Review: Qatar Airways Business Class Boeing 777-300ER

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.

Love the quirky decor of this individual seating area with tablet consoles
Love the quirky decor of this individual seating area with tablet consoles
View of the main lounge area
View of the main lounge area
Staircase leading up to the dining areas
Staircase leading up to the dining areas

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.

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A back to front view of the Business Class cabin in a 2-2-2 layout
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I always prefer the front-facing traditional cabin layout to a staggered layout, which I find to be too boxy and cramped. This cabin really gave the impression of space and comfort.
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View of a row of Business Class seats
Upon boarding I received a glass of Qatar's famous lemon and mint drink, which was very refreshing.
Upon boarding I received a glass of Qatar’s famous lemon and mint drink, which was very refreshing.
With that, the stewardess also offered me a cold towel.
With that, the stewardess also offered me a cold towel and introduced herself to me. A nice touch

The seat in itself has a 22 inch width and a generous 78 inch pitch.

Legroom perspective
Legroom perspective
A leather bound menu and wine list placed in the compartment
A leather bound menu and wine list placed in the compartment
I like the idea of placing a paper menu in a leather dossier. It adds a nice luxurious touch
I like the idea of placing a paper menu in a leather dossier. It adds a nice luxurious touch
The wine and beverages list
The wine and beverages list

After take-off, I took time to go through the menu in great detail.

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The opening page of the menu features the Qatar Airways culinary panel including Nobu Matsuhisa, Vineet Bhatia, Tom Aikens and Ramzi Choueiri, who specialise in Japanese, Indian, Western and Arabic cuisine respectively
This is what the menu du jour looked like
This is what the menu du jour looked like, with a special mention if a dish has been created by one of the celebrity chefs

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.

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There are two varieties of champagne: the Taittinger Rosé being the first
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And a Billecart-Salmon Brut being the second
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Albert Bichot Chardonnay, France
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St. Hallett Shiraz, Australia
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Luigi Bosca Malbec, Argentina
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Cuvée Sainte Catherine Gewürztraminer, France
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Kopke Colheita Port, Portugal
I opted for the Billecart-Salmon Brut to accompany my meal
I opted for the Billecart-Salmon Brut to accompany my meal
Cheers
Cheers
Dinner is not served on a tray but is a table layout service, beginning with a bread basket and butter.
Dinner is not served on a tray but is a table layout service, beginning with a bread basket and butter
The first course was Vineet Bhatia's
The first course was Vineet Bhatia’s Tomato Cumin Soup, which was piping hot and delicious, served with a piece of crusty sesame bread
Maincourse was a lamb biryani served with spicy vegetables and raita. Was not too kicked about the presentation but, then, there's only so much you can do with Indian food on a plate
Maincourse was a lamb biryani served with spicy vegetables and raita. Was not too kicked about the presentation but, then, there’s only so much you can do with Indian food on a plate
The absolute piece de resistance of the meal: a pastry by Ladurée. Enjoying a piece of Paris's most iconic patisserie, on a Middle Eastern carrier, 35, 000 feet in the air, on a flight to India is an absolute delight.
The absolute piece de resistance of the meal: a pastry by Ladurée. Enjoying a piece of Paris’s most iconic patisserie, on a Middle Eastern carrier, 35, 000 feet in the air, on a flight to India is an absolute delight.
After dinner, bottles of water were distributed, I love this little compartment in the armrest of the seat, where one can stow a mobile phone, spectacles and, of course, a bottle of water. Comes in handy especially on long flights
After dinner, bottles of water were distributed, I love this little compartment in the armrest of the seat, where one can stow a mobile phone, spectacles and, of course, a bottle of water. Comes in handy especially on long flights
After dinner, it was time for me to enjoy the comfort of my seat and watch a movie. The Oryx Entertainment system was easy to use and the remote was responsive. A good choice of movies, shows, music and games, in different languages. I was unlucky to get two faulty headphones in my seat. But the crew were prompt to give me a new one that worked.
After dinner, it was time for me to enjoy the comfort of my seat and watch a movie. The Oryx Entertainment system was easy to use and the remote was responsive. A good choice of movies, shows, music and games, in different languages. I was unlucky to get two faulty headphones in my seat. But the crew were prompt to give me a new one that worked.
And a last view of my seat, just before we began our descent into Mumbai
And a last view of my seat, just before we began our descent into Mumbai

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?

 

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