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Review of Qatar Airways business class (Boeing 787-8, herringbone seat) Doha to London Gatwick – Part 1

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This review looks at the Qatar Airways business class on a Boeing 787-8, flying from Doha to London Gatwick.

You can read the rest of Jamie’s series of articles from his trip to Indonesia, covering British AirwaysMalaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways in business class, by clicking here.

Over to Jamie ….

This is the review of my second business class flight with Qatar Airways, this time from Doha to London Gatwick.  Regular HFP readers will know that Qatar Airways added TWO daily flights from Gatwick to Doha last year, on top of its Heathrow services, taking advantage of slots which British Airways inherited when it bought the Monarch portfolio.

I’d enjoyed the first leg of the journey back to the UK on the older Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300 and now it was time to try a more modern seat – although I still wasn’t going to get Qsuite!

Like the earlier flight, boarding was quick and straightforward and business passengers had their own entrance gangway, although this time there was no red carpet!

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

With a smile I was welcomed on board by the attendant supervisor. As I entered the impressive looking cabin I was surprised to see pretty much every seat was taken. I was sitting in 5K this time and from first impressions, it was immediately clear that it was a much newer seat than on the first leg.

Here is the seat

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

There is a limit to the quality of photographs you can take in the middle of the night!  This PR picture shows how the cabin looks in perfect conditions:

Qatar Airways boeing 787 business class

The plane was a two class Boeing 787-8.  As you can see above, the Qatar seat configuration here is one-two-one in a herringbone format.  There were also two seats in the middle at the back behind a counter.  The flat bed seat has a pitch of 80 inches and a width of 22 inches.

For comparison, the Qatar Boeing 777 seat had a slightly shorter pitch of 78 inches. BA also operates the B787-8 with three rows of two-three-two in the same space.  However the seat is smaller with a pitch of 72 inches and a width of 20 inches.  Neither of these comparisons tell the whole story, however, because the Qatar Airways layout above offers substantially more space and privacy than either Club World or Qatar’s outgoing B777 seat.

I was encouraged by what I saw.  The seat looked a significant improvement on the Boeing 777 I had on my first leg.  Generally it appeared far more stylish and modern. The colour scheme and upholstery were nicer and included a leather trim. The whole seat environment seemed to be more spacious. Compared to the previous flight seat, I had my privacy back too. This was a place I could definitely sit back in and relax.

The whole business cabin seemed open and I realised that the overhead storage space down the middle was much more streamlined. This additional head space was surprisingly effective but I wondered how much of a storage compromise this had created. And if so, was such a brave decision to reduce coveted passenger storage down to Qatar Airways or Boeing? Saying that, there still seemed plenty of room for everyone in the overhead lockers.

One downside with my particular seat, and also 5A, is the misaligned window which hindered the view outside. It was a night flight coming back to the UK so I didn’t mind but if you’re a fan of looking out of the window and travelling somewhere with good views, I would avoid this particular row.

Around the seat, the left armrest lifted to reveal a bottle of water and headphones.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

I’d used the same headphones on my previous flight and they were soft and comfortable.

The right side of the seat incorporated a couple of shelves and storage space. Lower down there was a storage compartment which could accommodate your shoes and a small laptop inside.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

Just above the storage compartment was a universal power socket.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

And above that was a small shelf with an integrated seat/bed control panel in the front. In the corner by my right shoulder was a bigger sized shelf.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

This was really useful for keeping a book and headphones close by without them getting in the way of your seated comfort. On the back wall could be found the magazine rack and a small reading light. Below the shelf were two sockets – a USB charging point and one I wasn’t sure about! Next to them was the IFE remote control with its touch screen functionality.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

The 17 inch inflight entertainment screen was positioned neatly in front of you and the dining table pulled straight out from underneath it.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

As with the first leg, an amenities kit from luxury Italian luggage brand BRIC’S had been left for me. This time the elegant hard case was a sky blue colour.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

Inside it contained the same lip balm, anti ageing moisturiser and hydrating facial mist from Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, the environmentally friendly olive oil company. Ear plugs, an eye mask and socks completed the kit. The socks were colour matched to the hard case which I hadn’t realised with the other kit.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

Looking around, I saw that female passengers received a brown or beige coloured version of the kit with the same products inside.

Once settled, a flight attendant offered me a welcome drink. I decided to skip the champagne at 2am and instead chose their signature lime and mint drink which was very good, zesty and fresh tasting.

Review of Qatar Airways Business Class - Doha to London Gatwick

I was also offered a hot or cold towel. I requested a cold one and received a hot one, outrageous! In reality it was no big deal but I’d already noticed a difference in service quality from the first flight. The gentleman looking after me seemed distracted and less confident, almost like he was new to the role and still learning, which he may well have been. Perhaps he was just very busy. I also wondered if he was simply having trouble understanding my subtle northern accent!

Newspapers were brought out next, this time including the Financial Times but I was not in the mood for reading and declined.

Part 2 of this review looks at the food and drink and IFE – click here to read it.   If you are reading this via our daily mails, you did not receive Part 2 – you will need to click here and read it directly on the HFP website.

Bits: 5% off SNO ski holidays, BA launches Ljubljana and Montpellier, earn double Radisson Rewards points
Review of Qatar Airways business class (Boeing 787-8, herringbone seat) Doha to London Gatwick - Part 2
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Comments

  1. Beats CW for design and look, feel for me.

  2. Hi Rob

    Is there still a Delta review to come ? Was looking forward to seeing it..

  3. David Martin says:

    On holiday this year we flew Qatar Business class 3 legs on the 777 and one from Bali to Qatar on a 787 although the 787 was comfortable I found our last leg on a new 777 the most comfortable and enjoyable and the staff were all very attentive

    • Agree, we had the new 777 on two sectors and the space around us was huge. V comfortable flights all round.

      Rob, hope VS might stretch to a pair of Biz tickets this year! Strange last year QR giving one, know they sponsored etc, but it was quite funny.

  4. OT re Qatar business class seat reservation.

    I am used to being able to see which seats are available before I buy a ticket and if the seat was not to my choosing, I would not book on that flight.

    With Qatar, it appears as though I have to pay and take pot luck !

    Surely this cannot be the way with technology in 2018 ?

    Am I missing something ?

  5. OT re Qatar business class seat reservation.

    I am used to being able to see which seats are available before I buy a ticket and if the seat was not to my choosing, I would not book on that flight.

    With Qatar, it appears as though I have to pay and take pot luck !

    Surely this cannot be the way with technology in 2018 ?

    Am I missing something ?

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