I’ve stated in the past that I think Qatar Airways offers the world’s all around best business class product, and that’s in spite of the fact that I’ve never found the service on Qatar to be especially good. However, between their excellent hard product (at least on the A350, A380, and 787) and top notch catering, they’re one of my favorites.
Qatar Airways also impresses on their shorthaul flights, like the one I took last year between Doha and Abu Dhabi. Where else in the world do you get a flat bed, pre-departure champagne, a meal, and a cappuccino, on a 30 minute flight?
Well, earlier today I flew Qatar Airways business class from Colombo to Doha, a flight that was operated by their A340-600. They only have a few of these planes left, and they’re in a super high density configuration, with just 24 business class seats.
Unfortunately the plane doesn’t have reverse herringbone seats, but rather has forward facing fully flat seats, similar to what they have on their A320s. That’s more than sufficient for the four hour flight from Colombo to Doha, but I find the inconsistency in them reconfiguring planes to be a bit strange.
Once again I was blown away by Qatar’s soft product, especially when you consider this flight was only four hours, about the same length as a Chicago to Los Angeles flight, for example.
The menu looked incredible, as always. On most airlines I see just a few things on the menu that really sound great, while on Qatar I typically have a very hard time deciding.
The meal started with warm mixed nuts and drinks.
That was followed by an incredible tomato and basil soup (and it really was incredible).
That was followed by a beautiful mezze.
Then I was served the main course, which was a flavorful Sri Lankan chicken and rice dish.
For dessert I had a red velvet cake with nougat, which was out-of-this-world. I had a cappuccino to accompany it.
Last I was offered a cheese plate, along with a box of chocolates.
Service on the flight was okay, as I find to be the norm on Qatar. I’m never been blown away by the service, as I find the flight attendants to be rather impersonal, but I think that’s largely a function of their work environment.
However, the food and small details of the service on Qatar really are second to none in business class, even though they’ve made some service cuts lately.
As a point of comparison, here’s what I was served on my China Eastern flight from Shanghai to Colombo the day before, a flight which was two hours longer than my Qatar Airways one:
Is there an airline with a better business class soft product than Qatar? If so, I haven’t flown them…