After a short but enjoyable stay in the Qatar Business Lounge, we began our walk to our Gate, A5.
We were departing from one of Doha Hamad’s A380 gates, built specifically for the use of A380s with their two decks. There is a separate gate for Business and First passengers, which leads to an upstairs waiting area. I had my boarding pass scanned before entering the boarding pen, where I had my bag swabbed for drugs and explosives. Since boarding has begun for upper deck passengers, I made my way down the jet bridge at 7:25AM, after having my boarding pass checked once again.
Carrier: Qatar Airways (QR)
Flight Number: QR3
Route: DOH – LHR
Duration: 7h 40m
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Cabin Class: Business
Seat Number: 11K
I was warmly welcomed aboard by one of the senior cabin crew and guided to my seat.
Once I had settled in my flight attendant (Qatar designate one flight attendant to look after a certain group of passengers) introduced himself and offered my amenity kit containing the usuals, as well as a choice of drink and a hot or cold towel. I opted for the refreshing lime drink and a cold towel. The seat as written about before is comfy and easily adjustable.
The doors were then closed and armed at 7:50, and we then pushed back 5 minutes later than the scheduled departure time. It was a short taxi to the runway where we then took off at 8:07. The takeoff roll was long as usual with the A380, but the climb angle was significantly greater due to the lighter fuel load, and a container full of glasses fell out of the galley onto the floor. Watch the timelapse of our taxi and takeoff below.
4 minutes later the seatbelt sign was switched off and soon after I had my meal order taken. The flight attendant looking after me was a large west Asian man, and progressively through the flight, I started to notice how disinterested he was in his job. Qatar have a dine on demand system on their flights, where you can eat whatever and whenever. I started with breakfast an hour after I ordered. The menu consisted of the following:
I had the Arabic breakfast, which was superb although it was served before the starter, the bowl of foul bil tahina wasn’t that appealing but I found it delicious. I had this with the green juice.
I then had the cold cuts, which I didn’t enjoy as much as the Arabic breakfast.
The meal came with a bread selection. Overall I was happy with the food quality and presentation, but the service was rather unimpressive.
I then tried to use the IFE after the service, however, both my remote and screen were unresponsive. I called for the Flight Attendant who promptly reset the system. I was surprised to find there was a different system on this flight to my last one, where the touch screen was redundant and to navigate the system I had to use the tiny touch screen remote. I found this rather difficult and the screen wasn’t very accurate, often opening the film above or below the one I wanted. I eventually managed to get my head around the system and enjoyed the system for the rest of the flight. I ordered one of the drinks from the menu which was promptly brought to my seat.
I was lucky to spot an Emirates A380 out of the window.
Throughout the flight, I ventured to the bar at the back of the cabin a few times. The bar is rather large and well designed and it got rather busy during the flight. A series of snack items and canapes. Drinks were proactively offered and I enjoyed conversation with the crew at the bar. Magazines were also available.
For the rest of the flight, I slept on the comfortable bed, however, on the shorter legs Qatar do not provide a mattress topper or pajamas. I continued to use the IFE through the flight but found the selection quite poor. Unfortunately, the crew were not at all proactive and didn’t clear glasses or rubbish when walking past, rather left it there for most of the flight.
I went down to the lower deck to look at the economy cabins, which were very full.
2 hours before arrival, as we were flying over Germany, I had lunch, which consisted of an octopus salad, and a selection of deserts. The octopus salad was quite bland but the cakes were delicious. I had a cappuccino, which although was a proper cappuccino, it wasn’t the best. The service was again done terribly, and the crew member was distant, uninterested and barely interacted with me.
Crew began their landing preparations, and my cabin member came to say thank you, although his message was obviously scripted and insincere.
As is usual with a LHR approach, the descent was long and we went through a few holding patterns. Our gear came down at 12:58 and we were on the ground by 2 minutes past one London time, about half an hour late. The approach had some fantastic views, and it was very smooth.
We taxied for quite a while, with some interesting views, including many BA planes, a Virgin Atlantic A330, an Etihad A380 and the Canadian Government’s A319.
Overall I was happy with almost every aspect of the flight. The seat is fantastic, IFE was a little difficult to use and had a limited selection. The catering was great with a few small issues with lack of flavor. I LOVE the bar and enjoyed the snacks they had including the small serving of caviar. Unfortunately, the service on this flight was awful, there was never a smile, a ‘your welcome’ or any other friendly interaction which was incredibly disappointing and I expected better for Qatar Airways.