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Qatar Airways - Qatar to Hong Kong - Flight QR812

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Qatar Airways Flight 812 (QR812) Qatar to Hong Kong - Our layover was short so I did not get to take advantage of the five-star dining or the massages in the first class lounge. I wished I had a three or four hour layover. It would have been a great place to relax for a while. (Click here to read our Qatar hotel and restaurant reviews and click here to read our Hong Kong hotel and restaurant reviews.)

When they called us for our flight, I was expecting to be chauffeur driven to the plane in a 7 Series BMW as was described on Qatar Airways' web site. However, when we made it down to the gate we boarded a transit bus, similar to the one that had picked us when we arrived on our connecting flight into Doha and subsequently dropped us at the wrong terminal.

Getting closer to the plane I was set for an experience like I had on Singapore Airlines recently. As the flight attendant greeted me and offered to show me to my seat, I was a bit dismayed she did not offer to help with any of my bags. Is this really a five star airline?

While I was getting settled in, another attendant offered me a drink and snacks. Unfortunately, the orange label, Veuve Clicquot Champagne was almost as warm as the recently roasted mixed nuts they were serving. Strike three and we haven't even left the runway.

The plane is an A340-600 which is new to Qatar's fleet. No doubt about it, the plane itself is beautiful, offering you all the comforts of home; 180 degree flatbeds, in-seat video and audio on demand system, as well as pajamas and an overnight amenity kit and lets not forget my favorite feature of all, the on-board, dedicated First Class lounge.

Shortly after take off, dinner was served. If there is one thing that Qatar Airways has gotten right on the flight, it was their 10-course dinner.

Starting with Caviar on baguette with sour cream and followed by Chicken Wonton Soup, Abalone and Black Mushroom Congee, Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken-Siew, Balik Salmon Foie Gras with Marinated Leek and Grape Salad, Classic Mezze, a warm Peppered Chicken Sandwich with Oven-Roasted Tomato, Fresh Sliced Fruit and completing the dinner, Forest Berries with Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream and a selection of Farmhouse Aged Cheddar, Brie de Meau and Fourme D'Ambert followed with an espresso and a Camus XO to complete the meal.

No, there is no way anyone could eat it all, but it was fun sampling the wide array of dishes, each of which seemed to be better than the last. Five-star dining at 30,000 feet is something everyone should try at least once, nothing compares to it.

After dinner the lights were dimmed and as this was a very early morning flight (1:10 AM departure) most people had their seats turned down and beds made and retired the evening. This left the lounge unused and beckoning for us. How could we disappoint? We headed back, strapped ourselves in and ordered two glasses of Champagne. Yes, once again, it was warm! Like five-star dining at 30,000 feet, the lounge was incredible, but this time, simply because of where you were, 30,000 feet in the air, not because of the drinks, decor or service.

As you may have noticed, not once did I mention how wonderful, attentive or welcoming the flight attendants were or how outstanding the service was. That is because they never once lived up to those descriptions.

Airways has a novel idea, selling themselves as a 5-star airline, however, if they do not learn what service is all about and master the smallest of details, they will never truly be 5-Stars.

Its rare that I rate a flight as "not bombastic", but because of how Qatar Airways sold their 5-star service but did not measure up to it and especially for the price charged, this flight gets a ranking of not bombastic.

Be sure to read our Qatar hotel and restaurant reviews and our Hong Kong hotel and restaurant reviews.

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