Airlines

My Flight: Qatar Airways Dreamliner B787 Business Class – Doha to London


My review of the Qatar Airways Business Class service on the 787 (Dreamliner) between Doha and London.

After a very good first experience with Qatar Airways last year, on a trip to the Maldives, it was clear that the experience was to be repeated, even if we were not planning to actually stopover in Doha this time around. Destination: the same, of course.

A journey from London to Male, is actually very straightforward – a 6.5h flight to Doha, Qatar and a very speedy (under 1 hour) connection to Male, which we successfully accomplished, as did our luggage (the flight time from Doha to Male is approximately 4h30). On the return journey from paradise, I picked my flights carefully so I could do one thing: try Qatar Airways‘ new Boeing 787, aka the Dreamliner and test its new business class product.

The new Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The new Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

 

Check-in 

All business class passengers check in at the Premium Terminal in Doha. This terminal is an oasis of tranquility and beautifully designed. When you arrive, a hotel-style bell boy takes your luggage and escorts you to the check-in desks where you get to sit down.

Fantastic first impressions on arrival at Doha's Premium Terminal

Fantastic first impressions on arrival at Doha’s Premium Terminal

We had landed from Male at around 10pm, and headed out to Doha for dinner, so when we came back at around 1am, we had no luggage with us. We were flying business class (there is no first class on the B787), but I had asked Qatar Airways if we could use the First Class lounge as an exception, as we had to ‘overnight’ at the airport (it would make no sense to sleep at a hotel for 3 hours).

 

Security

Well, there was no one except us. No fast track as the whole terminal is fast track and a breeze.

A truly luxury travel experience awaited...

A truly luxury travel experience awaited…

From security, you head up the escalators towards the lounge area. At the reception area, you are personally welcomed and directed towards the correct lounge – the First or Business Class. They are very similar in style, but differ in size (business class is larger) – one of the main differences is the spa and wellness offering, which I was really keen to try.

Outside the lounges, and available for all premium passengers are a business centre, prayer rooms, smoking rooms (also available inside each lounge), a family room, medical facilities and a games room (pictured further down). Plenty to do while you wait for your flight! There is also a small duty free area on the main floor, close to the departure gates.

 

The Lounge

All I could possibly want for a short connection

All I could possibly want for a short connection

I had been to this lounge before and was truly impressed – and this time around I wasn’t disappointed either. We were able to use one of the bedrooms available for connecting passengers, and did manage to get 3 hours sleep, before having a shower, breakfast and make our way back to London.

We slept well (but were a bit cold as we were unable to control the air con) and breakfast was outstanding. When we woke up at 5am the lounge was busy and smelled delicious. I have to say that the food selection would rival any 5-star hotel in the world. There were also made-to-order options, which we didn’t try as we were keen to spend the rest of the time at the business class terminal, where we found everything to be quite similar. There was a lot of staff and everyone was very keen to help and see if we (and everybody else) needed anything.

Great food selection at both lounges

Great food selection at both lounges

Due to the early time of the day, we abstained from any alcohol but I did see a considerable selection and the magic cocktail making table – I was gutted not to try one of the made to order cocktails, but I shall leave something for next time. We made our way towards the boading gates where mini shuttles or cars escort passengers to the plane.

Getting ready to board

Getting ready to board

We were delighted to be surprised (again) by a private transfer – and I have to say, it was fantastic. We got to board the plane before everybody else, which was actually handy (and I could take some photos without looking a little bit silly).

This is how one boards a plane, Qatar Airways' style

This is how one boards a plane, Qatar Airways’ style

 

The Flight

There is nothing like a new plane. Loved the cabin interiors of the Dreamliner

There is nothing like a new plane. Loved the cabin interiors of the Dreamliner

–          Welcome

We were welcomed by name by the crew, who I have to say, were very attentive throughout the whole flight. We were escorted to our seats, which you cannot actually see on the photo above as they were at the very back of the cabin. Once we realised we were still on our own, the crew obviously let us wonder around so we could see the cabin in more detail.

Here you can see a bar, at the rear of the cabin. Our seats were just behind, which was actually quite a private area.

Here you can see a bar, at the rear of the cabin. Our seats were just behind, which was actually quite a private area.

–          Amenities

On our seats, we found a little white (for ladies) or black (for men) pouch by Salvatore Ferragamo. It included face cream and other beauty products, as well as perfume. We also had an eye mask, socks and ear plugs – please note that this was not an night flight (it was a 6.30am departure, and therefore no pyjamas, which we had on other flights).

–          Drinks service 

The surprise of this trip was the fantastic lemon and mint juice, which I had on every leg of our trip to the Maldives. Yes, I declined champagne. It was fantastic and this was how I chose to start this trip. Obviously, there was a good selection of non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks (and Rose Bollinger, yes! Interestingly, the brut option was Lanson, which isn’t quite the same. I wonder why!)

My first Qatar Airways experience last year brought spiced chai to my life. This time around, the mint and lemon juice. I have the chai at home now, but not sure  how I will find the lemon juice! Ideas?

My first Qatar Airways experience last year brought spiced chai to my life. This time around, the mint and lemon juice. I have the chai at home now, but not sure how I will find the lemon juice! Ideas?

–          In-flight dining

Oh, I had a lighter breakfast at the lounge, as I was really looking forward to having a meal onboard. On my Maldives leg I had missed out on the ‘Arabic breakfast’, and I was determined to try it. And I got it – and loved it. I seriously think I was middle eastern in one of my other lives as I simply adore the food.

We had 2 meal services, one after take off, and one before landing (the flight was around 6h). Qatar continues to work with various Michelin-starred chefs and you can choose if you would like Western, Middle Eastern or Indian food. I went for Middle Eastern all the way – I first had the Arabic breakfast, and before landing I had the Arabic meze and the grilled halloumi salad.

I loved the menus (which are in a nice binder) and the food was outstanding.

I loved the menus (which are in a nice binder) and the food was outstanding.

–  In-flight entertainment

Oh, I went to town, I have to say. The screen was huge and the selection was almost overwhelming. And what I really liked? The incredible selection of films, not only western style, but also from Bollywood and China. I did actually spend a good 20 minutes just going through the ‘world blockbusters’, but ended up watching some of the latest Hollywood releases.

The IFE system worked very well and you could access it via the touch screen or the iPod style remote. The flight had wifi too (which is still a novelty in my part of the world), but I decided I had plenty to do and see and did not use it.

Very good in flight entertainment

Very good in flight entertainment

–          The seat 

The new business class seats are, without a doubt, a huge improvement from the previous generation. Our little capsule was very spacious and had plenty of space for personal belongings, with a shelf, a side storage area (for magazines and water, for example) and a fully controllable seat. Needless to say, this seat turns into a fully flat bed and it is comfortable.

The new Qatar Airways Business Class seats were very good.

The new Qatar Airways Business Class seats were very good.

I also felt that there was enough personal space should you not be travelling with someone you knew – this may seem a small thing, but it really matters.

 

Final thoughts

Needless to say, I had (yet another) exceptional experience with Qatar Airways, who has recently joined Oneworld, and makes it even more interesting for frequent flyers partial to this alliance, like me, to try this airline on future trips. I was impressed with the new cabin, service and the food and drink. Our flights were also always on time, which is always appreciated. Will I fly again with Qatar Airways? Absolutely – the connection in Doha is not a problem at all (it is actually quite nice to have a break), and its destinations are particularly interesting for me. I shall be back!

 

Until the next flight…

xo

Mrs. O

 

Disclaimer: Mr. O and I were upgraded on our trip by Qatar Airways, on the basis that we purchased an economy ticket ourselves, and subject to standby on some of the legs. All the effort and attention were greatly appreciated. Opinions are, as always, my own. An economy ticket to Male, in the Maldives via Doha from London Heathrow costs from £565 return including taxes, and from £2600 in business class.

 


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View Comments (35)

35 Comments

  1. Victor El mundo a tus pies

    December 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Qatar business class is amazing !!!

    Congratulations !!!

  2. Yvonne

    June 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful review. I have just this evening booked a business class flight with Qatar Airways to Joburg . Always fly BA but because l left my travel plans too late, would have had to pay over 5k. Ridiculous right ?. Your review has made me excited to stop off at Doha. The last time l stopped there on my way to Abu Dhabi, it was a tiny hub Airport. How things change. Happy travels 🙂

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      June 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Yvonne, you will love Qatar Airways – it is something special and you will get yummy tier points. Interestingly, since I wrote this post a month ago, Qatar Airways has moved to the new terminal at Doha. No idea how this works – but it can only be better. You have nothing to worry about!

  3. Candy

    June 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Hi Ana.
    My hubby to be would like to know what was the Maldives to Doha flight on Qatar Airways like in Business class? Do you have a review for that journey? And/or pictures of meals, amenities and cabin??

    Candice

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      June 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Candy hi! I haven’t written that one, I am afraid, but posted some photos on my Facebook and Instagram page. We had the new A320 on the way our (so quite different from the ones we had last year). The seats were very similar to the ones on the dreamliner and so was the food. Very good service too (and same large screens etc)

  4. John M

    May 13, 2014 at 1:56 am

    After reading this, I subscribed to qatar’s emails. And just booked on the Dreamliner! They had a 2for1 business class promotion – thank you so much for the tip!

  5. Joseff

    May 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Wow! This must be a very luxurious trip. I can see how elegant and beautiful Qatar Airways is and flying with them must be a great experience especially in a business class. Plus, traveling to London? Wow! That must be really perfect. I wish to travel soon and get the chance to fly with Qatar airways with my family and explore the world soon. Thanks for sharing this amazing trip you just had.

  6. Saint

    May 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Very nice insight into Qatar airways first class. The best part was the way they dropped you in a car to board the flight, cool.
    Frankly I never flew first class so I wanted to check why its so expensive. 2600 pounds is a lot but i guess it gives some specials.

  7. Tawny of Captain and Clark

    May 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    You’ve done it once again! We scrolled through this post with our mouths agape. We’ve always loved Qatar Airways and are crossing our fingers for a business class ticket in the future. Saving those miles! 🙂
    Tawny of Captain and Clark recently posted..Where we slept. Iceland edition.My Profile

  8. the lazy travelers

    April 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    well this looks like an absolutely divine way to travel, mrs. o! i had a chance to fly on a new dreamliner on the way back to new york from prague over the summer, and even the economy seats were heavenly. looks like qatar airways takes thed dreamliner comforts above and beyond! xo, the wino
    the lazy travelers recently posted..for the decidedly un-lazy traveler: night kayaking in st. thomasMy Profile

  9. Chinmoy Lad

    April 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Yet to fly Qatar Airways, but heard lots of good things. You’re only adding to it 🙂

  10. lola

    April 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    i hear only the BEST things about Qatar!! it looks so wonderful and if Mrs. O is pleased, then i know all the positive rumors are true!
    lola recently posted..Lessons Learned at Boston Dive BarsMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Oh that is too kind. But you won’t be disappointed 🙂

  11. Michela @ Rocky Travel Blog

    April 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    The interiors are impressive and the colours very relaxing! I may try out this airline in the future. Thanks for your review.
    Michela @ Rocky Travel Blog recently posted..The cost of travelling AustraliaMy Profile

  12. Kelly

    April 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Hey Ana,
    My partner and I had a VIP tour of the Boeing factory in Seattle a few years ago and we saw the Dreamliner getting made however we never saw the interior unfortunately. The interior looks amazing! Definitely will make an effort to fly on a Dreamliner sometime in the future. Great post x

  13. Laura (@cocktailsandgelato.com)

    April 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    The way flying should be. . . It all looks so luxurious and guarantees you will arrive at your destination fully relaxed and really for vacation. Thanks for sharing! Cheers
    Laura (@cocktailsandgelato.com) recently posted..Birthday Tea at Holyrood Palace, EdinburghMy Profile

  14. Becky Padmore

    April 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Very impressive looking interiors, looks like a great experience overall! 🙂
    Becky Padmore recently posted..Unspoilt places to visit in Northern Cyprus for travel snobsMy Profile

  15. Amanda battman

    April 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I have been waiting for this review since you went to Male! Qatar Airways looks fantastic We shall fly this route later this year, with a 7 hour stop over in Doha at night. How easy was it to use the 1st class lounge? Can you pay a supplement? We have 9+ hour flight from Bali (AB330 so not lie flat

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Amanda, if you are flying economy, the only lounge access possibility is if you have one world status (sapphire or emerald), and there is a one world lounge in the normal terminal. If you are flying business class or first class, you have access to a different terminal, which comes with all of these added extras. No payment possible.

      • Amanda battman

        April 24, 2014 at 8:09 am

        Wh are flying Business, is there a ‘bedroom’ facility available other than for 1st class?

        • @mrsoaroundworld

          April 24, 2014 at 10:43 am

          I don’t think so, Amanda. But there are resting areas on the business class lounge. But not the bedroom, so to speak

  16. Mary Anne

    April 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve been wanting to fly this airway for quite a while now and seeing it here in your article makes me want to even more now!

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