Review: Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Munich to Doha

Introduction: 20,000+ Kilometers In Three Days
Virgin Atlantic 787 Premium Economy Hong Kong to London Heathrow
How Is It Like Staying At An Imperial College Dormitory?
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow Airport
Virgin Atlantic 787 Premium Economy London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge Doha Airport
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Doha to Munich
Hotel Bayerischer Hof Lindau
Hotel Kempinski Berchtesgaden
Mandarin Oriental Munich
British Airways Galleries Lounge Munich Airport
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Munich to Doha
Al Maha Lounge Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Doha to Hong Kong


Qatar Airways Flight 58
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Origin: Doha (DOH) Gate: B15 Dep: 16:55 (17:10)
Destination: Munich (MUC) Gate: B12 Arr: 23:40 (23:35)
Duration: 5 h 45 min (5 h 25 min)
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 4A (Business Class)

Upon boarding I turned left into the business class cabin, where I was looking forward into settling into my seat after a traumatically abysmal airport experience.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

As outlined during the outbound post, Qatar Airways’ leased A350s are from LATAM, featuring 30 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

As much as I prefer sitting in the back corner of the cabin, I decided to switch it up this time, so selected the left side window seats in rows 3 and 4.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seats 5A and 5C

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seats 4A and 4C

If I were travelling alone and didn’t need a window seat, though, I’d be inclined to choose the middle pair of seats, as they feature direct aisle access (and no one clambers over you during the night). That’s one of the disadvantages of Qatar Airways’ leased business class product, but they didn’t have much choice when they leased their business class products (it’s one thing I’d like to see LATAM consider improving, though, as they’re another airline striving for a world-class product).

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seats 4E and 4F

For this flight I had assigned myself seat 4A, which was the left window seat in the second last row of the cabin. I won’t be detailing the seat as much in this post, as I’d already talked about that during the outbound. Feel free to check out my review of my outbound flight from Doha to Munich for more details on the seat’s features.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seat 4A

As mentioned during the outbound review, the seat featured plenty of legroom, which I appreciated.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Legroom

The seat controls were basic but intuitive, and were featured to the right of the seat.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seat Controls

The ottoman itself was well padded, and acted as an extension to the bed while reclined.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Ottoman

The best thing about the ottoman, though, was that it doubled as a rather large storage area, given the otherwise limited storage options that this seat offered.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Ottoman Storage Area

I had a peek at the first row, which seemed to have the exact same setup in terms of storage options, and the added inconvenience of being right behind the bathrooms, so I wouldn’t sit there given the choice.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Front Row Ottoman Layout

In front of the seat was a USB port for each seat, though a second was located closer to the seat itself.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class USB Ports

I also found a remote that housed the IFE system controls, as well as a call button and the light controller.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Remote

In terms of the amenities provided, there was a comfortable and reasonably plush pillow.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Pillow

There was also a blanket which was more than adequate for this five-and-a-half-hour flight (though they’re also provided on longer flights, where the blanket is less ideal).

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Blanket

Furthermore, there were also high-quality noise-canceling headphones, along with a noise-canceling switch. As I did during the outbound, I stuck to my Bose headphones, though these headphones are certainly not bad if you don’t have your own noise-canceling set.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Noise-Canceling Headphones

Provided with the headphones was a bottle of Evian water, which was appreciated.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Water

As I noted on the outbound, one thing about Qatar Airways’ leased A350s is that they don’t feature power ports. Fortunately the cabin was kept quite cool on this flight, since I would’ve felt slightly uncomfortable otherwise.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Passenger Service Unit

I needed the lavatory before takeoff due to my high water consumption prior to customs, so I decided to check it out. The lavatory itself is pretty standard for an A350, with a couple of Rituals amenities.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory Amenities

There were a couple of empty seats in business class on the flight, though the flight seemed to be pretty full on the whole. I was impressed at how proactive the crew were, as they immediately started helping passengers with their luggage, etc..

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

A flight attendant soon came to take my pre-departure beverage order, where I selected a lemon mint juice (I was interested to see that lemon mint juice was provided in place of the usual lime mint juice). The lemon mint juice came around 10 minutes into the boarding process, and was incredibly refreshing – the mint infused nicely into the lemon juice.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Pre-Departure Beverage

My parents and Hailey boarded later (as my mother wanted to squeeze in a bit of time at duty free), and Hailey sat in 4C next to me. I found it interesting that the flight attendant actively recommended the lemon mint juice, saying it was “really good” – in all honesty, I agree.

While the boarding process finished at 4:45 PM, the captain announced a small ground delay due to air traffic. He also detailed that our first 30-45 minutes inflight would be slightly bumpy, though the flight would smooth out after that. Meanwhile the crew came around with amenity kits from Bric’s, which were once again hard-case, high quality and well-stocked with amenities. They also came around with menus, which I’ll be detailing later.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Amenity Kit

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Amenity Kit Contents

The safety video played, though it highlighted Qatar Airways’ A380 business class seat, so some of the features may not have applied to the seat used on this flight.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Safety Video

We finally pushed back at 5:10 PM, where I had a nice look out of the window, where I saw a variety of equipment from different airlines. This included an S7 A320, a Royal Air Maroc 737, a Vueling A320, as well as a Lufthansa A321.

S7 Airlines Airbus A320 Munich Airport

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-700 Munich Airport

Vueling Airbus A320 Munich Airport

Lufthansa Airbus A321 Munich Airport

Taxiing around Munich Airport also gave a good view of the road leading to the airport, so I imagine the area below could be a good place for potential planespotting.

Looking Out Munich Airport

Looking back I also saw a Turkish Airlines A330. It’s nice that Turkish Airlines offers lie-flat beds on such short flights, when their competition can barely offer good economy seats.

Traffic Munich Airport

On the other side was the Lufthansa terminal, which also housed ANA, Eurowings, and other Star Alliance/Lufthansa affiliate planes.

Traffic Munich Airport

Other taxiing aircraft included smaller Lufthansa CityLine props and regional jets, including an ATR 72 in the sexy Star Alliance livery, as well as a CRJ900.

Lufthansa CityLine ATR 72 Munich Airport

Lufthansa CityLine Bombardier CRJ900 Munich Airport

We were first in line for takeoff, and began a quick departure from Munich at 5:20 PM. We had great views of Munich during our climbout.

View Upon Climbout Munich Airport

View Upon Climbout Munich Airport

View Upon Climbout Munich Airport

View Upon Climbout Munich Airport

I had a look at the airshow, which detailed our altitude, as well as the distance to our destination. Unfortunately Qatar Airways doesn’t have a very comprehensive airshow (and I don’t believe their leased A350s have a tail camera), so I didn’t have much to look to in terms of flight details.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Airshow

As we continued our climbout to 40,000 feet, I saw what I believed was the curvature of the Earth (though apparently it’s actually not possible to see the curvature of the Earth…does anyone know?).

View Out Of Window Departing Munich

At this point I first saw an Emirates A380 fly right past our window, then an Emirates 777. This was the first time I’ve seen an aircraft fly past at such a high altitude, and it happened multiple times throughout the flight – that might detail exactly how busy the air route from the Middle East to Europe is. It was so surreal to see planes pass right by our window inflight. Unfortunately due to the speed of which the aircraft passed by our window, I wasn’t able to photograph any instance of that happening.

View Out Of Window Departing Munich

There wasn’t much turbulence, though the seatbelt sign was kept on for around 30 minutes. In this time I really had to use the bathroom, so I went up to the bathroom after holding it in for too long for my bladder to accept. The crew was fine with it, though they cautioned me to be very careful.

We were passed menus, which featured an à la carte dining option, as well as a big selection of beverage options. Qatar Airways’ huge mocktail selection is great for me, as I have a wide range of drinks to choose from despite not being able to touch alcohol.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Menu

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Menu

I decided that at some point I had to try the non-alcoholic bubbly, and it was worth it. So Jennie was crisp and delicious (not that they can get too much wrong, as it’s essentially grape soda without the alcohol). It was served with hot nuts, which were delicious.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Non-Alcoholic Champagne

Cheers!

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Non-Alcoholic Champagne

My sister went with a mango juice, which was served with the same nuts. Unfortunately she didn’t end up touching her hot nuts at all, so I had an extra portion.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Mango Juice and Nuts

I decided to have my meal right away, since I wanted to catch up on some sleep – I had a commitment to attend the morning after my return to Hong Kong, so I needed to adjust to Hong Kong time as fast as possible. Around 90 minutes into the flight my table was set, with all my orders taken in by the friendly flight attendant.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Table

First we were served an amuse bouche, which I found interesting, as it wasn’t listed on the menu. It was a goat cheese of sorts, and tasted fine, though it wasn’t something I would normally order.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Amuse Bouche

Most of the cabin elected to have their meal at the same time, so the crew was rather busy. Around five minutes after the amuse bouche was taken away, I was given my soup course, which was a toasted sweet corn soup. I liked the soup – it tasted like corn, and wasn’t overly salty as I’d come to expect from airline soups.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Soup – Toasted Sweet Corn Soup

I had also ordered the arabic mezze as my appetiser, which was fine – once again, the problem presented of there being too much dip, so when the bread served at the side was gone, I didn’t have much of a way to eat it. Still, it was rather high-quality, and I appreciated the appetiser (though it isn’t something I’d order again).

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner – Arabic Mezze

My sister had the cured salmon, which was actually served before the soup (Hailey did mention that she was very hungry). The salmon was more up my alley, and it tasted quite good – the salmon itself wasn’t slimy, and the potato salad was good as well.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Appetiser – Cured Salmon with Horseradish and Chive Potato Salad

I was expecting to be impressed by the Arabic spiced chicken breast that I ordered, though I was rather sorely let down by overcooked chicken and overseasoned rice. While the dish wasn’t too bad (the plating was still superior to anything else I’d find on a plane), it certainly didn’t live up to standards, and I’ve certainly had better food on an airplane before.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Main Course – Arabic Spiced Chicken Breast with Cinnamon Sauce

The chicken was tough as anything – while expected from an airline meal, I was disappointed for an airline that wins awards for its catering.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Chicken

My sister had the marinated lamb loin, which she didn’t find to be much better – the lamb was also way too overly done for her liking (which is saying quite a lot, since she’s eleven and likes her meat within the medium to medium well range).

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Main Course – Marinated Lamb Loin with Rosemary Sauce

At the end I had the glazed lemon tart, which was good enough to stand on its own, but not good enough to redeem itself from the subpar main courses (as far as business class main courses go).

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Dessert – Glazed Lemon Tart

The meal service ended with Godiva chocolates, which were great.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Dinner Chocolates

Overall I found the meal service to be somewhat of a disappointment on this flight. I’m not meaning to be picky – the food was still leaps and bounds ahead of what one would expect on an airplane – but I do feel like with the quality of food they’re given, Qatar Airways has the potential to do better. That said, we’re talking about food catered from an outstation, and I do like the option of dine on demand. The crew were great during meal service – they were proactive, and kept asking if we wanted anything else, etc..

After dinner I used the restroom once again, and overheard a conversation between three of the flight attendants. They were talking about their background and where they were from, and I found it interesting how they all learned Arabic at one point or another, despite none of them being from the area. The female flight attendant serving our aisle (who I learned was Spanish) asked if I had a stomachache, as I was really frequenting the toilet at this point. I told her that I had just had more caffeine and water than I’d liked, though I really appreciated how she asked.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

Around a couple of hours into the flight were were treated to a nice sunset view.

Sunset Approaching Iraq

After dinner the mood lighting seemed to come on, and I tried to nap for a while, for reasons I had detailed earlier (adjusting to jetlag). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to sleep, so after around 30 minutes of tossing and turning, I decided to stay up.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

Hailey had her eyes fixated on an iPad game at this point, so I had her look outside the window with me. I found the views to be fascinating – there were a handful of really bright isolated lights dispersed around the area, illuminating areas of what looked like sand/desert. Littered around these bright lights were some city lights, though even now I can’t figure out what the lights actually are.

Views Over Iraq

I worked for a while, and around 30 minutes before landing the PA came on to announce our imminent arrival at 11:25 PM, preceding the screening of the Hamad Airport safety video.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Doha Hamad Airport Video Screening

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Airshow Before Landing

Our descent into Doha was nice, where we had a nice aerial view of Doha upon landing.

View Upon Descent Doha Airport

View Upon Descent Doha Airport

View Upon Descent Doha Airport

We touched down in Doha at around 11:25 PM, before taxiing to our gate. We parked at the “B” wing of the airport, parking next to a Qatar Airways A330.

Qatar Airways Airbus A330-200 Doha Airport

From there, I was eager to get a shower some work done in the Al Mourjan lounge, before embarking on our final flight home. While connecting is fascinating in general, flying in business class and having lounge access makes it even more fun. 😉

Bottom Line: Qatar Airways’ Leased A350 Business Class

I’ve established that Qatar Airways’ leased A350s can’t measure up to their own onboard product, though they’ve only taken planes from LATAM as an interim solution. I’m impressed at how smoothly the transition went – there were no service hiccups for Qatar Airways’ crew, despite the fact that they were working an aircraft that was pretty new to them. While the food underwhelmed (from the perspective of someone who was looking forward to trying food onboard an airline that wins awards for great catering), the service onboard this flight was great.

I’ve said during the outbound that I would try to avoid Qatar Airways’ leased A350s for their mainline A350s, A380s and 787s, though their product on these planes is still solid, and I wouldn’t hesitate to fly this product again. I am interested to see how LATAM’s soft product is, as their hard product certainly isn’t bad…

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