The Hilarious Conclusion To My Qatar Airways Nap Room Drama

Filed Under: Qatar, Travel

Yesterday I wrote about my ridiculous experience in Qatar Airways’ gorgeous Al Safwa First Class Lounge. While the lounge is physically stunning, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a lounge with such customer unfriendly rules. I won’t recap all of that here, so check out yesterday’s post if you haven’t read it already.


I’d also recommend reading the comments section of that post, because there are some ridiculous stories there. Like this one from Sean :

Have you ever tried taking a slice of cake from the buffet near kids play area to eat in the general seating area? The first time I tried that they actually had a security guard come chase me down and he acted like I had stolen the crown jewels. Evidently, passengers are not allowed to carry food between areas themselves – you have to call for a staff member to assist you.

They also don’t allow you to combine food from the snack area with food from the dining area. So if you wanted a sandwich paired with the appetiser from the a-la-carte menu, you have to move between dining rooms for each course.


Anyway, are you ready for the cringe-worthy conclusion to this Qatar Airways saga?

At 4AM I was denied a nap room for the second time. My flight was at 7:15AM, with boarding at 6:30AM.

So at 5AM I went to the main desk of the lounge and asked about a shower. “Yes, just go to the quiet area for a shower.”

“They have showers there?”

“Yes sir.”

So I go to the same quiet area I was in earlier, and am greeted by the same guy as earlier (“greeted” might not be the right word, because he didn’t seem to be very happy to see me again).

“Is it possible to get a shower, please?”

“There is a shower over in the family area.”

He points me to it, and I go over there. There is indeed a single shower, but it’s occupied, so I go back to the quiet area.

“The shower is occupied, unfortunately.”

“Okay, one moment. Can I have your boarding pass please?”

After typing for a moment, he escorts me into one of the bedrooms with two beds to shower. The same bedroom I had been denied earlier for a nap…


So it’s fine to get a nap room if you just want to shower, but not if you actually want to sleep. Hmmm, I wonder what the time limit on a “shower” is.

I think he was missing the irony of the situation…

I controlled myself, and as he walked me into the bedroom my reaction was something like this:


When really I wanted to be like:


No matter how much Qatar Airways invests in their hard product, food, drinks, etc., the service is consistently second rate, in my experience. That trend continued onboard…

  1. Unfortunately for them, they may not realize that whoever is coming up with these ridiculous rules and policies is actually hurting their business rather than helping the business. While I love the product and service on board their business class flights, I haven’t been impressed with their ground or customer service – mainly (again) because these service agents were simply following rules and policies.

  2. I have a friend who has Qatar Airways Platinum and had a six hour layover in Doha on enroute from Bankok to Berlin. He was in Business class (upgraded from economy in Bankok for both flights) and was deined access to the lounge for no apparent reason. So I guess you could consider yourself lucky . But you should email Qatar Airways to complain.

  3. I agree the hard products both planes and facilities are some of the best , but the customer service is some of the worst I’ve ever seen in my life ! It’s quite sad actually !

  4. You say:

    No matter how much Qatar Airways invests in their hard product, food, drinks, etc., the service is consistently second rate

    Yet you continue to fly with them. What do you expect?

  5. That’s the penultimate reason why I would rather route via Asia if I didn’t want to fly Emirates or Etihad . Can’t wait to here what happens onboard!

  6. Service aside,
    you think that the lounge food (or food in the air for that matter) is among the top 10 carriers?? No! Steak is always well done (in the lounge) because it is precooked…. basically like a buffet just that they put it in the plat for you.
    no where near top 10 airlines… let alone compare to LX, AF, LH, QF F lounge.

  7. Ben,
    You’re right, this is frustrating and in fact completely ridiculous.

    But as an admittedly lessor option, could you have gotten some rest in one of the “sleep pods” in the Al_Mourjan lounge?

    I haven’t been to Doha, but they appear to be a place where people can get a bit of sleep? Or are they usually all taken?

  8. I guess I was Lucky, I got a stellar service in first class bkk-doh and had a room for 16hrs in the al safwa lounge, I moved in and enjoyed the food and drinks slept well as well.

  9. I’m a bit baffled by all this. I’ve had 4 flights in Qatar Business Class in the past 4 weeks and was blown away by how helpful and knowledgable every single staff member I interacted with was. When I arrived at the Al Mourjan lounge in Doha at midnight, I asked the greeter if there was anywhere to sleep. He pressed a button on his earphone, said something in Arabic, and instantly directed me to the resting area behind the downstairs restaurant, where a super friendly lady was waiting for me. She addressed me by name as soon as she saw me and guided me to my own private booth with a huge sofa/bed, table and TV.

    My only advice in the future, Ben, would be to get out of the First Class lounge and grab a sleeping booth in the Business Class lounge, where no stupid rules apparently apply. I’ll be going out of my way to fly Qatar in the future every chance I get.

  10. QATAR What can you say?

    While they may have a great product on board, to be rated the best they have to be consistent across the board.

    My pet peeve with Qatar is how they treat their staff, they put all the expats up in apartments (same as EY and EK do), they change the security guards on each apartment block every 3 months, so the residents cannot get too friendly with them. If the crew are on days off and not inside by 2200 – they are reported to the company – the assumption is made that they are having sex with someone, and they normally get fired, have their funds (money) frozen and get deported. If they try to enter the country again at a later date – they are refused entry.

    I totally get you are working and living in a Islamic country with different morality and ways of life – BUT that is over the top.

    Qatars attitude to gay people is a reason not to fly this airline

  11. I don’t know how you are in real life (i.e. don’t know if you make gaydars ring) and only really know about this orientation issue from reading this blog but is it possible there was an unconscious bias towards orientation or unconscious worry that you were going to do stuff in their that might rub against their grain and result in the issues you faced?

  12. They are following orders and trying not to lose their jobs so they can continue to send money home to their families. Maybe the rules are ridiculous but they don’t care.

    Let’s see you stand up to Trump for all the transgender people and put everything you have to lose on line for their rights. No? See sometimes it’s not worth taking a risk, even if it’s the right thing to do.


  13. I have had similar experiences in the past and it has caused a lot of problems (employees not being able to board flights). Apparently the only person who can override these kinds of “rules” is the CEO himself. Even people reporting to Mr. Al Baker can’t do anything about it (know someone who grew up and worked for years with the CEO). Station managers in 2 US cities I’ve spoken with are also frustrated but are completely bound by the rules. Cue Michael Sheen – the robot bartender in Passengers.

  14. In the previous post, you pointed to the employee having called his supervisor to ask how to proceed about your request for a room. Why not ask to speak to that supervisor and clarify the apparent contradiction?

  15. Why go to Qatar in the first place, even if for transfer?
    I avoid sh*t hole places whenever I can for these types of reason.

  16. One bad experience does not define an Airline my JNB-DOH-BOS flights were absolutely the best in hard/soft products. Better than Emirates or Etihad.

  17. @Lucky/Ben,
    “the service is consistently second rate” is just plain nonsense!
    I’ve flown the airline for years and find the staff to be as helpful as they can be within the limited authority granted to them. As for you being cheesed off about not getting a room with only four hours between flights? Maybe be a bit more creative! Ask another guest to ‘share’ the room with you even though they may not actually stay in the room…

  18. @ SullyofDoha — I think we’re actually agreeing? One of the reasons they’re second rate is because of what little authority they’re given, and that the company has a culture of using fear tactics on employees.

    As far as getting “creative,” is that really something you should have to do in a first class lounge?

  19. @Lucky
    I m flying QR for many years and could say that it’s great airline despite some unpublished rules. But many of these rules were implemented following pax abuse which is the case.
    For sure QR is not the best airlines for whom just travel with award or miles not gained travelling with them as rules are adjusted if you are member of the privilege club or not, gold or plat etc….

    By the way there is showers in the lounge close the family area….

  20. @Lucky,
    In a perfect world, there would be a snooze room for every first class passenger. However, because you were faced with the room issue, I still think you could improvise, especially because first class passengers are NOT guaranteed the snooze room. That being said, they are going to add a few more 😉

  21. For the life of me I cannot remember the airline lounge, but I was flying international first and showered in the first class lounge at the start of a long layover with the expectation of a shower at the end of a long layover. I requested a shower at the end of a long layover and was told one shower per visit to the lounge. After a short pause I proceeded to the business class lounge and showered.

  22. @Dylan abuse yes, as some pax use the room like an hotel one as a base for their stay, stored their bags, going shopping, walking, downtown Doha etc but using the room not to take a nap.

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