This Qatar Airways First Class To Amman experience offers us an increasingly inventive way to experience some First Class luxuries, for what is becoming a rare product for Qatar Airways and many other airlines alike. But this trip in First is not as clear cut as you are about to find out!
Route: Doha HIA – Amman
Flight No: QR402
Departure Time: 09:20
Flight Duration: Blocked 3 hours 10 minutes
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
As you may have already guessed with Amman being less than 4 hours away from Doha, this is a regional flight and thus marketed as First Class, more on that later!
I checked-in on mobile and did not go through the otherwise fancy and elevated check-in experience at Hamad International.
Should you want to go through this they have dedicated First Class check-in areas that resembles more an hotel lobby style check-in where all the formalities are done for you as you sit and relax in comfort.
As a First Class ticket holder, you are entitled to use The Al Safwa, Qatar’s most exclusive lounge at Hamad International.
I would rank this as a one of the world’s top First Class lounges! I reviewed this earlier this year, so will not review again.
Just to add, for a flight like this, being able to enjoy this lounge is in itself a huge part of the experience!
Onboarding Qatar Airways First Class To Amman
First Class passengers can board directly from the Al Safwa Lounge, where you can take elevators down for your awaiting transfer
I was advised by staff of my boarding time, and personally escorted to the gate agent’s downstairs…
Our aircraft was actually on a remote stand and thus I had this transfer waiting for me..
These are some fancy busses Qatar Airways uses exclusively for transferring First Class passengers. They also have different ones for Business Class.
As you can see it is probably the most stylish “bus” I have ever set foot in ! There are just 8 luxuriously padded leather seats in the classic Qatar burgundy.
And it afforded some incredible views of taxiing and stationary aircraft in the tarmac
It seemed other First Class passengers were already boarded from their arriving aircrafts and they were just waiting for 1 other First Class guest from the lounges, but after 5 minutes there was no sign of him so the transfer ended up being just for me!
After about 7/8 minutes of enjoying spotting all varieties of Qatar aircraft, I arrived at our aircraft…
Yep, the other twist! This flight was being operated by a Qatar Airways leased Oman Air A330! Qatar has also leased several ex Cathay Pacific aircrafts meaning you could also enjoy Qatar First Class touches with a Cathay Pacific Suite twist
Now if you know much about Oman, you may know that they do indeed have some huge First Class seats on some of their A330s.
So will this be our aircraft?
That would be a no, but not necessarily a bad thing in any measure..
I was met at the aircraft door and shown to me seat..
I didn’t think I’d be seeing this when I last flew Oman Air. For those unfamiliar this is the excellent Apex Suites that Oman Air uses and also used by Korean Air First Class..
It was wonderful to see this with Qatar Airways touches and digital programming here 🙂
While my choice of seat offered me excellent privacy with the divider screen up, I had no neighbours in 10B anyway !
We enjoyed a beautiful aerial view of Doha on take-off..
Qatar Airways Regional First Class Service
Within moment of on-boarding you are served a welcome drink of your choice together with hot or cold refreshment towels (this appears to vary depending on flights and timings). Being a morning flight, I opted for a fresh orange juice..
A drinks & a La Carte menu was already placed in the suite. Further on, they do the Arabic coffee and dates, which is perhaps the main First Class differentiator here..
The menu for this morning flight was as follows:
After an on-time take-off, the crew asked me if and when I would like to have my breakfast, stating that due to shorter flight, hot food needs to be served an hour before landing..
Thus, I chose to eat not long after and ordered the Qatari Beef Kofta..
The dish was served with fresh pastries and granola yogurt. As far as airline breakfasts go, it was very good! I enjoyed the eggs and kofta combo and the slightly spiced bean stew.
After this for some strange reason the crew decided to dim cabin lights throughout!
This was certainly a very unique A330, with lighting elements rather different to Qatar’s own metal.. there were 4 other passengers in my cabin but when I strolled through the second mini cabin to discover it was entirely empty..
Prior to landing I enjoyed another coffee and with less than 3 hours airborne we started our descent into Amman, Jordon!
The Rationale Behind This “First Class”
As I touched on earlier, Qatar Airways markets a more premium offerings on the shorter regional flights as First Class, which means you are entitled to most First Class perks that are available including First Class lounges and transfers.
The onboard experience however mostly resembles that of it’s award winning Business Class service.
From my understanding, Qatar does this mostly due to demand from local passengers who would rather have the premium First Class elements they are used to when flying long-haul on their shorter flights too.
Evidently whatever the rational is, it suits most of us just fine, as it beats anything we can experience in regional European flights!
How To Book Qatar Airways Regional First Class
Due to the marketing of these flights being First Class, Qatar and it’s oneworld partners therefore treat and price these flights as First Class ! Therefore both cash and award bookings are priced accordingly.
You can still get great value however. As an example you can booked the same Amman flights with:
American Airlines Advantage
Booking this with American will cost you 30,000 miles + $40 in tax/fees
British Airways Avios
the same flight would cost 39,000 British Airways Avios + £86s
But there are far more attractive routes, if you were to fly instead to Kuwait/Dubai/Muscat you can book this type of Regional First Class for just 21,000 Avios + £90
This is a fantastic deal, which even though are on a shorter 90 minutes flight, you would still enjoy one full meal service on top of all the lounge and transfer perks!
If on the other hand, you want to fly the same seats with regular Business Class bells & whistle’s, you can still move the above Kuwait flight in Business Class for just 16,000 Avios and still enjoy the fantastic Al Mourjan Lounge
I thoroughly enjoyed this flight, with a lovely crew onboard. It was interesting to see two things I love, the Apex Suites and Qatar’s usually high service standards coming together to create a comfortably unique trip from Qatar to Jordan.
The whole experience was off course more than just the onboard element, with Qatar true First Class in it sunset years, this is a brilliant way to still experience some First Class touches.
Qatar Airways is currently poised to not have any true First Class seats at all when the A380‘s are retired, with the carrier focused on launching a QSuites 2.0 product on new aircraft. It will be interesting to see what shape these Regional First Class flights take in the years to come.