July 8, 2016

Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Doha to Kathmandu

Trip to Kathmandu flying on Etihad A380 First Apartment and Qatar Airways A380 First Class

Last month, Mike and I traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal for the first time to meet our travel partner Helena, owner of Helena India Travels. We are sending our first group to Nepal in autumn and it was a great opportunity to meet her as well as the owners of the hotels where our group would be staying at. We were offered complimentary five nights stay by Mingma, the Nepalese owner of Chhahari Retreat and needless to say, we enjoyed every single day of our stay not only because of the nice room and excellent food in the restaurant but moreso because each one of them treated us like their own family. As for our flight, Mike and I used our remaining American Airlines Advantage miles to fly in first class from Europe to the Indian Sub continent, just before the devaluation in March, which is 80K miles return per person. Here's the full trip report of our trip to Nepal and I hope that thru this, more people would consider traveling to this wonderful country in the future!



Review: British Airways Business Class, Stockholm-London
Review: Etihad A380 First Apartment, London-Abu Dhabi
Review: Al Dhabi Lounge, T1 Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH)
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Abu Dhabi-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Doha-Kathmandu
Review: Chhahari Resort, Kathmandu
Review: Yeti Airlines to the Himalayas
Top Attractions in Nepal
Review: Executive Lounge, Kathmandu International Airport (KTM)
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class, Kathmandu-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Doha-Paris
Review: Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Review: Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, T2 (CDG)
Review: British Airways Business Class, Paris-London
Review: Hilton London Heathrow Airport
Review: British Airways Business Class, London-Stockholm

Qatar Airways A330 Business Class Cabin, Doha to Kathmandu

Flight: QR 646
Departure time in Doha: 8:35 (actual 8:36)
Arrival time in Kathmandu: 3:55 (actual 3:51)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 3A
Duration: 4h 30m
Date of flight: May 26, 2016
*This is an award travel, Business Class flight #103

Hamad International Airport

After enjoying our short stop at the Al Mourjan Lounge, we headed to our departure gate which was gate E3, but first we have to stop by this "Bear" which I think has been the icon of Hamad International Airport since it opened.

Boarding

Gate E3

Boarding started on time with business class passengers and those with status getting priority boarding.

Seat

Last pair seats on the left side of the cabin.

My seat 3A, was a window seat. The cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration with a total of 18 seats. These seats although not fully flat beds are still very comfortable for this flight.

The inflight monitor was big enough to watch movies from Qatar Airways' Oryx One. Reading materials can be found between the two monitors.

Entertainment controls located under the right armrest

Noise-cancelling headphones

Safety card, inflight magazine, etc.

Located at the back of our seats were more magazines.

Waiting for me at my seat was a bottle of Vittel mineral water.

Reading lamps

Headphone and USB sockets

Seat controls

Qatar Airways business class blanket

Predeparture beverage and towel

As soon as we were seated, Zuzanna, the lovely flight attendant working on our side of the cabin came to welcome us on board. She took our predeparture beverage orders as well as our choice of hot or cold towel. The captain came on the PA shortly after to welcome us and advised us of our flight time of 3 hours and 50 minutes. Newspapers were also offered and meal orders were taken shortly after.

View after take off.

It looks like there's a mini Dubai Atlantis going on here!

Dining

Business class menu and wine list

Breakfast

Morning Beverages

Freshly squeezed orange juice
Mixed berry smoothie
Carrot celery and tomato healthy energizer

Appetizer

Pesto Crusted Chicken Breast
Seasonal fresh fruits
Greek yogurt with mixed berry
Choice of breakfast cereals

Mains

Traditional Arabic breakfast
Mushroom and cheese omelette
Butter milk pancakes

Beverages

Mocktails
Cold beverages
Teas
Coffee
Hot chocolate

Below are some of the wines served on the flight.

White Champagne (Billecart Salmon) and Rose Champagne (Drappier)

French wine (Le Haut Lieu) and wine from New Zealand (Esk Valley)

Austrian Mantlerhof and French Smith Haut

A few minutes after the seat belt sign was turned off, the crew started the meal service. Mike and I both ordered the mixed berry smoothie which was very good.

Some green tea.

Table set up with a bread basket consisting of croissant and muffins

For my appetizer, I decided to go for the Pesto Crusted Chicken Breast which tasted great.

For the main course, Mike had the Mushroon and Cheese omelette which was good.

Me on the other hand ordered the Butter Milk Pancakes which was also okay but nothing special. I just think it is very difficult to serve a perfect pancake on any flight.

We were also served a small bowl of fruits to end the meal.

As usual, hot towels were offered after clearing our table.

I really loved the chicken breast because it tasted great. On the other hand, my pancake was just okay.

Lavatory

The business class lavatory had toothbrush and skin care products from Rituals.

Qatar Airways business class lavatory

Air show after the meal service

I was able to have a good sleep after the meal considering that we did not really have a good night's sleep prior to that. Around 10 minutes before the scheduled landing, the captain came on the PA to advise us that there was too much traffic and that we would be 15 minutes delayed.

View of the cabin before landing.

View before landing.

Arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport

We landed at Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport around 3:50pm. I also caught sight of two airlines namely, China Eastern and Jet Airways.

Since there were no jet bridges connected to the terminal, all passengers had to use the stairs.

Picture of Qatar Airways Airbus A330 after landing at Kathmandu International Airport.

Welcome to Nepal!

And yes, Mount Everest!

CONCLUSION

I really loved the fact that Qatar Airways is using an Airbus A330 on this route with a very nice hard product. The configuration of 2-2-2 makes the cabin spacious even if those sitting by the windows do not have direct aisle access. The seats were wide and comfortable and even if it was not fully flat, I was still able to have a good rest during the flight. The flight attendants were also very friendly just like with my previous flights with them. If there was one thing that was lacking, it was a better selection of the main course on the menu. Overall, I really enjoyed flying on Qatar Airways to Kathmandu and would probably choose them again in the future. To all the flight attendants on this flight, Shukran!


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