Qatar Airways (QR)
Qatar Airways sets the international standard for quality and comfort, and is one of the most popular global air carriers to fly to Kathmandu. It currently has direct flights to its international hub in Doha from New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington (IAD), Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Dallas (DFW), and Los Angeles (LAX). Along with Air Berlin, American Airlines, British Airways, and Japan Airlines, as well as many domestic American airlines, Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld Alliance. With its three daily flights between Doha and Kathmandu, state-of-the-art fleet, and professional, multilingual staff, Qatar Airways demonstrates a commitment to quality and safety that has become the benchmark for international air carriers.
Qatar Airways allows international travelers two free checked bags (23kg each) a carry-on, and a personal item such as a purse or small laptop bag. Their modern aircrafts include wider than normal economy seating, USB and and laptop outlets, and internet connectivity. Qatar’s in-flight menu includes a wide variety of options, including vegan, Jain vegetarian, Hindu non-vegetarian, and Halal meals.
The language skills of Qatar Airways employees are another one of the many reasons that Nepali travelers consistently and repeatedly fly Qatar. Nepalis who are not fluent in English will be able to easily communicate with airline and airport staff in Nepali or Hindi.
With the exception of the flights that originate or terminate in New York or Philadelphia, all of Qatar Airways’ US-Kathmandu flights have long layovers in Doha in both directions. In some cases, which are discussed below, the airline may provide complimentary hotel and transfer (known as STPC) for tickets that are purchased at regular prices. Unless explicitly stated, tickets that are purchased in promotional sales do not come with a complementary hotel and transfer.
Qatar Airways will provide you with a complimentary hotel under two conditions; your layover must be more than 8 hours and your flight to Doha must be designated the ‘first flight’. First flight status is not always obvious or available information, so please consult your travel agent before purchasing your Qatar Airways ticket to avoid any surprises. The good news? Because of Qatar Airways’ conservative STPC policy (other airlines provide hotels on a first-come, first-serve basis) you are guaranteed a hotel if your itinerary meets the two conditions discussed above.
Under normal circumstances, Nepali travelers need a visa to leave the airport in Qatar. However, if your ticket entitles you to a complimentary hotel, Qatar Airways will take care of your visa and all associated documentation. All you need to do is provide your passport to Zen Travels, and they will submit all the necessary paperwork to the airline. In the event that you do not qualify for an overnight hotel and wish to purchase one, simply provide your passport and Zen Travels can take care of all the associated paperwork for you.
If you do not qualify for an overnight hotel and do not wish to purchase one, your layover will be spent at Doha’s brand new Hamad International Airport, which opened to critical acclaim in May 2014. HIA is equipped with world-class facilities, designed to help you relax and rejuvenate during your time there. For a charge of 55USD per 6 hours, customers with long layovers can shower, dine, and relax in HIA’s Oryx lounge. For customers who will be spending only a short time in the airport, there are several Quiet Rooms located throughout the airport, where you can stretch out in a recliner and take a short rest before your flight.
Passengers flying in First or Business Class, or with memberships to Oneworld Alliance, may also utilize the Al Mourjan Business Lounge or any of the other select First or Business Class lounges. Some of these lounges are by invitation only, so please contact your Zen travel agent to ensure that you receive your invitation.