Qatar Airways A380 First Class Review

How I booked everything
American Airlines Flagship Dining Room DFW
Etihad First & Business Class Lounge LHR
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments LHR-AUH (Video)
St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH (Video)
Qatar A380 First Class DOH-BKK
Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge (Video)
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER First Class HKG-LAX

Qatar Airways has a firebrand of a CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar al Baker, who is known for uncompromising attention to detail and for doing great work with Qatar Airways.  When Qatar announced an order of A380s everyone was curious what direction they would go with their First Class.  As I spoke about in my review of Etihad’s First Class Apartment, the Middle East Three (Etihad, Emirates, Qatar) compete fiercely with one another, one-upping wherever they can.  Emirates has enclosed suites with showers on their A380?  Etihad introduced an even bigger suite with showers on their A380.  So what would Qatar do?  Even more shower?  Hot tub?  What would His Excellency come up with?  I left the Al Safwa lounge determined to find out.

There was a special boardingarea (ha) for Business and First Class passengers located on a mezzanine level above the Economy passengers, since we were sitting on the upper level of the A380.  I waited with a few other passengers and finally we were invited to board in one group.  I was greeted warmly by a flight attendant and

oh.

my.

goodness.

The cabin was beautiful.

qatar airways a380 first class review

First Class Cabin

qatar airways a380 first class review

First Class center seats

The Flight

I was sitting against the window on the first row.  The only other passenger in First was in the second row against the other window and slept nearly the entire time so it felt like I had the cabin to myself.

qatar airways a380 first class review

My First Class seat

The seat was immensely comfortable, maybe even more comfortable than Cathay Pacific’s 777 seat.  The finishings were tasteful and elegant without being showy.  It’s almost as if Qatar didn’t want to play Emirates and Etihad’s game with their A380 First Class cabin, they wanted tastefulness without gaudiness and they nailed it.  Sorry for going on and on, it was that good.

The seat had all of the controls nice and tucked away to the side.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Seat controls

Once we took off I had a look around the rest of the First Class area, including the restrooms, which were massive and similarly elegant to the cabin.  The toilet was actually under the leather bench, giving you plenty of room to change into the provided pajamas if you pleased.

qatar airways a380 first class review

First Class Restroom

qatar airways a380 first class review

Bathroom selfie!

The top of the stairwell featured an awesome chandelier and cool wall display, had to get a few pics of it.

qatar airways a380 first class review

View from the stairwell

qatar airways a380 first class review

Stairwell decoration

I took a look at my menu and made my dinner selection.

qatar airways a380 first class review

First Class Menu

The dinner service began with caviar.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Caviar and trimmings

I’m still not quite sure how I’m supposed to eat caviar, but I’ve finally developed a taste for it and it was wonderful!

qatar airways a380 first class review

I don’t know what to do with my hands…

A bread basket was brought by after the caviar.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Bread basket

For the main course I chose a chicken dish that had some distinctly Indian flavors to it.  I didn’t like it very much, but that’s probably more my taste than it was the food not being prepared well.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Chicken dish

For dessert I went with a multi-layered chocolate mousse/tart sort of thing.  It tasted incredible and the plating was excellent as well.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Beautiful chocolate dessert

After dinner they brought by a sampler of chocolates as a gift for us, they were delicious (I ate them later on the trip).

qatar airways a380 first class review

Souvenir chocolate sampler

The Bar

After dinner I made my way over to what I consider the best-executed feature of the Qatar A380: the bar.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Qatar A380 Bar

The bar aboard Qatar’s A380, situated behind Business Class, is amazing and was my favorite part of the flight.  It’s also why I never slept on the overnight flight!  The bartender was courteous, prompt, and our drinks were seldom empty.  The bar has the central area above and then two long benches with seat belts on either side of the cabin so people can buckle up during turbulence without having to leave the bar.  The bar was designed in such a way that you can’t help but strike up conversations with those around you and before I knew it there were about 12 people in the bar enjoying the Good Life and running through quite a bit of booze!

qatar airways a380 first class review

Bar seating area

The decor of the bar was elegant, classy, and on theme with the rest of the premium cabins.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Qatar A380 Bar

qatar airways a380 first class review

Bar decor

qatar airways a380 first class review

Bar area

qatar airways a380 first class review

Qatar A380 Bar

Now normally Qatar serves Krug champagne but on this flight they were testing out Taittinger Comtes, which I’d previously enjoyed on Qantas A380 First Class and really enjoy, almost more than Krug.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Taittinger Comtes

qatar airways a380 first class review

More bar decor!

Eventually my flight attendant came back and found me to ask if I’d like some breakfast.  I had fallen into conversation with two German couples and we were having a blast and going through quite a few bottles of the lovely champagne and lost track of time.  I was sad to realize that the serving of breakfast meant the flight was coming to an end.

For breakfast I had a nice little omelette with two types of sausage.  It was cooked well and tasted pretty much exactly how it looked.

qatar airways a380 first class review

Omelette

As the sun broke through the clouds I was reminded just how hard it is to take pictures through the window of an A380 but did my best to capture the beautiful sunrise.

qatar airways a380 first class review

A380 Sunrise

We had a smooth landing into Bangkok’s Sumnaskljaskjalsuerhlijhvoluihtiouwhrwfit Airport (probably misspelled).  I was really bummed because I enjoyed this flight so much.  I grabbed a few more pics of the cabin with better light than the night before.

qatar airways a380 first class review

The seat behind me

qatar airways a380 first class review

First Class cabin

The Service

The service on this flight was fantastic.  My flight attendants were warm, friendly, and attentive (without being overbearing).  The service felt way more like that of an Asian carrier (consistently) instead of a Middle Eastern carrier (terrigreat is the word I’ve made up to describe it).  Every flight crew member I encountered was interested not only in me as a passenger but also as a person, they found out I was on vacation and asked me where else I had been, who I flew with, what I thought of Etihad’s A380, etc.  It was cordial and conversational without being nosy.

A question the flight attendants asked me at the end of the flight is how their flight compared to the Etihad A380 flight from yesterday.  I figured my readers might be interested in the comparison as well.

I’ve thought long and hard about it and have settled on this phrase: The Etihad flight was a loud and shouty Lamborghini with its Apartment and separate bed while Qatar was a beautiful Ferrari, elegantly tasteful yet strong and powerful in its own right.  Neither was better, they were just different.

That said, if I had to choose only one to fly again, give me a ticket for Qatar Airways.

73 Comments

  1. That view from the stairwell looks awesome!

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  2. Caviar and trimmings…. my mouth is watering!

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  3. Love the picture of the bar decor–definitely makes you realize how much thought they put into designing every aspect of the plane!

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  4. The bathroom selfie, mirrorless?

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  5. the light fixture in the second “Qatar A380 Bar” photo is gorgeous

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  6. Your First class seat shot… what a throne!!

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  7. I like the picture of the bar!

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  8. The first picture of the bar is great. They did a great job with the A380s.

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  9. I love the picture of the top of the stairs! Very classy and beautiful

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  10. Favorite picture is the view from the stairwell – colors look vibrant!

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  11. My favorite picture is of the bar!

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  12. Best picture: That solid caviar course!

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  13. The picture of the bar with the lighting fixture in it. Seriously, this is on a plane.

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  14. The view from the stairwell looks amazing, my favorite!

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  15. I like the roses picture.

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  16. My favorite picture is definitely the photo captioned “More bar decor!”– the angle shot at is interesting and the colored lighting is gorgeous

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  17. All the photos are awesome. Qatar Airways made this luxury ride a class of its own. I really love the color coordination in the photo titled “View from the stairwell”.

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  18. Love the photo of the roses in the dividing panel, because roses!

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  19. The first picture with caption ‘First Class Cabin’ as it shows the best overall view of the cabin- mainly of the seats it comprises.
    The bathroom is fantastic, but I personally spend more time in my seat while flying…

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  20. I like “Stairwell decoration” the most. The deco is so elegant but low profile. Many luxury hotels also feature this kind of decor. Plus, the framing is good too!

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  21. I really like the 2nd photo of the “First class center seats”. It’s really a wide angled photo which you get to see A WHOLE LOT.

    PS– can you also let us know who the winners are from your past giveaways?

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  22. The bedroom shot is great!

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  23. I love the dessert!

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  24. My favorite photo is the bar photo that includes the overhead light fixture.

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  25. I really like the opulence captured in the view from the stairwell.

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  26. looks awesome

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  27. Favorite picture is the pouring of the bubbly! Oh and the stairwell shot. Stunning

    Reply
    • Congratulations Matthew, you’ve won! Stay tuned to your email for further details.

      Reply
  28. Definitely the shot of the bar. Rode FC on Thai A380 and just a lounge area, no bar, sadly…

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  29. I love the last picture of the cabin. It really shows how beautifully it was designed!

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  30. I really like the picture “View from the Stairwell”; also the photos of the bar are super cool 🙂

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  31. Love the colors on Qatar’s planes. Also — the caviar! YUM!

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  32. I love the First Class cabin photo. Awesome!

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  33. By far, the 1st class cabin is your best shot, and it’s where one would spend most of their time. Restful, with great service. The bar is certainly great, but if you are flying over Saudi airspace, then I bet everything gets locked away.

    I want your life!

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  34. I love the picture of the bar ceiling.

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  35. Love the shot of the caviar!

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  36. I like the first picture of the cabin

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  37. I love the First Class center seats photo – because I SO want to travel like that instead of the way I usually fly!

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  38. The bar looks great; I would not sleep during the flight!

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  39. The bar decor is my favorite

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  40. That dessert photo looks so good.

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  41. The view from the stairwell photo is amazing!

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  42. My favorite picture is of the chandelier in the stairwell!

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  43. “Bar Decor” gotta love the roses!

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  44. That’s an awesome bar shot.

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  45. Andy

    how do you swing all these first class tickets ?? Do you talk about this on your blog?

    Reply
    • Yep, that post is coming soon! It’s all airline miles and points

      Reply
  46. The first photo of the first class cabin looks amazing! I wouldn’t mind stretching out on the long flight to Doha!

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  47. I liked the photo “Qatar A380 Bar”!

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  48. I like the bar shot of the ceiling!

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  49. I love the bar seating area photo, almost has a private jet feel to it

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  50. I really like the very last picture of the First Class Cabin!

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  51. Favorite photo is the one of the center first class seats.

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  52. The best picture is the Bar decor one with the roses — I always like the flowers on plane!

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  53. QR first looks amazing! Favorite picture is probably the snapshot of the sunrise.

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  54. The third bar photo with the object that looks like a space ship probe ready to suck you up to the Qatari overlords

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  55. My favorite shot is of the bar, so cool!

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  56. The picture with the two tv’s looks absolutely epic. I always go on economy so that is my luck

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  57. The bar – hands down!!!

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  58. I like the bar with ceiling picture

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  59. First class, first picture, was a jaw-dropper. Set the stage for what was to come.

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  60. Qatar A380 Bar is awesome… Eager to travel in Qatar 🙂

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  61. My favorite is the 2nd photo titled “Qatar A380 Bar”. I love the detail in the ceiling fixture. Is it lens distortion that makes that fixture appear oval in shape, compared to the 1st photo with the same title where the fixtures appear circular?

    Great photos of what was clearly a luxurious and enjoyable flight!

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  62. Perfect timing! Just booked 2 A380 segments last night for next Nov. BKK-CDG. Saved me from having to google a review.

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    • Awesome! Glad to be of value to you! Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  63. Great Trip Report! Loves the photos. Cannot wait to try out the QR A380 early next year!

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  64. Nice trip report, I think your link for “How I booked everything” is not working. I was wondering did you book these in two separates awards LHR-AUH then AUH-DOH-BKK correct?

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    • Thanks for reading! The How I Booked post is going up tonight

      Reply
  65. What a gig!! Bartender in the sky!
    Oh, and your gig is pretty special, too!!

    Reply
  66. Awesome and crystal clear photos. Glad a fantastic lens was used to show all the details.

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    • Thanks for the kind words bob! I find that too many times folks are just taking snapshots, I love taking photos!

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Round the World in F (EY A380 F, QR A380 F, CX F) - FlyerTalk Forums - […] pictures here, full post at http://andystravelblog.boardingarea....-class-review/) Qatar Airways has a firebrand of a CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar…
  2. Hilton Diamond, Amazing Deals, Qatar Airways First Class, Azores - […] Nice review of Qatar Airways A380 First Class. […]

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