This is second part of my Qatar Airways A380 First Class review which I began yesterday.
For those of you who missed my earlier articles in this series, this is what I covered before Christmas:
- My review of the Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4
- My review of Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment
- My review of the InterContinental Abu Dhabi
- My review of Qatar Airways short-haul First Class
- My review of the Qatar Airways First Class BUS!
- My review of The Airport Hotel inside Hamad Airport in Doha
- My review of the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class lounge in Doha
This article is my review of the Qatar Airways A380 First Class food and bar.
Let’s start with the bar. The bar on the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 isn’t really a bar at all – it is basically a drinks trolley parked next to the exit!
For the A380’s, they have taken the Emirates route and built a proper bar. This sits behind Business Class which means that First Class passengers need to walk through the whole Business Class cabin to reach it.
Behind the bar is a small Economy cabin. There are apparently curtains and ropes in place to stop Economy passengers sneaking in! I say ‘apparently’ because I thought the galley was behind until I checked a seat map on my return – I didn’t know there were passengers!
The design is a pleasing ‘S’ shape:
I found it a little more private than the Emirates bar and I was quite taken by it.
We need to talk about the Krug, however. You may remember from my photos of the Al Safwa First Class lounge that Qatar loves Krug. The stuff is literally piled up in there.
In First Class, Qatar serves Taittinger Blanc de Blancs 2006. This is around £70 – £85 online. Krug is more expensive, at around £100 online.
You can’t get Krug when seating in First Class, although apparently the crew will walk down to the bar if you ask them – but you need to know it is there. Meanwhile, the on-board bar is heaving with the stuff and is full of Business Class passengers knocking it back. It was all a little odd.
The First Class wine list was impressive, however. There was a noticeable increase in price compared to Etihad – the Qatar wines are more in the £40 range compared to £20 on Etihad. This Pierre Janny montrachet was available, for example.
Talking of food, let’s take a look at what was on offer. It won’t take long.
You need to remember that the flight was a 9am departure. The main meal was breakfast, which airlines never really do well, with a ‘light option’ served as lunch.
The Qatar breakfast Western options included scrambled eggs, omelettes, fruits with creme fraiche, Greek yoghurt with berry compote, muesli and cereals. It is hard to do much with that to make it stand out. As I had eaten in the lounge, I just grabbed some fruit.
Later in the flight I went for a ‘light bites’ option of parmesan crusted chicken breast with rigatoni pasta and tomato, borlotti bean and basil sauce. It was perfectly OK:
….. but anyone who ever experienced Lufthansa or Swiss First Class food would not be impressed.
I was a little underwhelmed by the Qatar Airways A380 First Class product, apart from the astonishing lounge at Hamad Airport.
That said, whilst the Etihad First Class Apartment I had flown two days earlier is an exceptional product, it is a little odd – especially if flying alone. You have too much space and potentially too much privacy. I actually prefer a more open cabin such as that offered by Qatar.
In terms of an Avios redemption, I would not necessarily rush to use the extra points to fly First. Qatar’s business class product and food and drink is very, very good, especially on the A380, B787 and A350 aircraft – you won’t go wrong if you stick with that.