It was mayhem, and this being close to midnight did nothing to lift our mood, nor did the chaotic boarding process that followed. We managed to make our way to the priority lane (we were luckily in business class), but were first shepherded onto the wrong bus, then later plucked out of it and moved to a separate premium bus. A track out to a remote gate and a schlep up a set of stairs concluded a not-so-great first experience.
Our next visit started off much better, at the premium entrance you see above for Business and First Class.
It was very quiet, with a range of seating areas on the left and a long line of assistance and bag-drop desks on the right. We only had hand luggage and our boarding pass on us, so we zoomed straight through to security and passport control. This didn’t take much time either, and was much quieter than the frantic transfer security we had encountered before, where if it not had been for our access to a premium line, we would have easily spent over an hour in line. We sincerely hope this bottleneck was only a hiccup which could be blamed on grand opening snafus.
This picture, taken one floor up near the entrance to the (temporary) Business and First Class lounges, shows you just how high those ceilings arehigh enough to comfortably fit some palm trees. And yes, that is a giant yellow teddy bear melded together with a black lamp.
It is a sculpture by Urs Fischer and was previously in front of the Seagram building on New York’s Park Avenue. It was acquired by a member of the Qatari royal family for $6.8 million and weighs 35,000 pounds. Uhm, right.
Giant video screens showed non-stop promotions for Qatar Airways, with Brazil’s Neymar winking at us on a loop, still blissfully unaware of the events to come during the World Cup. Despite the hiccups, we enjoyed the chance to transfer and experience Hamad International for arrivals and departures, if only for that oddly romantic feeling that comes from being at a far away, exotic airportthat of being a tiny part of the thousands and thousands of people traversing the globe at that moment.