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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.