Qatar A380 First Class DOH-SYD

QR908 Cover.jpg

Hamad International Airport is a magnificent facility. It reminds you more of a high end shopping mall and entertainment center with its expensive stores and massive advertising billboards.

QR DOH Airport 1.jpg

And then there is the the Lamp Bear which seems totally out of place.

QF DOH Airport 2.jpg

After my visit to the lounge it was off to the end of Concourse C to board the A380 for a 14 hour flight to Sydney.

QR908 Plane 1.jpg

My seat was 2A. Qatar’s A380 first class cabin on in the upper deck.

There are 8 first class seats, 2 rows of 1x2x1. Today’s load would be 3 people. Two in row one and me in row 2.

QR908 Cabin First 2.jpg

As on the 777, boarding lights were mood lighting. This made for dark pictures. Apologies in advance.

QR908 Cabin First 3.jpg
QR908 Cabin First 7.jpg

A view of the seat next to me when boarding.

QR908 Cabin First 5.jpg

An view of the seat next to me. with light on arrival.

QR908 Cabin First 4.jpg

The seat is an open suite with a privacy partition that is electronically controlled.

QR908 Seat 1.jpg

Opposite to the seat is a bench that can be used for a dining partner.

QR908 Seat 2.jpg

The Qatar colors of grey, burgundy along with the faux wood enhance the darkness of the cabin.

QR908 Seat 3.jpg

The divider between seats nicely acts as your closet.

QR908 Seat 5.jpg

And this inseat reading light is also a clever design.

QR908 Seat 6.jpg

One armrest holds a bottle of water.

QR908 Seat 7.jpg

The other side operates the partition as well as seat controls in the armrest.

QR908 Seat 8.jpg

This however looks to be an afterthought. The Lufthansa drink tray looks to be part of the suite, this doesn’t.

QR908 Seat 9.jpg

A mattress pad was provided when time to sleep.

QR908 Seat Bed 2.jpg

Overall I found the Qatar first class seat to be very comfortable for a long haul flight. With the privacy extended I wouldn’t be able to see a neighbor even if I there was one. When the bed was extended it was comfortable as well. The mattress pad was ok. I slept pretty well on the flight.

My take on the first class cabin itself was it lacked character. The colors blended into the darkness. I also found it odd that the first class cabin didn’t have a Qatar logo or any other identification This is the front of the bulkhead wall at the top of the stairs, which no one walks up anyway.

QR908 Cabin Stair 5.jpg

This is the opposite side, just plain grey. The back bulkhead was was the same. Overall the cabin isn’t anything like the photos you see on their website.

QR908 Cabin First 3A.jpg

This part of the plane is gorgeous. And for no one.

QR908 Cabin Stair 1.jpg
QR908 Cabin Stair 2.jpg
QR908 Cabin Stair 3.jpg
QR908 Cabin Stair 6.jpg

There are 2 lavatories in first class, for 8 people. Each are huge.

QR908 Cabin Lav 1.jpg

Qatar of course opted against an onboard shower.

QR908 Cabin Lav 2.jpg
QR908 Cabin Lav 7.jpg
QR908 Cabin Lav 5.jpg

Necessary amenities were plentifully stocked.

QR908 Cabin Lav 4.jpg
QR908 Cabin Lav 6.jpg

Outside the lavatories was a snack bar. I was never told about this, just saw it when using the lav.

QR908 Cabin Snack 1.jpg

Once on board I was welcomed by the first class cabin flight attendant whose name was Jasmine.

QR908 Welcome 1.jpg
QR908 Welcome 2.jpg

I was given a bevy of gifts including a Bric’s amenity kit which includes a luggage tag as well as pajamas and a set of headphones.

QR908 Amenity 1.jpg
QR908 Amenity 2.jpg

The large size pajamas were way big, so she gave me a medium and they were way small. Go figure.

QR908 Amenity 3.jpg
QR908 Amenity 4.jpg

Two champagnes were offered on this flight. I chose the former.

QR908 Welcome 4.jpg

Multiple times.

QR908 Welcome 3.jpg

Menus were distributed. Jasmine said you could dine at anytime.

QR908 Menu Food 1.jpg

Except after saying I could dine at anytime when she came around for the other 2 orders she also came to get mine. I didn’t argue.

I found the menu rather lackluster for a 14 hour flight leaving at 8PM. On the other hand, caviar was on board. The LARGE table was set, maybe not as precisely as you would find on some other international first class airlines, but it has a candle.

QR908 Food Amuse 1.jpg

The amuse was smoked salmon and roasted peppers. Meh.

QR908 Food Amuse 2.jpg

Caviar was served, finally with more than 3 blinis!

QR908 Food Cav 1.jpg

More smoke salmon?

And did you notice there wasn’t a soup course?

Time to switch to a nice red for dinner. The Bordeaux did not disappoint.

QR908 Food Main Wine 1.jpg
QR908 Food Brk 2.jpg

I ordered the cod simply via elimination.

QR908 Food Main 1.jpg
QR908 Food Main 2.jpg

It was good, nevertheless I was regretting not indulging at the lounge before the flight.

QR908 Food Main 4.jpg

I think I refused dessert. Instead a chocolate was welcomed.

QR908 Food Main Choc.jpg

Next it was off to the bar which is located behind the front business class section.

QR908 Bar 1.jpg

Just a stunning bar. Out of the ME3, this one is hands down the most beautiful.

QR908 Bar 2.jpg

A young woman from Thailand whose name escapes me, but spoke fluent english from her studies in Boston was in change. We talked for a while. She had the perfect personality for this position.

QR908 Bar 3.jpg
QR908 Bar 5.jpg
QR908 Cabin Bar 7.jpg
QR908 Bar7.jpg

Having reached my limit it was time for some sleep. I headed back through the business class cabin. With the Super Diamond seats this isn’t a bad way to travel at all.

QR908 Bus Cabin 1.jpg

After probably about 6 hours of sleep it was time to breakfast. I always think it’s so wasteful to fly first class, pay more and sleep.

QR908 Menu Food 2.jpg

Breakfast was on tap. I created my own from the menu, everything.

QR908 Food Brk 1.jpg
QR908 Food Brk 4.jpg

No complaints, other than it took almost 30 minutes to make.

Time to pass some time with the IFE. The monitor is excellent. Not as good as Etihad’s but better than many top shelf first class cabins.

And the A380 cameras are so cool.

QR908 Scenic L1.jpg

Before landing I went for the Afternoon Tea, as it was afternoon at the destination.

QR908 Food Finger 1.jpg
QR908 Food Finger 3.jpg

More salmon!

QR908 Food Finger 2.jpg

Warm scones with clotted cream.

QR908 Food Finger 6.jpg

Egg tart, yes please.

QR908 Food Finger 5.jpg

Out of the 3 meals the Afternoon Tea was probably my favorite.

With arrival at hand the good news is finally getting some light in the cabin!

Sydney is always a scenic city to fly into. This winter day would be no exception.


Redemption Pricing

I used American points for this redemption. A first class redemption from Europe to Australia is 115,000 points. Minus the CitiBank discount the flight costs 105,000 points. Given the Q-suites issue and an average first class trip on the A380, along with their business class cabin that looked pretty good, a do over would be business class all the way, for 30,000 less points.

Carrier: Qatar Airways
Date: August 2018
Route: Doha - Sydney
Flight #: 908
Aircraft: Airbus A380 Reg# A7-APG (Delivered December 2016)
Configuration: F8 / J48 / Y461
Seat(s): 2A
On Time: Yes

Reward Flying Rating: 7.6 out of 10 ✈

Cabin:
✔︎First class was dark and nondescript. Other parts of the aircraft were gorgeous.

Seat Comfort:
✔︎I like these open seats for comfort and got a good sleep as well.

Cabin/Seats Rating: 7.5 out of 10 ✈

Amenities:
✔︎Good amenities, except the pajama sizes were a little confounding.

Meals: Presentation:
✔︎Certainly not the precision of other first class airlines

Meals: Quality:
✔︎The food was average. No salad course. Like others have said, it’s a business class meal.

Amenity/Food rating: 6.5 out of 10 ✈

IFE:
✔︎Great screen and content
WiFi:
✔︎ WiFi was free for first class passengers. I used it to track the flight as shown below. Speed seemed reasonable when it worked, over the Indian Ocean there were dead spots which is to be expected.

IFE rating: 8 out of 10 ✈

Flight Attendants:
✔︎Well intentioned crew with little polish or first class experience. Dine on demand, not really. No soup was served. Very polite and friendly, but nothing close to the Savoy trained FA’s on Etihad. And not to nitpick, but more often than not, when the seat next to you is not occupied a seasoned FA will offer to make the empty seat your bed. Not today, even though I was one of four in row two.

Flight Attendant rating: 6.5 out of 10 ✈

Aircraft:
✔︎A380. Less than 2 years old. Awesome aircraft.

Aircraft rating: 9 out of 10 ✈

For me, a true test of how much I liked the flight is once I land if I am looking to book it again. Sans the first class lounge, not so much.

Notice the detour Qatar is forced to make with the blockade.

QR908 Fllghtpath.jpg

Have you flown on Qatar’s A380 in first class? Tell us about your experience.