- Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2 GVK Premium Lounge
- Qatar Airways Boeing 77W Mumbai to Doha QSuites
- Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge, Doha
- Qatar Airways Airbus A380 Doha to Paris CDG Business Class
- Air France Airbus A321 Paris CDG to Toulouse Blagnac
- Radisson Blu Toulouse Airport
- Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 Toulouse to Doha QSuites (Delivery Flight)
- Qatar Visa on Arrival
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha
The mix and match of Qatar Airways’ Business Class products on this trip worked out wonderfully. After completing the first leg on a Boeing 777ER fitted with Qatar Airways QSuites, I now had the opportunity to fly the flagship Qatar Airways A380 Business Class on my next flight to Paris.
For my 7:35 AM flight, I tried to arrive with as much in advance as possible, given the lounge was crowded. With an A380 to fill up, luckily, Qatar Airways had started boarding when I arrived at gate A3 for the flight.
After document check at the gate again, my boarding pass was scanned, and I was directed towards an elevator.
Of course, my ride to Paris CDG was already waiting at the jetbridge.
Roughly 45 minutes before the flight, an agent appeared and opened the gate for us. We were all advised to board the plane, and we headed on board via gate 1L on the upper deck. At the boarding gate, two members of the cabin crew were waiting to greet and then direct the passengers to their respective seats.
Qatar Airways QR 39
Doha (DOH) – Paris (CDG)
Monday, February 19, 2018
Departure: 07:31 AM
Arrival: 12:36 PM
Duration: 07:05 hours
Aircraft Type: Airbus A380-800
Seat: 21A (Business Class)
Meal Service: Breakfast
I walked through the First Class cabin of Qatar Airways to find my place in Business. Qatar Airways has 8 open-suites in their First Class which are very spacious, and done up in a very tasteful fashion. The Business Class cabin, which is 48 seats large only, is sandwiched between First Class and the bar (yes there is an onboard bar!).
Qatar Airways has organized the entire cabin in one go, to give a feel of space. Unlike the 77Ws where there is enough space to fit the new QSuite, Qatar Airways has reverse herringbone business class seats on their Airbus A380s. There were 12 rows of 1-2-1 Business Class seats on this flight.
Till the time QSuites find their way on all 77Ws and A350s, the reverse herringbone will continue to be seen on a lot of Airbus A350-900, and the Boeing 787-8 planes.
Here is the seat map for Qatar Airways’ A380-800 upper deck for reference.
I managed to get a window seat towards the back of the cabin, which allowed me to get a good view of the entire cabin. Seats lining up the windows are upholstered in burgundy, and the middle rows are upholstered in grey.
The business-class cabin did feel airy and bright for many reasons. The design of the seat ensured privacy, but at the same time did not block passengers from accessing the aisle. Some may feel it is too open a seat, but at least you are not like British Airways Club World Aisle seats where you are totally exposed to everyone who is walking by.
When I got there, the seat already had a bottle of Evian water, an amenity kit, a pillow and a duvet were placed.
For those who are seated on the window seats, you get an additional storage cubby next to the wall.
The seats are 22.2″ wide, but when you sleep, you could also lower the armrests, which give you approximately 30″ room to sleep.
As with the QSuite, the armrest is where the headphones and Evian water were stored.
On one side panel were the seat controls, which had some pre-set positions, and other buttons allowed you to customize your seat position to your own individual preference.
Below the panel were all the ports. There was a universal power port and a USB port, accessible right above the little stowage cubby where you could store a laptop or other devices.
There are many things to like about the Qatar Airways reverse herringbone business class. There was more than enough space all over to store all the stuff you could need during the flight. So you should ideally not have to reach out for your cabin bag over and over again.
When I was seated, Neetha, who was the cabin crew working my galley came and introduced herself, and informed about the flight time. She came back in a bit and checked with me about my preference for a pre-departure beverage. I was offered juice, champagne or water. I went with the white champagne. On this flight, Qatar Airways was serving Lanson Brut as the white champagne and Lanson Rose as well.
She also enquired about my preference for a hot or a cold towel. This is something I could get used to. I am sure everyone has a choice between Hot or Cold towels, but most airlines would just do a round of Hot or Cold Towels depending on their own preference, not yours.
The drink was brought almost immediately, and with it, I was also handed the menu for meal and beverage service on this flight.
There was, yet again, no sleeper suit offered. Qatar Airways only provides sleeper suits on night flights. However, the airline’s new BRIC’S amenity kit was placed on the seat already. The semi-hard-cased kit contained an eye mask, socks, earplugs and also hydrating facial mist, anti-aging moisturizer and lip balm from Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.
I found myself again on the wing, but with an A380, it is always a very quiet roll. We pushed back on time and taxied towards the runway, where in spite of a full power take off, I could hardly hear anything of the Engine Alliance GP7200 engines during take-off.
One of the best features of the newer generation aircraft is the tailcam for nerds like me. I could watch the entire takeoff roll of Qatar Airways’ A380 on the IFE screen.
Shortly after takeoff, Neetha came back to take meal and drinks orders and advised me that I could eat at any point during the flight, but the primary meal service would commence in an hour’s time. Here are the breakfast options on my flight.
Right as Neetha left, the cabin service manager, Marie came over and introduced herself. She chatted up for a bit, welcoming me on board and invited me to join them for breakfast.
I continued with my movie watching spree, starting off from where I left watching Thor: Ragnarok on my previous flight.
The handheld console was a touchscreen one and could display flight data while I was watching my movie on the main screen.
For breakfast, I went with the Emmenthal Cheese Omelette and a strawberry and banana smoothie. The smoothie was brought almost immediately, but breakfast was served later.
Roughly about an hour into the flight, the cabin crew rolled out a cart to lay the table for breakfast. The word I like to use for someone who lays out the breakfast table properly is impeccable, and yet again white glove service was ensured.
The service continued at a reasonable pace, which is a good sign, especially since the galley was dishing out food for a full cabin of 48 people today, out of which I guess more than 70% were eating at this time.
As with my earlier experience with QR, bread was moist and spot on yet again. In fact, I asked for seconds, and a different batch of bread arrived.
My breakfast today was delicious, and I was proactively offered sauces as well. I asked for some pepper sauce, and a small bottle of Tabasco arrived almost immediately.
It is tough to keep food taste as good as it would be on the ground at 38000 feet, so kudos to Qatar Airways for a good cheese omelet at this altitude. The whole meal service was done in under 45 minutes.
Unfortunately, we got into some turbulence after breakfast was served, so the crew came back to advise me they won’t be able to serve me the coffee I requested till we did not ride it out.
In a bit, we were done with the turbulence, but I did not need the coffee anymore. I needed sleep. So I quickly went to the lav, which was much smaller than the lavs on their single-decker long-haul plane Boeing 777ER. As usual, there were the toiletries from Rituals to freshen up. Shaving kits and dental kits were also laid out in the lavatories.
When I got back, I noticed the free wifi. Qatar Airways has onboard internet where they allow passengers to receive 15 minutes or 10 megabytes of free wifi, with the opportunity to buy a bigger package.
As much as I’d have loved to have tried it out, it did not seem something like I needed at this moment, so I passed. Here are the prices if you’d like to know more about Qatar Airways’ connectivity. 200 MB for 20$ is not a reasonable price to get work done, especially since pictures are a lot of space. The good news is most of Qatar Airways fleet will have cheaper connectivity soon.
I got a solid 3-4 hours of sleep on this flight, given the flatbed and the lovely duvet. A special mention for the footwell, which had more than enough space to move around. Good to sleep for a reasonable time on my side.
When I woke up, roughly 1.5 hours from landing, I was hungry. So I requested for something to eat from the light bites menu. I chose the Mushroom tortellini in a creamy morel sauce. While the crew prepared the meal, I went over to check out the bar for the very first time.
Qatar Airways’ Bar is easily one of the best features of their A380s. It is located right behind the Business Class cabin and is accessible for both Business and First Class cabin passengers. Their execution is also beautiful, with lots of seating space and open area to mingle on either side of the bar and a large bar counter.
On an aircraft, it is always nice to get somewhere beyond your own seat, to stretch your legs, meet other people, or just get a change of scenery.
It was full this morning, and the bartender was a sport keeping everyone engaged as he chatted up with the passengers and rolled out drinks for people in the cabin as well as at the bar at a reasonable speed. There was a great selection of alcohol to choose from, including the Lanson champagne on display.
There were a lot of short bites placed at the bar as well, including crisps, chocolates, gummy bears, fruits, desserts, and savoury bites. A very generous bar indeed.
The couches were pretty comfortable to have at least 15 people be present without feeling crowded. The overhead touches and a lot of roses were luxurious at the altitude we were cruising at.
I checked with the bartender about what good cocktail he could help me with, and he suggested he could make a coffee martini for me. It indeed turned out to be a lovely Espresso Martini.
It was indeed a great cocktail, with very strong coffee and alcohol which got me alert in good time. After spending some time chatting at the bar, I got back to my seat when I was informed my meal was ready.
The food was indeed delicious and served warm. Right about as I wrapped up on the meal, the captain announced that it was time to land in 30 minutes. We were ahead of time for landing about 30 minutes, which was a good thing given I had a connection to make.
The rest of the flight was uneventful, and very soon we touched down at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. It was magnificent to keep an eye on the plane landing through the tail camera again.
When we landed, we passed by the installation of the Concorde at one end of the taxiway.
As I got out of the flight, there were a couple of people waiting to segregate the crowd. Although, they were not of much help for me to be able to guide me on my next flight, which needed me to go through Immigration and Passport Control first. I went counter-clockwise to go through the fast track immigration and eventually got on a train taking me to the Air France operations in Terminal 2.
Qatar Airways products are different as chalk and cheese on the reverse herringbone product and the QSuite. The hard product was top-notch, and so was the soft product.
The seats are ergonomic and comfortable with loads of storage and connectivity options. The F&B was excellent, and the bar is a great touch, especially when you look at it from the perspective that it only serves 56 people on a day the entire premium cabin is full.
The service was flawless. Like I said earlier, while Qatar Airways has also hired crew from across the world, Qatar Airways has done an excellent job of harmonizing them to make a great team who feel connected with the airline. It was my first experience with Qatar Airways A380 product, and I wouldn’t hesitate flying it again.
Have you flown the Qatar Airways A380 Business Class? How do you rate the product?