Qatar Airways Premium Terminal, Doha – Review
All first- and business-class passengers departing Doha International Airport on Qatar Airways leave via the airline’s Premium Terminal, literally a tranquil oasis in the desert. The Premium Terminal is a separate structure and is one of those rare airport buildings that could be mistaken for a luxury hotel.
Upon arrival at the separate entrance, a bellman offered to help with luggage, although I just had my rolling bag. I was then escorted to the check-in area. There are no counters or queues, just tables and chairs where passengers sit down, as if at a bank, during the check-in process.
While the check-in area seemed nice, it was nothing compared to what awaited inside. There are two lounges, one for business-class passengers and one for first-class passengers. Qatar Airways only offers business and economy service to and from the United States (the carrier does offer a first-class cabin to other destinations, however), so my first destination after security was the business-class lounge.
Security itself took all of 30 seconds and everyone was very polite and efficient. Past the security checkpoint are a few duty-free luxury shops and the departure gates, which don’t lead directly to the planes since all aircraft are reached by either car or bus.
THE FIRST- AND BUSINESS-CLASS LOUNGES
The lounges are on the second floor, accessed via a fairly steep escalator. The business- and first-class lounges aren’t that different, but there are nuanced differences in food and spa offerings (i.e. the spa is limited to first-class passengers) that discerning travelers would notice.
Inside both lounges were very comfortable seating areas and a bountiful display of food. Since I hadn’t had time to eat breakfast, I settled in and had a traditional breakfast with pancakes and eggs and found it to be quite good.
After breakfast, I was given a prearranged tour of both lounges. Among the amenities are a relaxation area with massage chairs, a Jacuzzi and sauna, private rooms with beds for a nap, private meeting rooms, a business center, and a lounge where, to quote the Qatar Airways’ website, younger passengers “can work off any surplus energy before they fly.”
As departure time drew near, an agent approached and informed me that my flight was about to board. He escorted me to the gate from which the bus (for coach passengers) and BMW sedans (for business-class passengers) were leaving and I was driven across the airfield to the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
While most people seek to spend as little time as possible in airports, many passengers connect in Doha to other destinations and the Qatar Airways Premium Terminal is designed to make passengers feel as pampered as one possibly can be in an airport setting. For those originating travel in Doha, it’s one of the best departure experiences one can get.
Beyond the comfortable surroundings, things to do, and excellent food, one thing stood out: the excellence of the staff. Every staff member I encountered seemed to know what I wanted before I did and the attentiveness of the staff never became intrusive.