After a great night in Singapore it was time to head back to Changi. Qatar Airlines leaves from T3 so I was conveyed there by taxi and about 3 hours prior to departure.
This was my first visit to the main check in area of T3 and I was taken with the grandeur. I located the QR check in positions and had no wait to be processed.
Off to immigration control with little resistance.
I have never visited a non-SQ lounge in T3 so I headed to the dnata lounge that QR contracts for this flight.
My impressions were a lackluster space and limited food and beverage options. Hmmm, last time I took QR from an outstation there was a similar experience at CDG…although this lounge beats that one in every way.
The Perrier was excellent, however.
Being a lounge hopper I quickly whipped out the Priority Pass app to see if there are other options to explore here in T3. I expected the app to point me here to the dnata lounge but PP also offered a sats lounge nearby. Might as well go have a look.
I found the sats lounge to be a more pleasant space.
The food and beverage choices are superior as well. Who can pass on make-your-own laksa!
I also enjoyed some green tea and a bloody mary.
My refreshing of the Flightaware app shows the inbound at the gate so that is always promising for an on-time departure. As boarding time approached, I left for the gate, excited to get my first up-close look at the QR A350.
I boarded when Business Class was called and was welcomed aboard to a very lovely cabin. I quickly located seat 7K, the bulkhead in the smaller J cabin aft of L2/R2. It is just aft of the lav but this was not noticed during this flight. The proximity of the seat to the open space between J cabins would turn out to have more of an impact than lav placement.
The seat was reminiscent of other reverse herringbone configurations I have encountered but with some extra touches. The storage space is abundant right down to the aisle side armrest with space fore a headset and water bottle. The screen is ample in size and excellent in resolution.
Headphones of decent quality. An amenity kit was also distributed but I guess I didn't take a photo of it.
Beverages were offered by the eager and friendly crew. QR won't pay to open champagne so it's water or juice.
Menu and wine list are distributed. I really appreciate the QR a la carte and dine on demand concepts. Very passenger friendly.
A look at the mid cabin lavs for J pasengers. This is also a well thought our design to keep the lavs away from the cockpit and galley areas so there is less competiion for space and everyone can move about more freely.
I really enjoy the new touch screen controllers for IFE systems these days. Once you get the hang of how they work (sensitivity, speed, scrolling, etc.) it's very cool to have the extra screen to peek at the moving map while watching a movie, for example, or tail camera and map.
Preparing to push I spot this handsome neighbor.
The taxi out included a trip over a bridge.
A look at the progress on T4.
I see Delta, Air Canada, and FedEx getting some work done at SASCO.
Taxi and takeoff are so very enhanced withthe addition of the tail camera. I was mesmerized to say the least.
The route today.
The electric window shade options.
Service starts with drink orders. I request a dry martini and it is served in a proper up glass.
I find a show where the President of the United States goes camping with a religious Englishman. Now I've seen it all.
I opt to enjoy a meal after takeoff and the table is set and some champagne is requested to accompany.
The Arabic mezze to start. Nicely plated and great fresh flavors.
The tom yam soup is spicy as advertised. Very enjoyable.
I request the lamb dish for a main. Unfortunately, but rather expected, it's cooked beyond recognition and is tough and rubbery. I was enjoying the Bordeaux that I ordered to accompany.
The flight attendant noticed that I had hardly touched the dish and asked if she can replace it with something else. I assured her it was OK and the other dishes were sufficient and lovely. She was very convincing however and I relented tot he offer of the steak sandwich. It tuned out to be a nice dish and was nice to snack on while sipping the wine.
I accepted the offer of the pandan panna cotta for dessert. It was fine and nicely presented.
After the meal service the flight attendants set up this lovely display in the passage way between J cabins. Very thoughtful arrangement of snacks, chocolate and champagne. Unfortunately for those of us trying to sleep this space was occupied with 4 or 5 very loud Australians drinking and carrying on the entire flight. It was a bad scene and while I could tell that some of their behaviors towards the female flight attendants were making the staff uncomfortable, nothing was done to remedy the situation.
In spite of the middle aged men reliving their frat days I was able to sleep for a few hours and only woke as we neared DOH over the Arabian Gulf.
Right turn to line up with the runway. I know, enough with the tail camera…
Crabbing a little in the crosswind.
Despite many open gates at the terminal we park at a remote stand. No complaints from this avgeek, but curious none the less.
Cabin crew 8.0
Dnata Lounge Terminal 3
Singapore - SIN
Doha - DOA
Thank you for joining me for my first look at the QR A350.
The Ground Service: Check in was a breeze and immigration as well as security at the gate were efficient and with minimal delay.
The Lounge: I wasn't super impressed with the dnata lounge. It was a fine contract lounge but I have seen better examples and in fact the sats lounge was a better contract lounge.
The Cabin: The J cabin on the QR A350 is very aesthetically pleasing. The entry way is grand and spacious. The lack of a true bulkhead separating the two J cabins adds tot he sense of spaciousness. The high ceilings do as well. The seat is excellent in both lounging mode and bed mode. I will say I prefer it to the SQ seat installed on the same airplane. Yes, the SQ seat is wider, but that is not really space I can use.The QR seat feels more spacious and with all the storage options you can keep a tidy seat. The IFE system is very good and the tail camera, well, you know my opinion on the tail camera.
The Crew: Very professional and efficient crew. Maybe not the most charismatic bunch that's is not necessary. Every request was hapily accommodated and I have nothing but positive feedback.
The Food and Beverage: Excellent food and beverage options. The lamb was a fail but the sandwich was nice. I thinkt he dining concept that QR uses is a winner.
Overall: A very enjoyable flight on the Qatar A350. They have outfitted the airplane nicely and it is a pleasure to fly aboard.
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