Qatar Airways A380. Doha to London.

This will be the final post in my series on Qatar Airways.  Over the course of four flights, I’ve had four different aircraft types and three different business class products travelling almost 13,500 kilometres.

For my final segment, I was booked on the QR003 back to London Heathrow, due to be operated by an A380.

There was a pretty reasonably 2 hour connection time in Doha, however this time, as mentioned in the comments section of my Al Mourjan post, managed to get a shower by using the ones in the quiet section of the lounge.  I’d also had a rather nice turkey sandwich in the bakery area of the lounge.

Boarding was from gate A3 where they had a number of queues; for economy class passengers there was a regular line and a priority line.  At the other end of the gate area entirely was a separate queue for first and business, leading to the upper deck.

After a few minutes, I was safely on board ensconced in seat 18A.  The seat was virtually identical to the previous A350 that I’d just arrived on from Haneda.  The in flight entertainment system also appeared to be identical.  Given I’ve already reviewed that in depth, I won’t go into any more detail in this post.

There is one huge different from the A350 that I was just on, and that’s the addition of a huge lounge / bar area, as their competitors Etihad and Emirates have added.

I’ve flown on a variety of carriers A380 products including British Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines and Malaysian.  But never an airline that has a bar fitted, so I was quite sceptical if it was actually worth using.

I took a few photos of the bar area both before takeoff and after once it had been fully set-up.

In short, I was completely sold on the concept.  As I wasn’t really hungry, I asked the crew to serve me my main meal a couple of hours before landing in London, and instead went to the bar.

They had a fantastic array of spirits and snacks, so just grazed for the next few hours whilst working my way through a variety of the drinks.  I even taught the crew how to mix a Negroni.

The champagne they were serving in the bar area I’m assuming was actually from first class as it was the very delicious Pommery Cuvée Louise 2002; at around £120 a bottle it wasn’t on the business class wine list!

They also had a rather handy espresso machine built in to the bar area allowing them to serve espresso martinis, or just a regular one if you needed a little bit of a pick me up.

Soon enough, the crew came around and asked if I’d like my food, and given I was a little bit peckish took my seat.

I’d chosen the fruit plate to start and then the steak and eggs for the main course.  I was actually pretty disappointed.

The selection was limited as was the quantity, however the quality and presentation was still good.  Had I not already grazed in the lounge area I would definitely have been hungry.

I napped for the rest of the flight and before long we were landing into terminal 4 and next to the same aircraft that I’d left on a few days before.

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Qatar Airways 777-300ER A7-BED at Heathrow Terminal 4

For the London to Doha route there’s a legitimate question to be asked; A380 or Q-Suites?  I guess it depends on the time of the day.  If you want to sleep, the pick a Q-Suites flight.  If you want to be sociable and hang out in the bar, then go for the A380 service.

Qatar Airways Thoughts

So after four flights with Qatar Airways, I’ve assembled a few bullet points on the experience.

  • The Q-Suites are the best business class product flying
  • I love the A380 bar
  • The food wasn’t as good as I was expecting, but still good (Etihad was better)
  • Dine on demand is excellent
  • Crew were very good, but could be more human
  • The Al Mourjan lounge was huge but needs more showers and more comfy seating
  • Wine list was poor, but the spirits great
  • Great to have real coffee (i.e. espresso) in business class
  • The older 777 product isn’t great
  • I’d choose Qatar Business Class over British Airways First class every single time

 

 

One comment

  1. Couldn’t agree more, especially with your final point. My boyfriend’s only experience of business class has been BA CW so he doesn’t know just how much better it can be. I try not to rub it in too much when I get back from my solo trips down under, where I try to route via Doha on Qatar every time if I can.

    My only hesitation is Qatar’s (the country not the airline) treatment of LGBT people. Doesn’t sit easily on my conscience. How about you?

    I’m just packing for my flight home from NZ tomorrow. Missed out of the Q-Suites because I took advantage of their amazing prices from Scandinavia, which I booked before the announcement. If I’d have known, I’d have paid the extra to depart from LHR. Anyway, wish me luck on my 17.5 hour leg AKL-DOH…

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