This morning I had the chance to fly from Hong Kong to Doha to Munich in Qatar Airways business class, which I was able to do by picking up a discounted business class ticket as part of Qatar Airways’ Travel Festival in January 2017. I’ve always wanted to try Qatar Airways’ business class product, so I was happy I got to do so. I’m going to be outlining my first impressions of Qatar Airways’ 787 product here, and I’ll outline my first impressions of Qatar Airways’ leased A350 product in a separate post.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class
The ticket cost our family about HK$19,000 each, except for my mother, who paid HK$21,000 for her ticket as there were only a few seats left in our fare class. Still, that’s an unbeatable deal, given that European airlines usually charge upwards of HK$26,000 for flights from Hong Kong to Europe.
So, how was it?
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Seat
I really liked Qatar Airways’ business class seat. Qatar Airways lays out their 787 with six rows of reverse herringbone business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, for a total of 22 seats (the last row has lavatories in place of window seats). The seat itself is reasonably spacious and looks stunning, though due to the shell, it’s also rather exposed to the aisle, which was one thing I didn’t like about the seat.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Seat
The seat is also wide enough in lie-flat mode. I didn’t sleep well since I had a bad cold during the flight, so I’ll leave myself to test out my thoughts on the bed when I recover by the return. Additionally, the seat is also really well padded, which helps with bed comfort. There are individual air nozzles, though only at the window seats, so you’re out of luck if the cabin’s too warm and you’re stuck in a middle seat (the middle seats also lack overhead bins, so you’d want to make sure you snag a window seat).
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Bed
The seat certainly didn’t lack storage – there was a side table, as well as many storage compartments – though you may have a hard time trying to find space to store larger items. Cathay Pacific’s A350 reverse herringbone seat has bigger storage compartments, so they win in that regard.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Storage
Each seat also featured a power port and a USB port, both of which I found helpful.
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Amenities
Qatar Airways’ business class is stocked full of amenities, which allowed me to stay comfortable throughout the flight. There were noise-canceling headphones, which were high quality (I still used my own Bose headphones during the flight).
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Headphones
The pillow and blanket provided were both comfortable, so I had no problems staying comfortable during the flight (apart from having a blocked nose which hindered my sleeping quality).
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Pillow
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Blanket
Qatar Airways also offers pajamas in business class. Unfortunately, my small pajamas were still so loose that my pants easily fell off, so I gave up halfway and changed back into the clothes that I had worn onto the flight.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Pajamas
We also received Bric’s amenity kits. I loved the kit itself, and the amenities inside were substantial. One glaring omission was a dental kit, though Qatar Airways seems to provide those separately. On the 787 they put the dental kits at the bar area by the entryway.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Amenity Kit
There was also WiFi offered. Since I was in no position to work on the flight, I only used up the courtesy package of 10 MB, which lasted me the entirety of 15 minutes (as I stuck to texting on WhatsApp). Ultimately I much prefer when airlines sell WiFi without data caps, though Qatar Airways’ WiFi prices are acceptable.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class WiFi Prices
Unfortunately I was unable to check out the entertainment system on this flight (my remote was playing up, and I was feeling really sick so I didn’t bother tampering with it), so I did it on the next flight. Stay tuned.
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Food
Qatar Airways has long been known for their excellent catering in business class, so I was keen to try it out. They offer dine-on-demand service, so you can eat whenever you want – however, as a short seven-hour redeye flight, everyone in the cabin opted to eat right away, so they could go straight to sleep. Nonetheless, the crew handled the service flawlessly, and trays were taken away within a few minutes of finishing, etc.
I ended up ordering a bit of food for both meals. For the first meal I chose to have the spinach and ricotta cannelloni, which was easily the best pasta dish I’ve had in the air and rivaled pasta dishes that I’ve had on the ground. Every aspect of the dish was incredible, from the pasta itself, to the two sauces, to the sides.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Main Meal – Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
For breakfast, I had vanilla french toast with caramelised pineapple. If most airlines can’t get one thing right, it’s breakfast, as they normally serve eggs, bacon and sausages, which end up being bland and boring. This breakfast was one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a while (which isn’t saying much, since prior to this I spent two weeks at Imperial College, and I normally have the same thing for breakfast every morning when I’m home).
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class Breakfast – Vanilla French Toast with Caramelised Pineapple
Seriously, two of the best meals I’ve had anywhere on a plane. I had high expectations of Qatar’s catering, and they delivered.
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Service
I was very skeptical of service as first, as Qatar Airways isn’t reputed for the best working conditions. There’s no shadow of a doubt that Qatar Airways’ crew are the most polished I’ve seen anywhere. The entire service flow was performed flawlessly, and the crew didn’t hesitate to ask if I wanted a photo at my seat, if I wanted to be woken up, etc.
The cabin service manager, who introduced himself as Alfred, was very warm and hospitable, and he seemed to enjoy his job very much. However, the cabin attendant serving my aisle, Shady, lived up to his name. As nice and polished as he was, he didn’t seem as relaxed as the other flight attendants, which I thought was worth pointing out given some of the stories the internet has heard regarding how Qatar Airways employees are treated. However, solely from a customer’s perspective, service was proactive, the flow was flawless, and I have no complaints at all.
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Bottom Line
I found Qatar Airways’ 787 business class one of the best business class products I’ve flown. The hard product was great, with a couple of very minor issues, and the soft product (at least from a customer perspective) was basically flawless, with so many customisation options. Obviously that presents issues sometimes, but I’ll talk about that in the main review.
I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Qatar’s 787 anytime, and am even looking forward to my next flight – hopefully I get better by the return, so I can actually review the flight in full conscience.