Searching for the most cost effective and comfortable flights can be an arduous task. We’re loyal Star Alliance flyers. We try to fly them as frequently as possible. However, the flight prices to Europe on a Star Alliance flight this fall were astronomical. We needed to get from the U.S. to Mykonos as comfortably as possible without breaking the bank. Luckily, we found an amazing deal on flying Qatar Airways with a stopover in Doha.
We opened up our search to include all airlines. Flying Qatar Airways consistently came up as the cheapest business class flight to Mykonos (through Doha). We also knew that Qatar Airways is regularly rated one of the best business classes in the world and it was also the cheapest.
While our flight to Mykonos on Qatar Airways had a 14-hour layover in Doha. We decided to take a chance and fly on the new Qatar Airways A350 in their business class cabin from Philadelphia to Doha to Mykonos. Consistently rated as the number one business class in the world, it was worth it to fly out of our way just to fly with Qatar Airways.
What to Know Before You Fly Qatar Airways
Qatar now has visa free entry for many countries around the world, including the United States. Check the Qatar Airways website to see if your country is one of these visa-free or visa-on-arrival nations.
If you’re flying in business class or first class and you have a long layover in Doha, Qatar Airways will organize and pay for a hotel room for you. As soon as you book your flight, call Qatar Airways to try to arrange your transit accommodations for free! The Qatar Airways team will then send a request to the headquarters in Doha. You’ll receive a written confirmation of your hotel within 72 hours. You can request the Oryx Transit Hotel inside of the airport, but it’s not guaranteed.
If the Qatar Airways team cannot guarantee the hotel inside of the terminal, they will organize a four or five star hotel with free transportation to and from the airport that is also close to the airport. The Qatar Airways team will also organize a transit visa available on arrival. This will be sent to your email within 72 hours of the phone conversation. If you’re going to leave the airport to stay at a hotel in Doha, ask to be taken to the transfer desk at Hamad International Airport and present them the Qatar Airways document. They will issue you a free transit visa.
If you want to know what it’s like to fly Qatar Airways, click here.
Transit Hotel at Hamad International Airport
We chose to stay at the Oryx Transit Hotel because it’s actually inside of security at Hamad International. It’s the easiest hotel to stay at for a layover. Once we landed in Doha, we cleared security and headed straight to the Oryx Transit Hotel. Even if you don’t have an overnight in Doha, you can still book the Oryx Transit Hotel for a few hours.
The Oryx Transit Hotel at Doha Airport was by far the nicest airport hotel that we’ve ever stayed at. We booked a king-bed room that had a view of the terminal, a swimming pool, spa, and massive gymnasium. With a 14+-hour layover in Doha, we could have left the airport, but we chose to stay at the hotel. We fully utilized the swimming pool and gym amenities at the Oryx Transit Hotel since working out helps jet lag. We highly recommend staying here for a layover in Doha.
Where to Eat during a Stopover in Doha
While at Hamad International Airport, we decided to have our version of a “transit” date night. After we used the gym and spa at the Oryx Transit Hotel, we headed over to the Qatar Airways business class lounge, the Al Mourjan Business Lounge, for a luxurious airport dinner (we didn’t know those could exist until now!)
This lounge was the most elegant and extensive lounge that we had ever experienced. It had multiple floors, plenty of high-quality food, multiple luxurious lounge areas, five-star alcoholic beverages at the bar, and it even had a massive water element in the middle. Qatar Airways spared no expense when it came to their flagship lounge at Hamad International Airport. Plus, for Qatar Airways business class flyers, the food and beverages are complimentary so you don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount of money on airport food.
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