Frances Cook discovers if comfort be achieved in Economy Class for 16.5 hours
The plane: Boeing 777, Qatar Airways, Auckland to Doha
Price: From $2633
Flight time: 16.5 hours
Fellow passengers: Rude … but maybe you're bound to get on each other's nerves when you're trapped together for so long, and trying to sleep?
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How full: To the gills
Entertainment: A full range of movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts to listen to. Includes lots of options for kids, and movies past the standard Hollywood fare.
The service: Excellent. Qatar Airways staff were unfailingly polite, and brought out regular food and drinks. The flight may be long but you're greeted with a welcome kit of toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, lip balm, eye mask, and ear plugs, to try to make you more comfortable.
Food and drink: A good variety of options, with red meat, white meat, and vegetarian usually all covered. Bonus points for allowing your passengers to eat with metal knives and forks; a bit of trust and civilisation is a rarity in economy class these days.
The toilets: Regularly cleaned.
The bottom line: No two ways about it, a flight this long is gruelling. But the airline and staff do the best they can to keep you comfortable and entertained while you skip to the other side of the world.