22 (Sat) June 2019
on Qatar Airways – QR 929
-Manila to Doha-
Mission to Tunisia, Day 1 of 6.
En route to Tunis (via Doha). Attending the First Meeting of the Regional Parliamentary Forum for Health and Well-Being in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 24 (Mon) to 26 (Wed) August – the official launch of the forum that our office had helped set up last year (see generally 9.332 Kibbeh Nayeh). Very gratifying and exciting that parliamentarian engagement is spreading across the Organization, with the Western Pacific Region leading the way.
First look at the PAGSS business class lounge in Nino Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Happy to report that the lounge has the look and feel of a modern facility.
The food remains kinda crappy, though not as bad as it looked.
After an impressive first experience on Qatar Airways back in 2015 (see generally 5.279 Assorted Hot Mezzah, 5.286 Chili Mango Prawns with Asparagus Couscous), which has positioned the carrier at the top of the BEST IN CLASS rankings since, I was eager give it another go.
Alas, the second time wasn’t as grand.
First, the selection was rather uninspired – I realize how spoiled that makes me sound; I’m just saying.
Second, the food itself was competent but nothing beyond – I realize how spoiled that makes me sound; I’m just saying.
Incidentally, “mini sliders” is redundant. And these weren’t sliders.
The cabin was also kinda ho-hum – I realize how spoiled that makes me sound; I’m just saying.
At least they provided pajamas. I appreciate that “large” by middle eastern standards leaves me a lot of room.
First look at the Al Mourjan Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.
It was the biggest and most grandiose lounge that I’ve ever seen.
On one side of the lounge, a café that offered sandwiches à la carte – I didn’t partake.
On the other side – like half a kilometer away – a buffet.
The food seemed fine, I suppose, though I wasn’t very hungry at the time (0600-DOH/1100MNL).
BEST IN LOUNGE – an on-going ranking of dining experiences in business lounges:
- TURKEY: Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkish Airlines Lounge (9.056 Pide)(8.052 Köfte + Piliç)
- SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta)
- NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Crown Lounge (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
- QATAR: Hamnad International Airport, Al Mourjan Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders)
- UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Abhu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways Lounge (6.154 Shakshouka)
- AUSTRALIA: Brisbane Airport, Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.242 Scallops)
- JAPAN: Haneda Airport International Terminal (8.202 Clam and Spicy Tofu Stew)
- CHINA: Hong Kong International Airport, Club Autus Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport (Terminal 2), Korean Air Prestige Lounge (East) (10.110 Grilled Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce)
- JORDAN: Queen Alia International Airport, Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge (6.159 Memories of Hummus)
- THAILAND: Suvarnabhumi Airport, Royal Silk Lounge (7.306 Fried Black Cod …)
- GERMANY: Flughafen München, Lufthansa Lounge (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
- RUSSIA: Moscow Domodedovo Airport (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns)
- INDIA – Indira Gandhi International Airport (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
- CHINA: Hong Kong International Airport, Cathay Pacific Lounge (5.182 Har Gao) (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
- NEW ZEALAND: Strata Lounge (10.118 Awhi Farm Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
- SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1), Plaza Premium Lounge (10.160 Chicken Rice + Ramen)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport, Asiana Business Class Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (5.363 Past + Sandwich for the Elite)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport, Korean Air Prestige Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (6.090 Shin Ramyeon BLACK)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport, Star Alliance Lounge (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…)
- LEBANON: Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, LAT (Lebanese Air Transport) Lounge (9.336 Sea Bass en Papilotte)
- UNITED STATES of AMERICA: John F Kennedy International Airport, Korean Air Lounge (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet)
- PHILIPPINES: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 3 Cathay Pacific Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken)
- FIJI: Nadi International Airport, Fiji Airways Premier Lounge (10.118 Awhi Farm Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
- PHILIPPINES: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 3 PAGSS Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders)
- SWITZERLAND: Geneva International Airport
- PHILIPPINES: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 1 PAGSS Lounge (8.196 Chicken in Garlic Sauce)
- PHILIPPINES: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 1 MIASCOR Lounge (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce) (4.272 Chicken Curry…)
- FIJI: Nadi International Airport (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb)
- MONGOLIA: Chinggis Khan International Airport (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat)
On the Doha to Tunis leg, Qatar Airways made a much better showing.
The cabin was elegant, the seat was tricked out, and the champagne was free-flowing.
The food was okay.
As always, I should note that I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel, especially via business class. Any comments here, even the negative ones, are simply relative to other business class experiences, not complaints per se.
BEST IN CLASS – an on-going ranking of dining experiences on business class flights
- Qatar Airlines — MNL > DOH > DME (5.279 Assorted Hot Mezzah); DME > DOH > MNL ( (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns); MNL > DOH > TUN (10.169 Mini Sliders)
- Singapore Airlines — MNL > SIN > BNE (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta); BNE > SIN > MNL (6.243 Ggongchi Kimchi Jjigae)
- Turkish Airlines — MNL > IST (8.046 Grilled Seafood Selections); GVA > IST (8.051 Fresh Herb Baby Chicken); IST > MNL (8.052 Köfte + Piliç); MNL > IST > GVA (9.050 Grilled Seafood Selection); GVA > IST (9.055 Grilled Lamb Chop); MNL > IST (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce); BEY > IST > MNL
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines — GVA > AMS > ICN (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
- Asiana Airlines — MNL > ICN (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…); ICN > MNL (6.048 Ssambap); MNL > ICN (6.305 Chicken Congee); ICN > MNL (6.321 Ssambap)
- Korean Air — ICN > NAD (5.175 Prestigious Repast); MNL > ICN (6.021 Bibimbap); MNL > ICN > NAD (6.101 Coconut Carrot Cream Soup); NAD > ICN > MNL (6.111 Asparagus Cream Soup); ICN > NAD (6.314 Bibimbap); NAD > ICN (6.319 Seared Seafood…); MNL > ICN > JFK (7.032 Manhattan); JFK > ICN (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet); ICN > MNL (7.041 Gom Tang); MNL > ICN > NAD (9.284 Feta Cheese with Sliced Fig and Parma Ham); ULN > ICN (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat); MNL > ICN > NAD (10.110 Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce)
- Etihad Airways — MNL > AUH > AMM (6.154 Shakshouka); AMM > AUH > MNL (6.160 Zaalou-Crusted Chicken Breast)
- Thai Airways — MNL > BKK > DEL (7.306 Fried Black Cod …); DEL > BKK > MNL (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
- Philippine Airlines — MNL > MEL (5.335 Chicken Tausi); AUK > MNL (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
- Deutsche Lufthansa — ICN > MUC > GVA (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
- Cathay Pacific Airways — HKG > MNL (5.182 Har Gao); HKG > MNL (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
- Fiji Airways — NAD > HKG (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb); HKG > NAD (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken); NAD > HKG (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut); NAD > AUK (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
AMM = Amman // AMS = Amsterdam // AUH = Abu Dhabi // AUK = Auckland // BEY = Beirut // BKK = Bangkok // BNE = Brisbane // DEL = New Delhi // DOH = Doha // DME (Domodedovo) = Moscow // GVA = Geneva // HKG = Hong Kong // ICN = Incheon // IST = Istanbul // JFK (John F Kennedy) = New York // MEL = Melbourne // MUC = Munich // NAD = Nadi // SIN = Singapore // TUN = Tunis // ULN = Ulaanbaatar