Review of Qatar Airways A380 Business Class, Sydney – Doha
Qatar Airways is the official airline of Qatar, a small peninsula Arab country in the Middle East. Qatar Airways currently fly to over 150 destinations, world wide. The capital of Qatar is Doha and this is most likely where you will be passing through if like me, you chose to fly long haul with Qatar Airways.
I recently flew Qatar Airways Business Class return from Sydney to Barcelona. What really swayed me to fly Qatar Airways Business Class for my trip was that Skytrax awarded them ‘Worlds Best Business Class Airline’ in 2017 and 2016. Not a bad recommendation if you ask me! So, I thought I would put them to the test.
My trip included four legs of business class travel with Qatar Airways – Sydney – Doha (return) flying on the A380 and Doha – Barcelona (return) flying on their A340. (Actually we were meant to be flying on their 787 Dreamliner from Doha – Barcelona return, but Qatar Airways changed our aircraft last minute for both flights This was a little disappointing as the seat configuration in Business Class on the A340 has 2 seats next to each other, which I’m not so fond of). However for this review, I will be reviewing the Sydney to Doha flight on the A380 in Business Class, which is a 14 hour, 55 minute direct flight.
The A380 Aircraft
The A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world and Qatar Airways currently have 7 in their fleet. First, Business Class and Economy cabins are offered on Qatar Airways A380’s. If you are flying Qatar Airways out of Sydney, most likely you will be flying on their A380 through Doha.
The Business Class cabin is found on the upper deck on the A380 and can hold a total of 48 passengers. Well below some of their Middle East competitors (Emirates and Etihad) who cater for over 70 business class passengers. They’ve used this extra space well in my opinion for an onboard bar! But more on that later…
Good to know, there is also a small economy class cabin located at the back of the upper deck (behind the onboard bar) which would be my pick of economy class cabins should you not be able to fly Business Class. Though I believe this cabin is reserved for premium Qatar Airways privilege members.
The Business Class Seats
The Business Class seats on Qatar Airway’s A380 are arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, which means every seat has aisle access. My preference is always for a window seat on either side (I chose seat 16K for my flight), but couples travelling together may prefer the 2 middle seats.
Most importantly for any Business Class seat, the seat converts to a fully flat bed at the push of a button. Bedding including a seat liner, pillow and of course a blanket will ensure your seat is as comfortable as possible when it’s time to get some shut eye.
Qatar Airways offer Business Class passengers a (very stylish and definitely reusable) BRICS amenity kit (BRICS is a luxury luggage brand from Milan) containing Castello Monte Vibiano products and PJ’s were also offered on this flight. (Note: PJ’s are only offered on overnight flights). Noise cancelling headphones are also offered, though I must admit I didn’t test them as I always travel with my trusty Bose QC35 headphones. You’ll find the headphones and a bottle of water under your arm rest.
The seats are well designed with plenty of storage offered for smaller items. Don’t forget to find your slippers and PJ’s in the bottom drawer near the aisle! Pre-programed seat configurations are offered, or you can easily adjust the seat to your own individual requirements. Though sadly, I didn’t find a feature to save preferred seat adjustments.
The Business Class Dining Options
Another feature which drew me to Qatar Airways Business Class was their ‘On Demand Dining Service’. This means that you can order anything from their menu at any time during the flight, so you are not locked in to their pre planned meal service. This is particularly valuable when travelling long haul especially if you are trying to adjust to another time zone. You can eat and sleep according to your own timeline, not the airlines!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll definitely want to know what Champagne they serve. Yes, they do serve alcohol onboard! Qatar Airways serve a Billecart Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne as well as a Piper Heidsieck Rose Champagne. The Billecart Salmon was my pick for the pre takeoff beverage. A good selection of international wines were also offered during the flight, along with cocktails and mocktails.
When you’re ready to dine, the service staff will set your table with white table linen. Oh, and don’t expect to see a dining trolley in the cabin – it’s a trolley free zone!
The menu for my flight included an a la carte selection of starters, main courses and desserts as well as breakfast, snacks and light bites. My flight departed Sydney at 9.20pm, so I opted to start with a late dinner, which I followed up with some much needed rest and I finished with breakfast on rising. Considering I was arriving into Doha at 5.20am this seemed to be the most logical way to break up my flight.
A few dishes I suggest to look out for include the Arabic Mezze (hummus, tabouleh, muhammara and Arabic bread), the traditional Arabic Breakfast and the Lime Tart. Devine!
The Business and First Class Onboard Bar
One of the features I was most excited about on Qatar Airways Business Class on the A380 was their onboard bar, which is also shared with First Class. Located at the back of the Business Class cabin, you will find a mini oasis which provides the perfect excuse to stretch your legs and to enjoy a change of scenery. Especially welcome on such a long flight!
As well as any drink you can imagine, you will also find a selection of canapés offered at times.
From reading previous reviews, I was hoping to find Krug Champagne served in the onboard bar, but sadly this was not the case. Instead, I had to make do with another glass of Billecart Salmon. #firstworldproblems Oh, and yes, Champagne does taste better at 38,000 feet!
The Business Class Entertainment System
Business Class seats boast a 17 inch HD screen and the Oryx One Inflight Entertainment System offering thousands of movies, TV shows, music tracks and games. The entertainment system can be operated by either touching the screen or using your remote control. I must admit, I had a little trouble operating my entertainment system, finding the screen and remote to be rather touchy. Don’t you hate it when you touch your remote and the movie goes back to the beginning?! But maybe I was just unlucky.
Inflight wifi is offered free for the first 15 minutes and packages are available to include wifi for the entire flight for USD $20. In seat device chargers are also offered.
The Business Class Lounge
Qatar Airways unfortunately does not have a dedicated lounge in the Sydney international airport. Due to their Oneworld alliance, Qatar Airways Business Class travellers are invited to use the Qantas International Business Class Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
To be honest, this lounge was a bit of a disappointment. They didn’t even serve proper Champagne! But maybe I was spoilt previously visiting the Qantas International First Lounge a number of times and being served Veuve. Though, sadly the Qantas International First Lounge is only available to One World Platinum Members in this instance. (Lucky you in that case!)
On arrival into Doha’s Hamad International Airport, Business Class passengers enjoy fast track through immigration and also have the opportunity to enjoy the Qatar Airways Arrivals Lounge. Don’t confuse the Arrivals Lounge with the refreshment centre you will first pass through. The Arrivals Lounge is found after you have collected your luggage.
Considering I was arriving into Doha at 5.20am and could not check in to my Doha hotel until 8am, I decided to stop at the Arrivals Lounge for a second breakfast. I enjoyed a delicious spanish omelette and a latte. Though, worth noting – alcohol is not served in the Arrivals Lounge. (Please don’t judge me for wanting a glass of Champagne at 6am – I was on holidays!)
If you are departing Doha and flying Business Class with Qatar Airways to your next destination, you will have access to their flagship Al Mourjan Business Lounge.
I suggest you immediately ascend the impressive flight of stairs and head straight to the upstairs restaurant. Here you can enjoy their hospitality before your flight. Oh and yes, you may also enjoy a glass of Champagne! #sipsiphooray
The Frequent Flyer Program
Qatar Airways is affiliated with the OneWorld Alliance.
For most Australian travellers, that probably means you’re going to want to convert your earned points into Qantas points, which is what I did. But, if you decided to convert to Qatar Airways points you will receive more bang for buck. Though just beware, it may be harder to use those points in the future.
For my Business Class flight from Sydney to Doha – I received 7,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.
For interest, I also received 3,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points for my Business Class flight from Doha to Barcelona. So, all up for my return trip – Sydney – Barcelona in Business Class with Qatar Airways – I received 20,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
Would I fly Qatar Airways Business Class from Sydney to Doha on the A380 again?
In a heartbeat. The dine on demand and onboard bar really won it for me!
The Qatar Airways website is a little difficult to navigate, so I’ve added some handy links below.
* Urban Chic Guides paid for this (and other referred to flights) out of their own pocket. This post is in no way affiliated with Qatar Airways for promotional reasons or any other. All thoughts and words are the authors own and reflect their true and honest opinion. For more information about our Editorial Policy, click here.
Images courtesy of Qatar Airways.