Flying 6 Hours On An A320: Qatar Airways Review Warsaw To Doha

Even thought I would be flying with (arguably) the best airline in the world, I was skeptical about spending six hours onboard an A320, a flight time close to the world’s longest operated by that aircraft type. I expected it to get quite uncomfortable, especially in the last hours of the QR262 flight from Warsaw to Doha.

I was lucky enough to fly onboard an A320 in oneworld livery A7-AHO, there are only two in Qatar airways fleet. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

On ground experience

Qatar Airways operates twice daily on the route from Doha to Warsaw. Flights depart at 21:25 and 09:25, arriving at 04:05 (+1) and 16:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. However, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays the second daily flight departs at 18:00 to arrive at 00:35 (+1) in Doha. Both flights are from terminal 1 at Warsaw Chopin airport, which at the time of my arrival was quite busy due to many charter flights and Wizz Air passengers.

Terminal one at WAW during the sunrise. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

Qatar Airways’ check in area was empty two hours before arrival, so it was quick to drop off my luggage, and then proceed to the security check.

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Check in area in Terminal one. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

I fly from Warsaw quite often, and even though the security check is often poorly organized and time consuming, this time I spent over 40 minutes in the queue. This was mainly because only two out of eight security check stands were working, and not very efficiently at that.

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Finally I was through and on my way to gate 16N, where our A320 was already waiting. Interestingly, right next to our gate, LOT Polish Airlines was celebrating the launch of its new route to Beirut, which was set to depart a few hours later.

Boarding to gate 16N. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

Boarding started smoothly a few minutes behind schedule, even though the plane arrived ahead of schedule in Warsaw. 

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The flight

After a warm welcome from the crew, I arrived at my seat 21A. Shortly after, all passengers received an amnesties kit, which included a toothbrush, socks, lip balm and other bits and pieces. We were soon informed about an issue with the water system which, after some maintenance work, caused a delay of roughly 45 minutes.

The amenities kit received in economy class. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

We took off from runway 33 and turned sharply to the south-west, having a beautiful overview of Warsaw at night. Shortly after that, we reached cruising altitude and the meal was served. 

I decided to take the chicken, which turned out to be quite tasty.

I went for the chicken picadillo in tomato and chive chutney – very tasty! Photo: Karol Ciesluk

The flight was relatively bumpy, often disturbed by short yet quite strong turbulence. However, the kindness and professionalism of the staff served to offset the unpleasant ride. 

“Oryx One”, the in flight entertainment system, has a fair range of movies including some Oscar winners. The screens are quite small on the A320, however, as one sits so close to them, it is not a big issue.

There are also some TV series and music available, both with recognizable names.

Flightpath of QR262 shortly before begging the descent. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

The last hour and a half were tiring as the smaller seats, noise, different air pressure and other factors such as lack of sleep started to play a role.

Legroom onboard the A320; now imagine that with a fully reclined seat in front. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

During most of the flight, the passenger in front had a fully reclined seat, which significantly reduced my legroom and travel comfort.

After touching down in the rays of rising sun, we parked at a remote stand and were taken to the terminal by bus. It was a great opportunity to observe the ground movements in Doha, including many A350s, A380s and 787s. After arriving at the terminal we went through the security check and went to rest before our next flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Opinion

Lovely views while approaching Doha with the coast underneath the plane. Photo: Karol Ciesluk

All in all, the service was great, the only issue being limited legroom and uncomfortable seats. I have to admit that flying for longer periods of time onboard an A320 become tiring, especially as it is difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep. 

What are your thoughts? Would you fly on an A320 for almost 6 hours?

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Noj

I hope I never find myself in a position where I have to fly on a single aisle aircraft in that type of seat for more than 3 hours – even if it is with Qatar.

On a separate note, please consider hiring an editor to proof read articles before posting, I do enjoy reading the articles but, there are too many grammatical and spelling errors.

Nigel

A 6-hour flight in a 3-4-3 B777 (with its cramped seats) won’t be THAT much better in terms of comfort. Yes, you’ll have the spacious feel of a widebody, but you’ll also have many more passengers on board, with accordingly more coughing, babies crying and loud talkers. As regards cabin pressure, I don’t know if it will make that much of a difference on a 6-hour flight. I’ve had 7-hour Qatar flights on the B787 and the B777, and noticed no significant difference in this regard. At least on the B777, you have a physical window shade instead of a… Read more »

Joanna Bailey

An A220 would be amazing 🙂 I agree, I’m not sure pressurisation makes flights all that much better. Perhaps it’s the placebo effect that has people crowing over it? Now humidity control I do appreciate, nothing worse than getting off a long haul feeling dryer than a badgers backside.

Matt

Looking at seatguru, Qatar only has comfortable economy seats on the 777 or A380. All other widebodies have a 31″ pitch and widths under 17.5″. Even 16.9 on the A350. The A320 at 18″ wide is actually better width wise with the same pitch. I don’t understand the desire of the higher cabin pressure. The lower pressure actually induces drowsiness, not exactly undesired while flying. The higher humidity on the composite aircraft is nice though.

Nigel

I’ve often found incorrect data on Seatguru, so beware! If you sit on a Qatar A350, you’ll notice that the seat is less cramped than on the Qatar B787. Seeing is believing 😏

Joanna Bailey

Or perhaps sitting is believing? 😀

Here2go

I’ve flown from Sydney to Bali on a Virgin 737-800 in 2014. Pluses – lots of spare seats because they had to keep weight down for endurance. Negatives, noisy, no charging and no charging facilities.

Andrew Curran

About seven hours, a little longer from Melbourne

Franklin

BTW Qatar Airways B787-8 is a bit cramped and uncomfortable. Please avoid if you fly in Economy class.

Blue Yonder

It is very obvious you were prejudiced before you left. As a number of posters already said, it all depends on the seat. I’m sure that if you fly on the new upcoming longhaul seats on narrow bodies, there will be a slight difference from flying a wide body….. Your seat is going to be wider on the A321! It depends on the personal amenities and not on the size of the aircraft. Would I fly economy on an Emirates B777 or a jetBlue A321 for 10hrs? The A321, no doubt, the NEO being much quieter and smoother too. Its… Read more »

Nicholas Mackenzie

What absolute nonsense. No comparison.

Blake

Every 2 years i fly Qatar airways from Perth To Bucharest. On the 2nd leg Doha to Bucharest it is the A320, flight time is about 5hrs my wife and i have never had any issues with the leg room (im 6’2) and have always mangaed to sleep.