Last week I had the chance to fly back to the US via Doha, Qatar on Qatar Airways. I found it interesting to find out what enhanced security there was flying from Qatar. You see, airlines from a number of countries in the Middle East experienced a laptop ban mid-2017. While I originally thought it was a win for the US big three airlines–American, United, and Delta–(US3), that controversy seems to have faded from the national discussion.
We had connected in Doha following our surprising QSuite flight. with a bit of a layover that I’ll cover in a separate post. Ultimately however we were flying from Doha, Qatar to Philadelphia on a Qatar Airways A350. Our experience traversing security was one that is ingrained in my memory, at least for another few weeks.
Entering Hamad International Airport from our long layover was welcoming as usual:
Further immigration and security was simple. We found ourselves in the lounge in no time–so much so that we skipped photos, since its been well covered.
But, when it was time to travel, we made our way to the gate and found a rather complicated process to ultimately board our flight. That process started with standing in a line to have our electronics swabbed and bagged in duty free bags.
Once our electronics were in the duty free bags, we went through another 2 individuals who had to inspect our boarding passes and passports.
Then it was security, which was typical–remove your belts, electronics and liquids. Following that we had no fewer than 5 additional Qatar Airways staff members who inspected our boarding passes and passports. That isn’t even including the flight attendant at the door that verified our boarding passes and pointed us to our seats.
Wrapping Up – Flying from Qatar
I have to say, our experience flying through Doha was less than stellar. Hamad International Airport is a phenomenal airport. But the enhanced security for flights to the United States was excessive and, while I try to avoid passing judgement, I fail to see the value added. The security, so far as I could tell, was just as exhaustive as US Preclearance out of Abu Dhabi, but without the benefit of exiting the aircraft Stateside without having to go through immigration.