Review: Qatar Airways First Class A380 Doha to London Heathrow

Introduction
Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
Asiana First Class A380 Los Angeles to Seoul Incheon
Park Hyatt Seoul
How Etihad Handled My 14 Hour Flight Delay
Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Airport ICN
Etihad Airways First Class A340 Seoul Incheon to Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways Business Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport AUH
Etihad Airways Business Class A320 Abu Dhabi to Cairo
Le Meridien Cairo Airport
Cairo Airport VIP Lounge
Qatar Airways First Class A330 Cairo to Doha
Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha Airport DOH
Qatar Airways First Class A380 Doha to London Heathrow
American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow LHR
US Airways Business Class A330 London Heathrow to Charlotte


Qatar 3
Doha (DOH) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Friday, October 10
Depart: 7:55AM
Arrive: 1:15PM
Duration: 7hr20min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2A (First Class)

We boarded through the upper deck door, where we were greeted by the friendly crew. I made it clear right away that we’d like to take some pictures of the cabin if possible, so they stayed out of our way for a couple of minutes, as we had the cabin mostly to ourselves.

The first class cabin is to the left of the main entry door, and consists of a total of eight seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The cabin is gorgeous. It’s not nearly as private as the fully enclosed suites that Asiana, China Southern, and Emirates offer on the A380, though aesthetically I’d say it’s among the most beautiful A380 cabin out there, along with Lufthansa.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

The seats don’t have much privacy while on the ground, though once airborne there’s a partition you can raise between seats for added privacy.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

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Qatar Airways first class A380 privacy partition

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin, seats 2D & 2G

The ottoman at each seat can be turned into a buddy seat, in case you’d like to dine with a friend.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin, seats 2D & 2G

My seat was 2A, which is definitely my “seat of choice” in the cabin (along with 2K). I always prefer being in the second row in a two row cabin, since you have a better view of the cabin.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin, seat 2A

My seat featured a huge entertainment screen and also a nice lamp next to it.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class, seat 2A

In addition to the tray table there’s a large “counter” which is great for drinks, snacks, etc. I’m not a fan of seats which don’t have much “counter” space without taking out the tray table, so Qatar does a great job with that.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class seat console

Then there’s also a massive tray table, which can be pulled out from the side of the seat.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class tray table

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Qatar Airways A380 first class tray table

Each seat also has a fairly large closet, where you can stow a jacket, garment bag, etc.

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Qatar Airways first class A380 closet

Beyond the closet, the seat also has a good amount of storage space. There’s a literature pocket along the left side of the seat.

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Qatar Airways first class A380 literature pocket

Then behind that is another compartment which houses the entertainment controller. It also has a bottle holder.

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Qatar Airways first class bottled water

On the opposite side of the seat are the “surface” seat controls, which are intuitive.

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Qatar Airways first class A380 seat controls

Behind that is the touch screen controller, where you can input more specific seat commands (which I didn’t really find necessary). That’s also where you can store headphones.

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Qatar Airways first class A380 seat controls

Then there’s also a conveniently placed Empower outlet.

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Qatar Airways first class A380 power port

Before the cabin filled up too much we toured the rest of the upper deck. In front of the first class cabin were the stairs to the lower deck, which consists exclusively of economy class seats.

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Qatar Airways A380 stairs

To the left and right of the stairs are two sets of bar displays, which featured chips, nuts, bottled still water, bottled sparkling water, and San Pellegrino fruit drinks.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class bar

Also on each side of the stairs was a fairly large lavatory. No, unlike Emirates they didn’t put a shower at the front of the cabin. I’d say the lavatory most closely resembled the Lufthansa A380 first class lavatory in terms of size and amenities.

The bathroom featured decorative plants, a comfortable bench which can be lifted to use the toilet, and a sink with sheets of water rather than a stream, which was pretty cool.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class bathroom

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Qatar Airways A380 first class bathroom

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Qatar Airways A380 first class bathroom

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Qatar Airways A380 first class bathroom

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Qatar Airways A380 first class bathroom

Since the cabin was still pretty empty we quickly headed back to business class, which consists of just one large cabin. There are a total of only 48 business class seats, spread across 12 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. These seats are virtually identical to the ones found on Qatar’s Boeing 787s.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class cabin

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Qatar Airways A380 business class cabin

This is hands down among the most impressive A380 business class seats (Qatar is the only airline so far to have reverse herringbone seats on the A380), though in my opinion the cabin does sort of lack an exclusive feel given to how big it is.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class seat

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Qatar Airways A380 business class seat

I also had a quick look at one of the business class lavatories. While the finishes were nice, it was tiny.

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Qatar Airways business class lavatory

Behind the business class cabin is the bar, which is really the highlight of the plane. I’d argue it’s the nicest bar on any commercial plane, even nicer than the bars offered by Emirates and Korean Air.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar

The bar itself is shaped in such a way that it takes up much of the center part of the cabin, allowing for lots of “bar surface area,” regardless of whether people choose to sit or stand.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar

Then there’s seating for four on each side of the cabin, plus another two seats in the center area by the bar. It might sound silly, but I should note that the seating feels really inviting and conducive to conversation, which I can’t really say about the bar on Emirates.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar seating

Anyway, after our quick exploration we headed back to our seats as the cabin continued to fill up.

Once finally settled in Simona and Ada introduced themselves, who were the flight attendants that would be looking after the first class cabin. And they sure did look after us, especially for the next 10 minutes, which felt like Christmas.

I was first offered a beverage. I requested a glass of champagne, and they asked if Krug would be okay. As if!

I was also asked whether I had a preference for hot or cold towels (I requested the latter). Within moments I was offered a glass of Krug, some mixed nuts, and a cold towel.

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Qatar Airways first class pre-departure Krug

Then I was offered a Giorgio Armani amenity kit.

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Qatar Airways first class amenity kit

It was well stocked, with lip balm, earplugs, eyeshades, socks, cologne, after shave, and shower gel. There was also a card in there indicating that the kit was limited edition for the A380.

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Qatar Airways first class amenity kit contents

I was then offered some Missoni slippers and pajamas. The slippers were on the small side, though probably the most comfortable I’ve been given on any airline.

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Qatar Airways first class slippers

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Qatar Airways first class pajamas

The pajamas were also quite nice, though ran way big.

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Qatar Airways first class pajamas

I was also then offered the menu and wine list, which were presented in a leather pouch.

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Qatar Airways first class menu & wine list

Lastly, I was offered headphones. For an airline that’s so focused on detail, I was a bit disappointed that they only offered generic noise canceling headphones.

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Qatar Airways first class headphones

As boarding continued, the first class cabin continued to fill up:

An especially festive lady from Australia came to first class. She was sporting a custom made inaugural flight shirt, which she was also selling. I was a few glasses of Krug in at this point, so spending 30EUR on one seemed like a good idea. She’ll also be on the inaugural Etihad flight to London. She explained she was part of the “first to fly” group, and has been on every A380 inaugural flight. It’s always nice to be reassured that I’m not the biggest airplane nerd out there. 😉

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More of an airplane fan than I am!

Anyway, as boarding finished up we were offered some Arabic coffee and packaged dates. I do appreciate that Qatar Airways practices “safe dating,” as they’re the only airline I know of that wraps their dates. Now that’s reflecting your respect!

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Qatar Airways first class Arabic coffee

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Qatar Airways first class Arabic coffee & dates

Shortly before pushback the captain came on the PA to welcome us aboard this “very special” inaugural flight to London, and informed us of our flight time of 6hr33min.

Shortly thereafter cabin manager Lutina welcomed us aboard on behalf of the 25 person (!!!!) crew.

We pushed back at 7:55AM sharp, at which point the safety video began to play. Qatar Airways sure does have a “unique” way of picking out their male actors in these videos. It’s worth noting that:

  • The people used in the safety videos are not real crew
  • This guy’s hair isn’t compliant with Qatar Airways cabin crew grooming standards

Not that I’m complaining…

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Qatar Airways A380 safety video

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Qatar Airways A380 safety video

Our taxi to runway 34L took about 10 minutes.

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Qatar Airways 777 Hamad International Airport

When we arrived at the runway we were number one for takeoff, and began our takeoff roll at 8:10AM.

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Taking off Hamad International Airport

The takeoff roll was pretty short, though our climb out was gradual. On the initial climb there were great views of downtown Doha on the left.

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View after takeoff from Hamad International Airport

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View after takeoff from Hamad International Airport

I tuned into the airshow to take a look at our flight path.

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Qatar Airways airshow

About 15 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off and the crew began their service.

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View on climb out from Hamad International Airport

Cabin manager Lutina came by to greet each first class passenger and offer us a complimentary wi-fi voucher. That’s an awesome touch, and as far as I know exclusively available for first class passengers.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class complimentary wifi

The cost of wifi is actually pretty reasonable on the A380. On the 787, Qatar Airways charges for wifi based on usage, so it’s outrageously expensive. However, on the A380 you can buy a reasonably priced flight pass for ~$20.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class complimentary wifi

Lutina also explained the a la carte menu, which had an extensive breakfast menu and then also a lighter lunch menu, and that I could eat what I want when I wanted.

The a la carte menu read as follows:

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And the beverage menu read as follows:

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I figured I’d have breakfast sooner rather than later, so placed my order right away. I was impressed by how efficient the service was, since the service began almost immediately.

I started off my breakfast with a pineapple and banana smoothie, which was excellent.

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast — pineapple and banana smoothie

Then I ordered the salmon gravlax as an appetizer. It was accompanied by a pastry basket as well as a cappuccino.

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast starter — salmon gravlax with dill creme fraiche

The dish was very good.

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast starter — salmon gravlax with dill creme fraiche

Then I had a greek yogurt parfait with honey and chopped nuts. It was possibly the highlight of the meal.

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast starter — greek yogurt with chopped honey and chopped nuts

And then I had the Arabic breakfast as my main course.

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast main course — traditional Arabic breakfast

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast main course — traditional Arabic breakfast

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast main course — traditional Arabic breakfast

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast main course — traditional Arabic breakfast

One of the other passengers ordered the Indian breakfast dish, so I snapped a picture of that.

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast main course — South Indian style baked eggs with potatoes

The breakfast service was done within about an hour of takeoff, so was really efficient.

At that point the crew distributed envelopes from the captain.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class letter from captain

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice touch, but it’s also sufficiently generic so that I don’t really know why they bother. Great, the captain wrote my name, flight route, and his signature on a pre-printed page. Anyway, not something many other airlines do, so I guess I should just give it a thumbs up…

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Qatar Airways A380 first class letter from captain

After breakfast we headed back to the bar, while most business class passengers still seemed to be having breakfast.

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Qatar Airways business class cabin A380

While the bars on Emirates and Korean Air are pretty cool, this bar was awesome. Everything about it was awesome, awesome, awesome. It was so awesome that I spent half the flight there.

Where do we even begin?

  • Physically it’s the nicest bar on a plane, in my opinion
  • They serve Krug
  • The flight attendant working the bar, Roxana, was gone-with-the-wind fabulous — hands down my favorite crewmember
  • They serve Krug
  • It was never crowded — despite first and business class being mostly full, there were never more than a handful of people there
  • They serve Krug
  • The snack selection was actually really good
  • They serve Krug

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar

Did I mention they serve Krug? And the best part is that it’s not just intended for first class passengers.

For example, at Emirates they’ll serve first class passengers Dom at the bar, but they won’t serve it to business class passengers. That’s just plain awkward.

On Qatar, business class passengers can have Krug at the bar as well — that’s the actual policy.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar drink selection

They of course had traditional bar snacks like olives, nuts, etc.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar snacks

But beyond that they also had plates with canapes.

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar snacks

Roxana really took amazing care of us.

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Qatar Airways A380 damage at the bar!

Like, amazing care.

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Qatar Airways business class bar A380

In my experience Qatar Airways cabin crew often seem removed and disinterested, and kind of lack personality. That wasn’t the case with this crew, and especially with Roxana. They were fun and clearly loved what they were doing.

About halfway through the flight they brought out a couple of Fauchon cakes to celebrate the inaugural A380 flight.

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Qatar Airways A380 inaugural flight Fauchon cake

They served them at the bar. Since most passengers never made it to the bar, they remained almost entirely uneaten.

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Qatar Airways A380 inaugural flight Fauchon cake

It’s interesting to note that there’s a small upper deck economy cabin behind the bar, so the bar isn’t at the very back of the upper deck. Instead it’s just slightly behind the wing.

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Qatar Airways A380 wing

It’s also interesting to note that to make the bar more aesthetically pleasing, they put up something in front of the exit. I’m kind of surprised that’s not a safety violation…

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar exit block

It’s also impressive that below the bar they have a gorgeous display with real roses — truly amazing attention to detail!

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Qatar Airways A380 business class bar flowers

I more or less spent the three hours after breakfast at the bar. Sven came back to the bar to tell me he had his bed made so that I could take pictures of it, so I stumbled walked back to first class to take a look. The bed was spacious and comfortable, though at the same time certainly not as private as some of the fully enclosed beds in the sky, even with the privacy shield lifted. That being said, Qatar isn’t (yet) flying their A380s on any longhaul flights, so I don’t think it matters quite as much for them.

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Qatar Airways first class bed A380

After taking a look at the bed I headed back to my seat to check the airshow, and saw that we were fast approaching Prague.

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Qatar Airways airshow

I took the opportunity to browse the entertainment selection a bit. The selection can be browsed on the controller itself, which shows all the movies, TV shows, etc. I didn’t find the controller to be especially intuitive. Though I was having so much fun on the flight that I didn’t care much about the entertainment selection anyway.

The selection seemed to be okay — not as good as those offered by Singapore, Emirates, etc., but still quite good.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class entertainment selection

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Qatar Airways A380 first class entertainment selection

I figured I’d have some lunch at this point. Not because I was actually hungry, but because I had to review more than the breakfast selection on Qatar Airways.

So I ordered the Arabic mezze to start.

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Qatar Airways first class lunch — Arabic mezze

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Qatar Airways first class lunch — Arabic mezze

And then I had the steak sandwich as my main course.

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Qatar Airways first class lunch — steak sandwich

The Arabic mezze was excellent, while the steak sandwich was good enough. The meat was a bit tough for me.

At around 12PM GMT, the captain came on the PA again to inform us that he anticipated we would be touching down at 12:45PM air traffic control permitting, which was well ahead of schedule.

Shortly thereafter the crew distributed Fast Track landing cards.

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Qatar Airways London Fast Track card

The crew also brought me an extra bottle of water — not sure why. 😉

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Qatar Airways first class bottled water

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View on descent into London

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View on descent into London

It seems we weren’t in air traffic control’s good graces, because we proceeded to do four holding patterns before initiating our final descent into Heathrow.

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Holding patterns before landing at Heathrow

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View on approach into Heathrow

We ended up touching down on runway 27L at 1:05PM, for an on-time arrival.

Our touchdown was smooth, and during our taxi to Terminal 4 we first passed Terminal 3, where we had a nice view of all the American and Virgin Atlantic aircraft.

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View upon landing at London Heathrow

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View upon landing at London Heathrow

Terminal 4 sure is one of the uniquest at Heathrow, between Royal Brunei, Saudia, Kuwait, etc.

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Royal Brunei 787 London Heathrow

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Kuwait Airways 777 London Heathrow

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Our arrival gate London Heathrow

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Qatar Airways A340 London Heathrow

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Saudia 777 London Heathrow

Eventually we pulled into a gate right next to a Qatar Airways A340-600, right on schedule at 1:15PM.

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Qatar Airways A340 London Heathrow

I bid farewell to the crew, and upon deplaning had an awesome view of the plane that just flew us from Doha.

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Qatar Airways A380 London Heathrow

Qatar Airways A380 first class bottom line

The Qatar Airways A380 is gorgeous. It’s not as pimped out as what some other airlines have done with the A380, as the premium cabins actually have a fairly small footprint. That being said, the business class hard product is the best we’ve seen on any A380 so far, and the bar is also the nicest I’ve seen on any airline.

The first class cabin was beautiful, and had a very welcoming feel to it. Unlike Emirates, it wasn’t “blinged” out, but rather was actually comfortable and elegant.

Frankly I think what I realized from this flight is that I wouldn’t pay the premium for first class next time. Between the reverse herringbone business class seats, awesome bar, and Krug being served at the bar, there’s little value to booking first class, especially given that they’re not flying this plane on any longhaul flights yet.

All things considered I was very pleasantly surprised, and was thrilled to be part of the inaugural flight.

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Comments

  1. Great trip report as always! Love reading your works of art!

    Any chance we could get the LHR-CLT trip report done? I have a confession, I was working US732 on the 11th October, albeit in Economy, but prior to landing in Charlotte and I did notice you in Business and almost screamed like a little girl! And isn’t Mallorie brilliant?

  2. @ Robert — Hahaha, too funny — no way! Mallorie was AWESOME. Wish you had said hi! I’ll have that installment published tomorrow. 🙂

    Hopefully our paths cross in the future!

  3. excellent write up.

    the letter must be an inaugural flight idea – they certainly weren’t giving them out last week

    the sink in the toilet, looks great and the “flat” water coming really adds to it, but last week, by the end of the flight, all the boxes of amenities were sitting in pools of water.

    going LHR-DOH i was personally met and shown to my next destination gate, seems this is an A380 First thing.

    the thing that struck me the most about the entire flight, was how quiet it was.

    about the door covering, at 38000, i think i’d prefer it was covered, so that some drunk didn’t start fiddling with the door, even though it would be impossible to open.

  4. Great post! I’ve been waiting for this the past few weeks. I just think it’s funny you stated “It might sound silly, but I should note that the seating feels really inviting and conducive to conversation, which I can’t really say about the bar on Emirates.”
    However, you didn’t post a discreet photo of people engaging in conversation in those seats! Ok I had to say it given I was a former EK gold member and flew JFK-DXB several times and always had a great time at the business class bar meeting new people or simply hanging out with friends. Just rereading your post, I noticed you stated the cake was for the most part uneaten due to the lack of passengers going to the bar. :/
    By the way, why did the pajamas run way big? Did the flight attendant ask for your size or did he/she guessed your size and just offered them to you?

  5. @ Hugh — Interesting you had an escort service on arrival. Unique that an airline seems to have special services exclusively for A380 passengers, even though it’s priced the same as other aircraft.

  6. @ Joey — Hah, fair enough! I was asked for my size and said “L,” which on some airlines is the right size, and on some airlines is way too big. In this case it was way too big, but I’d always prefer my pajamas too big rather than too small. Meanwhile on Emirates, even “M” is too large for me. Odd sizing!

  7. Great review! The business class bar looks awesome. I agree that the bar seatings looks really inviting and not useless and cramped like on other airlines. It doesn’t make you think “it’s better if i go back to my cozy premium seat”. I wonder why they put this beautiful lounges in the back of the plane and not between First and Business class!

  8. Lucky, do you get riled up as I do when the guy in the safety video blows up his inflatable vest with such vigor?

  9. Awesome report! I’ve been waiting for this one! LMAO That safety video guy was pretty easy on the eyes. Rawr.

  10. That’s my friend Isabelle Chu, fm Perth, with the A380 Polo shirt on. Indeed she’s part of the 1st to fly group, so am I, but i only did the first 2 SQ inaugurals 7 yrs ago, to SYD & LHR. She’s an ardent fan and hasn’t missed any yet. BTW she was also on the SQ inaugurals nonstop SIN-LAX and SIN-EWR. I had another friend on your Qatar flight, but he was in 1st class, Gino Bertuccio. Shave bald guy. He to is an ardent fan and hasn’t missed an A-380 inaugural. Small world.

  11. Ben it seems the Krug was flowing free in the bar did you also partake in a hand full or two of warm nuts?

  12. Loved they show a picture of the wine bottle on the menu. It is a small detail but sometimes it helps you when making your decision.

  13. Thank you for a great report. Have been looking forward to this report or a while now, and was even more excited about reading it than watching the new Matthew Mcconaughey movie, Interstellar, so thanks for posting.

    One question though. How about seat comfort? Compared to Emirates, Etihad & Cathay how did the Qatar seat rack up? Did you have a chance to quickly test it in bed mode? Would be interesting to know.

  14. @ BHill — The seat was really comfortable for lounging. It was spacious and well padded. The Emirates site is kind of confined, on the other hand.

    The bed was also reasonably comfortable, but not amazing. The padding could have been a bit better.

  15. Good review!! Does Qatar release award first class seats? Any idea Qatar’s next A380 routes? JFK by any chance in 2015?

  16. I fell to pieces when I read, “This guy’s hair isn’t compliant with Qatar Airways cabin crew grooming standards” I DON’T THINK. I’VE EVER. EVER. LAUGHED SO HARD IN MY LIFE. I wish it could be read by the most dramatic actor/actress Hollywood HAS to make it that much more hilarious.

    Such a great review, too!

  17. @ Ben — So far they’ve only announced that they’ll fly it to London, Paris, and Bangkok. New York was speculated in the past, though nothing has been confirmed. And they’d have to switch terminals at JFK to fly it there, since American’s terminal isn’t equipped to handle the A380.

  18. @ TravelinWilly — I guess it depends how you define “more comfortable.” All things consider I prefer the Etihad seat, I think, but just for lounging, the Qatar seat is awesome.

  19. @ Lucky – did you ask Ms. Chu how many times she had to re-do t-shirts due to all the delays? 😉

    Anyhow, great report. For such a short flight, J does seem like a way to go unless it’s about the same price.

  20. “This is hands down among the most impressive A380 business class seats (Qatar is the only airline so far to have reverse herringbone seats on the A380”

    Even more than Singapore’s?

    “Did I mention they serve Krug?”

    Ah, I remember the old days when Lucky’s biggest concern was getting a slice of lemon instead of lime in his Diet Coke, and he wasn’t so concerned with name-dropping what champagne he was drinking…I miss those days.

    “do you get riled up as I do when the guy in the safety video blows up his inflatable vest with such vigor?”

    Well, he did say he wasn’t complaining…

    “Was too busy double fisting drinks to have any nuts!”

    …you did not just say that 😉

  21. Did I miss it or are you yet to publish the trip reports of your YYZ-BRU-DOH flights ? Business class Jet Airways & Qatar Airways ?

  22. The constant fixation on Krug to the point where it seems like it’s the defining point of a flight really takes away from the authoritativeness of the review.

  23. Hey Lucky!

    i bet you wished your flight was a little bit longer this time….

    Oh! & one more thing, you forgot to mention if they serve Krug on this flight 😉

    Great Work (as usual)

    Thanks

  24. @ Ken Y. — They only have a total of 10 on order. I wouldn’t expect to see A380 service to either city in the next year, if at all.

  25. 4 holding loops is good. I did 7 last week upon arrival from Abu Dhabi. Added 55 minutes to the flight that was supposed to be early. We ended up 45 mins late. I don’t think I’ve ever landed at LHR doing less than 2 loops.

  26. DFW just recently finished renovations to allow service for the Emirates and Qantas A380s. Since Qatar already has daily long haul service to DFW from DOH, that seems like a natural route to be replaced with an A380. I’m hoping so, at least, since I’m planning a DFW-DOH-MLE trip for early/middle 2016.

  27. Lucky,

    No arguments there from me. Clearly, Dallas isn’t as desirable as JFK or LAX, which would likely get A380 service first. A guy can hope though, right?

  28. Lucky,

    What is the general timeline for airlines opening up first and business class award space on A380 routes? Do you anticipate Qatar opening up said awards on this route? Is it easier to find the award space further out or closer to the flight date for A380 routes? Is it possible to book an economy award and rebook if J or F opens?

    Sorry for all the questions. I’m saving miles for a nice trip for my wife and me. If getting in at least J on this route is attainable, I’d love to experience an A380. However, I’d rather have a locked in J on another route than risk flying in economy. Thanks!

  29. @ Matt S. — It varies by airline, you can’t make a generalization for all A380 operators. I do hope Qatar will eventually open up A380 first class award space, though they’re not doing so as of yet. They do release some business class space, though, both in advance and close to departure.

  30. I took the a380 doha to London on new years day. I was economy upstairs behind the bar. All i can say is it was exceptional. I use QA all the time but this flight left years of travel with QA standing. Service was sharp, attentive and more like a business class flight without the bed. Good work QA.

  31. Why don’t you ever try flying on Saudia? I would really enjoy a trip report because it’s almost impossible to find!

  32. Hi Ben,

    If I understand correctly, F on A380 is not available to partners?

    If that’s the case, what would you do given the choice:

    – F on A340
    – J on A380
    – J on A350

  33. @ James — It sometimes is available very close to departure, but it’s quite rare (though not impossible). All else being equal I’d choose A 340 F > A380 J > A350 J.

  34. Thank you for the prompt response!

    This is for mid-November, so I’ll probably lock in F for now, and maybe they’ll change their stance on A380 availability before then.

  35. I just noticed that 2 daily A380s to CDG are available to book, both close in, as well as November.

    I might just do that and connect on a short BA flight to LHR.

  36. fantastic pics. I have flown over 3 million miles in 20 years and really enjoy these pics and comments.
    Its amazing . Over 40 years ago AA airlines used to fly a 747 from JFK-San Juan,P.R. with a piano
    bar in the back of plane. Those were the days.

  37. Lucky,

    Is it worth flying First from ATL-DOH in your opinion?

    And do you think they will actually put the 388 on that flight June 1, or sub it out to a 77L?

    Thx!

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