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Published: February 24th 2016
I was not supposed to visit Doha this year...but plan changed! It was only a year ago that we spent a great day with Tiffany and Leslie here on our way to Georgia. This time the trip was not planned, but still a great day. I arrived on a short 20 minutes flight with British Airways. No time for any food....that was in the basic lounge, but they have nice bubbles! Once in Doha, the bus network has improved...and now, it takes only 25 minutes to go from the airport to the door of the W hotel, for less than 3usd return...a bargain, why take a taxi!
Last year I wanted to bring the kids to do some dune 4x4...but the price was way too steep. Today, I ask the concierge if they had a car going the afternoon, and if I could join. It was my luck, 2 people were going, and they were happy to share the cost of the car. So from truly expensive, it became worth it...I will not call it a good deal! I spent my night at the W hotel...nice suite, great breakfast and thanks for the complementary lunch, I love this
place! Arrived just before midnight...had a walk around in the morning, and by 2pm I was in the 4x4.
We drove south for a good hour before reaching the sand. First there is the usual stop to ride a camel for few minutes. Done it, thanks no need for me today! Than we went in...the driver knew what he was doing. It seems that with Namibia, this is the only place where the dunes reach the sea. Seen it in Namibia....here, it's truly beautiful too see the sand going all the way to the sea....and further afield, there is Saudi Arabia. By 8pm we were back at the hotel. I picked up my bag, took the bus back to the airport. Shower time...nice dinner in the lounge, and I was ready for my flight to...a dream place to visit...now! No more Krug into Al Mourjan Qata lounge....the first class lounge has finally opened. I'm flying business today, so the Krug is only in the other lounge!
So why Doha....simply because Gulf Air has stopped flying directly from Bahrain to my destination, and the only way around was through Doha. I didn't want to have
to transfer all the way to Qatar Airways...as the plan was also to spend a full day in Manama! So Doha it was. As you can see, there is also few pictures of Dubai. That was just 6 days before, on my way from Durban to Bangkok via Dubai. I had the full morning in the Emirate, so I stopped to meet a friend for breakfast...and to ski few slopes down at Ski Dubai in the Mall of Emirates. This place is just so fun for 2 hours of skiing. Not eco-friendly at all, but so much fun!
You are going to ask...why such a title for this blog?!?
Few months ago, Cathay has published their new rules for the Marco Polo frequent flyer as of April 2016. They claim that they want to bring better service and make the frequent flyer club more exclusive. Cathay program used to be amazing....from upgrades to special attentions...but over the last 3 years, service has only gone down, and recognition has long gone. So as of April, to qualify from Gold, we won't need anymore 4 long-hauls return, but 7! When you lose 40% and quality is
not there anymore...you just move away! Cathay seems to think we should be loyal to them...not the opposite! So I'm leaving, and I'm not the only one! Welcome to Emirates!
Imagine, a return from Bangkok to Joburg was 1250usd last year on the cheapest miles earning flights on Cathay. Today, I'm paying either 600 usd return from Durban to Bangkok earning miles on Emirates....or 1100sd for one way business, one way economy. Thanks Cathay, I had 10 great years with you....but your service is so bad these days...from your call center, to simply getting what we paid for....that Emirates should do it!
My flight from Bahrain has been cancelled..it took me 10 calls to Cathay, as the ticket was issued by them...to simply re-route me. Ten calls, some serious threatening, for an airline to apply their own rules, nothing more, nothing less...even Air Asia has better customer service. I still have thousands miles with Cathay...I guess I'll still fly on OneWorld...but no more paying flights on Cathay...
Next entry, it's an amazing dry one....no more bubbles for now!
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