Our flight tonight leaves at 10:55pm so unlike every other overseas trip we've been on, we had a good night sleep and we've got the rest of the day to deal with any unexpected issues. With the winds causing all sorts of problems, we've booked our taxi for the earlier time of 6.15pm - in hindsight this proved quite a sensible thing to do.
As we made our way through the tunnel and towards the Bolte Bridge, trouble lay ahead. Our driver had noticed that something was wrong with the traffic and a well-timed bulletin on the radio announced that a car had broken down on the bridge and the traffic was now gridlocked - sensibly, we decided to forgo the Bolte and headed for the Westgate.
Fortunately, apart from the initial hiccup, the run to the airport was pretty easy and we arrived without any further problems. In fact, we arrive before check-in had even opened.
Check in runs smoothly - and since we're flying business, we're given access to the Air New Zealand lounge since Qatar doesn't have a lounge of its own in Melbourne.
We use the lounge to drop off our carry-on bag and head back out to have a bite to eat at Cafe Vue. Afterwards we return to the lounge to wait until boarding.
Boarding procedure is fairly organised with a separate entry for business class/frequent flyers - it's lovely not having to queue. I'd forgotten just how spacious the cabin is - you can easily walk past a fully flat seat. During takeoff you can really feel those strong winds buffeting the plane but once we're at altitude it's much smoother going.
We're offered an amuse of smoked salmon pate
and for main I've opted for a starter - a meze plate consisting of Tabbouleh, greek salad and hummus.
For dessert we both enjoy a rather delicious orange syrup cake
The rest of the flight is a bit hazy - after supper I ended up drifting off while watching a movie, when I awoke a few hours later, most of the cabin was in the land of nod. I soon joined them and re-awoke in time for breakfast - about 2 hours out from Doha.
Breakfast was pretty much served in the dark so I have no photos but can recommend the waffles with apple comport.
We landed at Doha just after 6am and as they are still building the new terminal there's an unusual disembarking procedure. Depending on which end of the plane you're on and who you are, you'll find either a limo, luxury bus or regular bus waiting to take you to the premium terminal.
For us, it's the luxury bus but as you walk down the stairs from the aircraft, what hits you is the heat.
Luckily the bus is air-conditioned and it's a short trip to the terminal and a short walk to the lounge which was surprisingly packed. We manage to find a couple of empty seats and a supply of iced water to cool down while we wait for the connecting flight.