Qatar Airways Business Class Flight 83 Doha-New York – Review
Although I was sad to leave Doha, I truly had been looking forward to my departure because it would be my first exposure to Qatar Airway’s Premium Terminal, which is used by all first- and business-class passengers departing Doha International Airport on Qatar Airways. Upon arrival at the Premium Terminal I was greeted by a bellman who offered to help with the luggage and I was escorted to the check-in area that featured no counters or queues, just desks and chairs where I was invited to sit down and check in.
Going through security took all of 30 seconds and everyone was polite and efficient. Inside, I headed to the business-class lounge, settled in and had a satisfying breakfast.
One could easily get lost in the lounge’s many nooks and crannies and given the amenities and dining opportunities present it’s easy to see why Doha is a favorite transit point,. As departure time drew near, an agent approached and informed me that my flight was about to board. I was escorted to the gate where a bus (for coach passengers) and BMW sedans (for business-class passengers) were ready to drive passengers across the airfield to the awaiting aircraft where flight attendants were busy welcoming passengers, offering pre-departure beverages, and helping passengers settle in.
My seat, 1E, was in the first of two business-class cabins on the Boeing 777-300ER, which has a total of 42 business-class seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration (there is no first-class cabin on these aircraft). The main cabin has 293 seats, arranged 3-3-3. No one was seated next to me, which gave me even more room in the spacious cabin.
Qatar’s business-class seats are different from what I have found in most airlines, which have a seat that extends into a recess in the seat in front in order to allow for sufficient space to transform the seat fully into a bed. Qatar’s design is more open and there is also far more personal space thanks to the 78” pitch (by contrast, the pitch in Lufthansa’s new business-class seating in the 747-8 Intercontinental is 65” and 85” in first class; Air France has a pitch of 55” in business class and 81” in first on the Airbus A380). An additional benefit of this design is that passengers in the window seat are not completely locked in when the passenger in the aisle seat fully extends his seat into a bed.
A flight attendant came over to hang up my jacket and once seated, I was offered a pre-departure beverage, a very refreshing lime and mint non-alcoholic drink that is the airline’s signature cocktail.
At my seat, I found an amenity kit with Molton Brown body lotion, lip balm, and eau de toilette as well as tissues and a brush/comb combination. Qatar doesn’t include a toothbrush or toothpaste in the kit but leaves those items and shaving kits in the business-class lavatories.
Before the cabin door was closed, I was offered a choice of several sizes of in-flight pajamas. Although Qatar doesn’t have a changing room (an Air France A380 amenity that left an indelible impression on me), I still opted to change since I didn’t want to wear the same clothing for 20 plus hours.
The grey Qatar Airways pajamas were soft cotton with colorful details such as a button cuff (with a real button hole) and a colorful striped design that matched the tie rope for the pajama bottoms.
Qatar offers in-flight phone calls for $5.75 per minute (no set-up fee) or sending of text messages or e-mail for $1.90 each; I made two phone calls and call quality was good on both.