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.  This 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.


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.

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  1. Enigma368 says:

    “Then again, the guy sat next to me in Qatar First was watching videos on his mobile during the flight – without headphones. I could have done without that”

    What is wrong with some people? I know there are certain things where people are divided over whether something is inconsiderate or not but surely even the rudest person in the world should understand how this is annoying to other people?

    • Raffles too polite to say, but my hunch [QA, First] would be this was a Qatari gentleman. Hard to qualify a nation on the basis of an individual – but I worked there 6 months & found the Qataris to be generally very arrogant indeed, so this sort of behaviour is to be expected.

    • Had this a few times in CE. It’s like being on a bus!

    • that is a typcial Qatari/UAE thing. I’ve witnessed this on EVERY day flight with to/from DOH in F/regional F. The worst is that those people don’t care and after all you never know, if they are linked in one way or another to the royal family. Sad but true…the richer/more important Qataris are, the less educated they seem in public.

      • You could call them Muppets, but that would categorize Jim Henson’s wonderful creation as naff.

        I just seems really stupid, especially in Business or First class; you can link your media device in to the system! Maybe they need/crave attention and need a cuddle.

      • Have you ever been to a cinema in the UAE? people just seem happy to make and receive calls at the top of their voice!

  2. I thought they served Krug in first.

    On a business flight my wife ordered a glass of champagne at her seat and they brought her the business class fizz. I told her off as we were only 4 rows in front of the bar. We dat in the bar for about 30 mins and were the only ones there.

    When I returned to my seat with my glass the flight attendant got me a refill of Krug no problem.

  3. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Does Qatar have an inflight chef like Etihad? I was very impressed by what he was able to turn out on a recent EY F flight (and in your case I don’t doubt that a bespoke lunch main wouldn’t have been possible when they were primarily catered for breakfast).

    • Raffles says:

      No. The Etihad chef concept is really good – on my 2 EY F flights it has saved me from a very uninspiring set menu.

  4. OT – how does SAS J compare to BA, QR, etc?

  5. The breakfast option on Qatar in business is poor, and on the early A380 flight to London that’s all you get to eat – no main meal at all!

  6. I have never known economy class passengers try to get into the bar on the A380. The staff in the bar are very vigilant and would soon notice anyone entering from the back, as it were, in my experience. On a recent DOH-CDG flight the small rear economy cabin was almost empty (apparently the main deck wasn’t very full either) and the staff confirmed that it’s generally reserved for Qatar Privilege Club passengers.

  7. That was a surprise discovery on my DOH>BKK Flight recently in J – get average champagne at your seat….trot down to the bar and quaff some lovely Krug….well i spend a good hour or so doing that – a nice unexpected treat…however i didnt realise they didnt actually serve Krug in First – strikes me a bit odd.

  8. Thx you mentioned that with the Krug. On my last flight I searched it on the drink menu, but didn’t find it. As I don’t care about champagne it’s ok, but i was still surprised. Anyway..after my last six flights i am with you , Raffles. Food is mediocre (they need an onboard-chef like EY has imo) and the flights are too short to value the privacy in F. On days flights I am even thinking to switch to Y and use the Y seats behind the bar, which are reserved for status pax. Won’t fly QR F anymore, until the offer new and longer routes than just 6-7hrs.

  9. 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.

  10. “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.

    • 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.

      • 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”.

      • 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….

  11. 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.

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