Since it’s inception Qatar Airways First Class was available to most of it’s premium hubs but over the course of the years as it made it’s Business Class with QSuites so compelling, First Class has been in the shadows of this award winning product, categorically speaking.
For a while Qatar’s colourful CEO, Akbar Al Baker insisted there will be a new more smaller First Class cabin in future 777s, that now seems to hang in the balance.
Qatar still offers First Class service on A380 to select routes such as London/Bangkok and Perth/Sydney and also on leased Cathay 777 to some South Asian destinations. What is the A380 First Class offering like? How different is Qatar’s First Class to Business Class? Lets find out !
Route: Bangkok – Doha
Flight No: QR833
Departure Time: 9:05pm
Flight Duration: Blocked at 7 hours 30 minutes
Aircraft: Airbus A380 ( Tail: A7-APC)
Check-In & Security
I used Qatar’s app to check-in and with no checked luggage went straight through security. Bangkok Airport security is very thorough so having priority security is very appreciated.
Lounge In Bangkok
There are no Qatar or any other Oneworld First Class lounges in Bangkok airport. Qatar does however has it’s own Premium Lounge, which is still fantastic and not far off a First Class lounge experience.
Boarding Qatar Airways First Class
I decided to have a unplanned last minute shower in the lounge so did not arrive at boarding gates about 30 minutes before take off and general boarding was in full swing and thus very crowded.
I manage to walk past most of the passengers. For some reason my mobile boarding pass no longer worked at the boarding gates and I had to have them printed out.
From there on, I was escorted onto the plane by a ground agent and passed onto the crew at the upper deck doors.. there I was greeted by a lovely Malaysian crew member Grace, who escorted me into the cabin and my seat.
If they had to do boarding from lower deck you would have a much more stylish entrance via this opulent staircase
Qatar Airways First Class A380 Cabin & Seats
Qatar’s A380 First Class has 8 Open Suites located at the very front of the upper deck in a typical 1-2-1 fashion
My home in 1k was on right window of front row ..
Each Seat is very long with an open ottoman for buddy dining, large IFE with also a handheld controller screen and over 4000 entertainment options.
The Seat Control pad enables to adjust the various settings and positioning to your preferences and it was all very intuitive..
The seats have very wide comfortable armrests
A very noticeable element about the product was lack of closed storage options other than a slim pocked by the armrest where you could fit in a laptop. Everything else would have to be stowed away during take-off/landing
Already placed in my seat was Qatar’s signature maroon velvety blanket, a set of White Company PJs and slippers and Diptyque amenity kit
While the product itself is not that old, it does feel a little dates to the more swish modern curves of the QSuites. The boarding lighting was far too strong, but the cabin looked and felt far more relaxing in mood lighting..
Qatar First Class Service
Within seconds of boarding, my preference for welcome drink was taken, tonight’s star was the Piper-Heidsieck 2006 Rare Millésime Champagne, the same champagne served in Air France First Class!
This was served with some nuts also
The drinks menu was as follows:
As you can see the beverage menu is very extensive and impressive! They did not win awards in this category for nothing!
Qatar usually serves a 12 year old Krug 2004 on the First class routes, which is much more expensive, but this is a fine alternative if stocks are running low.
Soon after take-off more drinks rounds were made, I off-course chose the same Rare again!
At this point I had a quick peak into the amenity kit contents..
As with Qatar’s Business, dining options is a la carte and fully on-demand. Being an early evening departure most of the catering was focused around dinner, the food and beverage menu was as follows:
After a very full lunch, I chose to eat 2 hours after take-off and the table was set pretty much to that time
Meal started with caviar with batik style salmon..
I like Qatar’s presentation of the Caviar dish here. The caviar itself, blinis and all accompaniments were all on point that I finished every bit of it.
I followed this by the Wild mushroom soup with truffle
This was superb! I rarely ever like a soup so much it was simply delicious!
Then for the main I opted for the Beef short rib with Gaeng Koa white curry sauce by well known Thai chef Ian Kittichai..
Aesthetically another Gram worthy dish! Onto the actual content, this may be the most unique dish I have had in a very long time, every bite was like a surprise, there were so many flavours packed into this one dish and felt like the riceberry rice really just made them pop!
Overall, there is no mistaking this was a Thai dish. Everything felt so familiar and yet different.
I was tempted to order the Canadian Lobster and Pomelo salad, but realised I will probably not have much room for dessert!
2 of the crews took turns to check in on me during the entire meal as most of the other First passengers ate earlier.
I finally ordered the dessert the coconut custard also by the same chef
Again this was served in a very quintessentially Thai way ! And every bite was delightful as any of my favourite Thai desserts.
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Bar
After dinner I decided to check to the bar, and from conversations I already had with the First crew during dinner, they insisted to escort me to the bar !
And boy what a treat this is to come to after such a lovely meal…
This is the biggest bar in any commercial plane, probably about 30% bigger than Emirates A380 bar with capacity to seat at least 15 people comfortably.
The best bit is I now had the whole bar to myself with 2 bar staff looking after me and ready to prepare anything I wanted !
I got acquainted with the barman very quickly and we became fast friends over our love of the A380 itself!
The deco really is a classy touch and very Qatar.
I had a couple of drinks here before heading back to my seat.
Qatar First Class A380 Restrooms
And the show piece of Qatars A380 does not stop there, as is usual for most A380 operators with First, there is 2 huge very impressive restrooms for First Class passengers..
Both bathrooms are near identical fully stocked with everything you could need including fresh orchids to add to a homely vibe..
Qatar First Class Bed
With 2 and half hours left to the flight, I decided to watch a movie in bed. The crew asked when I went to the bar if I would like my bed made!
As you can see for a plane this is a pretty impressive size bed !
With 2 full size pillows, thick quilted mattress padding and duvet made for a super comfy and plush feeling to get cosy and watch movies..
If this was a 15 hour flight to Perth I could probably have blissfully slept a full 8 hours on this bed !
With 1 hour left to the flight, the crew came by to check if I wanted to order anymore food or snacks of the menu, which I unfortunately had to decline as I was still full!
Well this was yet another wonderful flight with Qatar. I felt pampered like I would in most top First Class products in the air today. The A380 is just a marvellous aircraft to fly First Class in and Qatar made as good a job of it on this for the time of launch.
It is very unfortunate that Qatar has been so non-committal on First Class though. There are certainly many areas and elements where it feels hard to distinguish from its already excellent Business Class standards. Having said that, there is still a huge difference in the product from Business to First on this very aircraft at least.
The best thing about this flight though? I booked it with just 50,000 American Advantage miles + $126 in taxes and fees! This is such a Steller deal!