When Your Flight Special Request Backfires…

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Earlier today I flew from Doha to Hong Kong, as the fourth and final segment of my discounted business class routing on Qatar Airways. I’ve shared my thoughts on Qatar Airways’ business class on the outbound, so I’ll refrain from doing so again.

a seat in a planeQatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class

This was a redeye flight departing at 2:50 AM and arriving Hong Kong at 4:15 PM. I have commitments tomorrow morning, so I wanted to be adjusted to Hong Kong time – as Doha is five hours behind, this was essentially an eight-hour morning flight for me.

I wanted to review the meal service on the flight, so I decided to ask the (lovely) flight attendant during ordering if I could be woken up four hours after takeoff for my meal (since Qatar Airways has dine on demand). That would be at about 12:30 PM Hong Kong time (we took off slightly late), so I’d have around four hours after that to work and do whatever I wanted. I figured that was a good plan, as I’d arrive Hong Kong slightly groggy, and I’d be able to crash back home.

I wasn’t expecting the flight attendant to oblige, but she did, which was nice of her. Unfortunately I dropped right off to sleep after takeoff, and the next time I opened my eyes it was 2:15 PM. Good thing Qatar Airways has dine on demand, or else this flight would’ve been rather hard to get used to (unless I missed out on a meal service).

a seat in a planeQatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Bed

I was disappointed at first, since I thought hadn’t been woken up at 12:30. When the flight attendant saw me awake shortly after I set my seat back to upright mode, however, she said “I tried to wake you twice, but you were still asleep”.

I wasn’t sure exactly how ashamed I wanted to feel. I simply sat there at the time, and apologised when she came back with the meal I had ordered (I ordered more – originally I just wanted a light meal since there was a second meal service to choose from, though at this point I just chose to take a la carte dining as my pre-landing meal). She even apologised for it, which was definitely not necessary, as I was the one who stayed asleep.

a plate of food on a tableQatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Main Course

I also noticed a sign she had put up, which I guess is standard for passengers that sleep through the flight. Unfortunately after seeing it I felt even worse…

a sign on a table

Bottom Line

Having a dine on demand option is great, and Qatar Airways’ crew were phenomenal across the board. Unfortunately this backfired in this case, as I didn’t wake up when the flight attendant tried to wake me – that was embarrassing. Ultimately I should’ve seen this coming, as it was 2 AM in Munich by the time I was ready to sleep.


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