Review of Qatar Airways flight Paris Doha in First

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR40
Class First
Seat 2K
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 06:25
Take-off 26 Feb 16, 15:00
Arrival at 26 Feb 16, 23:25
QR   #4 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 566 reviews
socalnow
By 6528
Published on 10th March 2016
Hello Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by this review, the fourth installment of my American AAdvantage miles purge.

It has been clear for several years that the American Airlines Advantage frequent flyer program was out of sync with the other major US carriers. It has remained very generous on the redemption side while the others have had significant devaluations. Smart money was on a correction coming sooner before later. It was with this in mind that I decided to structure a grand adventure and cut deeply into my AAdvantage miles inventory.

The final tally was SNA-PHX-LHR-CDG for 62,500 AA miles, CDG-DOH-DEL for 40,000 AA miles, and DEL-AUH-JFK-LAX for 90,000 AA miles.So 192,500 AA miles lighter, I was off.

The reports will be broken down as follows:

Admirals Club SNA and American Airlines SNA-PHX (A320) (First) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13485.html
The Club PHX and British Airways PHX-LHR (747) (First) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13504.html
Concord Room LHR and British Airways LHR-CDG (A319) (Business) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13518.html
Salon Lounge CDG and Qatar Airways CDG-DOH (A380) (First) (This Report)
Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH and QR DOH-DEL (787) (Business) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13671.html
Plaza Premium Lounge DEL, EY DEL-AUH (77L) (First), and EY Arrivals Lounge AUH http://flight-report.com/en/report-13722.html
Etihad Airways Premium Lounge AUH, EY US Lounge AUH, and EY AUH-JFK (A380) (First) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13756.html
American Airlines "Flagship" Lounge JFK and AA JFK-LAX (A321) (First) http://flight-report.com/en/report-13809.html

I had a very busy morning walking/metro-riding around this jaw-dropping, beautiful city. We've only just met but I am already scheming our next encounter.

Alas this trip was about the flying and not the destination so with a heavy heart I again boarded the Roissy Bus back to de Gaulle/Roissy. It was nice to make the ride in the daylight today to enjoy the sites as we picked our way through the city. Much credit to the bus drivers who pilot the long bendy-bus through the narrow and crowded streets.

The first stop was Terminal 1. I really like the looks of this building. I know it is oft criticized but as a casual observer it is far more interesting than the generic rectangular rows of terminal most airports feature. It is especially lovely at night when it is lit in the colors of the flag. I don't have to use the facility on a regular basis so any operational deficiencies are not taken into account.

Initially there was some confusion in htat the sign posted outside indicated and incorrect check-in position for Qatar Airways but I just continued around the circle until I located the correct counter. There was no wait for First Class.

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I was so tickled to finally see this for myself.

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The priority gates that the premium class boarding pass allow saved a lot of time. Unfortunately that meant more time here:

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This has to be one of the most odd airport lounges I have ever visited. My understanding is that it is managed by Air France, who run what some call the best airport lounge in the world. How this hovel is acceptable to anyone, on any level, is quite baffling.

Entry corridor leading to the "buffet".

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Some medicine to help you forget where you are.

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Don't fill up before the flight. ;)

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I did enjoy the Perrier.

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Some seating.

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Thankfully I was not at the airport excessively early so soon it was time to move along to the gate.

This also makes me smile.

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The gate area was very crowded and this was the best look I could get at the aircraft.

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Boarding commences.

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Some confusion as the First Class passengers tried to access the jet bridge to the upper deck we were turned away by the contract agent checking docs. He sent us to the other door that was just jam packed with Economy passengers. I asked the agent at that door form some assistance as this did not seem like the right method for First Class boarding. She apologized and led our group back to the original door and explained to the gentleman that we were to board here. Now we were seen as cutting the long Business Class like that had formed. Oops.

Views of the beast from the jet bridge.

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Minor confusion resolved I was very delighted to be here.

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I was shown to my seat and asked about a beverage request and a preference for a hot or cold towel. I requested sparkling water with ice and lemon and a cold towel.

My seat, 2K.



The center seats.

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We can debate the open cabin v. enclosed suite all day and there are merits to both. I don't see much debate in the fact that this is a very tasteful (not a word I would think to associate with an Akbar Al Baker run airline) and elegant cabin.

Snack and drink stations flank each side of the cabin.

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Spacious and well appointed lavatories.



I took a peek down the stairs at the front of the cabin.

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I returned to 2K after my self guided tour to find my water but no towel was delivered.

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Also waiting for my review were the a la carte dining menu and extensive wine list.



The view from 2K.

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The route.

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Complimentary wifi cards were distributed along with arabic coffee and a date.

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Orders were taken by the pinch-yourself-and-try-not-to-stare stunningly beautiful Indian Flight Attendant.

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Some window views on taxi and takeoff.



Shortly after 10,000'…err…3048 meters the games begin. A luxurious beverage and nuts to start.

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Wouldn't you know it.

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I am a big fan of the dining concepts the ME carriers have brought forward. Many choices to be taken in any order at any time.

My table is set.

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I request to take the caviar first.

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Two mother of pearl spoons such that your garnish shall never soil you egg stash.

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I'm not sure if there is a correct way to eat caviar but this is my favorite way: spoon to mouth.

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It's fine with the goodies as well.

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I stay with the appetizers and opt for the lobster, fennel and potato salad. Thankfully BA didn't put me off of lobster as this plate was fantastic.

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I requested a glass of the rose champagne for comparison purposes. You know my dedication to science.



A bread basket was set with the table and some nice butter too.

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Staying with the small plates theme I had a go at the duck spring rolls. This was not as successful as the first two courses as the texture was off and the meat was too salty. Can't win 'em all.

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None of the mains caught my fancy so I went to the cheese.

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With the Gewurztraminer to accompany.

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My neighbor got tired of watching me eat.

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Because it's a Chef Nobu creation I asked for the "Sub Zero". Oddly, it was offered with chocolates and a hot towel. I think they were trying to tell me the party is over.

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Sunset over the Mediterranean.

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Well the party may be over in the front of the airplane but perhaps there is life in the aft.



The design and finishes in the bar area echo the elegance of the First Class cabin. It's really something to behold. The drinks menu wasn't that exciting to me and when I requested Krug I was told no.

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I ordered the Bombay Collins but it was sweet and I could not manage more than a taste.

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Some snacks on the bar.

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The vibe here was less than stellar as well. A group of French associates were conversing but I was not privy to their conversation. The other two patrons were speaking Mandarin so I was unable to interject there either. I tried to chat with the bar tender but he wasn't into it. OK, back to my movie.

A walk through the J cabin. Look straight ahead and don't break stride. ;)

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I finished A Walk In The Woods (what a letdown for a devoted Bryson fan). We were about 5 hours into this 7 hour affair and I decided a snack before arrival was in order.

To start.

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I was hoping for the soup next but there was none to be found so I was offered the Mezze. Sure, why not.

Beautiful presentation and lovely flavors to taste.

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I took the dry Gewurztraminer this time.

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I finished with an espresso just as we were beginning our descent.

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New LAX service being promoted on the IFE. On this airplane, yes please! On the 777 with the old J class and no F, no thanks.

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We approached and touched down in the Doha darkness and this most delightful flight was concluded.

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See more

Verdict

Qatar Airways

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.5

Galaxy Lounge - 1

4.0/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment/wifi4.0
Services4.0

Paris - CDG

7.2/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.0

Doha - DOH

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

The Ground Service: The check in, after I found it, was fast and efficient. The Accèss no.1 (Fast Track) was very valuable moving through immigration and security.

The Lounge: I was not impressed. Confused yes, but not impressed.

The Cabin: It exudes elegance and restraint. The seat was very comfortable in all positions. The IFE screen is huge and the interface works well with good selection. I didn't try the bed. I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of the amenity kit and IFE.

The Crew: Very good crew. The main Flight Attendant taking care of my side was quite competent and professional. Personality and warmth were not her forte. She forgot a couple of minor things and when she remembered she was very apologetic.

The Food and Beverage: I was very impressed with the items I selected. I know it's hard to mess up caviar tins and Krug.

Overall: It's a very compelling product. I now understand the reviews of Qatar crews being reserved. I would expect the shadow of their dictator, I mean CEO, hangs over every action. By and large I was very pleased with all aspects of my time on board.

Thanks for reading and happy flying.

Information on the route Paris (CDG) Doha (DOH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 58 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Paris (CDG) → Doha (DOH).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Qatar Airways with 8.3/10.

The average flight time is 6 hours and 25 minutes.

  More information

10 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 159446 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    I had a very busy morning walking/metro-riding around this jaw-dropping, beautiful city. We've only just met but I am already scheming our next encounter.
    - Oh you have fallen under her spell at first sight. You are doomed! ;)

    Much credit to the bus drivers who pilot the long bendy-bus through the narrow and crowded streets.
    - Brave is the soul who drives through this city, especially around the Arc de Triomphe.

    ... I just continued around the circle until I located the correct counter.
    - That's the great thing about a circular building, you can never get lost and always count on getting back to the starting point. :P

    I was so tickled to finally see this for myself.
    - Awesome shots! Back in the mid 70's when this terminal was inaugurated it was heralded as futuristic.

    How this hovel is acceptable to anyone, on any level, is quite baffling.
    - Expectations are always low for third party lounges.

    Some medicine to help you forget where you are.
    - You better take the extra strength dosage then. ;)

    Don't fill up before the flight. ;)
    - That was it? You got to be kidding me.

    This also makes me smile.
    - I hear you.

    Some confusion as the First Class passengers tried to access the jet bridge to the upper deck we were turned away by the contract agent checking docs.
    - What a fiasco!

    My seat, 2K.
    - Lovely throne you got there.

    Snack and drink stations flank each side of the cabin.
    - I find them very convenient and homey. Nice touch.

    Spacious and well appointed lavatories
    - That's very F class.

    Great meals. The caviar and lobster salad courses look amazing. I can understand why you skipped the main dish. The bread basket is an odd way to present bread in my humble opinion.

    The design and finishes in the bar area echo the elegance of the First Class cabin... The drinks menu wasn't that exciting to me and when I requested Krug I was told no.
    - I can see this starting to go downhill. That was not a proper response for a F pax.

    The vibe here was less than stellar as well... I tried to chat with the bar tender but he wasn't into it. OK, back to my movie.
    - How utterly disappointing! You can't control the passengers that you travel with, but the bartender is there representing the company and is part of an experience that you bought as a F pax. Couldn't he pretend at least?

    Although it was not perfect, you seem to have enjoyed your experience and that is what counts in the end. I can't help but draw comparisons between your experience and that of Marathon on his recently posted FR on SQ dating back a few years ago in which he gave a score of 10's across the board. What is it that makes a trip so memorable in the end? I know that I am asking a very subjective question. Certainly flying in F on a renowned world carrier helps, but it is not a defining factor.

    Thank you Christian for sharing this revealing and enjoyable FR. Looking forward to the rest.

    • Comment 336297 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Hello Jetsetpanda and thanks for the comments.

      Oh you have fallen under her spell at first sight. You are doomed! ;)
      -I fear you are correct. I miss her (is she a she?).

      Back in the mid 70's when this terminal was inaugurated it was heralded as futuristic.
      -40 years ago?!?! Major kudos to the designer(s) as it still looks and feels futuristic.

      That was it? You got to be kidding me.
      -In the interest of full disclosure there were some sad looking tea sandwiches in a case directly opposite the packaged snacks on the counter. It wasn't much more.

      What is it that makes a trip so memorable in the end?
      -Thanks for the thought provoking insight in comparison to Marathon's SQ trip in Y. There is no correct answer of course. Time in your life, place, the company you are with, expectations, past experiences, and so much more, I'm sure. And yes, flying in F on a renowned world carrier helps...a lot. Especially these not-for-profit airlines. ;)

      Thanks again Jetset for the always engaging comments. Happy flying.

    • Comment 336299 by
      jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

      I miss her (is she a she?).
      - Does it make a difference when you are in love? ;)

    • Comment 336300 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Does it make a difference when you are in love? ;)
      -Well said, it matters not at all.

  • Comment 159457 by
    pititom GOLD 11304 Comments

    Fantastic review. This is a bargain for 40K miles !

    Excellent product onboard. Just onboard, because using this lounge at CDG is just a shame.

    Catering flies high. The dressing of the lobster plate is professionnal...it's difficult to imagine it has been set in a galley.

    Thanks a lot for sharing !

    • Comment 336298 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Hello Pititom and thanks for reading and leaving a note.

      Catering flies high. The dressing of the lobster plate is professional...it's difficult to imagine it has been set in a galley.
      -I concur. All of the plating I saw in my two flights with QR was professional. If it is the flight attendants in the galley they must have spent a lot of time in training and practicing.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

  • Comment 159534 by
    CounterSurprise 80 Comments

    Great review and as Pitiom said, a bargain for only 40K miles. I do have the feeling that your scores at the end don't fully cover your review (i was expecting better scores), but maybe that's just me?

    Anyway, what a great adventure, thanks for flying and I'm looking forward to your next report!

    • Comment 336438 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Greetings CounterSurprise and thank you for reading and leaving c comment.

      Great review and as Pitiom said, a bargain for only 40K miles
      -It is. I recently booked a redemption that beats this one: LHR-AUH-BOM in First with both segments on the EY A380 for 40K AA miles. No wonder they're raising the rates...

      I do have the feeling that your scores at the end don't fully cover your review (i was expecting better scores), but maybe that's just me?
      -Interesting, for which of the 4 elements were you expecting better scores?

      Thanks again and happy flying.

  • Comment 161230 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5893 Comments

    Awesome report!

    The first stop was Terminal 1. I really like the looks of this building
    - It's a really cool building, but it's become a bit of a dump inside as it's aged not-so-gracefully.

    That lounge is a travesty, it's barely acceptable as a Business class lounge, and totally ridiculous for First class passengers on a 5* airline. That, along with the lack of any kind of special treatment for F and the confusion at the gate makes the ground experience in CDG pretty poor for Premium passengers.

    Those PTVs are humongous and I like the open look of the suites. They remind me a lot of the new AF La Première suite.

    The cabin designs are absolutely fantastic. The QR A380 is tied neck-to-neck with the Etihad A380 for best looking interior. I really like the color palette--classy and not overly blingy like th EK cabins. Maybe a little too much red, giving it an overly Vegas look. But other than that, looks great!

    Personality and warmth were not her forte
    - Uh oh...so they are robots! ah hah! LOL

    Thanks for this great report! Looks like a great experience...onboard anyway. Hopefully the ground services at Doha make up for the lack of anything in Paris.

    • Comment 337756 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Hi Kevin - Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      That lounge is a travesty, it's barely acceptable as a Business class lounge, and totally ridiculous for First class passengers on a 5* airline.
      -It most certainly is. It makes me laugh. The chasm between Al Baker's perception of his airline and reality are absolutely hilarious. Nothing 5* about this ground experience on one of their very few routes with a First Class offering.

      Those PTVs are humongous and I like the open look of the suites. They remind me a lot of the new AF La Première suite.
      -Whoa, a nice compliment indeed.

      The cabin designs are absolutely fantastic.
      -I agree. Understated elegance all the way through.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

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