22 (Sat) June 2019
on Qatar Airways – QR 929
-Manila en route to Doha-
Mission to Tunisia, Day 1 of 6.
In transit, heading to Tunis. 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).
I look forward to seeing the lounge again on the return, at dinner time, when the options will likely be better.
As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel, especially via business class, including lounge access. Any comments here, even the negative ones, are simply relative to other business class experiences, not complaints per se.
BEST IN LOUNGE – an on-going ranking of dining experiences in business lounges:
- TURKEY, Istanbul (IST): Istanbul Ataturk Airport – Turkish Airlines Lounge (8.052 Köfte + Piliç) (9.056 Pide)
- SINGAPORE (SIN): Singapore Changi Airport – Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta)
- JORDAN, Amman (AMM): Queen Alia International Airport – Petra Lounge (9.267 Dukkah-Spiced Salmon)
- NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam (AMS): Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – KLM Crown Lounge (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
- QATAR, Doha (DOH): Hamnad International Airport – Al Mourjan Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders)
- UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Abu Dhabi (AUH): Abu Dhabi International Airport – Etihad Airways Lounge (6.154 Shakshouka)
- JAPAN, Tokyo (HND): Haneda Airport International Terminal (8.202 Clam and Spicy Tofu Stew)
- CHINA, Hong Kong SAR (HKG): Hong Kong International Airport – Club Autus Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh)
- AUSTRALIA, Brisbane (BNE): Brisbane Airport – Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.242 Scallops)
- NEW ZEALAND, Aukland (AUK): Aukland Airport – Strata Lounge (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
- KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport (Terminal 2) – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (East) (9.016 Probably the Best Mul Naeng Myeon); (10.110 Grilled Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce)
- JORDAN, Amman (AMM): Queen Alia International Airport – Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge (6.159 Memories of Hummus)
- THAILAND, Bangkok (BKK): Suvarnabhumi Airport – Royal Silk Lounge (7.306 Fried Black Cod …)
- GERMANY, Munich (MUC): Flughafen München – Lufthansa Lounge (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
- RUSSIA, Moscow (DME): Moscow Domodedovo Airport (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns)
- CHINA, Hong Kong SAR (HKG): Hong Kong International Airport – Cathay Pacific Lounge (The Wing) (5.182 Har Gao); (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
- PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – Cathay Pacific Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh)
- SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1), Plaza Premium Lounge (10.160 Chicken Rice + Ramen)
- INDIA, New Delhi (DEL): Indira Gandhi International Airport (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
- MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur (KUL): Kuala Lumpur International Airport – AirAsia Premium Red Lounge (9.183 Grilled Y/F Tuna Steak)
- KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Asiana Business Class Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (5.363 Past + Sandwich for the Elite)
- KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (6.090 Shin Ramyeon BLACK)
- KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Star Alliance Lounge (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…)
- SRI LANKA, Colombo (CMB): Bandaranaike International Airport (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin)
- PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 3 PAGSS Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders)
- LEBANON, Beirut (BEY): Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, LAT (Lebanese Air Transport) Lounge (9.336 Sea Bass en Papillote)
- MALDIVES, Male (MLE): Velana International Airport (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin)
- PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 1) – PAGSS Lounge (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce)
- USA, New York (JFK): John F Kennedy International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet)
- SWITZERLAND, Geneva (GVA): Geneva International Airport (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
- PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport – MIASCOR Lounge (4.272 Chicken Curry…); (6.305 Chicken Congee)
- FIJI, Nadi (NAD): Nadi International Airport (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb)
- USA, Los Angeles (LAX): Los Angeles International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (9.361 Beef Bulgogi)
- MONGOLIA, Ulaanbataar (ULN): Chinggis Khaan 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.
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 (10.168 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 (9.336 Sea Bass en Papilotte)
- 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); ICN > MNL (8.261 Ssambap)
- Etihad Airways: MNL > AUH > AMM (6.154 Shakshouka); AMM > AUH > MNL (6.160 Zaalou-Crusted Chicken Breast); AUH > AMM (9.261 Prawns Machboos); AMM > AUH (9.267 Dukkah-Spiced Salmon); AUH > MNL (9.268 Malabar Grouper)
- 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); MLE > CMB > ICN (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin); ICN > MNL (9.193 Roasted Halibut with Dill Cream Sauce); MNL > ICN > NAD (9.284 Feta Cheese with Sliced Fig and Parma Ham); NAD > ICN > MNL (9.287 Spicy Squid & Bean Sprout Stir-Fry with Rice); ICN > LAX (9.349 Pea Sprouts with Garlic); LAX > ICN (9.361 Beef Bulgogi); ICN > MNL (9.362 Bibimbap); ULN > ICN (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat); MNL > ICN > NAD (10.110 Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce)
- Thai Airways: MNL > BKK > DEL (7.306 Fried Black Cod …); DEL > BKK > MNL (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
- Cathay Pacific Airways: HKG > MNL (5.182 Har Gao); HKG > MNL (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
- Deutsche Lufthansa: ICN > MUC > GVA (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
- Fiji Airways: NAD > HKG (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb); HKG > NAD (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh); NAD > HKG (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut); NAD > AUK (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
- Philippine Airlines: MNL > MEL (5.335 Chicken Tausi); AUK > MNL (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 // CMB = Colombo // DEL = New Delhi // DOH = Doha // DME (Domodedovo) = Moscow // GVA = Geneva // HKG = Hong Kong // ICN = Incheon // IST = Istanbul // JFK (John F Kennedy) = New York // LAX = Los Angeles // MEL = Melbourne // MLE = Male // MNL = Manila // MUC = Munich // NAD = Nadi // SIN = Singapore // TUN = Tunis // ULN = Ulaanbataar