May 172011

Part I of the trip was a positioning trip, and being it was booked with miles I needed to find a route with two seats up front to the Middle East from London. Easier said than done just about six weeks before the holidays. After much digging (and many thanks to United’s new one way awards) I scored a route that I thought would be perfect: LHR-FRA on LH followed by FRA-RUH-DOH in business. Unfortunately, I found out later there’s no way to get off the plane in RUH, so well technically in Saudi Arabia, some people would debate counting it….it wasn’t to matter in the end.Made it to Heathrow around 8am thanks to the rare trip without a hitch on the Piccadilly Line, and checked in with Lufthansa. No problems at all, everything looks good, off to the Star Alliance lounge to wait. Unfortunately, that’s when we noticed the inbound was still at the gate in FRA thanks to a combination of LH’s website and arrivals monitors. When it became obvious we weren’t going to make it….we hit up the Lufthansa transfer desk. Took the agent a bit to figure things out, but very soon we had something I’ve never seen before: confirmed tickets on the nonstop flight on Qatar leaving at noon, and actually arriving in Doha at the same time! I was quite shocked LH would do this on a UA-issued award ticket….no way United would have booked offline to protect award passengers!

Soon we were FIM-ed and off to make the bus trek over to terminal four at Heathrow. Qatar uses the Skyteam lounge, which was actually quite nice except for the barely functional internet connection. Now, onto the flight!

QR 12
London Heathrow (LHR) to (DOH)
777-300 registration A7-BAQ
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