My week-long Qatar Airways journey is almost coming to an end and this time I had almost 9 hours of connecting flights, I decided to leave the airport and spend some time in the city.
Qatar needed a mandatory COVID-19 test before arrival (This requirement is scrapped as of November 1, 2022) so the day before my departure from Frankfurt, Germany, I had to take a test showing a negative result.
As I arrived in Doha from Frankfurt, the Al Maha service member was waiting for me at the exit. She greeted me and escorted me to the arrivals area which took some time to walk from my arrival gate. Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members are eligible for a free Al Maha service when requested by email more than 24 hours before arrival.
I was thinking to do either transit or arrival service but in the end, I chose to exit the airport hence choosing the Arrival service.
Qatar Airways Dedicated Immigration Facility For First & Business Class
At Doha Hamad International Airport, there is a dedicated immigration facility for its premium first and business class ticketed passengers. The facility is located in the left-hand corner of the immigration area with clear guiding signage.
As I entered the immigration facility, there is a reception with staff. They will double-check the boarding pass whether the ticket is a full-fare ticket and not upgraded. Once they confirmed my boarding pass, I was able to proceed to the mini-lounge before heading to the immigration counter.
Since the number of transit passengers holds a large majority of traffic in Doha, the premium immigration facility is always eerily empty and the immigration officers (Who the lounge staff refers to as “Captain”) were not always present at the counters.
So I had to wait for some time until the captain arrived at the immigration control.
Qatar Airways “Mini-Lounge” At Immigration Facility
The mini-lounge within the premium immigration facility offers drinks and light snacks with large spacious seating available. There are no separate restrooms inside the area so you would need to use the public restrooms outside the facility.
A section at the end of the area had a drinks corner with coffee, teas, and a variety of drinks displayed to enjoy before clearing immigration.
What I find interesting is that there is a large dedicated smoking room just for first and business class passengers at the immigration facility. The room is well-ventilated so there was no smell permeating the lounge itself.
Immigration Formalities & Exit To Landside
After some time, while I was enjoying my tea, the captain arrived so I got my bags and proceeded to the immigration counter. Due to security reasons, photographs are not allowed but it took less than three minutes for me to clear the immigration. Only a simple few questions about my trip was asked and that was all.
As I exit the immigration facility, I had to get my hand luggage security screened and then clear customs before heading to the arrival lounges.
On my arrival to Doha from Frankfurt, I had a chance to experience the arrival facilities which started off with the first business class immigration and its mini-lounge. It was only a facility to get to the landside so there are not many things to expect but in terms of service, it was quick and time-saving.
I will be continuing my review of the arrivals lounge in my next posts so you can enjoy some time relaxing before heading to downtown Doha.