Review of Qatar Airways flight Boston Doha in Business

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR744
Class Business
Seat 3A
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 11:00
Take-off 21 Nov 16, 21:00
Arrival at 22 Nov 16, 16:00
QR   #2 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 554 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 8249
Published on 14th January 2017
photo qr744 cover copy

It doesn't get any better than this. At least I can't image a better all around flight for the price. You be the judge.

This was the opening salvo on another round the world journey, this time sampling American Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Needless to say the excitement was high.

The trip almost never exited Boston. After an uneventful flight from Chicago to Boston on American Airlines, I had a few hour layover in Boston. My choice, as I would rather be early than late, especially during a high travel period as well as when weather could be an issue.

The incident was an hour before departure to Doha. Tired of the Air France lounge I went into the concourse to look around. Seeing that the Air France lounge had a single washroom, I used the facilities in the concourse. Next I visited a few shops looking around at some luggage and books. As boarding approached I headed to the gate.

Reaching into my pocket to check my phone panic struck. No phone. Where's the phone?

I know I had it leaving the lounge. Did I leave it at the luggage store? A quick check proved fruitless. It must be in the washroom. Great, it's been at least 20 minutes. I'm screwed.

I offered my blessings as I entered the men's room. Turning the corner, there in full view, alone on the wash basin counter was my phone . No one took it! I wonder how many people saw it and contemplated a heist? Whoever they may have been, thank you for being a good samaritan!

Boston Logan Terminal 5 gearing up for the overnight European departures.
photo qr744 check in 2

Even though I had a mobile boarding pass from Qatar I could not enter security as they required a paper boarding pass. That policy resulted in an hour wait in the area shown above.
photo qr744 boarding pass

Once airside I headed to the Air France lounge in the basement. Having stated there was only a single washroom, meaning really single, you probably have an idea of what the Air France lounge in Boston Logan is like. Don't hurry to attend.
photo qr744 lounge 1

The "dinner" spread


It was dark and the lounge was next to the Qatar flight gate, downstairs, and has a window. It might have a decent view of the airport tarmac. But at night it just seemed like you were in the basement, which you are.

Time to forget my phone in the washroom.

The low-light of the trip was the boarding area. So as to not ruin a good thing, I'm only posting the boarding sign. Qatar did not have their act together for this boarding process.

photo qr744 check in 3

Soon all was to be forgotten.

There are numerous words that could illustrate the Qatar A350 cabin. But none of them would really portray the true feeling when you enter.

photo qr744 cabin use 1

Described almost as crimson with purple highlights using the A350's 16.7 million color variation mood lighting, there is only a single drawback.

Pictures don't turn out well.

My advice. Go take a ride on one.

photo qr744 cabin use 2photo qr744 cabin use 3

This is a look back in the business cabin behind the entry. Since there is no partition it really can't be considered a separate cabin or mini-cabin.

photo qr744 cabin use 4photo qr744 cabin use 5photo qr744 cabin use 6

Storage bins are huge. There are no bins above the center seats giving the cabin an airy feeling.

For reference this piece of luggage just barely squeezes into the overhead bin of an A330.

photo qr744 cabin use 7

Huge windows with electronic shades. (Although a 787 window would have been preferred on this flight as apparently the Northern Lights were out over Greenland. That would have been incredible to see!)

photo qr744 cabin use 10 window

Lavatories are nicely appointed and well stocked.

photo qr744 cabin lav 2photo qr744 cabin lav 1photo qr744 cabin lav 4

The B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat is rapidly becoming my favorite business class seat, or any class seat. They are super comfortable, well designed and fully functional. Qatar did an outstanding job with their version.

photo qr744 seat use 1

A pillow and blanket await.

photo qr744 seat use 2

The table doesn't stick out as far as on some other carrier's, allowing for more room to move.

photo qr744 seat use 3

While not enclosed you still have a sense of privacy.

photo qr744 seat use 4

The exit side armrest, which can be moved up and down, contains a bottle of water as well as your headphones.

photo qr744 seat acc 5

I love how these regulators insist on requiring "Max Stowage" weights posted everywhere. First, where's the scale? I don't usually travel with one. Second, what am I supposed to put in that compartment that weighs more than 3.3 lbs, a gold brick? Not likely.

On the other side is a storage compartment.

photo qr744 seat acc 1

And in my case a perfect fit for the travel shoulder bag.

photo qr744 seat acc 2

At the base of the pod in front of yours is a small storage compartment for your shoes.

photo qr744 seat acc 3

Workspace and reading lamp.

photo qr744 seat acc 8

Underneath are the power outlets.

photo qr744 seat acc 6

And an ingenious panel of seat controls attached to the side of the secondary table.

photo qr744 seat acc 7

Plan on getting a good night's sleep.

You have a fairly large footwell and lots of legroom.

photo qr744 seat acc 9

Upon request, turndown service. Qatar provides a mattress pad as well as duvet.

photo qr744 seat bed 1photo qr744 seat bed 2

For couples traveling together the center seats offer the ability to converse with a moveable divider.

photo qr744 cabin use 9 center seats div down

And privacy with the divider up.

photo qr744 cabin use 9 center seats div up

This was my second trip in an A350, with the first being a short hop on Singapore's new bird. I mentioned in that report the nasty smell of jet fuel when spooling up the engines. I made the comment that I had hoped it was a one off. Well now I hope it is a two off. The smell on this flight was also very strong.

Time to go.

A good book or song grabs your senses and builds to a crescendo. While the cabin and seats on this Qatar A350 aircraft are wonderful, the crescendo is building.

Upon entering I was offered champagne. At first I just had water and was given an oshibori.

photo qr744 welcome 1

Multiple flight attendants came by to introduce themselves. The attendant taking care of me was named Klowyne. She was excellent and made the trip even more special.

After departure I enjoyed some Pommery Louise 2002 champagne. This brand runs about $75 a bottle. Second only to Dom on Thai first class in my travels so far. Kudos QR.

photo qr744 welcome 2

An amenity kit, slippers and pajamas were passed out. Qatar provides pajamas to business class customer on overnight flights. They are really nice too!

photo qr744 welcome 3 amenity photo qr744 amenity kit 2

Time to eat and drink.

Drink Selections:

Qatar has an extensive beverage menu:



As well as a food menu offering 3 mains, numerous anytime snacks as well as breakfast on arrival:

photo qr744 menu food 2photo qr744 menu food 3

Once the tray folds out it provides plenty of room. Also notice Klowyne really knows how to treat your pour.

photo qr744 food pres 2a

I will take away the suspense. Dinner was incredible. Was it Austrian Airlines good. Maybe…

I began with Garden Pea soup. Okay so it's green, get over it.

photo qr744 food din soup 1

A nice touch of fresh micro-greens as a garnish.

photo qr744 food din soup 3

Next the Anitpasti salad. One word, OMG

photo qr744 food din app 1

Artichoke salad

photo qr744 food din app 2

Butter bean and tomato salad

photo qr744 food din app 3

And then this incredible dish of marinated peppers with cheese.

photo qr744 food din app 4

And some crostini.

photo qr744 food din app 5

I opted for the grilled chicken with chickpea sauce.

photo qr744 food din main 1

It was delicious. Blackened with mild spices, not burnt, juicy and tender.

photo qr744 food din main 3

And to finish the outstanding meal off I chose the rich chocolate torte. And that it was!

photo qr744 food din des 3

Beautifully presented.

photo qr744 food din des 4

The problem with sleeping so well is I slept until breakfast so I wasn't able to try any of the light menu options.

For breakfast I chose the bircher muesli and for the main, well I guess I'm a typical American.




Breakfast was not as good. The steak was way over well done and the eggs were the typical pre-made whatever they do. This meal prevented Qatar from an exceptional rating in my book. It looked good though. Bottom line is the I have no complaints at all with QR's catering.

photo qr744 food bk 5

The Airbus A350-900 has 3 outside cameras. A cockpit view, underneath ground view as well as tail camera. Unfortunately take-off and landing were at night. The hand held controller could also be set to show the air show while viewing something else on the monitor. Nice feature but somewhat useless.



Many trip reports describe Qatar flight attendants as aloof while being professional in performing their duties. The crew on flight 744 was friendly, engaging and extremely attentive. For a business class flight I can't imagine any better service.

This aircraft had made its first revenue flight one year and one day prior to this flight. It was the 13th A350-900 built. The A350 is a remarkably quiet aircraft in the air. While the 787 is quieter on take-off, the A350 is superior at 40,000 feet. Frankly you don't know you are flying.

photo qr744 flight path


When traveling to Doha on a premium class ticket don't exit through normal immigration. Continue on and you'll find the Doha arrival lounge which looked spectacular. You can exit and get your visa from here as well. This is the main room. In the back by the counter is the entrance. They have a full compliment of services, including showers.

photo qr744 lounge arrival

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Verdict

Qatar Airways

9.0/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.5

Air France Lounge

3.8/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering5.0
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Services3.0

Boston - BOS

4.0/10
Efficiency4.0
Access4.0
Services4.0
Cleanliness4.0

Doha - DOH

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

These are some notes I made during this business class flight:

Dine on demand unusual for a business class flight
Four course main meal
Food quality rivals, if not superior to many first class meals
Comfortable pajamas in business class
Mattress pad and turndown service
A delightful cabin crew
Brand new state of the art aircraft

I would happily take Qatar, especially their A350, anywhere, anytime!

Related

12 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 381807 by
    Razza_Pr 216 Comments

    Hello, Rewardflying, and thank you for publishing this FR!

    Odd that TSA at BOS didn't allow you in with a mobile boarding pass. What do you think was the cause?

    The J cabin I think should be differentiated as Pt. I and Pt. II. Was there a separate set of FAs serving both parts of the J cabin? Or was it all just one set?

    QR certainly did a great job with their A350's interior. Though I have mixed feelings about the lighting. Sure it looks gorgeous, however I personally don't think it should be arranged as such for a red-eye flight. It's too eye-provoking for me. (or it could just be the bad lighting of the photos taken).

    The Super Diamond seats look great! Very well-put together, and personal space is aplenty. Looking forward to experiencing the seats myself one day.

    The steak which you had for your breakfast is the reason why I tend to avoid ordering steak whilst flying. It's very rarely cooked to order, and in my past experiences typically way overdone. It doesn't do such a wonderful culinary invention any justice. Shame it had to be the Achilles heel of your otherwise fantastic flight experience..

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Comment 381823 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 494 Comments

      Hi Raza_Pr, as always thanks for reading. TSA can be a strange lot. No arguing with them. Paper or no entry was my choice. The cabin was not as dark as the photos. The lighting messed up the camera and while I tried to lighten them they are all too dark. My opinion was it was beautiful, yet understand your point of view. I do think China Airlines gave them a run with their cabin color choice. You'll be disappointed when I publish the CX A350 cabin, I was. Anyway it was a great flight. EY A380 apartment soon!

  • Comment 381813 by
    nico83et13 GOLD 2164 Comments

    Thank you for the FR.

  • Comment 381843 by
    Nick 172 Comments

    Excellent report. Both the hard and soft product seem nearly identical to the Qatar flight I took from Johannesburg to Doha on a 787. During that trip I stayed in the Al Mourjan lounge during my layover, but thanks for the tip about the arrival lounge and separate visa processing!

    • Comment 381848 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 494 Comments

      Nick, I have a layover in a few months, 7 hours overnight. Coming from CPT. What is the lounge like to sleep in, or can you? Is it better to get a room at that hotel in the airport or go to the lounge. Thanks for your input.

      • Comment 381853 by
        Nick 172 Comments

        Not sure if you're referring to JNB or DOH so I'll give you my two cents about both.

        The Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha is massive and has the best food you could ask for (two full service restaurants). To sleep, there are a couple couches, but not that many so you probably couldn't count on being able to snag one. If you're okay with sleeping in a chair then you'd probably be fine. I imagine it's quiet at night as the heaviest transit period at DOH is between 6 AM and 8 AM. Not sure about hotels at the airport because I stayed in the lounge and my whole layover was during the day. I don't know if they have dayrooms in the Al Mourjan lounge because I didn't look that hard as I didn't need one. I'm about to post my flight report from my DOH to MXP flight that has dozens of pics from the lounge.

        At JNB, the Baobab lounge for South African Airways passengers is very nice though they had rather limited amenities. I don't remember seeing any couches there but they did have plenty of big leather chairs. The Bidvest lounge is a typical contract-type lounge that serves a bunch of different airlines. Your best bet at JNB is to just grab at room at the City Lodge hotel. It's not luxurious, but it seems rather new and is clean enough. I got a rate of $95 as a walk-up customer so maybe you could get it even cheaper if you booked in advance. The hotel is literally connected to the terminal so you can walk all the way from your room to your gate without even going outside.

  • Comment 381852 by
    Nick 172 Comments

    Not sure if you're referring to JNB or DOH so I'll give you my two cents about both.

    The Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha is massive and has the best food you could ask for (two full service restaurants). To sleep, there are a couple couches, but not that many so you probably couldn't count on being able to snag one. If you're okay with sleeping in a chair then you'd probably be fine. I imagine it's quiet at night as the heaviest transit period at DOH is between 6 AM and 8 AM. Not sure about hotels at the airport because I stayed in the lounge and my whole layover was during the day. I don't know if they have dayrooms in the Al Mourjan lounge because I didn't look that hard as I didn't need one. I'm about to post my flight report from my DOH to MXP flight that has dozens of pics from the lounge.

    At JNB, the Baobab lounge for South African Airways passengers is very nice though they had rather limited amenities. I don't remember seeing any couches there but they did have plenty of big leather chairs. The Bidvest lounge is a typical contract-type lounge that serves a bunch of different airlines. Your best bet at JNB is to just grab at room at the City Lodge hotel. It's not luxurious, but it seems rather new and is clean enough. I got a rate of $95 as a walk-up customer so maybe you could get it even cheaper if you booked in advance. The hotel is literally connected to the terminal so you can walk all the way from your room to your gate without even going outside.

    • Comment 382235 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 494 Comments

      Thanks for the info Nick. I was asking about Doha, but JNB is good to know. My flight is CPT to DOH. They have a transit hotel but it's expensive, about $200. Then again $200 if you are going to use the room for at least 8 hours isn't outrageous. The Hilton in Old Town is nice as well for a quick stay and not expensive ($140ish), beautiful hotel, good food, outside lounge on the roof and only about $7 Uber dollars away. Doha airport puts Abu Dhabi to shame.

  • Comment 381863 by
    JW19 121 Comments

    Great review yet again. Qatar's J class continues to impress with quality and quantity. Prices are also very competitive. Can't imagine why are there still people who would pay more and fly legacy airlines that are continuously cost cutting and stinging. CX being one of those.

  • Comment 382137 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8631 Comments

    Thanks for sharing your experience.The A350 is a great place and Qatar has made the most out of it. Great cabin ( maybe privacy could be a liitle bit better with higher seatbacks. The catering , except for the breakfast, main dish ooks really great and tasty. Steaks are not my favorite on baord as they tend to be overooked on most airlines how good they are.

    • Comment 382237 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 494 Comments

      At least they are staggered. Honestly I didn't see or hear anyone the whole flight and all the seats around were occupied. Sitting in the center might be a different story however. The seats/bed are really comfortable. I'd go back just for that appetizer of marinated peppers and cheese. Thanks again!

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