have ever written. As a very seasoned flyer, I do enjoy this website and reading its content and comments has helped me pass time on numerous flights therefore I thank you for that. As mentioned, I am very frequent traveler with more than 100 flights per year but not as many as I would like to when it comes to traveling to Ex-Yu region. Being frequent traveler means I am trying to get all my flights with certain alliance due to miles and status upgrades so this is one of the few flights that I took with Oneworld – and it made me think about shifting to them as my main carrier alliance.

Anyway, before I took QR921 flight from Auckland to Doha I did few internal trips in NZ. All of them using Air New Zealand. These internal flights are super quick, convenient and feel more like taking a quick bus ride than actually getting on the plane. NZ domestic network is operated with mixture of ATR 72 and Dash 8 Q300 planes. All my internal flights were on Dash Q300. Both planes feature all economy cabin and service is basic (due to short flight time) but I did notice that Air NZ is very generous when it comes to miles even on such a short flights. After landing at Auckland airport I took hotel before continuing my journey the next day. There are some hotels just in the front of the international terminal so I avoided taking taxi drive down to the city itself. International and domestic terminals are separated by 10 minutes long walk or taking a quick terminal bus. At the time I was there airport was taking some major construction upgrades so it was a bit chaotic but nothing much.

Arrival at Auckland Airport domestic terminal

After a good night rest, I went back to the airport to do the check in. Usually, I travel light but this time I needed to drop some baggage and it did take some time but nothing too serious. After checking in I went straight to the lounge. At Auckland Airport Qatar uses Strada lounge. It does not offer any view on tarmac but view on the airport hall itself. Food was good enough with plenty of choices and good free Internet connection.

Auckland Airport lounge

Two hours in the lounge passed quick and it was time to go straight to the gate. The flight I took, QR921, was reintroduced back in September as a non-stop flight (it used to do stopover in Australia for some time). If I am not wrong it is one of 3 worlds longest flights taking just a bit of over 17 hours. Plane (A350-1000) featured new Qatar airways business class layout called Q-Suites. Basically, these seats offer unprecedented privacy when it comes to business class traveling as they can be fully enclosed offering you your own piece of space on the plane. For people who travel together, couples or a family, middle seats can be connected offering a really nice double bed. Qatar offers a really nice amenity kit as well, good noise cancelation headphones, nice comfy blanket, sleeping clothes, various personal hygiene items located at the lavatory etc. Nice feature is a small stand next to the seat that acts as storage but I think you can invite someone to sit there during the flight and have a conversation. Oryx entertainment system had huge choices of movies and series to watch, HDMI input that you can use to connect your laptop to the screen, plenty of charging points, but as usual only thing I watch is the moving map. Addition of live TV would be nice. Quick taxi and we were on the way.

Seat features

Qatar flight attendants were very pleasant on these flights, attentive but not too much, with respect to privacy and do not disturb signs. Qatar airways offers on demand dining on these flights meaning you can eat any time you wish from a very large menu selection but I had a quick mint tea, Arab mezze, fish menu and went straight to sleep. Food was top notch.


Before sleep you can ask flight attendants to make the bed for you and get you some more pillows. It was quite nice and long sleep for me as I woke up just over India. One thing I did not quite understand is QR Internet policy charging 10$ for unlimited internet. In my opinion this should be offered free to everyone but especially to Business class passengers as 10$ does not make any difference but still requires you to spend time to fill up the forms and look for your credit cards, it is just not convenient. Overall, regardless to internet, this was one of the best business class flights I ever had. Q-Suite really is top notch game changer and can’t be compared to most of the business class products offered today.

Ready to sleep

Above Auckland

I skipped the breakfast as I wanted to experience food in Doha lounge as well. After landing in Doha, I found out that there is special security lane for business class passengers – nice and welcoming touch. Security check was very quick and smooth and it was time to hit the lounge again with a very long layover of almost 8 hours the plan was to hit the gym, get shower and explore the lounge itself.

Doha Airport

Unfortunately, gym was under renovations so instead of loosing some weight I ended up gaining weight eating very delicious food and spending time in the Game room (PS5) at the Doha airport business class lounge. Lounge could have better internet connection as I found it rather slow but satisfactory for basic usage. After few meals, quick shower and some more meals it was time to proceed to the gate to hop on my Zagreb flight and there was another welcoming surprise. Qatar offers special airport bus for the business class passengers and it leaves after all economy class passengers have boarded. This is a very nice scheme as it allows one to spend more time in the lounge and avoid seeing 100+ people passing next to your seat. Business class configuration on this A320 was 2 – 2 with fully lay down seats and a very good service for a flight of just over 5 hours. Again, I went for mint tea, fish menu and straight to sleep (yes, I can sleep a lot). Woke up just before landing in Zagreb and enjoyed some nice chocolates offered by the flight crew. This was my first flight to Zagreb airport since Croatia joined Schengen. It was very clean, customs and immigration being very smooth and baggage delivery very quick. It was good to be back in the region again so even before I went to my hotel, I went straight to get some good cevapi and burek. Overall, Qatar offers top class service on both widebody and narrow body equipment. Business class lounge at the Doha airport is easily the best in the world comparable only to first class lounges at other airports. I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised with overall experience so I decided to get my self onward ticket to Far east again with Qatar airways. Service was the same but this time I decided to try some frequent flyer lounges at Doha airport. Again, lounges exceeded my expectations and I was pleasantly surprised once more. Considering I like Cathay airways and Oneworld being very generous with their frequent traveler programs I might start using Oneworld much more often. Not to forget, during the onward flight, lounge at the Zagreb airport, had a very nice burek. That was also a nice touch of local cuisine

Doha lounge

Anyway, I hope you guys liked my trip report. As mentioned earlier I do read your content every day for the last 10 years, but this is the first time I wrote one. Please except my apologies if review is not according to your expectations. Also, as mentioned, I do not travel that often to Ex-Yu as bulk of my flights are to and from Asia, Africa (yes even to here very popular Nigeria using some very shabby local airlines) and South America. If you would like to read these reports as well let me know so I might write some more. Thanks and regards to all.

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  1. Anonymous10:05

    Wow, that food looks amazing!!

  2. Anonymous11:22

    As a regular Qatar Airways flyer, I must admit that QR is on a league by its own when it comes to service and onboard product in Business. 3 things I do not like about QR tho: 1) the Qsuite IFE is very good but not as great as what QR has installed on their 789s; 2) QR tend to swap planes too easily: happened more than once that I booked Qsuite and at the very last minute they did swap to an aircraft not featuring Qsuite. If you want to be 100% sure to get & experience Qsuite, book a QR flight into JFK, Paris, London or Singapore; 3) QR catering is still top notch, but visible cost-cutting was done. Turkish Airlines is way better when it comes to food quality

    1. Anonymous11:26

      *edit: JFK, Paris, Frankfurt or Singapore

    2. Anonymous14:44

      Agreed, the equipment swap is a bit of a problem. Especially conspired to Emirates

    3. Anonymous18:48

      They have too many different setups now, thus the frequent change.

    4. Anonymous19:35

      I have not even noticed difference on 787 as I am a very simple passenger. I eat and I sleep, the dream of every flight attendant :)

  3. Anonymous14:46

    Thanks for the report! Did you fly back the same way? How long was the layover on the way back? Sometimes I find Qatar a bit unusable for long-haul because of the long layovers and weirdly only in one direction.

    1. Anonymous19:26

      I did not fly back. I flew to Korea.

    2. Anonymous20:05

      Also via Doha?

  4. Anonymous16:37

    Nice report! Out of curiosity, what kind of a job you have that allows you to travel so much all around the world?

    1. Anonymous19:31

      The one I want to get rid off and stop traveling ;) It was very fun at the start but after so many years it is not. Can’t remember when was the last time
      I have been somewhere for the first time.

    2. Anonymous20:05

      Please swap places with me!

    3. Anonymous20:21

      LoL. I am sure it sounds tempting but trust me when I tell you my piles have different opinion ;)
      Any way made Airlink flight from Walvis bay to Joburg and now on to next destination. Airlink is one of my favorite regional airlines despite all the troubles in SAR they are still quite good.

  5. Anonymous21:49

    Great report, very interesting, thank you very much.

  6. Anonymous22:16

    Great report and very interesting route, especially AKL-DOH being one of the longest flights. I would love to see more of your travel posts. Do you have any flying across the southern hemisphere? Would be great to see some reviews of the routes from NZ to S. America or Africa :)

  7. Anonymous05:47

    Great report! I’m very similar to you. I fly a lot (mostly J) domestic USA & international, but have not yet written a trip report. I’ve flown Qatar Air from Maldives to ZAG and enjoyed it. BTW, thank you for writing “anyway” and not “anyways” 😉


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