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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bucharest, Romania - The flight - Part 01

Got another assignment. There is a World Bank event in Bucharest, Romania and I was asked to represent the country in a panel discussion. This will be the first time to that country.

Unfortunately, there is no direct flight to Bucharest from Kuala Lumpur. The most efficient way to get there is via Qatar Airways with a transit in Doha. Although not the cheapest alternative, it saves me from needing to collect my bag to change airlines (I may also have to change terminals!). Qatar Airways will be responsible for my bag from Kuala Lumpur right to Bucharest.

There is also another small problem. The flight leaves Kuala Lumpur at 3:25 am! Because of the timing, I had to take the KLIA Express train just before midnight. Since Qatar Airways to not have a check-in counter in KL Sentral, I would need to check in my bags in KLIA itself.

To ensure that I remember my bag, I took a photo of it. This is also to ensure if ever it goes missing (there is that chance since it would not be the same plane on the second leg of the journey to Bucharest), I would have some documentary proof to show for it. I do pray I don't lose it as the weather in Bucharest is chilly.

Trains about to come....

I have to say that the missing MH370 was on my mind then. If given the chance, I would have insisted to travel to Doha via MAS to show my support.

Luckily, this is a sanction company trip, hence the opportunity to travel by business class. Qatar Airways is part of the One World Alliance and the lounge is the MAS lounge. Although past midnight, I still tried  a lamb chop. By this time the airport and lounge was practically empty.

There were more service people then there were guests in the lounge. I got one section all to myself.

It is 3:00 am and time to board the plane. The airport is still bright but minus the people. Unfortunately, the shops were closed too.

After an uneventful 8 hour journey, I arrived in Doha. It was morning and the sky was clear.

Business class passengers getting ready to disembark.

Doha is currently in the midst of completing its new airport. Until that is ready, a couple of makeshift buildings had to be used as temporary terminal buildings. This meant climbing down stairs from the plane and getting on buses.

Due to the amount of traffic on the ground, what with the airport operational vehicles as well as the construction crews, it took us 15 minutes to get to the terminal from the plane.

The lounge was huge but nice.

To be continued.

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