Reporting Live from Hamad International Airport @HIAqatar

So here I am sat in the brand new shiny Hamad International Airport Qatar. I’m glad I took the time to come here this afternoon in advance of this evening’s flight to figure out the Long stay airport parking. I left home in Abu Hamour tonight and was parked in a space in the airport within 30 minutes hassle free.

Once in a parking space in was a tiny walk to the bus pickup point where a bus was ready and waiting. A very helpful chap assisted me by popping my baggage onto the bus for me and within minuets we were on our way to the bus terminal which is just a short hop away.

On arrival at the bus terminal the same nice chap took my baggage back off the bus and set it down outside for me. Yes he did work for the airport and he wasn’t just a nice bloke who enjoyed carrying people’s luggage. Then a short walk from the bus into the main terminal which wasn’t much fun. I was a bit laden with heavy luggage and there wasn’t a trolley in sight. Although the walk from the bus to terminal was short, I was struggling and this was made worse because there were a million airport workers for me to battle my way through to get to the terminal doors. The workers use this bus terminal as well and they all seemed relieved to have finished work or something and were in groups chatting while I was on a mission to get past them. This was mildly frustrating but not the end of the world. Then up two sets of escalators to departures.

In departures there were loads of helpful staff, who politely and quickly guided me to my check in desk. Only one person in front of me, and I was checked in by a beautiful Filipina who cheerfully got me a decent seat and I was on my way to passport control in no time.

E-Gate tastic! I love my E-Gate card, no cue, but a slightly more complicated E-Gate mechanism meant even a technical guru like me need help. And the guy who was there to help struggled a bit as well, but it’s a million times better than the manual option and was over in minutes.

Security was no better and no worse than the old airport. No cue really, just the usual inconvenience of security doing their job ensuring we travel safely.

Yay! Now for the Oryx Lounge. I steam off at full speed to locate the Oryx only to find that my expensive Priority Pass wasn’t valid in the new airport Oryx Lounge, and apparently Priority Pass’s lounge won’t be ready until September! OMG!!! No Lounge Access!!! I am not happy with Priority Pass and they are going to be getting a stiff letter from me shortly.

So here I am, sat in Burger King on a hard bench seat eating a Double Whopper Meal for QR 29. Having paid USD 250 for my priority pass 😦 But hey at least there is free WiFi here. Oh and Burger King need some more staff. Only two servers operating caused about 10 minutes of cue, which was too long for someone who was supposed to be in a nice comfortable lounge by this point.

Right….. of to take a look around

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4 thoughts on “Reporting Live from Hamad International Airport @HIAqatar

  1. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the report!

    Did they by any chance mention the name or specific date of the upcoming Priority Pass lounge that is due to open in September?

    1. Sorry no they didn’t, and since then I got my Silver upgrade with Qatar Airways so I get to use their lounge now. But next time I am there I will inquire about the Priority Pass lounge update and report it back here.

  2. Thanks Brian for all this information. I just got there today to check out the parking scheme and, Yes you are correct, I came in and out of those parking with pay. I thought with my reading comprehension I can positively get through all the way to Long term parking area without hassles, but no way. Still, need a kind of Sherlock Holmes tracking just to know where it is exactly located. Bottom line I did not find it!

    So I get on the internet to research and whoolah!, I have found your driving directions in which I am desperately wanting to know where the damn parking is. Thanks for your very clear and precise directions. I will be leaving for 4 days out of Doha, so I am desperate to have a safe parking at the Airport. Thanks a lot Sir.

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