December 28, 2015

Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Doha-Paris

Flying Etihad A380 First Apartment to Dubai and Qatar Airways A380 First Class to Paris

Finnair Business Class, Stockholm-Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-London
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (LHR)
Etihad First & Business Class Lounge, Heathrow (LHR)
Etihad A380 First Apartment, London-Abu Dhabi
Etihad Arrivals Lounge, Abu Dhabi T3, (AUH)
2 Days in Dubai
Dubai International First Class Lounge (DXB)
Qatar Airways First Class, Dubai-Doha
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge (DOH)
Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Doha-Paris
Hilton Paris La Defense
American Airlines Admirals Club, Paris (CDG)
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, Paris (CDG)
Finnair Business Class, Paris-Helsinki
Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki (HEL)
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-Stockholm



Qatar Airways A380 First Class cabin

Flight: QR 39
Departure time in Doha (DOH): 7:55 (actual 7:54)
Arrival time in Paris (CDG): 13:10 (actual 12:31)
Equipment: Airbus A380-800
Seat: 2K
Duration: 7h 15m (actual 6h 37m)
Date of flight: December 6, 2015
*This is an award travel, First Class flight #33


Hamad International Airport, Doha

Lounge

Arriving from my Qatar Airways flight from Dubai, I went directly to the Al Safwa First Lounge. The lounge had actually been closed the week before my visit due to the heavy flooding that hit Doha causing some sort of "problems" to the lounge. Fortunately, it reopened three days before my visit.

Boarding

As usual, there was separate boarding for first and business class passengers which was located upstairs with direct access to the aircraft's upper deck.

Aircraft

Qatar Airways A380-800 bound for Paris

Cabin

Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

The cabin has a total of 8 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration just like on Emirates Boeing 777 and A380. On that morning flight to Paris, only 2 of the 8 seats were occupied.

Seat

Welcome to my seat, 2K!

Upon boarding, I was greeted by Akil, the Cabin Service Director from India who then handed me over to Rashpreet, a very nice lady also from India who then escorted me to my seat.

Qatar Airways A380 seat 2K

Headphones and seat control located under the left armrest.

Qatar Airways A380 first class seat controls

Qatar Airways A380 first class light controls

Located under the right armrest is the entertainment control and a bottle of water.

Qatar Airways A380 first class window shades control

Qatar Airways A380 first class seat controls

Qatar Airways A380 first class power outlet

Qatar Airways A380 first class aisle divider for more privacy

Qatar Airways A380 first class personal TV

Qatar Airways A380 first class noise-cancelling headphones and entertainment controls

Qatar Airways A380 inflight magazine (Oryx) and safety instructions card

Qatar Airways A380 "Blockbuster Movies"

View of seat 2F from my seat

In between my "inspection of the seat", I was offered a hot towel, some chips and something to drink and I chose a glass of water. I was also offered some newspapers which I declined.

Next to be offered were the arabic coffee and some dates which I also declined but not without taking a picture first.

I also got the male amenity kit featuring a Giorgio Armani bag, Armani perfume, Armani All Over Shampoo, Armani Men Master Lotion and Armani Men Perfect Master which were all very nice.

Unfortunately, there were no pyjamas given even if Qatar Airways advertises on their website about the sleeper suits for first class passengers. I was told by Akim that they only give them on overnight flights. I find it strange because on this day flight that is about 7 hours long, me and the other first class passenger were offered turn down service and yet it seemed they expect us to sleep or rest without changing into pajamas. Moreso, if they have decided to offer pyjamas only on overnight flights, then they should state it clearly on their website since a lot of people (including myself) thought that pyjamas were always offered on long haul first class flights. On one note, they used to offer pyjamas on day flights until last year so this is obviously a sign of cost-cutting.



Another Qatar Airways Airbus A380.

One of the coolest things about flying Qatar Airways A380 in first class is that you get a wifi code which you can use to freely surf the internet for the whole flight's duration! It was also quite fast so I was able to use Tweeter and Viber while uploading some pictures. A big plus here!

Dining

Qatar Airways A380 first class menu card and wine list

A la Carte

Morning beverages

Freshly squeezed orange juice
Fig and almond smoothie
Cucumber and pear healthy energizer

Appetizers

Smoked salmon with asparagus and quail egg
Seasonal fresh fruits with honey creme fraiche
Greek yogurt with mixed berry compote and toasted granola
Bircher muesli
Choice of breakfast cereals

Mains

Traditional Arabic Breakfast
Mushroom parantha with egg bhurji
Create your own breakfast
Pancakes with caramelised pineapple and ginger

Light Options

Hot Arabic mezze
Heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad
Parmesan crusted chicken bread with rigatoni pasta
Mozzarella and grilled vegetable panini sandwich
Cheese selection served with crackers, grapes and chutney
LADUREE Selection of indulgent individual desserts

Qatar Airways first class beverage list

Qatar Airways first class beverage list

Qatar Airways first class champagnes

Qatar Airways first class white wines

Qatar Airways first class red and white wine

For my drinks, I ordered a glass of Cucumber and Pear healthy energizer


Appetizer
Smoked salmon with asparagus and quail egg

I also asked for a cup of green tea and a glass of their non alcoholic champagne, So Jenny!

Main
Herb Omelette with portobello mushrooms and baked beans

Having taken an almost exact morning flight in Etihad First Apartment from Abu Dhabi to London a few months ago, I thought that the dining experince on Qatar Airways was really subpar. The choices were just underwhelming for a first class flight. On the other hand, I liked the way my appetizer tasted.

After my meal, Rashpreet offered to do the turndown service and since no pajamas were offered, I had to use my own Etihad pajamas which I got a few days earlier on the London to Abu Dhabi flight.

About two hours before landing, I thought I'd order something from the light options.

Parmesan crusted chicken bread with rigatoni pasta

The pasta was superb!


Dessert

Lavatory

Lavatory on the right side

There are two lavatories on Qatar Airways Airbus A380, one on the left and the other on the right side of the cabin.

Qatar Airways First Class lavatory


Qatar Airways First Class lavatory

Qatar Airways First Class lavatory amenities by Rituals

Qatar Airways First Class lavatory, left side

There is also some sort of an "ash tray" on the lavatory door wall. Or at least a reminder that you are not allowed to smoke.

Self-Serve bar

The self-serve bar located between seat 1K and the lavatory, offered some popcorn snacks and bottles of mineral water.

Qatar Airways First Class stairs and the gorgeous chandelier with Arabic design

This way to the Economy cabin

The Lounge

Qatar Airways A380 The Lounge

Me in The Lounge wearing my Etihad first class pyjamas ;)

Qatar Airways A380 The Lounge

Taittinger Champagne

Krug Champagne

Qatar Airways A380 The Lounge

Qatar Airways A380 The Lounge

Qatar Airways A380 The Lounge

Qatar Airways A380 The Lounge, mocktails

From The Lounge, I asked Ivana, the barwoman from Zagreb to make me a glass of Mango Fizz which was excellent.

Before landing, Akil came to my seat once again to thank me for flying with them and to apologize for not being able to offer the pajamas on this flight.

Arrival in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

View minutes before landing

The flight was actually very smooth and we arrived in Paris about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. While getting off the plane, immigration fast track cards were handed to the first and business class passengers.

CONCLUSION

Having flown in Emirates First Class and Etihad First Apartment in the past, I thought it was about time to try what Qatar Airways had to offer on their Airbus A380. While both Emirates and Etihad installed shower spas for their first class passenger, Qatar Airways opted to keep their cabin simple without it. The Lounge on the other hand was really beautiful and could easily be on par with what Emirates and Etihad offer, if not better. I thought the seats were okay and comfortable although the lack of privacy was something I would have preferred. Regarding the food, I really thought the choices were subpar. The issue with the pyjamas was also something I was disappointed specially when they are advertising it on their website. The staff were very friendly and did their job well, as usual. Overall, this is a nice flight and could be better if they improve on some aspects.


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