Qatar Airways’ New Economy Class Looks A Bit Familiar…

As you’d expect for a 17-year-old traveller critiquing premium travel, pretentiousness and I go hand in hand. As a result of that, one airline I really love is Qatar Airways. They’re pretentious as hell, but they are perfectionists. They’ve had a couple slip-ups here and there over the past few years, though even when doing so they end up somewhere around the top 10 premium products out there.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class

Qatar Airways touted a brand new business class product up until 2017, the year they revealed their QSuite. I’d say the hype was well-deserved, since the product has almost received unanimous praise from everyone I’ve heard from so far. I’m slated to try the product out later this year (assuming there aren’t any equipment swaps), so I’m excited about that.

That being said, Qatar Airways has always said that their economy class has been “like other airlines’ premium economy”. I’m not sure how credible that is given they have a 3-4-3 configuration on their 777s and a 3-3-3 configuration on their 787s, making their seats one of the narrowest economy seats out there. But I haven’t actually taken their economy product before, so I’ll take Akbar Al Baker’s word for it. 😉

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How To Use Your Bonus AAdvantage Miles From Hong Kong

For the next couple of days, American Airlines is offering a 120,000-mile bonus for every 150,000 miles that you buy from their website (with smaller bonuses for smaller increments). If you have an AAdvantage account over 30 days old you’re eligible to purchase, but the bonus reduces every day after that (I’m not actually sure what they’re on about, since the website suggests the bonus is “reduced every day for the first 12 days”, but the bonus has stayed at 120,000 miles all along). This represents a value of 1.77 American cents (HK$0.14) per mile, which is pretty good (it reduces the value of a 150,000-mile roundtrip to Europe to US$2,660, or HK$20,800).

I’m sure most of you have already taken advantage of this offer, so that’s not the point of this post. Instead I want to point out some really nice redemptions that you can make with your extra miles (now that the promotion is almost over, and I’m sure those of you who usually take advantage of these deals have already done so).

Fly QSuites to Europe for the value of HK$20,800, or fly twice if you already have a bunch of miles at hand

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Qatar Airways Will “Highly Likely” Leave Oneworld

One of the greatest assets of the oneworld alliance would have to be Qatar Airways. They have an amazing business class product, they’re known for having a quality economy class soft product, and they operate an extensive routemap, if not as extensive as their neighbour (and rival) Emirates.

Qatar Airways’ business class product is all-rounded

However, on the other hand, Qatar Airways’ CEO is kind of a nutcase. Akbar Al Baker is a very smart guy who’s proud of his airline, but sometimes he just says things that others find cringeworthy. As much as I love the airline he runs, I don’t find it enough to back up his ego (and that’s saying a lot).

So while Qatar Airways has always had a good reputation among customers, the same can’t be said for its reputation among fellow industry members, such as airlines, oneworld, and Airbus (they threw a tantrum when their A380s arrived late).

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QSuites Coming To Hong Kong In October

I’ve long been a fan of Qatar Airways’ onboard product. Qatar Airways’ soft product is awesome, featuring dine-on-demand and consistently excellent service, though the main highlight has usually been the onboard product. Back when I flew them in 2017 they were flying their 787s between Hong Kong and Doha, and I had an awesome flight (I also connected to Munich with their LATAM-leased A350s, which I enjoyed as well).

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Doha Airport

For years Qatar Airways operated their 787 between Doha and Hong Kong. However, as of October 2017 they moved both of their frequencies to 777s featuring a 2-2-2 configuration in business class. Since their 787s featured reverse herringbone seats, this was largely an unwelcome change.

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Skytrax 2018 Awards Announced – Here We Go Again

I’ve never put too much weight into Skytrax ratings. They’re mainly based on votes from people who have favouritism towards a single airline just because they’ve had a good experience on them before. Most of the people voting have never flown another airline in the same cabin class before.

That being said, it’s always exciting to see the opinions that the general public has towards airlines, which is why I continue to see and report on Skytrax’s rankings, despite the fact that I don’t actually value them at all. Additionally, while the rankings themselves are based on flawed data and results, the rankings actually have quite a large impact on airlines, as Skytrax rankings are quite highly-esteemed.

img_5506Lufthansa being a 5-star airline was probably the industry joke of the year

Today Skytrax released some rewards for this year’s winners in multiple categories. Having flown a number of airlines since this last happened, I’ve been quite…entertained by some of the rankings that Skytrax has released this year. Here’s a roundup of some of the thoughts that I have from Skytrax’s new rankings – for the full list of awards, click here.

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WAIT: Qatar Airways’ Bangkok Lounge Is Closed Already?

This one shocked me when I got a few messages in caps from Jason this morning (I’d probably still be in bed otherwise).

Just this February Qatar Airways opened a brand new lounge in Bangkok. This was a business decision that made sense as Qatar Airways flies six (!) daily flights between Bangkok and Doha – an A380, three 777s, a 787 and an A340 (one of the 777s continues to Hanoi). While the 777s feature an inferior product (none of them feature Qatar Airways’ new QSuites), Qatar Airways features one of the world’s best business class products, and their outstation lounges have been known to be particularly luxurious as well.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Doha Airport

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5 Outstanding Business Class Products I Really Want To Try

A couple of weeks ago I shared the 5 business class products that I’d like to try because I believed they’d underwhelm. Over the years I’ve had the chance to try some amazing business class products, and I’m booked on a couple in the near future that I believe will be equally great. I thought it’d be fun to talk about some airlines that I’d like to try to provide some variety for my reviews (and also point out ways in which the passenger experience could be improved, since I’ve been on my fair share of business class products).

That said, there are some products that I’d really like to try because I believe, from what I’ve heard, that they’re industry leading. Right now, as arrogant as I believe the airline can be, the best business class product I’ve taken is probably Qatar Airways’ (they have a great dine-on-demand menu, the food is good, the seat is excellent, the bedding is good, the CEO is a tourist attraction, and…UGH!). I’m looking forward to trying a few business class products that I’ve read impressive reviews of that I’d like to try in the near future.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class

As I delve deeper into the game of miles and points I’d like to have a few “goal products” that I can try and review, to test if they’re really as good as I’ve heard they are. Most of these are relatively attainable, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to snag some cheap business class fares, or use miles and points to book myself, and my family/friends in these products in the future.

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5 Of The World’s Best Business Class Hub Lounges

Over the past few years I’ve been incredibly lucky to try out quite a few business class products, and with that entailed going to their hub business class lounges as well. I’ve been to a range of lounges and come out with a variety of impressions, and find it such an exciting addition to the airport experience, especially when airlines put effort into it.

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Last year I listed the top 10 things that I look for in an airline lounge. Many airline lounges I know feature a large number, if not all, of these features in their own quirky variations. The five lounges featured below all have at least a majority of these features.

Too many times over the past few years, I’ve come out of a lounge thinking “hmm, this could potentially be one of the best in the world”. I haven’t visited all the business class lounges that I believe would make this list, though I don’t have plans to visit any of them in the near future. For that reason, here are my five favourite business class hub lounges, and I’ll share lounges that I believe potentially make the list as well.

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A Guide To Qatar Airways’ Business Class (787, A380, A350)

When we review flights at Young Travelers of Hong Kong, we attempt to center each review around each specific flight. For that reason, last year we introduced guides, where we’d introduce the product as a whole based on our cumulative experience, as well as other experiences that we’ve read from trusted sources. In this post, I’ll be giving my version of a comprehensive guide to Qatar Airways’ reverse herringbone (A350, A380, 787) and leased A350 business class product.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Doha Airport

I haven’t flown Qatar’s A330 or A340 (which has a similar configuration to Lufthansa’s A380 business class, though with different finishings and slight structural differences), their old 777 business class (different finishings but otherwise similar to their leased A350) or their brand new 777 QSuites, so I’ll leave them out of this guide. If I do fly them in the future (which is likely, since Qatar will switch to flying their older 777s from Hong Kong for both frequencies later this year), I’ll write a separate guide about these products.

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Qatar Airways Will Operate The A350 To Hong Kong For A Limited Time

Update: Qatar Airways is offering A350s on both frequencies from December 16 to 31, 2017. I hope that’s good news for some of you!

Qatar Airways has operated the 787 to Hong Kong for quite a while. A long time ago they were a pretty unappealing product offering angled-flat seats on their A330 on the 8-hour flight from Hong Kong to Doha, though they upped their game when they switched their 787 onto the Hong Kong to Doha route.

Well, good news for a selection of passengers that are booked on Qatar Airways from Hong Kong to Doha in the near future. From December 2nd, 2017 to January 31st, 2018, Qatar Airways will offer an A350 on one of two daily flights operating between Doha and Hong Kong.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Doha Airport

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