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Evaluation: Qatar Airways A380 First Class Doha to Bangkok

Evaluation: Qatar Airways A380 First Class Doha to Bangkok

Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class Doha to Bangkok

En route again from the Maldives, I launched into one more flight with Qatar Airways – my third premium product with the Doha-based airline in fast succession, after Qsuites and Qatar 777 First Class – this time onboard the Airbus A380 double-decker in First Class.

This was a uncommon and considerably time-sensitive alternative to check out this expertise. In reality, Qatar Airways A380 First Class is an aspirational airline product that I had believed I’d by no means get to fly.

That’s as a result of Qatar Airways had seemingly retired their fleet of Airbus A380s throughout the pandemic, however they lately introduced them again to accommodate half of their fleet of Airbus A350s being grounded.

I actually couldn’t resist this renewed alternative to fly on the Airbus A380, so I booked a flight as a part of my “great distance round” return journey from the Maldives, between Doha and Bangkok.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Reserving

To safe this phase, I used the British Airways Avios multi-carrier award to ebook what was successfully a one-way journey of Malé–Doha–Bangkok–Tokyo, in a mixture of Qatar Airways 777 First Class, Qatar Airways A380 First Class, and Japan Airways enterprise class.

The rationale I wanted to get to Tokyo after this flight to Bangkok was to catch an onward ANA First Class flight to North America. Nonetheless, on this Avios multi-carrier reserving, I additionally included a ultimate leg of the journey out of Tokyo to Los Angeles for a month later, in case I wanted to take that flight in addition to a part of a unique journey.

(Sadly, this phase was solely obtainable in economic system class.)

The variety of Avios I had paid for this reserving is left as an train for the reader. I additionally wanted to pay round $1,000 in taxes and costs for the journey, which is sort of a major quantity in carrier-imposed surcharges, however I deemed it worthwhile for attending to fly on two First Class flights, a enterprise class flight, and getting myself into Tokyo in time for one more very particular First Class flight afterwards.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Floor Expertise

Since this could be a First Class departing out of Doha, I had entry to the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge, which ranks amongst one of many world’s greatest First Class lounges in my books.

The lounge has placing museum-like minimalistic interiors, wonderful positive eating, and an unforgettable spa expertise. You possibly can even spend your time right here soaking within the lounge’s sizzling tubs, one thing you actually received’t discover each day in an airport lounge.

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge Doha

Nonetheless, on this explicit passage by way of Doha Worldwide Airport, I as an alternative determined to spend most of my time within the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Enterprise Class Lounge. I had by no means really spent any time right here earlier than, so I sat down for a meal and checked out a few of the services.

The Al Mourjan Enterprise Class Lounge is spectacular in each its design and dimension, and the lounge is seemingly endless. In the long run, I solely had round 20 minutes to pop into the Al Safwa First Class lounge to have a drink. Then, it was time to maneuver on and board my flight for Bangkok.

Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Enterprise Lounge Doha

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin

On the boarding gate, I took the elevator as much as the second ground and boarded the Airbus A380 instantly from the higher deck of the plane. The First Class and enterprise class cabins are each located on the higher deck of the A380. 

There are simply eight First Class open suites organized throughout two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration on the entrance finish of the higher deck.

These suites are very spacious and the usual dimension for what you’d count on from a First Class suite. Nonetheless, one of many first belongings you may discover if you happen to’re a seasoned Qatar Airways passenger is that they lack the privateness that Qatar Airways Qsuites supply in enterprise class.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin

These First Class suites have privateness partitions, however they aren’t fairly a full sliding door. Furthermore, the partitions are pretty low, at the very least in comparison with lots of the extra cutting-edge First Class merchandise on the market.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin

Nonetheless, the cabin is gorgeous, with a stunning palette of visually placing cabin interiors.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin

The gentle gray seat finishes are modern, balancing properly with the cream-coloured seat consoles and delicate touches of wooden. After all, the Qatar Airways signature maroon is scattered across the finishes of the cabin.

If you end up in these First Class suites, window seats would be the best option for solo travellers, whereas the center seats are good for these travelling as a duo.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Window seat
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Center seats
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Center seats

When you’re a solo traveller who occurs to be caught within the center seats, there’s a central privateness partition that may be raised to create extra privateness between you and your seatmate. Window seats even have a big divider on the aisle aspect.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Cabin
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Window seat with raised divider

I discovered myself in Seat 2A, which might be my house for the subsequent seven hours or so.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Seat 2A
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Seat 2A
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Seat 2A

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Seat

The seats right here on Qatar Airways First Class are extraordinarily spacious. On the very entrance of the seat is a big 26-inch leisure display screen with the ability outlet instantly subsequent to it.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Leisure display screen
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Energy outlet

Beneath is an ottoman, which doubles as a buddy seat for eating with a companion.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Ottoman

On the left aspect, a literature pocket is housed beneath a flap, and there’s a collection of buttons alongside the sting which set off automated window blinds. When lowered, the blinds create a complete blackout environment.

You may also regulate your seat place for sleeping, lounging, or takeoff and touchdown right here.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Literature pocket & seat/window controls
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Seat & window controls

Beneath this flap, the armrest flips open to disclose the leisure controller and a water bottle holder.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Leisure controller & water bottle

A heavy tray desk resides within the left-side armrest and might be withdrawn into place. The tray is cellular and may simply slide nearer to you for eating.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Tray desk
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Tray desk

On the highest left of the seat close to your shoulders is a small studying mild which pops out from the seat.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Studying mild

The armrest closest to the aisle is house to a twin set of each analog and digital seat controls. The digital controls are housed underneath the armrest, which let you regulate lighting and privateness.

Two extra buttons are situated beside the privateness partitions for adjusting their place, and simply behind these controls is one other storage compartment.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Seat controls & headphone storage
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Partition controls & storage compartment
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Lowered privateness partition

Lastly, every First Class suite is fitted with a storage compartment on the outer wall, which has sufficient house for clothes or a small carry-on.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Storage compartment

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Facilities

Previous to taking off, the crew got here round to serve my selection of welcome drink, for which I ordered a crisp glass of rosé. Later, I’d change to the Krug 2004, a staple right here onboard Qatar Airways First Class.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Krug 2004 welcome Champagne

As well as, I used to be additionally provided a serving of Arabic espresso and a pitted date, which I gladly accepted.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Arabic espresso
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Arabic espresso and pitted date

By way of the amenity equipment, the Diptyque equipment supplied onboard Qatar Airways A380 First Class was similar to that on my current flight in Qsuites enterprise class, with the one distinction being the packaging the contents got here in.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Amenity equipment

The equipment featured the usual eye masks, socks, ear plugs, some lotions, and a signature Diptyque perfume. Certainly, having taken 4 separate Qatar Airways premium flights by this level within the journey, I discovered that I had collected far too many of those kits.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Amenity equipment contents

Though the First Class amenity equipment is actually elevated in comparison with enterprise class with its presentation in a leather-based case, it isn’t essentially a lot better when it comes to its contents.

That is certainly one of many examples of a specific phenomenon with Qatar Airways: the airline is so world-renowned for his or her excellent enterprise class product that their First Class product maybe doesn’t fairly carry the identical wow-factor that you simply’d count on it to. 

I then flipped by way of the in-flight menus whereas sipping my rosé as we ready for takeoff en path to Bangkok.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Menus

I didn’t really handle to seize a replica of the eating menu from this flight, although beneath are a couple of footage of the menu’s contents:

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Eating menu
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Eating menu

In the meantime, the beverage menu was a like-for-like copy of the drinks listing I had savoured from my earlier flight in Qatar Airways 777 First Class.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Meal Service

Quickly after we reached cruising altitude, the dinner service started, beginning with a beef and seaweed amuse bouche. This was fairly a tasty starter, topped by a small spoonful of salmon roe that led seamlessly into the next appetizer.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Beef seaweed amuse bouche

Up subsequent was the Balik-style salmon caviar presentation, served with the complete vary of conventional accompaniments: egg whites, egg yolk, chives, chopped opnion, crème fraîche, and a basket of blinis.

Whereas a few of the world’s greatest airways serve solely caviar and a few serve solely Balik salmon, Qatar Airways is likely one of the few carriers that enterprise to serve each gastronomic luxuries in the identical sitting..

The mixed flavours of the ocean had been highly effective, and I relished each chew of the dual indulgences as I polished them off the gorgeous glass plate. 

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Caviar service

After wrapping up my decadent appetizer, it was time for the principle course: pan-fried king prawns with lemon butter sauce.

The dish consisted of beneficiant parts of each protein and greens, slathered in a tangy sauce with a touch of tomato, which completely complemented the wealthy, juicy prawns.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Pan-fried king prawns

Lastly, wrapping up meal service, I had eyes for just one selection of dessert: the Thai-inspired pandan sago mousse.

As a giant fan of South East Asian sweets, I couldn’t resist the chance to check out at least of my favorite dessert substances – pandan, sago, coconut, mango, and keenness fruit – as a part of a inventive dessert onboard an airplane.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Pandan mousse cake

This dish was really a spotlight, and was genuinely among the finest airplane desserts I’ve ever had. The candy and fruity flavours of the mango sorbet melted in my mouth alongside the fragile mousse, all blended with the distinctive perfume of the pandan fruit. 

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Leisure

The Qatar Airways A380 First Class in-flight leisure system is supplied with the airline’s Oryx software program, which boasts an in depth choice of 4,000+ titles.

When you’re into watching motion pictures to cross the time onboard, you actually received’t run out of decisions.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Film choice
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Film choice

You will need to navigate the leisure system from the smaller display screen, after which the film will play on the bigger display screen in entrance of you, which I discovered to be barely inconvenient.

The bigger display screen additionally provides an plane tail view, which might be fairly entertaining to look at throughout takeoff and landings. 

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Tail digital camera

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Wi-Fi

Qatar Airways provides A380 First Class passengers complimentary Wi-Fi all through the flight, which is actually appreciated. The Wi-Fi might be accessed by way of a voucher with a novel code that’s supplied at your seat.

I discovered the Wi-Fi speeds to be enough for normal productiveness wants, however stalled out a bit when trying to add video to social media.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Wi-Fi voucher

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar

The true spotlight right here on the Qatar Airways Airbus A380 is, unquestionably, the onboard bar and lounge. That is arguably essentially the most ostentatious airplane bar providing you’ll discover throughout industrial aviation, rivalled solely by the smaller, however extra blingy Emirates A380 First Class bar.

When spending time on the bar, you’ll end up amongst limitless alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, all served by a devoted bartender. You’re free to converse with the bar workers or your fellow visitors, or just chill out in a quiet nook and watch the clouds go by.

The bar is situated in direction of the again of the Airbus A380’s higher deck, between the enterprise class cabin and an economic system class mini-cabin on this stage. Nonetheless, entry is restricted to only First Class and enterprise class passengers.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar

I discovered myself in awe as I explored each inch of element right here on the bar and lounge.

The bar itself is formed in a modern S-curve, with seating on both sides to match. Gentle purple ambient temper lighting falls from the ceiling, whereas a backlit strip of crimson highlights the choice of exhausting alcohol.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Alcohol choice

Moreover, a shocking show of roses is housed within the centre of the bar.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Whiskey

I helped myself to some Crown Royal and a few black tea, and took up residence in one of many window seats for the subsequent few hours to totally indulge.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Black tea

The crew member stationed on the bar was additionally a delight to talk with, and I spent round 20 minutes simply hanging out and chatting with him on the bar, studying about his cabin crew experiences and the distinctive joys of working the bar on the Airbus A380. 

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar seating
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar seating
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bar seating

Whether or not you’re posting up by the bar or taking a seat by the home windows, socializing together with your fellow bar-in-the-sky patrons or just absorbing the atmosphere, this onboard bar is actually a particular expertise in each means.

It makes for an important purpose to hunt out a premium seat on this explicit aircraft, and if you happen to do end up in enterprise class or First Class on the Qatar Airways A380, hanging out on the bar actually beats spending time at your seat!

See Also

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Mattress

After indulging in a couple of too many drinks, I made a decision to return to my suite for a little bit of a lie-down – however not earlier than trying out the First Class restrooms.

There are two similar restrooms on this plane, located on the left and proper aspect of the staircase touchdown on the entrance of the higher deck. Given the sheer dimension of the Airbus A380, these restrooms are extraordinarily spacious – one wonders if Qatar Airways may’ve thought of slotting a bathe in certainly one of these restrooms?

The ample house is stuffed up by a cream leather-based bench alongside the aspect wall. Even the bathroom seat, considerably hidden at first look, is upholstered in leather-based, doubling as an extension of the bench.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Restroom
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Restroom
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Bathroom

The self-importance consists of a single sink and a big mirror with LED lighting across the edges, in addition to a magnificence mirror embedded within the centre. Moreover, a full-length physique mirror brings a few additional sense of spaciousness, making the restroom really feel even bigger than it already is. 

By way of restroom facilities, you’ll discover hand cream, cologne, and something you may want throughout the flight, reminiscent of mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kits, and combs.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Restroom

Heading again to my seat, I requested turndown service and rested for a short while within the extremely large and cozy lie-flat mattress.

Since there have been solely about two hours of the flight left, I didn’t really shut my eyes and sleep; as an alternative, I merely relaxed and savoured the thrill of the Crown Royal earlier than restarting my eating expertise with the pre-arrival snack service.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Mattress
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Mattress

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Snack Service

With a lot of the flight accomplished, it was time for snack service, served an hour or so earlier than we landed. I opted for the open-face lobster roll in XO sauce from the sunshine menu. 

The plate consists of a number of chunks of candy, tender lobster, served on evenly toasted bread, with a flavourful serving to of Hong Kong-style XO sauce drenched over it and pouring off the perimeters.

The delicate flavours of the lobster had been completely balanced with the overwhelming umami flavours of the sauce, all packaged in a heavenly melt-in-your-mouth texture as I devoured each chew of this world-class dish.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Open-face lobster roll
Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Open-face lobster roll

I had accomplished 4 separate flights in Qatar Airways premium cabins on this journey, and this was truthfully the single-best dish I had skilled on any of them. When you’re flying on the Doha–Bangkok route and see this on the menu, I’d completely suggest ordering it and digging in.

The mountain of lobster goodness was served with a much-needed cappuccino as we approached our vacation spot, in addition to a glass of mango juice – my all-time favorite beverage right here on Qatar Airways (although Krug 2004 is actually an in depth second).

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Mango juice

It’s price mentioning, although, that what would’ve in any other case been an ideal snack service did really fall quick, because the crew took fairly some time to clear plates and likewise initially forgot my mango juice order.

I needed to remind them by way of the decision button in each instances, and that brings me to…

Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Service

I’m sometimes somebody who’s very simple to please in relation to in-flight service, however on this explicit flight, it was noticeable that Qatar Airways’s common lofty requirements weren’t fairly met. 

The workers member working the First Class cabin appeared comparatively new, and it appeared that she hadn’t been given the correct steerage when it got here to issues like how usually to test in on passengers and what to say when inserting down a plate.

Little particulars that might be par for the course on Qatar Airways had been missed: the crew member introduced out the unsuitable tablecloth at first and needed to go and get one other one, and glasses of water weren’t proactively topped up all through the meals.

Furthermore, the service model was very informal, which I discovered to be odd and verging on poor. I don’t imply to berate this particular crew member; I simply felt she wasn’t given the correct assist by her fellow crew.

Oddly sufficient, the remainder of the crew appeared to take word: in direction of the top of the flight, they got here by and requested me about my flight and the service particularly, showing to acknowledge that it wasn’t all that nice and even apologizing upfront. Props to the crew for this gesture, however I want that they had merely placed on a greater displaying within the first place.

On the finish of the day, it’s completely potential that I had merely caught the crew on a nasty day, which does occur every so often.

Because of a stellar dessert and snack service, and naturally the pure indulgence on the bar and lounge, I nonetheless felt completely on high of the world as we made our touchdown in Bangkok and I headed into Thailand for the primary time in over two years. 

Conclusion

On the entire, Qatar Airways A380 First Class is extra of a flight expertise that’s price searching for out for a really particular aspirational novelty issue, relatively than essentially one of many world’s greatest First Class merchandise.

By way of the exhausting product, the First Class suite is actually very giant, however is now not matching as much as its international friends when it comes to privateness – particularly if you’d get a extra non-public expertise when flying Qsuites enterprise class in what’s technically a decrease class of service.

The star attraction of this product is actually the open bar, which is the place I like to recommend spending most of your time. In my books, the bar is extra spectacular than the Emirates A380 onboard bar and simply one of the best house of its variety on the earth.

The meals on this flight was additionally excellent, matching as much as the top-notch eating experiences that Qatar Airways had handled me to beforehand. The service, nonetheless, was sadly beneath expectations. Mixed, this produced solely a considerably optimistic, relatively than completely excellent, gentle product on this explicit flight.

General, I used to be delighted to test off Qatar Airways A380 First Class from my bucket listing, and I’d fortunately fly on this aircraft once more if it was essentially the most handy routing – although I may be simply as joyful flying in enterprise class as First Class, on condition that I’d nonetheless have entry to the bar. 

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