This is a continuation of my Asia Trip Spring 2018.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Review: Qatar Airways 787-8 regional “First Class” Muscat-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways 777-300ER Q Suites Doha-New York JFK
So the whole reason my trip to Asia ended up consisting of 15 flights and a round the world flight pattern, including two extra flights to position myself in Muscat was because I bought a $1700 roundtrip business class fare on Qatar Airways from Muscat to New York via Doha, both ways including the revolutionary Q-Suites business class product.
The Muscat to Doha sector is ticketed and sold as regional First Class even though its really a business class hard product. My flight was supposed to be on a 777-300ER, but a few weeks out they swapped to a 787-8, which is fine because it features a better product than their old 777 business class.
Airline and Route: Qatar Airways flight QR 1149 MCT-DOH
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner registered A7-BCX
Duration: Approx. 1 Hour 25 Minutes, Dept. 4:35AM, Arr. 5:00AM
Distance: 438 miles
I wont go into much detail about the check-in and lounge aspects as I covered that in my post about the Oman Air business class and new Muscat Terminal Building. I also mentioned in that post that boarding was haphazard. The poor gate agent tried to announce by yelling instead of over the PA, for business class passengers, only to have all passengers swarm to the gate for boarding.
Qatar Airways’ 787-8 and A350-900 have very beautiful open-air entryways that feature a walk-up bar area and a nicely designed ceiling.
QR’s 787s have their reverse herringbone business class product. This is a perfectly fine product and is actually one of my favorites. QR uses the same base design and provider as China Airlines, but they have a few different customizations. I like that QR’s seat has a small storage for shoes that pulls out from the seat in front of you. I also prefer how QR’s seat, both armrests get folded down in bed mode for maximum space. I do however prefer CI’s surface storage compartments which allows one to declutter your surface area.
Upon stepping aboard, the flight attendant saw my boarding pass and escorted me to my seat and greeted me by name. The flight attendants in charge of the cabin all addressed me by name throughout this short hop. Being such a short flight, there were no amenity kits or beverage list.
Once seated, I was offered a beverage, I ordered lime-mint, and an option of hot or cold towel, I went with the hot. It sounded to me like they do not serve alcohol on these shorter regional flights as the champagne served was the Qatar non-alcoholic bubbly drink, the Jennie. The menu was also presented shortly after. There were about three choices for a small breakfast platter, I chose the chicken kofta that came with an assortment of Arabic mezze and pita. For beverages I had a delicious vanilla-date smoothie followed by Qatar’s famed Karak Chai, for this flight I ordered the Saffron which is sweeter and later on I had many more cups of both Saffron and Cardamon ones on my Q Suites flight. I did manage to get some shut-eye in the comfortable seats before being apologetically awakened by the flight attendant to serve me meal. Shortly after I finished my meal, we began our descent during which time I tried to get some more sleep.
We arrived in Doha a few minutes ahead of schedule right at sunrise, though it was cloudy. All first class passengers deplaned first and hopped on the dedicated business class bus to bus us to the main terminal at Hamad International Airport. I have been to Doha once back in 2013, at the time Hamad was not yet open and I was stuck in the old and depressing Doha International Airport. Hamad International Airport is simply incredible. But more on the airport experience in my next post on the Q-Suites.
This was my first time flying premium Qatar Airways, I had flown them in economy before and was already impressed. I was very impressed with the service, food and seat on even such a short flight. The Qatar Airways service and flight attendants truly are second to none and the service levels are top-notch. I enjoyed this flight even though it was over in a blink of an eye.