August 1, 2016

Review: Qatar Airways Dreamliner Business Class, Stockholm-Doha

Trip to Bangkok flying in Qatar Airways Dreamliner & A380 Business Class

Last month, Mike and I traveled to Bangkok where we spent four nights exploring the city. Our original flight on Qatar Airways was in economy class but luckily, we ended up being upgraded on 3 of the 4 flights. Thanks, Qatar Airways! As for our lounge access, we had to rely on my Air Berlin Gold card as operational upgrades do not grant lounge access, aside from the fact that our upgrades were given at the gate. The weather in Bangkok was not perfect as there was a bit of showers almost everyday but still, we were able to make the most of it. As I have Hilton Diamond status, we chose the Conrad Bangkok and Millennium Hilton Bangkok as our "home in Bangkok", both of which I highly recommend to everyone as they are two of the best hotels we have stayed at. It was a very short but memorable trip and I really hope to be back soon to one of the most amazing cities in the world, Bangkok!



Review: Stockholm Arlanda Lounge, T5 Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Review: Qatar Airways Dreamliner Business Class, Stockholm-Doha
Review: Millennium Hilton Bangkok
Review: Conrad Bangkok
Top Attractions in Thailand
Review: Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, Bangkok Airport (BKK)
Review: Qatar Airways A380 Business Class, Bangkok-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Dreamliner Business Class, Doha-Stockholm

Qatar Airways Dreamliner Business Class cabin

Flight: QR 172
Departure time in Stockholm: 22:40 (actual 22:35)
Arrival time in Doha: 5:40 (actual 5:16)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Seat: 6F
Duration: 5h 41m
Date of flight: June 25, 2016
*Upgraded from Economy to Business Class, Business Class flight #107

Check-in at Arlanda Airport

Qatar Airways check-in desks for economy class (left) and business class passengers (right)

We arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport about 3 hours before departure time, with a long line for economy class passengers checking in and almost none for those flying in business class as well as those with One World status. As I had Air Berlin gold status, Mike and I used the special check in desk and were helped by a friendly agent who after a few minutes was already handing us our boarding passes to Doha as well as to Bangkok. She also informed us of the Stockholm Arlanda Lounge which we had access to.

Lounge

The Stockholm Arlanda Lounge is located after passport control near gates F26 to 69. It was my first time visiting this lounge so I was busy taking pictures for the most part of our stay. Around 21:20, we headed to our gate which was F66 as the gate is actually a bit far from the lounge and also, I wanted to take pictures of the Dreamliner. In October 2013, we were supposed to fly in business class on Qatar Airways Dreamliner for the first time, from Doha to Stockholm but due to a swap of aircraft, we ended up flying on their Airbus A330. I guess there's always the right time for everything!

The agent scanned Mike's boarding pass but the usual green signal wasn't there. He was then informed by the agent that he had been upgraded, handing him his new boarding pass. Then came my turn with the scanner not accepting my boarding pass and voila, it's also un upgrade for me! We were so happy because finally, we would be able to fly in Qatar Airways Dreamliner in business class which should have happened almost 3 years ago. Yipee!

Gate F66 while waiting for boarding.

Aircraft

There she is, Qatar Airways' Dreamliner, Boeing 787-8!

Boarding

At 21:50, an announcement was made that boarding would begin shortly, beginning with business class passengers and those with status, as well as families with kids. About 8 minutes later, boarding began. Right outside the aircraft was a newspaper trolley.

Cabin

Qatar Airways business class cabin on the Dreamliner has a total of 22 seats with rows 1-5 in a 1-2-1 configuration and row 6 behind the bar with 2 seats in the middle (which were our seats).

Magazines

Bar behind the main cabin


Qatar Airways logo

Seat

Welcome to my seat, 6F! Seats 6E and 6F were actually the most private business class seats since it is separated by the bar from the main business class cabin. On the other hand, the two lavatories were located close to these seats which could be bothersome for others. Also, the fact that these seats are located behind the main door means that economy class passengers would pass by you during boarding, and that it could be chaotic sometimes. In our case, it was okay since it didn't really bother us.

Video of the business class cabin and my seat on Qatar Airways Dreamliner

Legroom

Unfortunately, the space for you feet when lying is quite small and could be a problem for taller people.

Foldable tray table

Located on the left side of the seat is the in-flight entertainment handset.

Beside it were the Universal socket and the USB socket.

There's also a reading lamp and reading materials located on the left side of my seat.

There's a personal storage located to the left of the seat ...

... and another one to the right where the headphones and a bottle of water were placed.

Headphone socket and seat controls

Power outlet

Individual air nozzles and reading lamps

In case you need more privacy, there is a divider which you can use.

Personal TVs of seats 6E and 6F

There were a lot of nice movies from the movie selection and I ended up watching "Zootropolis" which I found cool.

Entertainment controller and headphones

Inflight magazines, Duty Free catalogue, safety card and waste bag

There's also complimentary 15 minutes wifi which is a plus since nowadays, passengers love to connect to social media when they travel.

As soon as I was seated, Michelle, a friendly flight attendant from the Philippines came to my seat to introduce herself and welcome me on the flight to Doha. She took my predeparture beverage order as well as my choice of hot or cold towel. Moments later, she was back with my glass of apple juice and a hot towel. Mike on the other hand ordered a glass of bubbly.

We were also offered the male amenity kit consisting of Giorgio Armani GIO after shave lotion and a small bottle of perfume, lipbalm, eyeshades, socks and earplugs. Pyjamas were also offered and between S/M and L/XL, I chose the S.

Safety video featuring the FC Barcelona football team.

Moments later, the captain came on the PA to welcome us and to advise us of our flight time of 5 hours and 30 minutes. At 22:30, doors were closed and the safety video started playing. We were also informed by the flight attendant that in case we find the noise from the children seating behind us to be bothersome, we could transfer to seats 1A and 1K although we declined since we thought it was better to seat together.

Dining

Qatar Airways Business Class menu and wine list

Take off went smoothly and around 11pm, the flight attendants started taking meal orders.

A la Carte

Soup
Toasted Sweet Corn Soup

Appetizers
Classic Arabic Mezze
Cured Salmon with Horseradish and chive potato salad

Mains
Arabic spiced chicken breast with rice
Marinated lamb loin with rosemary jus
Vegetable Thai green curry

Cheese plate, Fruit plate

Desserts
Glazed Lemon Tart
Gourmet Ice Cream

Morning beverages

All Day Breakfast
Strawberry compote, Greek yoghurt and toasted granola with nuts
Bircher Muesli
Grilled Chicken sausage with cheese omelette
Waffles with caramelized banana and strawberry coulis

The champagnes and wines on board included:

Billecart-Salmon Brut
Rose Champagne Drappier
Pouilly-Fuisse
Matua
Dr. Loosen Riesling
Smith Haut Lafitte
Shiraz Kangarilla Road
Malbec Catena
Sauternes


Cocktails, spirits, beers and liqueurs

Apple Cooler and some warm nuts

I did not have any difficulty choosing my appetizer since I love salmon. For my main course, I had decided to order the lamb but I was informed that all the lamb had been ordered so I ended up choosing the chicken instead. As for my post departure beverage, I chose the Apple Cooler which was later served together with some warm nuts.

A few minutes later, it was time to set up my table starting with some bread and butter. A choice between sparkling and still water was also offered and I chose the latter.

I love the fact that the butter was presented with the Swedish "smör" on it which actually reminded me of the Lufthansa First class butter where the words "First Class" are seen on the butter, although it was facing down when it was served. Sorry, Lufthansa.

Mike had his usual glass of red wine to go with his meal while I settled for a glass of water.

Cured Salmon with horseradish and chive potato salad

Toasted Sweet corn soup

Arabic Spiced chicken breast with rice

Marinated lamb loin with rosemary jus

Everything from the appetizer to the main course was excellent. I actually ended up eating the lamb since Mike wanted to have chicken in the end. I was also offered some cheese and dessert but I declined since the food was really too much. Michelle also asked me if she should wake me up for breakfast and I said yes although I believe none of the passengers had breakfast since most were sleeping after the meal service so she did not bother to wake me up.

To end the meal service, a hot towel and some Valrhona chocolates were offered.

Then it was time to have a good night's sleep even for a few hours.

Qatar Airways Business Class blanket

Toilet and Lavatory

The lavatory was always kept clean just like with my previous flights on Qatar Airways. Toothbrush/toothpaste and razor/shaving cream were offered as well as the usual Rituals products.

I love the fact that there's a window inside the lavatory!

It's nice that Qatar Airways has automatic flush sensor to flush the toilet.

And in case you need to seat ...

... you can use this!

Coat hanger

Morning beverage

About 45 minutes before landing, the captain came on the PA to inform us that we would be starting our descent in 10 minutes and that we would arrive at Hamad International Airport at 5:05am. I really had a good sleep so I did not mind having breakfast. Shortly after, morning beverages were offered and I had both the "Fennel and Apple healthy energizer" and the "Pineapple and Mango Smoothie" which were very good.

Airshow enroute to Doha

We landed at Hamad International Airport around 5:10am and were the first ones to disembark and as usual, the bar offered some Valrhona chocolates which you can take home with you. The staff greeted us one last time and thanked us for flying Qatar Airways.

Arrival at Hamad International Airport

We had about more than 2 hours to connect to our flight to Bangkok so we spent it in their lounge.

CONCLUSION

There it was, our first time flying on Qatar Airways Dreamliner in Business Class! It was actually a first time for Mike on a Dreamliner altho it was not new for me as I had flown on Japan Airlines Dreamliner from Bangkok to Osaka and on LAN's Dreamliner between Frankfurt and Madrid a few years ago. Indeed, the cabin was very spacious with a very nice design and really quiet. I loved the fact that all seats have aisle access which is probably one of the most important things for business travelers nowadays. Emirates' business class cabin on their Boeing planes flying between Stockholm and Dubai has a 2-3-2 configuration so between the two carriers, Qatar Airways definitely has a better business class seat, not to mention that it turns into a fully flat bed. Speaking of fully flat bed, one problem Mike encountered as he is taller than me, was that the space for your feet was too small. I did not have much problem with it but I could imagine taller people having the same problem as Mike did. As for the food, everything was exceptional. The crew were very friendly and really did a good job on this flight. I also loved the fact that there is a window inside the lavatory and that they have automatic flush sensor. I guess the only minor thing that was not good was the small space for your feet when lying (as I've mentioned above) but if you are not a tall person like me, then it won't be a problem. Overall, we really enjoyed our first time flying on Qatar Airways Dreamliner in Business Class and could not be more thankful for the upgrade! To all the crew on this flight specially to Michelle, Shukran!


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