British Airways Announce Delivery Date of NEW A350 + Route Info

British Airways have announced the delivery date for the unveiling of the their new business class product the Club Suite as well as the delivery of their brand new Airbus A350-1000.

The ceremony welcoming the aircraft will take place on Friday 26th July where British Airways will unveil their new business class to the world for the first time and the LondonSpotter team will be present to welcome the arrival.

HOT VIDEO:

The new ‘Club Suite’ will revolutionise British Airways’ business class and has been eagerly anticipated all year making this one of the biggest deliveries of the year.

The A350-1000 will begin operating on BA’s longhaul network on September 2nd as it flies from London Heathrow to Dubai on BA107. The aircraft will then operate BA106 from Dubai to London Heathrow.

On October 1st, BA will add Toronto to its A350 network as it operates BA93 to Toronto and BA92 back to Heathrow.

I will be flying onboard the A350 at least three times in its first month as I test out each of the cabins on longhaul flights.

The aircraft will also operate short haul flights to Madrid but it is yet to be announced which flights these will operate.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class Review

Qatar Airways have always been one of my favourite airlines and having tried out their old business class on the A380, new QSuite business class on the A350-1000 delivery flight and Qsuite on the B777-300ER, I decided that it was finally time to try out the most premium cabin of all on the world’s best airline: Qatar Airways. Below, you can see my video review of the flight so be sure to check that out as well as having a read of this article.

The day before this flight, I had landed in Doha with Qatar Airways from Hong Kong and stayed overnight at the lovely Warwick Hotel and seeing as my flight wasn’t until 2am the following day, I opted to book myself onto one of the city tours Qatar Airways offer and explore the city a little more. I headed to the airport at around 2pm where i dropped my bag and checked in for the flight and then headed down to arrivals where I met my tour guide for the trip.

Dropping my bag at the amazing first class check-in area

We arrived back at the airport at around 5pm and I was absolutely starving hungry. I headed back into the First Class check-in area and through the incredible security channel where I didn’t see another passenger the whole time. This process screamed luxury to me.

Arriving at the first class check-in area

At the end of the security process, I was led up an escalator and into the remarkable Al Safwa First Class lounge. The lounge is incredibly built and covers a huge amount of space with a jacuzzi, several rooms, its own duty free and more. To see the full review of that lounge click here.

Booking

Qatar first class is hard to book on points as it only flies on one of their aircraft: the Airbus A380. I managed to find award space on only one of their routes which was to Perth and seeing as there was only one seat left, I jumped on it and booked.

I paid 123,750 Avios and £152.90 on this ticket which some might think to be a little stupid but I had the Avios to spend so considered it worth it.

Ground experience 

The ground experience had stuck out for me as being the best I had ever had. The walk from the taxi to the lounge had been seamless and when I left to walk to the gate, I interacted with passengers for the first time in the whole experience which I thought was great. It took 10 minutes to walk to the gate and once I arrived I was impressed at how the boarding area was split between economy passengers and first/business passengers.

I was grilled at the gate for my reasons of travel and had my bag searched thoroughly. Eventually, I was allowed into the private waiting area and made sure I was the first to board when boarding was called.

The walk to the plane took me up an escalator and down a jetbridge where I was welcomed by the cabin manager and led to my seat: 1A.

The Seat

Qatar Airways have a small first class cabin on the A380 set up in a 1-2-1 covering two rows. I was lucky enough to be seated in row 1, at the front of the cabin.

The seats are very wide but not the most private. Each seat is equipped with a TV, lamp and power plug at the far end.

To the left, you will find a table for storage alongside the tray table which is stored in the side wall of the seat.

The left armrest features a bottle holder and remote control device which was very unresponsive and slow.

The right armrest features another slow remote control which controls the lighting and seat features and your Oryx one headphones.

The Flight

Once I was seated, the crew begun to ask what drink I would like. Initially, I opted for a lime and mint mocktail because, well, i’m obsessed with it and then I eventually bailed and had the best drink on the menu – Krug 2004 Vintage Champagne.

The drinks came alongside a hot towel and a bowl of cheese and grapes which tasted horrendous.

Next up, my amenity kit, pyjamas, menus, wifi voucher, arabic date and arabic coffee all arrived and the crew came around one more time to take my dinner order.

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We took off on time out of Doha and as soon as the seatbelt sign was off, I headed to the enourmous bathrooms to change into my pyjamas. I opted for a medium but they were very baggy and next time would go for a small size.

Once I returned, the crew were round immediately to set my table for the dinner service.

First up came my caviar course. I have to say this was probably my favourite course and was definitely nicer than the caviar course on Cathay Pacific. The caviar is served on a beautiful glass plate with pearl spoons so that the taste of the caviar isn’t disturbed.

Next up came a small appetizer which I hadn’t actually ordered. It tasted lovely and I believe it was tofu.

Finally, my main course arrived which was the veal steak. I was very full by this point so didn’t manage to finish the meal but from what I did eat, it tasted fantastic.

After the meal service was complete I lay back with a few more glasses of champagne and enjoyed what the IFE had to offer. The IFE screen is a lot larger than what you will find on other airlines and the Oryx one entertainment system has a fantastic mix of films, TV, music and games. The onboard WiFi (free for first class passengers) was also a great way to keep me busy during the flight.

After a few hours of drinking, I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth and moisturize my face for bed. There are two first class bathrooms located at the front of the cabin, both equal in size. The bathrooms must be four or five times larger than normal airplane bathrooms and are equipped with a bench running down one side, a large sink, cupboards packed with amenities, a hangar but unfortunately no shower.

Picture from previous flight in 2018

Once I returned from the bathroom, I realised the crew had made my bed up for me. The fully flat seat was covered with a thick and extremely comfortable mattress topper, a duvet and the classic purple blanket. This made for an amazingly comfortable bed which I fell asleep in almost instantly with the help of my eye mask and ear plugs from the amenity kit. I never usually sleep very deeply on planes but this was an exception and seven hours later, I awoke with only 3.5 hours to go until we landed.

The Bar

Business and first class passengers have equal use of the bar area on the A380. Unfortunately, the bar is located at the rear of the business class cabin which makes it a little unaccessible for first class passengers as they have to walk through the whole upper deck to get there.

The bar area is lovely, however, and well worth a visit. There are an array of nibbles laid out and a barman to make you whatever drink you desire.

As I was in the bar, one of the crew members found me and asked if I would like to begin my breakfast service when I arrived back. I said I would love to and followed her back to my seat where my table was set with a bread basket, jam and melon juice.

Breakfast started with a small greek yogurt covered with granola which tasted good.

Next up, first class passengers have the opportunity to create their own breakfast (see menu for choices). I did this and created my own full english spread which arrived promptly.

I have to say I was extremely disappointed with the breakfast options and the meal wasn’t of a standard I would expect in First class. The omelette tasted very stodgy and I didn’t finish it.

After finishing breakfast, the crew cleared my table and unmade my bed. For the final two hours I did some work in the bar before heading back to my seat for landing.

Conclusion

The start of my Qatar Airways First Class experience had been luxury to say the least. The process from checking in to leaving the lounge was unbelievably seamless and I can’t wait to do that again soon.

The process did become less premium onboard but only because the product didn’t live up to the Qatar Airways business class QSuite product. If you forget that product completely, I thought the service was great, food highly average and seat good but it could have done with more privacy.

Qatar Airways First Class Lounge Review

Qatar Airways are well known for their excellent service in premium cabins both on the ground and in the air. Having flown their QSuite business class only the day before, I was eager to find out how the First Class product compared to other airlines and having just stepped off Cathay Pacific’s first class, the bar was set pretty high. Before I got to step on the plane, however, I had to sample the lounge experience in Doha. You can see my full video review below or read on to find out what I thought.

Al Safwa First Class Lounge

The ground experience in Doha is simply incredible. Your taxi driver will ask what cabin you are flying in and if it is first or business class, will drop you at at a specific area where staff are on hand to take your bags for you and lead you to your specified first or business check-in area. I’ll write more on this in the flight review so hold tight for that.

As soon as you collect your belongings from security, you are led up an escalator and straight into the Al Safwa First Class lounge. This process is seamless and I didn’t see a single other passenger until I got to the lounge.

As soon as your boarding pass is checked, you are guided down an enormous corridor filled with historic artifacts, huge paintings and a waterfall. It really is mind-blowing how EXTRA this place is.

There are corridors on both your right and left leading to other rooms which I will take you down later in the article but at the end of the corridor is another enormous waterfall and the restaurant/bar area.

I took a seat right away and my menu was brought over along with a choice of drink. It was proper restaurant service which I loved.

I opted for the beef sambusak which was really nice for an appetizer.

Next up I had the lamb chops which were my favourite part of the meal.

The lounge is fit with several different rooms coming off from the main corridor starting with a business room on the left.

The business room has a mixture of PCs and Macs in quiet rooms which would be a perfect for a business meeting or a quiet spot to do some work.

Next up, the first class lounge has a private duty free area with all the duty free products you would expect from the shops downstairs.

On the right of the corridor is another restaurant area which had a sushi bar and salad bar.

I sat there for a short while toward the end of my stay where i enjoyed a few glasses of wine, sushi and a bang average chicken sandwich.

The lounge features a family room off to the left with a few darkly lit rooms, televisions and a private food area filled with small sweets and nibbles.

Attached to the family area is a kids and gaming room. The room was amazingly kitted out but I highly doubt it is used often as I don’t expect many kids pass through.

Off to the right is the spa area which has both a male and female spa and double and single bedrooms which are bookable for 6 hours. I booked one of the single rooms which was great as it gave a place to drop your bags base yourself for your stay in a lounge.

The spa menu was on show but the prices were quite expensive and i found it weird that you had to pay for a treatment. I opted for a visit to the Jacuzzi which was free and it was a lovely way to relax. I was also brought slippers and a gown to change into afterwards which was a lovely touch.

Conclusion

The Al Safwa lounge is huge and full of things to do, eat and buy. As I left the lounge for my flight I felt extremely relaxed and ready for my 13 hour flight. The food had been lovely, the staff had been very attentive and I thought the private rooms were a lovely touch.

If you have a chance, I would highly recommend paying this lounge a visit and checking it out for yourself.

Curve Metal | Full Review

This card review is going to be the first one that isn’t of an American Express card as if you have seen my newest YouTube video (coming tomorrow), you’ll know that AMEX and I haven’t been getting on all too well recently. In fact, I just cancelled my American Express Platinum card after only one month in favour of this gem: The Curve Metal Card.

Brief Review:

Card: The Curve Metal Card

Cost: £150 a year or £14.99 a month

Sign-up Bonus: N/A

Favourite Perk: MasterCard Lounge Key Lounge Access

Curve are a relatively new face in the UK as far as I’m aware but I have started to see them being used quite a lot and so decided to check them out for myself. After looking into the cards they offer, I realised they had three cards I could order. I will be reviewing both the blue card which is free and the top-tier metal card which costs £150 per year.

The metal card comes in three different colours which you can easily choose by signing up through their app. After you choose your colour, you simply enter your delivery details and pay – it really is that simple.

I opted for the rose gold card and when it arrived I was super impressed with how it looked and felt. The card weighs 18g and feel nice to hold in your hand.

Who are Curve?

Curve are different from all the other cards on the market such as Monzo, HSBC and even AMEX in that they know people don’t want to set up another bank account. With this in mind, they have created a card which links all of your cards together in one so that the only card you need to take out with you is your curve card. Curve have an amazing user-friendly app which allows you to manage your finances and sign up for a card and they offer A FREE £5 just for signing up. All you need to do is download the app from the App Store or Google Play, choose which card you want (free, £9.99 per month or £14.99 per month) and remember to use the code LSPTR for a free beer, coffee or anything else on me!

The Perks

The Curve Metal card comes with several built in perks which were the reason my head was turned from American Express.

1. Firstly, as a user of the Metal card, you are automatically covered by AXA insurance for travel and medical insurance, car hire insurance and finally gadget insurance. As far as I’m aware, none of the AMEX cards cover your gadgets so this was a real winner for me.

2. Secondly, the Metal card is phenomenal for using abroad. It allows up to £600 a month in ATM withdrawals for FREE! This is a huge perk of the card as it cuts out the foreign transaction fees so many banks stick on. If you use the card abroad, it will also charge your bank a £ payment so your bank won’t charge you a fee as it thinks you haven’t used it abroad.

3. Next up, the Metal card is part of MasterCard’s Lounge Key program which allows cardholders access to over 1,000 airport lounges just by showing their card. Entrance into the lounge will cost users £15 per visit but as you can see in the above video, I argue that this makes it more worth it than the Priority Pass.

4. Finally, the Metal card allows you to select 6 of your most visited stores such as Tesco, Waitrose or Apple and for each of these shops, you will receive a 1% cashback for every purchase. This works amazingly if you’re using the card every time you fill up your petrol tank or every time you do a food shop as over time this money will add up!

Conclusion 

Curve have stolen my heart after my recent fallout with the American Express platinum card. The perks of this card seriously outweigh the £150 per year membership fee and make it a keeper for my wallet.

If you travel a lot, this card makes complete sense because of the insurance and foreign transaction fee removal on overseas purchases and if you are bored of having a full wallet then this card makes complete sense too.

To sign up and claim a FREE £5 then download the Curve app, choose which card you want to use and enter the code LSPTR.

Curve Blue | Full Review

Curve are a relatively new face in the UK as far as I’m aware but I have started to see them being used quite a lot and so decided to check them out for myself. After looking into the cards they offer, I realised they had three cards I could order. I will be reviewing both the blue card which is free and the top-tier metal card which costs £150 per year.

Who are Curve?

Curve are different from all the other cards on the market such as Monzo, HSBC and even AMEX in that they know people don’t want to set up another bank account. With this in mind, they have created a card which links all of your cards together in one so that the only card you need to take out with you is your curve card. Curve have an amazing user-friendly app which allows you to manage your finances and sign up for a card and they have offered a FREE £5 just for signing up! All you need to do is download the app from the App Store or Google Play, choose which card you want (free, £9.99 per month or £14.99 per month) and remember to use the code LSPTR for a free beer, coffee or anything else on me!

Perks of the Blue Card:

1. Firstly, this card is excellent for use abroad. Most banks will charge you or withdrawing cash at a foreign ATM but by using the Curve Blue card, you can withdraw £200 completely FREE every month which I think is an awesome perk.

2. Secondly, you can use it to pay abroad for free and it will only charge your bank a transaction in pounds. Therefore, your bank won’t charge you either and finally, you can stop paying ludicrous foreign exchange fees!

3. If those two reasons didn’t sway you, Curve have an offer on which means that if you sign up using the code LSPTR you will automatically receive a FREE £5 to spend on whatever you want!

4. Finally, users of the Blue card will be able to select 3 retailers and every purchase at those shops will result in a 1% cashback!

Conclusion 

While this card doesn’t offer the same sort of insurance or lounge access perks as the Metal card, it is also free so won’t break your bank to use. I personally think this card is A MUST if you’re going abroad due to the elimination of foreign transaction fees so be sure to download the app, choose which card you would like to sign up for and enter the code LSPTR for that free £5.

How to Claim your FREE £5 with Curve

If you’ve read my two newest card reviews of two of Curve’s three cards, you’ll know exactly who they are and what they do but if you haven’t be sure to read them for an overview of their products.

Full review of the Blue Curve Card here

Full review of the Metal Curve Card here

Curve are offering a sign up bonus of £5 to any new customers by using this coupon code: LSPTR. 

If you are going abroad soon, the Curve card is a MUST for you as it eliminates all foreign transaction fees on purchases overseas. If you select the Metal card you’ll even be able to visit the airport lounge and be insured on your trip! More of that in the full card review.

All you have to do to claim this free £5 is download the curve app on your mobile phone, choose which card you would like to have the £5 put on, enter your delivery information so the card can be delivered to your door and you’re done!

No matter which card you choose, it’ll be a MasterCard so will be accepted no matter where you spend it.

Happy spending, and make sure you sign up before going abroad to eliminate those pesky foreign transaction fees!

American Express METAL Platinum Card | Full Review

On June 11th, American Express rolled out their first metal card for the UK market: The platinum card.

Although the platinum card was already on the market, changes to the card such as it becoming gold came into effect on June 11th. This article will review those new changes and assess whether you should get that card or not. Below is my new video titled ‘5 Reasons I Cancelled my AMEX Platinum – A Warning’. 


Brief Review:

Card: American Express Platinum Card

Cost: £575 a year (Worth it? Read on to find out)

Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 Membership Rewards points (35,000 if you use our link)

Favourite Perk: Priority Pass lounge access


The American Express card is the highest card in AMEX UK’s locker and you sure can see that in the price. £575 is a much higher charge than any other of AMEX’s cards and for that reason offers the best package of benefits to its card users. These include:

1. American Express users can give out benefits to five others by adding supplementary members to their account (one platinum card and four gold or green cards).

2. Both the main card holder and platinum supplementary card holder will receive Priority Pass lounge access. Priority Pass is the mot comprehensive lounge network and can get you into over 1,200 lounges worldwide. In fact, I think you would struggle to find an airport without a priority pass lounge.

3. You and all five of your supplementary card users will be given full travel insurance which covers your travel directly and things linked to your trips such as health.

4.  If you hire a car, you will be fully insured under AMEX’s car insurance programme.

5.  This perk is only beneficial if you live in London as far as I’m aware but platinum members will get £10 worth of credit per month to use on Addison Lee taxis.

6. Platinum users are automatically enrolled in a scheme called Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR).  This scheme can be one of the biggest benefits of Platinum however I found it not to benefit me as I generally don’t stay in luxury hotels while travelling. FHR gives you midday check-in where available, guaranteed 4pm checkout which is a great perk especially on one night bookings, free in-room wifi, $100 food and drink credit per stay and finally you will receive a room upgrade where available.

These perks are for 600 luxury hotels worldwide and if you are somebody who is likely to use these perks, this card is probably for you.

7. Another perk that is only worth it if you stay at hotels a lot is that you will receive permanent status at the following hotel chains:

  • Gold in Melia Rewards
  • Gold in Hilton Honors
  • Gold in Radisson Rewards
  • Gold in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Jade in Shangri-La Golden Circle

8.  If you travel by train, you will receive Eurostar lounge access in London, Brussels and Paris

Finally, alongside the 30,000 (35,000) point sign up bonus, you will earn 1 membership reward point for every £1 you spend. Personally, I think it is a shame that they don’t offer 1.5 points to make it stand out from the gold card more.

Conclusion: Is it worth it?!

The American Express Platinum is a great card with a shed load of perks, there’s no two ways about it. I signed up for the platinum card because I thought the benefits would be worth the money for me but after using it for 2 weeks, I begun to realise that they weren’t (more on that in the above video).

The card still carries a 3% foreign transaction fee which means i had to look elsewhere for a card to use abroad and I was never going to use the hotel perks which meant I was relying on the lounge access to foot the bill.

Personally, if you’re in a similar position to me, I would advise signing up for the gold card  or Curve Metal card and using the Lounge Club or Lounge Key programs.

Qantas A330-200 Business Class Review

Domestic business class isn’t usually anything to get excited about. In Europe, you get a blocked middle seat, one shoddy meal and free drinks during the flight. In Australia, however, the game is different. Welcome to my review of Qantas’ A330-200 business class product as i flew from Perth to Melbourne. To see the video review, just click below, sit back and enjoy!

Booking

Qantas charge a stupid amount of money for their domestic business class in my opinion. A one way flight on a random day in September pulled up a total cost of £879 – not worth it. I, on the other hand, paid for this flight using miles accrued on my American Express Gold Card which I transferred to British Airways to make the booking. If you want to read more on how to do this, click here.

The total cost of this ticket was £10.40 and 22,000 avios points.

Check-In

Because i was transferring from another flight, I had to pick up my bags, clear immigration and take a ride on a 30 minute bus which looked and sounded like it was from the 1800s. It was such a strange experience coming off a first class flight, onto that bus and then straight into the Qantas terminal but that’s what travelling is all about, right?

Once i reached the Qantas terminal, I dropped my bag at one of the desks and headed through the deadest security line I have ever seen. It really surprised me just how dead the airport was. Once inside the terminal, I headed straight to the FANTASTIC Qantas business class lounge which I will be reviewing soon after this.

Boarding

My flight was called and the lounge manager came over to tell me that my plane was ready for boarding. I packed up my belongings and feeling slightly tipsy from the 5 hours of lounge drinking on top of 13 hours of drinking on the flight from Doha, I headed to the gate to see an enormous queue. Only after investigating further did I actually realise that there was a business class line positioned to the right of this line which was totally empty! I walked straight through in seconds and before I knew it, I was onboard.

I was greeted in a strange way onboard. As always, I walked to the plane door with my gopro camera filming for me but as soon as i reached the aircraft door the cabin crew member covered up the camera and said I was not allowed to film him under any circumstances. I assumed this meant I couldn’t film at all but he quickly reassured me as long as he wasn’t in shot, I had the all clear. I guess some people really don’t like being on camera eh?

The Seat 

Qantas have set their A330s up in a 1-2-1 configuration covering two cabins. The front cabin has 22 seats while the rear cabin has a cozy 6 seats.

The seats alternate on the windows so if you want a ‘real’ window seat, select rows 2 and 4 ONLY. All of the other window seats are closer to the aisle, thus reducing privacy and placing you further from the window.

The seat was nice and comfortable with space to park your feet below.

A touchscreen with films, maps and all the rest…

…a table area to your side for storage and another storage area above the table…

…a USB and AC power port…

…a holder for reading material and safety card…

…a mirror…

…and a reading lamp.

Once getting onboard i noticed that a bottle of water had been placed in the storage compartment, a set of headphones was waiting along with sleeping materials like an eye mask and duvet.

The seat controls were very sophisticated and responsive and I found it cool how you could sit in a pre-set 3/4 position for takeoff which was much more comfortable.

The Flight

Once onboard and seated, I was offered a welcome drink which was a choice between water, champagne and guava juice (don’t worry I had never heard of it either). I chose the guava on the false premises that it was orange juice and was pleasantly surprised.

We pushed back on time and the crew came around to take our meal orders. I was told there wasn’t any choice as most of the passengers wanted to sleep on the flight but that I could have a drink and bowl of soup after takeoff. I said I wanted that and was told it would be delivered promptly after takeoff.

We took off on time out of Perth and within 10 minutes the food had arrived. I was really impressed with how efficiently the food arrived and it tasted fantastic. I actually ate this without thinking to snap a picture so be sure to check out the video to see how it looked.

Seeing as I had been up for the last two days with very little sleep and a lot of flying, I nodded after soon after this and woke up two hours later as we were approaching Melbourne. Straight away, a crew member asked if I would like anything to eat or drink and when he said he could bring me the light breakfast option, I opted for that!

The breakfast came in the form of two muffins, a bowl of fruit and yogurt, an ANZAC cookie, a cup of tea and a glass of orange juice. It was a refreshing start to the day but nothing to fill you up.

For the final two hours of the flight I sat comfortable watching ‘the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ on the IFE which finished just as we landed in Perth.

Conclusion

I had an amazing experience onboard Qantas’ A330 and was so impressed at the work they put in for this domestic flight. Both the hard and soft product were so impressive and I loved how the crew personalized their service based on what each passenger wanted. Because I didn’t want to sleep all the way, the crew were engaging and talkative but to others who it was obvious only wanted to sleep, they left them all alone.

This cabin is a super comfortable way of crossing Australia and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again!

Qatar Airways B777-300ER Business Class QSuite Review

In February 2017, Qatar Airways was delivered the first ever Airbus A350-1000 which was fitted with theit state-of-the-art QSuite business class. I was invited on that flight which meant that I was able to sample the incredible QSuite. Seeing as this was a delivery flight for media only, however, a full review wouldn’t have been a fair review so just over one after, a decided the try them out for real on a 9 hour flight from Hong Kong to Doha.

Booking

Booking Qatar Airways in the QSuite can be expensive on this route. If you want to pay cash for Qatar’s business class, it is often clever to route out of airports such as Stockholm where cheap fares can easily be found.

I booked this flight using British Airways Avios which I had earned by using my American Express Prefered Rewards Gold Card. If you don’t know how you can book flights using miles and points click here for my beginners’ guide. 

I booked this flight for a total of 60,000 avios and £92.10.

Check-In

Something i love about flying out of Hong Kong is the ‘in town check-in’ service they offer at Hong Kong Station. If you have a ticket on the airport express train, you can drop your bag and get your boarding pass printed up to 24 hours before your flight departs. I used this service before i got on the train and it was amazing!

Ground Experience:

Because I had already dropped my bag off and printed my boarding pass, I headed straight through security but I couldn’t see a a fast track entrance so simply entered the normal channel and was through in a few minutes.

Qatar Airways business class passengers are able to use the Cathay Pacific business class lounges in Hong Kong but because i had landed the previous day on a Cathay Pacific First Class ticket, I was able to use the first class lounges and you can see the review of The Wing and The Pier. 

I left the lounge when boarding was announced and managed to join the business class queue as the first passenger. Around five minutes later, I boarded as the first passenger and was greeted onboard by the sublime Qatar Airways crew who led me all the way to seat 10A.

The Seat 

Qatar Airways are in the process of retrofitting their Boeing 777-300ERs with the new business class QSuite product.

The QSuite is a private suite and the cabin is setup in a 1-2-1 configuration with alternating ‘real’ window seats and window seats closer to the aisle. In the middle, the 2 seats alternate between being closer together in the middle (perfect for couples as it makes a double bed) and further out towards the aisle. The QSuite has the ability to bring dividers down to form a block of four seats in the middle for familes or meetings!

The double bed in action

Each suite has a table on the left for storage.

Below this are the seat controls, plugs, power sockets, headphone jack and remote control to control the screen.

The screen is a large flat-screen which wasn’t all that responsive but worked well.

On the left of the seat there is a storage box which can be raised and it holds the headphones…

…a bottle of water and reading materials.

Above the seat, also on the left, is a reading light which has several brightness settings and was very maneuverable.

Directly in front of you is the tray table which is released with a catch below. The seat was large and sturdy.

Finally, the suite is made private by the sliding door on the left.

The Flight

As soon as i was welcomed onboard I was offered a welcome drink and opted for the signature Qatar lime and mint mocktail. I loved this drink and proceeded to drink it over the next few hours!

After my hot towel and welcome drink arrived, a crew member came and introduced herself as she talked me through the seat features. She also took my meal orders from the menu (see below) and asked which snacks I would like so that she could reserve them and make sure nobody else ordered them before they ran out! She also informed me that the two seats in row 9 in the middle were vacant meaning that if I wanted, I could try the double bed out!

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Before takeoff, my drink was refilled and my pyjamas arrived which weren’t the best quality but were comfortable enough for the 9 hours.

We took off into the night on time and began our 9 hour flight through darkness to Doha. As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, I headed to the bathroom to get changed and when I returned the crew asked if I would like to eat and begun to set my table.

As a pre-meal drink, I opted for the pineapple margarita which was nice but I had to scrape the salt from the side for it to be bearable.

The first course to arrive was the tiny salmon appetizer which took 3 mouthfuls to finish but tasted good.

Next up came the Arabic mezze dish which consists of pitta breads and dips. The pittas were nice and warm and the dishes went well together.

Finally, my main course arrived and I couldn’t of been happier with my choice. The prawns tasted so good and I was even tempted to ask for a refill.

After the meal service, the crew cleared my table and brought a tomato juice and chocolates.

As I finished my meal, the crew set up the double bed for me in row 9 without me even knowing and as my table was cleared, she led me to my new private suite!

The double bed is amazing, you can barely feel the partition and I was able to lie over both beds with a map on one screen and a film on the other.

I asked if my snacks could be delivered to the double bed and the crew were happy to oblige. First up came two small burgers with pineapple juice. The burgers were amazing and came with a small salad side.

Next up came two skewers with a choice of sauces. These were lovely but very much a ‘snack’ and were gone in two bites each.

After this, I was ready for a sleep and nodded off to the King’s Speech playing through my headphones. Around 5 hours later, I was woken to find myself sprawled across the double bed and felt like I had just woken in a small hotel room, it was honestly that good.

Conclusion 

The Qatar QSuite is an incredible product, there is no two ways about it. My flight from Hong Kong to Doha proved just how amazing the Qatar food, crew and seat could be and I can’t wait to fly this product again in the future.

16 Hours of Luxury: Cathay Pacific B777 First Class Review

My flight from New York JFK to Hong Kong was to be the second trip on my round-the-world adventure over Easter and I have to say I was looking forward to it the most out of any flight. The mammoth 16-hour flight wasn’t being dreaded at all but the opposite. I couldn’t wait. Below you can see my in-depth video review so why not sit back, pour yourself some wine and watch this!

After landing in New York with British Airways in their First Class cabin, I had around 24 hours in New York and a night to adjust. In that time, I collaborated with FlyNyon, a helicopter company who operate doors off flights over the city. The experience was simply magical. Check out my video of that here.

The private queue for First Class was totally empty when I arrived

The next morning I headed to the airport bright and early even though my flight didn’t depart until 2.50pm. The reason for this? American Airlines’ Flagship First Lounge. I had heard excellent things about this lounge and wanted a full review out of the visit. Instead of extending this already long review you can read the separate review of that (coming soon).

Booking

There are several ways to book Cathay Pacific first class and I have written a separate article on how to book which you can read here to see how I paid only $103 for this ticket.

Check-In

Arriving three hours prior to my flight seemed like a great idea but when I arrived at the Cathay Pacific bag drop desks I was greeted by a woman who told me it ‘wouldn’t be long’ before the staff showed up. I was the only passenger in the First Class line and cracked a small smile as the other queues filled up. 30 minutes later the check-in agents arrived where they told me the flight was 30 minutes delayed. I already knew this from a text Cathay Pacific had sent me the day before.

The check-in agent checked my bag in, gave me my boarding pass and lounge invitation card and sent me on my way through fast track security. The fast track line isn’t a separate channel like you’ll find at London Heathrow or Doha but simply a route that takes you right to the front of the queues. After a typical American thorough security search and a hopeless attempt to chat the attractive girl in front of me up, I headed to the flagship lounge which is positioned just in front of security, on the left.

Access to the Flagship First dining area is granted with your First Class ticket

The lounge is accessed by a lift and stairs and I was welcomed at the top of those stairs in such a friendly manner. The woman who scanned my boarding pass led me through the lounge showing me all the different areas I may wish to use before delivering me to the flagship first dining area to feast on Krug champagne. My hopes for this lounge were very high but the lounge was a let-down in many areas. Read the full review here.

Ground Experience

I headed down to the gate having showered and shaved 10 minutes before boarding was meant to begin and the gate was about a 10-15 minute walk away.  I arrived at the gate to see very long queues and to my surprise, I saw the cabin crew sitting at the adjacent gate which is strange for a flight that is meant to begin boarding in 5 minutes.

Nevertheless, I queued up in the first class line which had 3 other passengers present and waited. The first announcement we heard was that the flight would be delayed a further 20 minutes and that passengers should take a seat. Around 5 minutes later, one of the ladies at the desk started informing business class (not first class weirdly) passengers that they should go to the Admirals Lounge located 5 minutes away and wait for a boarding call. I joined the business class passengers and we all walked to the lounge where small snacks and a bar are located. The lounge is quiet compared to the flagship lounge but has nothing to offer in terms of food.

I sat in the Admirals lounge for what became about 40 minutes twiddling my thumbs and eager to get onboard until I heard a boarding call and quicker than I’d ever left a lounge, I was out like a bolt and down to the gate to board.

Priority boarding was strictly enforced and I marched onto the plane as one of the first passengers to board. I was greeted at the door by check-in agents who led me directly to my seat, 1A.

The Seat

Cathay have configured their 777s in a 4 class configuration with 6 First Class seats, 53 business class seats, 34 premium economy seats and 182 economy seats.

The 6 First Class seats are laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration with each seat offering a whopping 36 inches of width and 81 inches of pitch.

The seat has fantastic storage space with the left side being almost entirely dominated by a shiny, wooden surface for drinks, amenity kits and anything else.

The huge wooden table top to the left provided the perfect storage space

If this isn’t enough, there is a deep bin for your passport and phone directly to your left.

To your right is yet another storage area (take note airlines that think you don’t have things to store) for literature, your safety card and other items such as your menu.

Next to this are more seat controls which are easily accessible from a lying position.

This storage bin to your left is located just below your remote control which was amazing and the another screen which adjusted your seat and lighting.

Above this is one of two reading lamps.

About half way along the large side wall on the left is a plug and USB port for charging your electronics.

The tray table is ejected from the table surface on the left and is simply massive.

Between the windows on the left wall is a flower (yes, it’s real! I was sceptical too) which is so extra but so cool and really sums adds to the elegance of the seat.

There are no overhead bins in the first class cabin but each seat has its own storage compartment much like on British Airways… just much bigger and better. The storage compartment is located to the right of the seat ‘entrance’ and has ample space for a suitcase, shoes and your clothes (see video).

To the front right of the seat by the ‘entrance’ in the television screen. The screen is built into the seat but easily released by pushing the black button next to it. This brings it out to directly in front of you.

Speaking of directly in front of you, the footrest in place at the end of the seat (tough to see in foggy conditions) which acts as the end of your bed or a seat for a fellow passenger to join you for the food service.

Below the TV is…you guessed it… another storage compartment. This one is larger than the one on your right and fits a laptop or iPad comfortably.

The Flight

Once onboard, I was spoilt with cabin crew offering me everything under the sun.

First off was the offer of a welcome drink: champagne of course. I was under the impression that this would be the splendid Krug Vintage 2004 champagne but was disappointed when the arguably better Taittinger Comtes De Champagne from 2007 arrived. This champagne retails at around £100 a bottle and tasted great! The drink was accompanied with warm nuts.

Second was today’s menu. The menu was served on a lovely bamboo board which made me feel like I was dining in a very fancy restaurant. Once this arrived, the absence of Krug was made official. You can see the full menu below.

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Next up came my pyjamas. What I like about Cathay is that the crew will look at you to decide how fat you are instead of asking you.

I was brought a medium whereas I would have gone for a large and they fitted perfectly. It goes to show that the crew know the sizing best!

After the PJs I was brought Cathay Pacific headphones which were super comfy and noise cancelling.

Following the headphones was my amenity kit or ‘male travel kit’ by Aesop. The contents of the amenity kit were pretty weak (see contents in the video).

Before we took off, top ups of the Comtes came around and the lovely crew introduced themselves. One even told me that she had watched one of my YouTube videos before and recognised me when I stepped onboard (it’s the small things in life!).

We took off after a short taxi in rainy New York to some horrendous turbulence. The captain even made an announcement informing passengers it was nothing to be alarmed about but that he had asked the crew to delay service by 30 minutes because of it.

The routing of our flight took us north over Canada, Greenland, the North Pole and down through Russia and China into Hong Kong and it was amazing looking out the window as everything gradually became more and more icy. I’d never flown an ‘over the top’ route before so this was quite a novelty for me.

Over Canada, the crew were finally released to commence service and seeing as they knew my order, they simply started by pouring another glass of champagne.

Around 10 minutes later, the first meal service arrived: Caviar and Champagne! I’d seen so many pictures of this service before and it tasted just as good as it looked.

The caviar was served blinis, chives, crème fraiche and chopped eggs. The service was so good that the crew asked if they should bring some more toppings which I eagerly accepted.

The meal was served with a lovely little hand-written note from the crew welcoming me onboard. It is gestures like this which really separate airlines. Cathay Pacific were so attentive and the attention to detail was incredible.

The crew had suggested that I stuck to wither Chinese or International dishes after my caviar instead of mixing but for some reason I really wanted to try the duck salad before the Hong Kong style chicken. This was the only meal that didn’t amaze me and I was left awaiting my next course eagerly.

The crew were so fast that I knew it would be a matter of minutes maximum before my next meal arrived. Next on the list was the ‘Hong Kong style chicken curry, broccoli and steamed jasmine rice’. This meal was excellent in terms of both presentation and taste.

Following a recommendation from the crew, I also had the signature mocktail called ‘Cathay Delight’. The cold drink is a kiwifruit based non-alcoholic drink with coconut milk and fresh mint and damn it tasted good. Three more of them please!

Finally, the crew brought me a plate of cheese, grapes, crackers and nuts which was a lovely way to finish an excellent meal service.

Once the meal service was complete, I was instantly brought a small box of chocolates, a hot towel, a pot of chinese tea and some toothpicks.

My bed was then promptly made with the super comfortable bedding used by Cathay. The mattress topper was amazing and I could barely feel the seat below. The duvet was equally as nice and as we flew over the most northern parts of Canada, relaxation mode was most definitely on.

I put on a film that I had never watched before but heard great things about, Bohemian Rhapsody. The film was a killer and was accompanied by another crew recommendation: Traditional Iron Buddha tea from China.

The film finished and an alcohol induced drowsiness kicked in. Coupled with the super comfortable bedding, eye mask from my pyjama bag and ear plugs from my amenity kit I was out like a light for the next five hours and woke to find the crew had cleared my tea, replaced it with a bottle of water and switched my screen off and placed it back in the seat.

The bed is so wide that it is literally like sleeping in a single bed and the comfort was incredible. I had only been awake 5 minutes before the crew came around asking if I would like to eat or drink. I opted for the same tea and based on a recommendation from a follower, asked for the burger and chips but in an hour. I checked the time in my phone just to see if they were punctual and 57 minutes later the burger and chips arrived. Amazing!

The burger was amazingly laid out and tasted really good. This was accompanied by another glass of Comtes.

After the burger it was work time. I really couldn’t justify sitting on a plane for 17 hours without doing at least a bit of work. In fact, I am writing this onboard QF1 from Sydney to London where, again, it would be hard to justify doing no work.

With around 2 hours and 15 minutes to go it was time to eat again. How my stomach coped with it I’ll never know.

The dinner service only had one starter option which was the ‘fresh seasonal fruit’ dish. It was nice and cold!

For the main course I opted for the chicken supreme. How could you not with a name like that? The chicken was served with mushroom ragout and a bread dumpling. Both were lovely.

I was stuffed by this point and refused the offer of desert in favour of my favourite tea (I should be buying shares in these guys!)

We began our descent over China as the sun began to set and it was time to get changed into my clothes again which had been sitting in the cupboard for the last 16 hours.

We landed around an hour late into Hong Kong and I departed the aircraft feeling super fresh and refreshed.

You always hope that priority bag tags work and for once they did! My bag came out as the second bag off the carousel and I wheeled it off to the airport express train already missing my small room I had rented for the past 16 hours.

Final Thoughts

16 hours on a plane isn’t fun. That’s what everyone will tell you. While I agree that slumming it in economy may have been a little uncomfortable on this flight, I can confirm I disagree with that statement.

I had the most amazing time on Cathay Pacific’s first class product and was impressed by the super wide and comfortable seat which turned into an even more comfortable bed, the excellent seat controls, remote control and television screen, the huge amounts of storage space, the amazingly presented and great tasting food and finally the incredibly attentive crew who didn’t once disappoint.

In fact, when looking back on this flight I think the only thing I didn’t like was the duck salad.

This flight is so easily bookable with points if you use Alaska Mileage Plan and I couldn’t recommend it more, it really was the luxurious experience I was longing for.