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My review of Qatar Airways A380 First Class – Part 2

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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:

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:

Qatar Airways A380 bar

I found it a little more private than the Emirates bar and I was quite taken by it.

Qatar Airways A380 bar

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.  A Pierre Janny montrachet was available, for example.

This didn’t surprise me.  My experience of flying both Qatar and Etihad in Business and First Class over the last year is that Qatar puts more into its food and drink budget.

The Qatar Airways A380 First Class menu

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:

Qatar Airways first class food A380

….. but anyone who ever experienced Lufthansa or Swiss First Class food would not be impressed.

Conclusion

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.

Qatar Airways has a special section of its website devoted to the A380 which you can find here.

Comments (20)

  • Bob says:

    Due to an overbooked flight I was upgraded on Qatar’s A380 from my original 12K in Business to 2K in First. As I wanted to sleep I didn’t eat to much on this very short (5,5 hours) flight and only took the starters which included a lovely Oscietra caviar. Two nights ago when I was on the return flight in the A380 in Business the cabin crew handed out Pyjamas. This wasn’t done in F, perhaps due to the short flighttime, but would have been quite welcome.

  • Adam W says:

    “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.”

    That’s outdated now. They no longer have Krug on display now and actively hide the stuff.

    • Rob says:

      Really? It was only 6 weeks ago I was there. I know it is now hidden away in the Business Class lounge and must be requested.

      • Adam W says:

        I was there on 14th Jan and it exactly the same in the Al Safwa lounge now. Not only is it hidden, but when the bartender was asked which Champagnes they have available he did not mention the Krug until he was walking away from the customer and even then it was under his breathe. I asked him shortly afterwards about why there’s no Krug on display and he said “We don’t advertise that one”.

      • Nick says:

        I asked for Krug in the biz lounge and was told they don’t stock it any me but gave me Moët and tattinger rose for the wife. I nearly washed my mouth out with it but then a bottle in to it I learnt to cope with it. Sneaky though I have to say….

  • Bigglesgirl says:

    We flew QR Biz on the A380 back from BKK-DOH last May and were at the bar when a chap from the back Eco section tried to sneak through the bar to use the biz class toilet. Needless to say the staff were on him like a shot and turned him back but the curtains didn’t stop him and there was certainly no rope across the doorway.