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Croatia: Media Fam Trip to Zagreb on Qatar Airways' Inaugural Flight

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Press Trip Part 3

Several journalists and travel writers from Hong Kong and Singapore are flown Business Class on Qatar Airways' inaugural flight from Doha, Qatar, to Zagreb, Croatia. 

Qatar Airways now flies daily to Zagreb, Croatia

Qatar Airways Zagreb LaunchMichael Taylor (left) with other journalists from Hong Kong at Zagreb Airport. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

 

I was among seven bloggers, journalists, and travel writers from Hong Kong and Singapore to be flown on Qatar Airways first ever flight linking the airline's hub at Doha, Qatar, with Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.

I met Jessica Hung, Editor, EastWeek Magazine, and Karen Wong, Reporter, Sing Tao Daily, on the red eye flight from Hong Kong to Doha.

We were met at Doha International Airport by a smartly uniformed greeter, who took us in our own private shuttle to the Qatar Airways Premium Class Terminal, where we were to await our connecting flight to Zagreb, which would make a stop in Budapest, Hungary.

And yes, I did NOT mean lounge, I meant what I said, TERMINAL!

Qatar Airways operates the world's first – and, as far as I know only – premium class terminal for First and Business Class passengers at Doha International Airport.

And it's a boon for passengers making connections at the Middle Eastern hub!

100 Business and Leisure Destinations

The airline serves more than 100 business and leisure markets across Africa, the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America, and many passengers change planes at Doha International Airport. But more on that in a future post.

Shortly after finding a place to sit, we encountered our counterparts from Singapore - Gavin Leow, Blogger and Videographer, Flight Experiences: RvXKazd , Lim Keng Soon, Editorial Consultant, Fortune Times, and Lunita Mendoza, Senior Editor, Asian Geographic.

Jolie Yap, Regional Marketing Manager, East Asia and South West Pacific, Qatar Airways, was to serve as our chaperon.

One of the journalists from Hong Kong, meanwhile, had disappeared. She returned later, cool as a cucumber. The resourceful reporter had discovered the showers while we were busy chatting!

Connecting Flight

We got to know each other over drinks and snacks. We explored the facilities. We met some staff from the Qatar Airways head office. Before we knew it, our greeter had reappeared and escorted us to our connecting flight.

Because Business Class was fully booked, we were relegated to Economy Class. But we were told to keep our fingers crossed. If there were empty seats in Business Class on the last leg of our journey, we just might get upgraded.

We couldn't deplane at Budapest, but just as I was getting to know my seat mate – a senior Facilities Planner for Aljazeera, who was returning to his home in Zagreb (he was briefing me on what not to miss in his home town) – I got the good news.

Destination Zagreb

Qatar Airways officials are greeted by officials from Zagreb and Croatia

Arrival at Zagreb Airport. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

 

“Pick up your things, Mike!" I heard someone say.

"We've been upgraded to Business Class!”

Aloft again, we were served a mouth watering sandwich. But as I was trying not to wolf it down, I was informed that it was time to buckle up, put my seat forward, and give up my food tray. At 45 minutes, this was by far the shortest leg our other marathon journey.

We received the customary water canon salute. We disembarked. There was brief ceremony on the tarmac. Our Croatian adventure was about to begin.

Qatar Airways now flies daily to Zagreb, Croatia

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