I took a trip First Class on a Qatar Airways Airbus A380 from Doha’s new Hamad International Airport in Qatar to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. Qatar Airways has six A380s in its fleet, deploying them on medium-haul routes from Doha to London, Bangkok, and Paris. I have compared Qatar First Class to British Airways, Emirates and Etihad in First.
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Qatar Airways has an impressive premium check-in area tucked away in a discrete corner of Hamad International Airport’s departure terminal. A minimalist wall points Business Class passengers to the left and First Class passengers to the right. The First Class check-in area comprises lounge space and several private sit-down check-in desks. From the premium-check-in area, it was a short hop to the immigration and security check-point, from where an elevator took me directly to the impressive Al Safwa First Class lounge. During the whole process, from check-in until arrival at the lounge, I was escorted by a Qatar Airways ground staff member.
After entering the plane through the massive boarding door, I was greeted by a flight attendant who guided me to the First Class cabin, located on the forward upper deck of the A380.
The intimate cabin has a very airy and spacious feel because it does not have completely enclosed suites like on the A380s of Emirates Business Class and Etihad First Class Apartments. The cabin features a pallet of calming colors that match quite well together: pink (cushions, TV screens), beige (seats), and brown (wood panels). Eight seats are spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, all having direct aisle access. The 4 First Class seats on the sides are ideal for solo travelers, with a generous three windows per seat, offering great views, while the four seats in the middle are perfect for those traveling with a companion. But if you are a solo traveler and end up in one of the middle seats, there’s no problem, as you can raise a divider for added privacy. There is a small bar in the front of the cabin (with crisps, nuts, bottled water, and juices), a library (with magazines), two lavatories, and stairs to the lower deck.
I was seated in seat 2A. Qatar Airways First Class seat features an open design, although you can raise a partition for added privacy. The seat is extremely comfortable and has generous dimensions, with a width of 23 inches (59 cm) and a length of 83 inches (210 cm). In front of the seat is a large ottoman, with a large TV screen above the ottoman. It’s not a touchscreen TV; you have to select the entertainment of your choice with remote control. The ottoman has some storage space and can be used as an extra seat when you want to dine with a companion.
One side of the seat features a reading lamp, a cabinet that holds a bottle of water and the remote control for the entertainment system, a tiny storage space that contains some magazines and the safety briefing, a small table (for drinks and snacks), and a very large tray table (which can be pulled out from the side of the seat). The other side of the seat features seat controls, power ports, storage for the headphones, and a divider, which can be raised or lowered.
The seat reclines into a fully flat bed. This was the best bed I’ve ever slept in at 40,000 feet. The Qatar Airways cabin crew told me it’s the largest bed in the skies. Not sure whether that is correct, but it felt very spacious.
Meal On Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380
Upon boarding, I was served a welcome drink (I chose orange juice), croutons, and a refreshing towel.
Breakfast was served shortly after takeoff. I had the cured salmon with citrus fruit, avocado purée, and fish roe. At the same time, my choice of entree was the chicken and potato rosti, sambhar, wilted spinach, and coriander crème fraîche. It all tasted delicious, although I found the portions rather small. However, in Qatar Airways First Class, you can dine at any time and in any order, so I ordered some more dishes a couple of hours later as a light lunch. I had a starter composed of Heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad, Kalamata olives, bell peppers, and basil oil, followed by a small entree of lobster tortellini with shell-fish sauce, and diced tomatoes with chives. As a sweet finale, the only option was a selection of indulgent individual Laduréé desserts. Qatar Airways is consistently better than the food on Emirates and Etihad Airways.
Qatar Airways also features a stunning onboard bar at the plane’s rear, between the Business Class cabin and a small Economy Class cabin. The bar is curved, with leather sofas on both sides of the bar area. It has stunning chandeliers inspired by contemporary Arabian design and fresh flowers (see pictures below).
What are the best First Class seats on Qatar Airways Airbus A380?
Single travelers should choose the window seats, while companions should choose the middle seats. There are simply no bad seats in Qatar Airways A380 First Class cabin.
Qatar Airways First Class passengers can take home a stylish Giorgio Armani bag, packed with bits for the flight and bathroom back home. The amenity kit contains Armani perfume, body lotion, shower gel, shampoo, eyeshades, socks, earplugs, and lip balm. Pajamas were not provided on this day’s flight. First Class passengers also receive complimentary Wi-Fi while flying Qatar Airways. The internet speed was decent.
Qatar Airways A380 First Class cabin has two very large lavatories – so large that I bothered to include a picture of them in the scroller below. Both feature a bench, large mirrors, a sink, luxurious toiletries, and flowers. In contrast to Emirates and Etihad Airways, there are no showers.
Normally, the flight path from Doha to Paris goes straight over Syria and Iraq, but the plane detours around the current ISIS conflict area by flying over eastern Iran.
Unfortunately, Qatar Airways does not provide complimentary chauffeur-driven airport transfers for its First Class passengers (in contrast to Etihad Airways and Emirates).
Qatar Airways has the best bed I’ve ever slept in at 40,000 feet. Qatar offers excellent food, luxury toiletries, and a stunning onboard bar. But the highlight was the pre-flight experience at Qatar Airways’ Al Safwa First Class lounge, unquestionably the most luxurious airport lounge in the world.
Review by our friends at Luxury Travel Expert
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