REVIEW: QATAR AIRWAYS BUSINESS CLASS A380 FROM DOHA TO ATLANTA (+ AL MOURJAN LOUNGE)
On June 01, 2016, Qatar Airways started to fly directly from Doha to Atlanta. I was fortunate enough to join the inaugural flight on the Airbus 380 - and it was awesome!
Are you free to fly to Atlanta next week? This was the email I received from the PR of Qatar Airways about three weeks ago.
I was puzzled. It's not the norm that I receive an invitation from the world's best airline. Atlanta for three days trip. Uhm. I had to check first on Google maps to see where Atlanta actually is. By the time they contacted me, I was in Thailand and after some research I figured that it would be roughly a 24 hour flight from Thailand to Atlanta. Hmm. As much as I wanted to go on this trip, it sounded a little bit too exhausting for only being three days in the States.
What's in it for me? I asked the PR of Qatar Airways. Not much, they replied. Only that I'd be flying business class on the new Airbus A380... WHAT?! – That was more than enough reasons to go. Put me on the longest flight you have!
I have to confess that this has been my first business class flight ever. I was excited like a kid in a candy store.
Right after they confirmed the flight, I jumped on my scooter and drove to the nearest shopping mall, to buy a new fancy rolling suitcase. I figured a backpack might not look appropriate enough in business class.
Still there? Great. If you're too busy to read the whole blog post, I captured the flight with my phone, gimbal handheld and the GoPro. Have a look at the video below to get a quick visual version of my exciting trip.
Qatar Airways Business Class on the A380
I flew from Bangkok via Doha to Atlanta and I had the pleasure to do this all in Qatar Airways' business class on the A380. The plane is split into two floors and just in case you didn't know: the A380 has a bar on the upper level! But more on that later...
It was Qatar Airways' inaugural flight from Doha to Atlanta, and if this wouldn't be already special enough, the airline provided some neat gifts for their business class travelers. Let's have a look at these:
A gorgeous leather cosmetic bag by Bree, filled with useful things like face moisturizer, lip balm, socks, sleeping mask and ear plugs. The other thing I received upon boarding was a slim power bank with two outlets, to charge my electric devices. I absolutely loved both of these items because they are totally useful and pretty travel accessories. Definitely keepers!
Let's have a look at the business class cabin. The A380 has 48 seats in business class, in a 1-2-1 configuration. All seats have direct access to the aisle. Nice. Nothing is more annoying than climbing over your neighbor's seat.
The seats in business class are just amazing. They provide a lot of space, including a side table, storage for your personal items and power sockets. Every seat can turn into a flat bed, which allows you to sleep quite comfortably in the sky.
Pillows, blankets, bed sheets, pajamas, slippers – everything will be provided to make you feel as comfy as possible. I had to giggle first when they handed the pajamas. Who would change their clothes on a flight? It turned out almost everyone put on their pajamas. I guess we all looked quite funny later while standing at the bar sipping champagne in our PJs!
Let's have a look at the First Class Cabin:
The photo above shows a sneak preview of the first class cabin, inside the A380. Before you get overly excited, I was not allowed to stay. I took my picture and was then politely asked to leave. So let's go back to business class...
Qatar Airways' entertainment system on board is one of the best things to enjoy during a long flight. You can choose up to 3000 (!!) entertainment options! It includes the latest Hollywood blockbusters, TV series, games, music and so much more. The big touch screen makes it easy to navigate through the menu.
Let's talk about the food, that did not disappoint. The airline has high standards when it comes to on-board cuisine. Passengers in business class can enjoy the on-demand á la carte menu. Basically, you can select any time from a three course meal or a snack from a variety of options.
Here some images (click to enlarge).
I wasn't aware of that á la carte thing (silly me!) and preordered a vegetarian meal before boarding. When I saw the menu on board, I was surprised about their extensive veggie choices. Even though I preordered already vegetarian, and they had something prepared for me, they told me I could still choose anything from the menu as well. Wow.
So in the end, I got more food than I was able to eat. Wish I brought some tupperware on board. Everything was insanely delicious. It was a real culinary experience in the sky.
Save the best for last: The Lounge Bar. Yes, there is a bar on board of the A380 and it is absolutely spectacular with pompous chandeliers, leather couches, fresh roses. It's an extraordinary place and a little heaven in the sky – Perfect to get a change of the scene, and have a glass champagne in a magnificent ambience.
Well, the bar was also a great place to get online. As I was on board with a bunch of Social Media people, everyone had to upload immediately pictures of that gorgeous bar to Facebook. So in case I didn't mention it yet, yes, there is WiFi on board (and not only at the bar.)
Just minutes after take off, the flight staff was placing cupcakes, canapès, nuts, olives, chips, chocolate bars and plenty of other delicious snacks along the curved bar. To be honest, the cupcakes looked too beautiful to eat...
I spent at least 3 hours at the lounge bar and talked with all the flight attendants. I asked them about their craziest and funniest flight stories. Unfortunately I can't reveal the details now, haha. On a side note, a flight attendant from Ukraine made the strongest cocktails ever. I slept 8 hours straight after that. Well done.
After almost 15 hours we landed relaxed and refreshed in Atlanta. You can read here my blog post 8 Fun Things To Do In Atlanta.
As a welcome, the plane got showered after touch down, how cool was that? The landing in Atlanta was captured from a helicopter, you can see the video below, it was really impressive!
The Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha
Pretty much everyone who travels on Qatar Airways will go through Doha, either as a layover or as the final destination. Doha is the home of Qatar Airways. I had a pleasurable layover in Doha and was able to enjoy the perks that comes with a flight ticket.
If you fly business class with Qatar Airways, you get to enjoy one of the most amazing airport lounges in the world. The Al Mourjan Lounge is spectacular from the moment you enter. I've been to quite a few excellent lounges, but this one is jaw-dropping...
To get access to the lounge, you actually must hold a business class flight ticket with Qatar Airways - just being a gold member of their frequent flyer program isn't enough, unfortunately. I was feeling extremely lucky that day to get to visit this incredible lounge.
Here some photos of the Al Mourjan Business Lounge. Click to enlarge.
Is this the largest lounge in the world? Honestly, I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. The lounge is over 10,000 square meters and has two floors. It offers several restaurants and bars, from buffet to a la carte - it's your choice.
If you're tired, get some rest in some of the quiet areas. There are also plenty of family rooms, a game room, business center, showers and countless spaces and places to sit and relax.
After flying business class with Qatar Airways I learned 4 things:
01.) I can never fly economy again.
02.) The Airbus A380 is probably the most amazing airplane on that planet. The bar is just spectacular and makes every flight extremely enjoyable. Unfortunately, the lounge bar is only for business and first class passengers though. On the other hand, if everyone could hang out by the bar, it would get probably a bit too cozy...
03.) The staff on board was just incredible. They did everything to make the passengers feel comfortable. When I told one of the flight attendants that I was getting a cold, she came back with a homemade lemon-mint tea and a second blanket. They never stopped smiling.
04.) I don't think I can ever fly economy again... Wait, did I say that already? OK. Then I guess I only learned 3 things. Thanks to Qatar Airways for flying me to the other side of the world, and all the way back to Thailand. Needless to say, I would do it all over again.
If you're thinking of taking your next flight with Qatar Airways, you can go ahead and book here. Happy travels!!
This trip was made possible by Qatar Airways. All opinions are, as always, my own.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
Thanks to my Editor Libby Ruth Green of EatAway.
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