Qatar Airways Will Fly The A380 To Atlanta!

On June 1, 2016, Qatar Airways will be launching daily nonstop flights between Doha and Atlanta. According to the airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, they’re launching this route to “rub salt in the wound of Delta.” Nothing quite like rubbing salt in that billion dollar wound, Qatar Airways (by “billion dollar wound” I’m of course referring to Delta’s quarterly profit)!

Qatar-Airways-A380-First-Class-113

Anyway, it looks like the airline is hoping to make a splash in Atlanta, as it has just been announced that Qatar Airways will operate a one time A380 service to Atlanta for the inaugural flight on June 1, 2016. They’ll be taking the A380 off the Bangkok route for one day to make this possible. The A380 will operate with the following schedule on June 1, 2016, per airlineroute.net:

QR755 Doha to Atlanta departing 9:05AM arriving 4:55PM
QR756 Atlanta to Doha departing 7:25PM arriving 4:15PM (+1 day)

This is something Emirates does all the time, where they’ll operate an A380 on the first flight to a new destination, and then subsequently operate a 777 on the route. But this is the first time I ever recall Qatar Airways doing something like this. I suspect it’s because of the special place that Richard Anderson holds in Akbar Al Baker’s heart, though he’ll be retired before the new flight launches.

If you are on the inaugural flight, this aircraft swap is fantastic news. Keep in mind that the A380 has a great reverse herringbone business class product, much like on the A350.

Qatar-Airways-A380-First-Class-039

There’s also a first class cabin, unlike on the 777.

Qatar-Airways-A380-First-Class

And there’s also an onboard bar, I’d argue the nicest one in the sky.

Qatar-Airways-A380-First-Class-077

All of that is a huge improvement over Qatar Airways’ 777 business class product, which is mediocre at best.

Qatar-Airways-777-1

I wasn’t initially going to take the inaugural flight (though in the past I’ve done a couple of inaugural Qatar Airways flights), but now I’m really tempted…

For anyone who is interested, as of now the Doha to Atlanta inaugural flight does have two business class award seats, though I don’t see first class award seats in either direction as of now.

DOH-ATL-Awards

Anyone planning on taking this inaugural flight?

Comments

  1. Cool! I recently flew onboard the Qatar Airways A380 First Class from Doha to Paris and made a Youtube clip about the experience, inlcuding the Al Safwa lounge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh0aCnXqzkE). I loved the cabin, seat and service (even more so than on Emirates A380, although the Etihad A380 First Class product is hard to beat).

  2. I’m not taking any sides in the battle of US legacy carriers vs ME carriers but this is an absolute ridiculous thing to do and to take any business decisions based on vengeance is just something that regular airlines don’t have the possibility to do..

  3. Am I the only one who thinks that Akbar Al Baker is helping the US3 and hurting the ME3 when ridiculous things like this come out of his mouth?

  4. Im sorry but Al Baker is mostly right. In turn, he is helping competition by having US3 up their game. Delta complains they are being hurt by the ME3 but they don’t do anything to make their customer service better. Sure, they have an amazing airline in terms of operations, but come on! No comfort+ for diamonds? No first class redemption with Skymiles? No award chart and make up their own rules? Oh please.
    We all know that if you’re in a big city you would rather fly any of the ME3 rather than US3 for international flights.

  5. The 777 QR J seat is not bad at all, especially if you are travelling with a family member, as I had the opportunity to do. (Conversely, travelling with a stranger on your side would probably not be very pleasant.)

    Much better than Emirates’ J angled seats in their 777s, for instance.

    Anyway, IMHO, the quality of the QR soft product compensates for the dislike one may have to the seat.

    Though having also travelled in their 787s, there is no comparison, of course, the 787 J seat being very, very nice. I can’t wait to try the A 380 and A350.

  6. I’d guess they are not going to sell first class for the A380 flight, as it doesn’t really make sense to operate first class only for one day.
    A few lucky people would probably get to sit in the F seats though.

  7. Ben-

    Should F open up at some point, which miles should i use now that AA has that big devaluation??

  8. To me their 777 BC seats are perfectly OK as they are comfortable. If you want to try something truly mediocre bordering to torture, try what they are selling as BC seats on their A330. Those seats have a major design flaw. Even mediocre airlines like AA offer dramatically better seats than what Qatar has plugged into their 330’s and claims to be BC. Try once and write about it, after that avoid at all cost.

  9. Ben you HAVE to take this! The inaugural could sure be interesting, especially if AAB is onboard!

  10. @ron

    Have you tried Qatar’s new J seat? I think Ben mentioned once or so. It’s not that bad actually:)

  11. It’d been more impressive if QR put a better plane on the regular route instead of an older 777. Not exactly hugely enticing over DL offerings.

  12. For this inaugural I think the best sweet spot is getting that business class seat. The F on QR A380s for longhaul travel isn’t that great given there are no showers nor even ‘suite’ doors you can close for privacy. I don’t know how long that flight is but I’d imagine it to be over 15 hours.

  13. This would be GREAT NEWS! If not for the fact Qatar Airways unfortunately flies to DOHA, QATAR! An artificial city in an otherwise deserted sand pit.

  14. I read these comments and a lot of people are making really stupid comments about Etihad, Qatar and Emirates. Most sound like sour grapes and my guess is that most have never flown internationally on the ME3. I fly to the Middle East regularly on one or the other of the ME3 and just don’t bother with any of the AM3 to try to get me there. There is no real comparison. IMO, most of ME3 economy flights are way better than the AM3 or Euro carriers.

  15. i am booked on this flight in Biz, they have blocked off F to allow airline officials or other VIP’s to be allocated those seats, being a Q platinum member, fingers crossed they will bump me up.

  16. @Anki

    I have been on quite a few 330’s that all have the same 2-2-2 layout with angled seats. Do they have anything else in their 330’s?

  17. Trying to book a ticket on it right now!! To bad you cant use delta miles for qatar rewards!! Lucky, I hope you get on the flight as well so I can meet you and we can talk airlines!

  18. On QMiles website you can redeem 1st class seat for inaugural flight. Only at 2x miles available 199500 Qmiles!

  19. I can not see Qatar Availability on British Airways website. Seems like they have blocked it. I am trying to book a First class or Business Class ticket from ATL to BOM. I have so many AAdvantage points so wanted to fly through qatar. Can any one help on my situation?

  20. This is awesome. I love the insanity of the boss and sticking it to old school southern good old boy Delta and Dick Anderson.

    I’m booked on the flight. I’ll see you at the bar on board! Boozing and getting my goon on before ramadan kicks in on the 6th.

    Who else will be on board?

  21. While Akbar Al Baker is rubbing salt in Delta’s perceived wound it appears at least some of us not named Richard Anderson are getting rubbed the wrong way as well. Qatar has recently reduced the frequency of MIA-DOH from daily to five days a week (freeing up a plane for ATL for two days?). Those of us who took advantage of Qatar’s availability with predevaulation AA miles are stuck for solutions. Our flight from MIA to CPT via DOH was rebooked without informing us. Other than leaving MIA a day later and having a connection time in DOH of negative 15 hours, yes, our connecting flight departs 15 hours before we arrive, its all good. So I call American. I thought I could detect a shrug on the phone but other than that I got the “all award space is already booked for those dates.” It’s only three months out so we are scrambling. This is the third time QR has had a schedule change on our itinerary. Not by a few minutes or hours, but rather by changing which days flights are operated. AA is totally unhelpful. Maybe if I was an EXP but maybe not. Be aware when you see great availability on QR it seems to be quite a bet on whether you will get to your destination the same day as your “confirmed” reservation.

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