TRIP REPORT: Qatar Airways, Doha - Bangkok

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Written by BEG Flyer

Inspired by last week's great trip report on Swiss, I decided to write of my own first class experience which I had this June on Qatar Airways. I already filed a report about the first sector from Belgrade to Doha.

I originally booked in business class but a few days before my flight, I got a really good upgrade offer. At 500 euros I could move up to first and since I have never flown in first class I decided it was worth it. Qatar Airways' first class hard product is by no means revolutionary. In fact, in my opinion, their business Q suites on the A350s and B777s are basically first class seats but Qatar has a first class cabin only on ten of its planes - the A380 which will be phased out in a couple of years anyway.

Since I had plenty of time between my flight from Belgrade and my Bangkok flight I went into the city to meet up with some of my friends. I think there are 7 daily flights between Doha and Bangkok but I purposely chose this one since it's on the A380. Although I've flown with the type before it's been a while.

Upon arriving at Doha Airport, first and business class entry is to the side of the terminal and is separated from the economy check in areas. Then the first and business class check in is also separated from each other. As I arrived a concierge took my luggage and I was directed to sit down at the check in counter where I was offered a drink and hot towel while I was checked in. The area was empty. I then proceeded to security and passport check, which is also dedicated for first class passengers.

First class check in at Doha Airport

Since I paid the upgrade from business to first I only had access to the business class lounge, which was fine, The lounge is huge and has two levels. It looks stylish and there is also a massive fountain in the middle. Food wise it's not as impressive with limited choices. For example, I find Etihad's lounge in Abu Dhabi to be better, even though it's smaller (although that's about the only thing that is worth mentioning at the current Abu Dhabi Airport). Regardless, the QR lounge is still great and after around 45 minutes spent there I went to the gate.


Doha Airport business class lounge








The A380 gate is on two floors with first and business class boarding on the upper floor. First class passengers are let to sit on the upper floor prior to boarding, while the rest are let in when the boarding procedure starts, until then they are kept at the lower floor, which I find pointless.



As I boarded the aircraft I was greeted by a very friendly English cabin crew member who led me to my seat. It was early in the morning and dark outside so excuse the photo quality of the cabin. Before departure I was offered champagne, an amenity kit, choice of hot and cold towel, PJs and slippers. dates, a complimentary wi-fi voucher and Arabic coffee. While I thought it would taste the same as our Turkish coffee it was actually really delicious and sweet. A menu was also given out. The "cabin senior", as they call them, also came around to wish me a pleasant flight and introduce himself as well as the crew member who would be working the cabin. She also gave out some info about flight time, arrival time and so on.






Headphones

The seat is very spacious and there are only two rows of seating. There was one more passenger in first class who was sitting in the first row on the opposite side and who I couldn't actually see at all from my seat due to the layout. First class passengers can also use the bar/lounge area which is behind the business class cabin. The area in front of the first cabin has a self service minibar with drinks, snacks and fruit, as well as two very large lavatories.







Onboard bar/lounge



Before departure my meal choice was taken and I was asked when I would like to eat. Meal and beverage choices are extensive.

After takeoff meal was served which was delicious. I was then asked if I would like to have my seat prepared for sleeping, which I refused as I wasn't planning to sleep just yet but I eventually dosed off.
There was only one crew member working first class but she was extremely pleasant and polite. 






Small touches are also quite nice. For example when you go to the bathroom the crew tidies your seat, puts some chocolates at your seat, bottles of water etc. Before landing I was offered a second meal (breakfast) or anything from the menu which I declined as I was already full, despite proactive encouragement from the crew to eat something, she was genuinely seemed concerned that I didn't want to have breakfast.



We landed in Bangkok with a slight delay due to late departure but nothing major.






The flight was really pleasant and I'm glad I got the chance to travel first class. Would I go out of my way to book QR first - no, but a deal like this was worth it. I returned back in business and the service standards, as well as meal quality is the same. Even the seat is similar.

Overall a nice experience.


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Comments

  1. Fantastic report. Thanks you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Frankly, the upgrade doesn't seem worth it even at 500 EUR, considering that kind of money will net you three nights at a five star Bangkok hotel. But I totally understand the urge and I would've probably done it as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Super report! :) Thanks for sharing!
    I do understand about the upgrade, but don't forget that the A350 is technically much newer compared to the A380.
    The purpose of the A380 was to compete with the B747 but there is obviously much more demand for medium sized jets rather than bigger ones.
    That said, A380 still remains a remarkable aircraft. Maybe you can try flying the ANA A380 and make a report :D
    It is one of my favourite liveries!

    https://www.ana.co.jp/en/jp/hawaii24/airbus380/

    ReplyDelete
  4. The reason the crew were so concerned about your breakfast preference is the fact that they can get fired for the smallest of complaints, as this is an airline that treats their employees rather poorly. In fact, you having an English crew-member is a 1-in-5000 occurrence - since most of them are from poor countries and would accept many unethical things for the kind of salary they're getting. They can only dream of that money in India, Nepal, Thailand, the Philippines and Eastern Europe - which is something the airline knows very well and strategically takes advantage of.
    That's why you only see Swedes, Americans, Canadians and Aussies over in EK & EY, while QR is full of hard-working people from poor countries who are there to actually earn a living, not just travel the world and enjoy the glitz and glamour while not caring about the passengers' needs.

    Can't argue with that though, it seems to be working for the big boss, as QR keeps getting recognized as a much better airline than all of its Gulf neighbors. Is it ethical? We don't care, we pay the cheapest JC and FC tickets and get the best service. The same way we don't care whether our Adidas and Nike shoes were made in a sweatshop in Vietnam by a 12-year old - as long as we get a nice deal on an amazing shoe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being anonymous says it all...
      The accuracy of your comment blowes my mind. You are a fraud my friend.

      Delete
    2. He said nothing wrong...
      Gulf nations have this fame and he is absolutely right.
      All that glittering of the gold entirely depends on the poorer working class. No room for denial.

      Delete
    3. I am not Anon and I sign every single word @16.57. Have stayed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Doha about 30 times, just ones out of these 30 for a month and a half, and know what I talk about. Qatar is absolutely the worst employer out of all in the Middle East, aviation-wise, but generally the way workers are treated in the Middle East it is pure disaster and utter humiliation. You cannot even imagine how construction workers live there and how many cases of suicide there are as its basically slavery, not the work. So please don't find excuses for ME rulers as they don't deserve it.

      Delete
    4. I agree with the point of QR being the worst employer. You can get fired for anything unlike in any regular airline like LH, LX, JU, SAS...

      Delete
  5. Nice report. Thanks. How much was a business fare you got upgraded from?

    ReplyDelete

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