After literally a day in the Al Safwa lounge, I ventured back into the terminal and proceeded to the gate for my connecting flight to Paris. This would be my first time aboard a Qatar Airways A380.
Boarding had started early and I found myself one of the last passengers onboard. Stepping onto the aircraft, a pair of flight attendants greeted me. Inspecting my boarding pass, one escorted me left to my seat in the front of the upper deck. This flight took place in 2016, but more on that below…
Qatar Airways 039
Doha (DOH) – Paris (CDG)
Sunday, June 05
Depart: 07:25 AM
Arrive: 01:20 PM
Duration: 06hr, 55min
Distance: 3,091 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 2A (First Class)
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Seating
The Qatar Airways first class cabin routinely receives mixed to negative reviews. It is true: compared to other premium first class products or even Qatar’s own Qsuite Business Class suites, there is far less privacy in this cabin.
However, I found the seat extremely comfortable in the seated and lie-flat position, thereby mitigating the lack of privacy. Like Lufthansa First Class, the eight open seats can be partially shielded by a retractable privacy partition. Other seat controls include a multi-way seat adjuster and power outlet. Each seat also has a closet large enough for a garment bag or two articles of clothing. The closet door includes a place to store your shoes.
Comfortable bedding is provided and the seat transforms to a large bed in lie-flat mode (81 inches).
And what a beautiful aircraft this is:
As we took off from Doha, I snapped the following pictures:
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Bar
My favorite feature of the flight and this aircraft is the beautiful onboard bar. Qatar spared no expense in carefully choreographing every detail. I loved the accents in the overhead lighting and the roses.
I wrote about my conversation in the bar with a flight attendant from Iran, which was absolutely the highlight of the flight.
You can see the alcohol selection pictured below: I did not drink any alcohol in the bar. I did, however, enjoy some mixed nuts, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and was beckoned to stand behind the bar for a picture…
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Dining
Qatar Airways offers a la carte dining-on-demand in first class. The menu for my flight had both breakfast and lunch options:
With an early departure, I enjoyed breakfast after takeoff and a light lunch before landing. Breakfast included Krug (more for the photo, if I am being honest) with a strawberry and fig smoothie, cappuccino, bircher muesli, and a cheese omelet. Fresh breakfast breads were proactively offered.
On both sides of the front of the cabin, a snack station offered light treats like popcorn and nuts as well as juices and water.
About an hour before landing, I ordered Arabic mezze followed by a steak sandwich. The mezze turned out be a trio of fried items that I simply passed on. The sandwich wasn’t great (it could have been warmer), but was also respectable for an airline sandwich.
I ordered cappuccino after and a FA proactively brought dessert as well. Just what the doctor ordered, but talk about a beautiful dessert…
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Service
I won’t call the first class service bad, but it was a typical Qatar Airways business class flight. In one sense, you can label Qatar Airways’ business class service akin to first class on other airlines due to the personalized, on-demand nature of it. But the service just dragged on this flight. With only eight passengers in first class, I thought service might be a bit quicker than in business class, but it took an hour for breakfast and 30 minutes for lunch. I don’t like extended waits between courses, but I cannot blame the FAs for not hustling. Apparently three FAs is not enough for a full-cabin.
And perhaps this is something I bought on myself, but the FAs must have thought it was my first time flying in first class based on the number of pictures I was taking. It seemed the FAs got a kick out of it and giggled as I continued to take pictures of every angle of each cup and glass and especially when I started taking pictures of the seat in its various positions. That’s not a complaint, but it felt like I was just a source of amusement.
All that to say, the crew was very well-intentioned, courteous, and cheerful.
In case you are wondering, I always ask FAs for permission to post their pictures on my blog.
Qatar Airways A380 Business Class
While visiting the bar, I took a peak at business class. Qatar offers reverse herringbone seating onboard the A380 in business class, a seat I have reviewed on the A350.
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Lavatory
I love the large lavatories located on either side of the upper deck landing of the forward staircase. Some carriers turn this area into a lounge, which makes no sense to me. It is so nice to have some room when using the facilities, even if there is no shower like the Etihad and Emirates A380s. Fresh flowers, toiletries, and Rituals soap and moisturizers were available.
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Amenity Kit
I received a Giorgio Armani amenity kit with contents inside including socks, eye shades, ear plugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, and comb. Qatar currently uses Brics for its amenity kits.
Qatar Airways A380 First Class IFE + Wi-Fi
I’ve reviewed Qatar Airways in-flight entertainment across several aircraft. Moves, TV shows, games, and music were available. Click here for an in-depth description. I appreciated the large screen onboard. For most of the flight, I had the camera tuned-in.
Wi-Fi is available onboard, though I gave up after several attempts to connect. First class passengers are given a complimentary wi-fi voucher.
Then vs. Now
Has Qatar changed between 2018 and 2016? Not really. New amenity kits, new blankets, faux candles, but everything else is still the same. Here’s a review from just a few months ago.
Qatar Airways is not a stunning first class product. While Qatar Airways has the best business class product in the world, it does not offer the world’s best first class product or frankly even come close. But I still very much enjoyed this flight and would not hesitate to spend the extra miles to fly in first class over business class on the Qatar Airways A380.