Flight: QR908, Doha – Sydney
Loyalty Scheme: Qatar Airways Privilege Club (OneWorld alliance)
Duration: 14.5 – 15 hours
It has risen out of the Arabian sands like a falcon with gusto. For years I had heard a lot of good things about Qatar. The brand could be viewed as the cooler, edgier younger sister to Emirates. Whilst Emirates possesses class, it has lacked innovation of late so I when the opportunity came to finally give the Qatar product a whirl, how could this Arabian prince refuse (note: I am not a prince, more Aladdin in real life haha).
Having stepped on an A380 many a time, the layout can feel either spacious or poor laid out. Fortunately the flow of the Qatar aircraft upstairs felt roomy and much more luxurious than its 787 business equivalent which I flew on a connection prior to this flight.
Business class, 16A. There are 48 flat business bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. All possess an 80-inch pitch and 22-inch width. The Herringbone design is stylish yet whilst the seat was roomy, it lacked real privacy. My travelling companion noted that they felt watched the entire time during their flight with the seat quite exposed to its neighbour opposite them across the aisle.
Qatar’s Oryx One Inflight Entertainment possesses an extensive range of over 500 movies, TV, documentary and audio options, all on a 17-inch HD screen. The movie selection had some decent films but was lacking a bit in the other areas.
The Bread and Butter (Food)
Qatar’s business class food is a cut above Emirates in terms of the way it is served up and presented. The gleaming silverware and stylish glassware had wow factor. There are a number of great options ranging from full dinners to light snacks. I’m a sucker for the arabic mezze and it did not disappoint. Fresh, succulent and light, it packed flavour and bite.
For main I chose the steak fillet option. It was cooked medium rare and was restaurant quality. The only let down for me (and this isn’t a major let down) was the dessert and that was due to the lack of lactose options. Ideal for someone who enjoys very creamy desserts but there was nothing on the menu I could enjoy with requiring a lactaid tablet.
Wines were interesting and high quality. I went to the Taittinger Prestige Rosé and a French pinot. Both were nice touches to the meal. It is shame with high altitude that the palate doesn’t fully appreciate the texture and flavour of these wines like they would be enjoyed on the ground but under the circumstances they were more than satisfactory.
The lounge/ bar at the back is definitely one of the best and is on par with Emirates. It possesses some great break out areas with plenty of food and drink options for those wanting to pop by. The company in those lounges for me tends to be interesting. You meet some interesting characters and it is a great space for sharing travel stories with fellow frequent flyers. The only let down here was the Krug champagne. It wasn’t the drink itself but more how closely guarded it was. If you weren’t first, don’t even bother was the attitude from bar staff which was disappointing considering the space is shared by both business and first passengers.
By far one of the best in the business when it comes to business class. A couple of tweaks here and there would make the product outstanding. The introduction of Q Suite should address the privacy issues that the current Herringbone design creates. If you are a lover of food and wine I recommend dining with Qatar.
Have you been pampered in Qatar business of late or found yourself lacking that Arabic charm inflight? Love to hear your feedback on this.