No matter what time of day, you’re in for a comfortable flight on Qatar Airways.
In my intro to this trip report, I focused on the excellent food onboard even a relatively short overnight flight in Qatar Airways business class. I’ll talk about that again, but the point of this review is to give you an idea of what to expect on late-night departures from Doha.
> Read More: Qatar Airways Shines in the Dark of Night
Qatar Airways 970
Doha (DOH) – Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)
Wednesday, January 17
Duration: 7hr 05min
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 1A (Business Class)
2am is 1pm in California, so I was right in the middle of the work day when last call for boarding was announced. I boarded, a tad stressed that I’d be disconnected for the next seven hours.
This was the flight with my pipe smoking seatmate. Thankfully. the flight was half-full and I moved from 2A to 1A. I would have done this whether had reeked of smoke or not, as we both ended up with open seats next to us.
> Read More: Sitting Next to a Pipe Smoker
I’ve reviewed the hard product before so I won’t focus on the seating here, other than to note that the advantage in my row one bulkhead seat was an especially generous footwell. There is even a storage container for your shoes. I recommend this seat if you don’t like your feet confined when in the lie-flat position.
Before takeoff, I was offered a choice between a hot or cold towel and beverage. I chose a cold towel and lemon mint juice.
Service began 20 minutes after takeoff. Other than a lamb sandwich in the Al Mourjan lounge, I had not eaten the last eight hours and was ready for lunch (my internal clock was still on a California schedule).
First, I enjoyed a glass of rosé champagne with warmed mixed nuts.
After ordering both my initial meal and pre-arrival breakfast, a FA placed a tablecloth down on my tray table. Look at the picture below–it was stained with red wine or a similar dark substance. I didn’t say anything and my cloth napkin was not dirty.
Note the careful standardized precision on every Qatar Airways flight I’ve ever taken in business class: the fork, knives, salt and pepper, butter dish, bread bowl, and bread plate are always arranged in the same place. I appreciate that attention to detail.
For my appetizer, I enjoyed a delicious salad of asparagus, mixed beans, walnuts, mandarin oranges, and blueberries.
I chose mushroom ravioli for my main course.
Turning down a pair of decadent dessert options, I just had fruit to finish.
While full BRICS amenity kits were provided, the lavatory was full of shaving and dental kits.
With only five hours left in-flight, I should have tried to sleep but instead started watching a movie called November Criminals. It was filmed where I used to live in Washington, DC and was an interesting murder mystery.
When that concluded, I should have gone to bed but instead started a German movie called Jugend Ohne Gott, translated Youth Without God. It was dystopic film I thought was extremely thought-provoking and well-made.
Unfortunately, it was time for breakfast by the time I finished the second movie. So much for sleep…
> Read More: Do You Ever “Waste” a Flight Watching Movies?
Over 100 movies were available as well as TV shows, games, audio books, music, and a moving flight map.
For breakfast I enjoyed my liquid diet of orange juice, smoothie, and cappuccino as well as a yogurt parfait, and an omelet. Other than stale bread, a recurring problem on Qatar Airways, breakfast was excellent.
I appreciated the service on this flight. One FA, Shayma from Tunisia, was very attentive, noticing that I did not sleep and frequently checking on me. She also called me “Mr. Klint” which (as I explained in my Qsuite report) is not required, but demonstrates a higher level of service. She was the only FA I interacted with the entire flight other than a brief welcome aboard from the purser.
Before we pushed back, I tired to get out a few more emails using the airport’s wi-fi network. No one told me to put away my laptop during the safety briefing or during initial pushback. This despite the fact that several FAs frequently walked by: I wasn’t hiding anything. While some may view this as a security and safety concern, I was just thankful to complete additional work while we were on the ground. Hopefully Qatar Airways will rapidly install wi-fi across its fleet.
The marathon film session turned this into an unconventional flight, but I always appreciate the consistent above-average experience on Qatar Airways. I really cannot ask for more than a comfortable seat, dining-on-demand, and a few good movies. I’m also seeing a trend: the shorter the flight, the more Qatar shines.