Thursday, August 21, 2014

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class : Munich to Doha QR58

A few months ago I was looking for interesting ways home from Europe when I discovered award availability on Qatar Airways business class from Munich to Doha. Since the flight was with a carrier I had never flown before but heard great things about AND on the Boeing 787, I jumped at the chance and booked right away. I used Qantas frequent flyer points for this booking, which was possible since Qatar Airways have joined the oneworld alliance.


FLIGHT: QR58
DEPARTURE: Munich @ 16.35
ARRIVAL: Doha @ 23.05
CLASS: Business Class
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 787-8
PASSENGER LOAD:  18 out of 22


The check-in experience was quick and friendly  and after being passed my boarding pass for seat 2A I was through security and in the gate area in just moments. This is because Munich airport gates are located literally steps away from the check-in counters. With a bit of time to wait I headed upstairs to the British Airways lounge which is available to Qatar passengers. The lounge was quite boring with some pretty poor hot food selections but at least there was some decent German beer to drink and free wifi.

After a while I decided to head back down to the gate and have a look at the aircraft:





The Boeing 787-8 looks stunning at the gate, so sleek and the grey colours of Qatar suit it perfectly. The aircraft operating today's flight was A7-BCI, it took its first flight in December 2013 and was delivered to Qatar in April 2014. The flight I took was in early June, meaning she was 6 months old, but only 2 months of airline service under her belt. Brand new basically. I was getting quite excited about the upcoming flight when boarding was finally called.

Greeted at the door by a lovely Thai flight attendant, I was escorted immediately to my seat 2A. A moment later a second flight attendant appeared (also from Thailand) who gave me a warm welcome by name, she had actually already memorised it. Incredible!

Let's look at the seat and business class cabin:




It is absolutely stunning, the colour scheme, seat design and curves make it one of the classiest cabins I've come across. With the high ceiling and large windows there is a real feeling of space and a terrific ambiance. You will also be pleased to know (or maybe not), that Downton Abbey is available on the AVOD:


Amenity kits and socks were handed out:


The seat controls give you many options for sitting, eating, lounging and sleeping
Shortly afterwards a large flute of champagne arrived. It was a 1999 gold label vintage Lanson. It's worth noting that this is an older and more hard to find vintage than the current 2004, and it was very tasty indeed:


Whilst on the ground I played around with the excellent IFE system which Qatar call 'oryx':




Noise Cancelling headsets

Storage for water bottle next to the seat
With boarding still underway I was able to enjoy a second glass of champagne while still on the ground. Eventually doors were closed and we pushed back and made our way to the runway. After a short and powerful takeoff roll we were flying over the lovely green German countryside:


By this stage it was a little past 5pm and approaching dinner time. The menu and wine list was as follows:









The whole thing seemed more like a First Class menu than business class with a good selection of food. I especially appreciate a choice of appetiser, nothing annoys me more than being presented with salmon and having no other choice. This seems common on many asian based carriers, but is certainly not a problem on Qatar.

Before we even got started with the main a lovely Hors d'oeuvre was presented along with my chosen beverage (more champagne!).



I believe it was a kind of crab meat with avocado and it came with some nice bread to spread it on. Very tasty indeed. As I was enjoying that the flight attendant appeared in the aisle with a cart containing bread baskets and the table cloths and cutlery items to set the table.


The table presentation is definitely reminiscent of first class, simply stunning:


There is not a tray in sight which I love. The plates, glassware and flatware were all really nice and I was already thinking to myself that I may have found the worlds best business class experience. Not to mention the fact that the two flight attendants serving me were incredibly friendly and treated everyone like royalty.

Classic Arabic mezze appetiser

Lovely breads from the Munich caterers - plus more champers and sparkling water

Braised lamb shank with puy lentils
Both the arabic mezze starter and the lamb shank main course were delicious. I was in food heaven as well as airplane heaven with the fabulous atmosphere created by the B787 electronically controlled tinted windows and the terrific comfort of the Qatar seat and entertainment system all at once.

I was already feeling full at this point, but there was no chance I wasn't going to see what else was on offer and I wasn't disappointed when the cheese plate arrived:


And finally, the sticky date pudding with sorbet. Look at the incredible presentation:


The dessert was delicious and went down very well with a glass of the sweet Hungarian dessert wine, Chateau Dereszla Tokaji. In case that wasn't enough a small box of Godiva chocolates was also presented to me:


Feeling utterly full I had a rest while watching the inflight entertainment system. I also made use of the inflight wifi (which is available for a fee and is charge in data quantities not time limits). At some point I ordered a glass of chardonnay which came with a bowl of nuts:


Since the flight was only 5 hours it all was coming to an end very quickly. I ordered a cappuccino to wake me up a bit since I still had another flight onwards to Abu Dhabi after this one:


After a smooth landing we parked at the terminal at the new Doha Airport (which had only been open a couple of weeks at the time).

Arrived at Doha
What an amazing experience. Qatar business class service is very close to other airlines first class (without the very pricey champagne). I felt like a king on this flight with both flight attendants going above and beyond to provide an outstanding passenger experience. The B787 seat and cabin layout is stunning, I would be more than happy to be on board for 12 hours on this aircraft, I hope I can try it out again soon. With QR now in oneworld alliance I suspect I can!


3 comments:

  1. Wow! What an amazing array of food and such a comfortable cabin! I surely have this now on my list of airlines to try! Thanks AF! Matt

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  2. Another very good report Aussie... Thanks.

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  3. Good report, thanks mate. Similar to my experience in April last year Perth - Istanbul return, with one major difference. On my way back from the loo in the early hours of the morning I stopped to chat to the 2 crew on duty and finished up being dragged into the galley and "forced" to make them cups of tea. They were very friendly and hospitable - it was no use complaining as one of the perpetrators of this "outrage" was the cabin service director herself. Nothing like that has happened to me before and it was really a great experience, one I don't think will ever be repeated. Cheers.

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