I was recently invited to Doha, Qatar, to check out the brand new Airbus A350 of Qatar Airways. At the same time, I was also asked to try out and review the Qatar Airways Business Class product on my flight back from Doha to Mumbai. It was my first ever experience on Qatar Airways Business Class and I have to say that I was most impressed. So here are the highlights of my experience.
Let me begin with the airport. The spanking new Hamad International Terminal really is impressive. Bright, spacious and uncluttered. It really does look pretty swanky. It is, in my opinion, a bit understated as compared to the rather over-the-top Dubai airport. But Dubai airport tends to get overcrowded at times, which was not the case in Doha, I was happy to find. As you would expect, Qatar Airways Business Class passengers have a separate check-in area and priority immigration and security channels. I breezed through my airport formalities and was ushered to the new Qatar Airways Business Class lounge, located above the main departure concourse. This lounge is said to be one of the biggest business class lounges in the world, is divided into different areas – quiet seating area, cocktail bars, cafe, cold buffet area and a hot dinner buffet area. The lounge staff are always at hand to assist you with whatever you need. Here are a few pictures.
Now for the actual flight. My boarding gate was a quick two minute walk from the lounge. The boarding process was a bit chaotic, with all 300 passengers attempting to board at once. I managed to wade through the crowd and finally boarded the flight.
Qatar Airways operates a Boeing 777-300ER on its daily Mumbai-Doha, featuring a two-class configuration. 42 Business Class seats in a very comfortable and spacious 2-2-2 layout and 293 Economy Class seats in an extremely pleasant 3-3-3 layout.
The seat in itself has a 22 inch width and a generous 78 inch pitch.
After take-off, I took time to go through the menu in great detail.
I began to look at the wine and beverage list. What I absolutely LOVED about this menu is how large images of each bottle are displayed, rather than using only the bottle labels, like many airlines use in their menus. This makes the menu more interactive and also a great way to showcase the airline’s product. Check out some of the images.
My verdict: This super quick 3 hour flight between Doha and Mumbai is too short to be able to actually gauge Qatar Airways Business Class product to its fullest. What I liked most about the cabin is its spacious layout and colour themes, which are pleasing to the eye. Needless to say, the service (even minus long-haul elements like amenity kits, pajamas, bedding) was impeccable and extremely attentive. I highly recommend using this product, especially on long-haul flights to the US. And the new Qatar Airways Business Class lounge at Doha Airport, makes the transit seem like a breeze. Who could ask for anything more?