Flight-Report

Review of Qatar Airways flight Doha Sydney in First

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR908
Class First
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 13:50
Take-off 21 Aug 18, 20:00
Arrival at 22 Aug 18, 16:50
QR   #6 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 478 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 2074
Published on 17th September 2018
photo qr908 cover

Hello Flight-Report #Avgeeks. I've been away for awhile, mostly making changes to this RTW adventure I'll be sharing over the coming days. Planning for this trip began back in 2017 when the schedule opened for reward tickets to be used in August 2018. The destination was Australia. I was waiting for a specific flight going west to Australia to become available when the schedule hit 331 days out. At that time Qatar had just introduced their Q-Suite business class seat. It was only being flown on Paris and London routes to Doha. On a whim I searched for CDG to Sydney. Bingo, Q-Suites to Doha and A380 service in first class to Sydney. Going east now. (BTW: the westbound flight opened but this was more fun!)

Numerous changes were made, what else is new, but in the end it was an

Epic Journey.



KLM ORD-AMS B747-400 Business Class - click to view
KLM AMS-CDG B737 Business Class - no report
Qatar CDG-DOH B777-300 Business Class / Qatar CDC Lounge - click to view

Qatar DOH-SYD A380 First Class / DOH Al Safwa First Class Lounge - this report


Qantas SYD-CNS B738 Business Class - to come
Virgin Australia CNS-BNE B737 Business Class - to come
Qantas BNE-MEL B787-9 Business Class - to come
Qantas MEL-SYD A300-2 Business Class / MEL 2nd day open Business Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines SYD-SIN Suites Class / SYD Krisflyer First Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines SIN-PEK First Class / SIN Private Room - to come
Lufthansa PEK-MUC First Class - to come
Lufthansa MUC-FRA A321 Business Class / MUC First Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines FRA-JFK Suites Class - to come
JetBlue JFK-ORD E190 Economy Class - no report

photo map of trip

Apologies for a long report. Let's start with the Al Safwa First Class Lounge. While Hamad International Airport is a spectacular facility to explore and appreciate the architecture, I had other plans.

photo qf doh fcl entry 1

It is a grand entrance up the massive escalator to an open lobby seemingly without a ceiling. The entrance itself depicts the opulence of this one of a kind first class lounge.

photo qf doh fcl entry 2

After admittance off to the right is a duty free shop area that I wouldn’t be able to pay the duty, let alone buy whatever is in there.

photo qr doh fcl entry 4

So I entered the lounge. This lounge is something you have to see to fully appreciate.

photo qf doh fcl room 4

Space wise it is probably the largest lounge I’ve ever been in, but with the fewest chairs and most open space.

photo qr doh fcl entry 5

When you enter if you turn left there is the bar and dining room where you can order off a menu as well as this water feature.

photo qf doh fcl entry 3

There were more dining tables off to the right.

photo qr doh fcl dr 1

Even though I said fewest chairs, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of chairs. It’s just the place is so big.

photo qr doh fcl room 1

Throughout the lounge are attendees who ask if you need anything, want to eat or visit the spa. They aren’t intrusive, just there to help.

photo qr doh fcl room 3

Off to the right is the Spa as well as a game room and kid’s area.

photo qr doh fcl room 4photo qr doh fcl spa entry

Most of the spa treatments are at a cost. The spa attendant gave me a tour. There were various massage rooms.

photo qr doh fcl spa msg tbl 1

This is the jacuzzi room which I opted for. There is no charge for this. No duck though! What I found strange about this room is there are 2 showers opposite the jacuzzi but no toilet in the room.

photo qr doh fcl spa jacuzzi

The spa was very tranquil with the sounds of this gentle flowing stream of water.

photo qr doh fcl spa water running

After the jacuzzi I continued my tour of the facility in search of food. Tucked away in the back of the lounge is a typical lounge buffet style area for a quick bite in case you don’t have time to for a sit down meal.

photo qr doh fcl food alc 2

But I had time so I headed to the dining room. There was only one other person in the room, a lady at the bar who was headed to Sydney as well.

photo qr doh fcl dr 2

This Saint Julien is not something you will find in a typical lounge.

photo qr doh fcl food wine 2

Not wanting to eat anything too heavy I opted for the vegetable tart. It was delicious.

photo qr doh fcl food 1

And the waiter recommended the Pistachio cake.

photo qr doh fcl food 3

This is a magnificent lounge. If you are flying first class on Qatar do your best to either arrive very early or have a long layover. I’d put this lounge on par with Lufthansa’s FCT, minus the ensuing walk to end of C concourse to catch QR908.

Click to see additional photos of the Al Safwa first class lounge at rewardflying.com

Hamad International Airport is a magnificent facility. It reminds you more of a high end shopping mall and entertainment center with its expensive stores and massive advertising billboards.

photo qr doh airport 1

And then there is the the Lamp Bear which seems totally out of place.

photo qf doh airport 2

After my visit to the lounge it was off to the end of Concourse C to board the A380 for a 14 hour flight to Sydney.

photo qr908 plane 1

My seat was 2A. Qatar’s A380 first class cabin is on the upper deck.

photo qr908 cabin first 1

There are 8 first class seats, 2 rows of 1x2x1. Today’s load would be 3 people. Two in row 1 and me in row 2.

photo qr908 cabin first 2

As on the 777, boarding lights were mood lighting. This made for dark pictures. Apologies in advance.

photo qr908 cabin first 3
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photo qr908 cabin first 7

A view of the seat next to me when boarding.

photo qr908 cabin first 5

An view of the seat next to me with light on arrival.

photo qr908 cabin first 4

The seat is an open suite with a privacy partition that is electronically controlled.

photo qr908 seat 1

Opposite to the seat is a bench that can be used for a dining partner.

photo qr908 seat 2

The Qatar colors of grey, burgundy along with the faux wood enhance the darkness of the cabin.

photo qr908 seat 3
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photo qr908 seat 4

The divider between seats nicely acts as your closet.

photo qr908 seat 5

And this inseat reading light is also a clever design.

photo qr908 seat 6

One armrest holds a bottle of water.

photo qr908 seat 7

The other side operates the partition as well as seat controls in the armrest.

photo qr908 seat 8

This however looks to be an afterthought. The Lufthansa drink tray looks to be part of the suite, this doesn’t.

photo qr908 seat 9

A mattress pad was provided when time to sleep.
photo qr908 seat bed 1
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photo qr908 seat bed 2

Overall I found the Qatar first class seat to be very comfortable for a long haul flight. With the privacy screen extended I wouldn’t be able to see a neighbor even if I there was one. When the bed was extended it was comfortable as well. The mattress pad was ok. I slept pretty well on the flight.

My take on the first class cabin itself was it lacked any character. The colors blended into the darkness. I also found it odd that the first class cabin didn’t have a Qatar logo or any other identification This is the front of the bulkhead wall at the top of the stairs, which no one walks up anyway.

photo qr908 cabin stair 5

This is the opposite side or front bulkhead, just plain grey. The back bulkhead was was the same. Overall the cabin isn’t anything like the photos you see on their website.

photo qr908 cabin first 3a

This part of the plane is gorgeous. And sadly for no one.

photo qr908 cabin stair 1
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photo qr908 cabin stair 2
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photo qr908 cabin stair 3
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photo qr908 cabin stair 6

There are 2 lavatories in first class, for 8 people. Each are huge.

photo qr908 cabin lav 1

Qatar of course opted against an onboard shower.

photo qr908 cabin lav 2
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photo qr908 cabin lav 3
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photo qr908 cabin lav 7
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photo qr908 cabin lav 5

Necessary amenities were plentifully stocked.

photo qr908 cabin lav 4
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photo qr908 cabin lav 6

Outside the lavatories was a snack bar. I was never told about this, just saw it when using the lav.

photo qr908 cabin snack 1

Once on board I was welcomed by the first class cabin flight attendant whose name was Jasmine.

photo qr908 welcome 1
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photo qr908 welcome 2

I was given a bevy of gifts including a Bric’s amenity kit which includes a luggage tag as well as pajamas and a set of headphones.

photo qr908 amenity 1
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photo qr908 amenity 2

The large size pajamas were way big, so she gave me a medium and they were way small. Go figure.

photo qr908 amenity 3
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photo qr908 amenity 4

Two champagnes were offered on this flight. I chose the later.

photo qr908 menu bev champ 1photo qr908 menu bev champ 2
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photo qr908 welcome 4

Multiple times.

photo qr908 welcome 3

Menus were distributed. Jasmine said you could dine at anytime.

photo qr908 menu food 1

Except after saying I could dine at anytime when she came around for the other 2 orders she also came to get mine. I didn’t argue.

I found the menu rather lackluster for a 14 hour flight leaving at 8PM. On the other hand, caviar was on board. The LARGE table was set, maybe not as precisely as you would find on some other international first class airlines, but it has a candle.

photo qr908 food amuse 1

The amuse was smoked salmon and roasted peppers. Meh.

photo qr908 food amuse 2

Caviar was served, finally with more than 3 blinis!

photo qr908 food cav 1

More smoke salmon?

photo qr908 food cav 2

Make it 4 blinis.
photo qr908 food cav 5
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photo qr908 food cav 4

And did you notice there wasn’t a soup course?

Time to switch to a nice red for dinner.

photo qr908 menu bev wine red 1
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photo qr908 menu bev wine red 2
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photo qr908 menu bev wine red 3
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photo qr908 menu bev

The Bordeaux did not disappoint.

photo qr908 food main wine 1
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photo qr908 food main pres

I ordered the cod simply via elimination.

photo qr908 food main 1
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photo qr908 food main 2

It was good, nevertheless I was regretting not indulging at the lounge before the flight.

photo qr908 food main 4

I think I refused dessert. Instead a chocolate was welcomed.

photo qr908 food main choc

Next it was off to the bar which is located behind the front business class section.

photo qr908 bar 1photo qr908 bar 2

Just a stunning bar. Out of the ME3, this one is hands down the most beautiful.

photo qr908 bar 3

A young woman from Thailand whose name escapes me, but spoke fluent english from her studies in Boston was in change. We talked for a while. She had the perfect personality for this position.

photo qr908 bar 5
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photo qr908 bar 6
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photo qr908 cabin bar 7
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photo qr908 bar7

Having reached my limit it was time for some sleep. I headed back through the business class cabin. With the Super Diamond seats this isn’t a bad way to travel at all.

photo qr908 bus cabin 1

After probably about 6 hours of sleep it was time to breakfast. I always think it’s so wasteful to fly first class, pay more and sleep.

photo qr908 menu food 2

Breakfast was on tap. I created my own from the menu, everything.

photo qr908 food brk 1
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photo qr908 food brk 4

No complaints, other than it took almost 30 minutes to make.

photo qr908 food brk 6

Time to pass some time with the IFE. The monitor is excellent. Not as good as Etihad’s but better than many top shelf first class cabins.

photo qr908 ife 1

And the A380 cameras are so cool.

photo qr908 scenic l1

Before landing I went for the Afternoon Tea, as it was afternoon at the destination.

photo qr908 food finger 1

More salmon!

photo qr908 food finger 3
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photo qr908 food finger 4

Warm scones with clotted cream.

photo qr908 food finger 6

Egg tart, yes please.

photo qr908 food finger 5

Out of the 3 meals the Afternoon Tea was probably my favorite.

With arrival at hand the good news is finally getting some light in the cabin!

photo qr908 cabin window 1photo qr908 cabin window 2

Sydney is always a scenic city to fly into. This winter day would be no exception.


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Notice the detour Qatar is forced to make with the blockade.

photo qr908 fllghtpath

For a few more photos, redemption pricing and ratings visit rewardflying.com with this link
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Verdict

Qatar Airways

7.3/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering6.5

Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge

9.5/10
Comfort9.5
Meal/catering9.5
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Services9.5

Doha - DOH

8.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Sydney - SYD

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

A comment on the crew: They were well intentioned but with little polish or first class experience. Dine on demand, not really. No soup was served. Very polite and friendly, but nothing close to the Savoy trained FA’s on Etihad. And not to nitpick, but more often than not, when the seat next to you is not occupied a seasoned FA will offer to make the empty seat your bed. Not today, even though I was one of four in row two.

For me, a true test of how much I liked the flight is once I land if I am looking to book it again. Sans the first class lounge, this one not so much.

Information on the route Doha (DOH) Sydney (SYD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Doha (DOH) → Sydney (SYD).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 14 hours and 10 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

  • Comment 465624 by
    757Fan 505 Comments

    Thank you for sharing. Qatar Airways looks amazing!

  • Comment 465726 by
    Singabore 4 Comments

    Fantastic report. Thank you.

  • Comment 465821 by
    nico83et13 SILVER 1815 Comments

    Merci pour le FR

  • Comment 466514 by
    socalnow GOLD 839 Comments

    OK, now we’re back on track.
    “The entrance itself depicts the opulence of this one of a kind first class lounge.”
    -Great pictures to appreciate the high ceilings and just overall grandeur of the architecture.
    “This is the jacuzzi room which I opted for. There is no charge for this.”
    -wow, I had no idea about this. What a great feature.
    “No duck though!”
    -A rubber Oryx perhaps?
    “This Saint Julien is not something you will find in a typical lounge.”
    -No kidding…they have a healthy bar budget here… Do you happen to know what bubbles are on offer?
    The vegetable tart and pistachio cake both look lovely.
    “This however looks to be an afterthought. The Lufthansa drink tray looks to be part of the suite, this doesn’t.”
    -But it looks like you can fit a drink and some nuts on it…and reach it…unlike LHs tray…
    “My take on the first class cabin itself was it lacked any character. The colors blended into the darkness.’
    - I can see how boarding at night could contribute to this experience. I think it’s a quite smart looking and elegant space.
    “I found the menu rather lackluster for a 14 hour flight leaving at 8PM.”
    -No kidding. Compare that to EK, my goodness. Is that the entirety? No snacks? No breakfast listed? The caviar presentation is lovely but the portion is pitiful.
    “And did you notice there wasn’t a soup course?”
    -Was it not catered? It’s on the menu…
    “Just a stunning bar. Out of the ME3, this one is hands down the most beautiful.”
    -Such a great feature. Was it buzzing with people? I can’t see any from your pictures. I’m glad the staff stationed there was friendly and well suited to socialize. My time in the QR bar on the A380 was with a not “well suited” staff.
    “After probably about 6 hours of sleep it was time to breakfast.”
    -Now I see the breakfast and snacks…but your point remains about the uninspired options.
    “Sydney is always a scenic city to fly into. This winter day would be no exception.”
    -Fantastic shots!
    “For me, a true test of how much I liked the flight is once I land if I am looking to book it again. Sans the first class lounge, this one not so much.”
    -It seems that QR is not committed to offering F service and it shows in their uninspired menu and unpolished service.
    Thank you for sharing Mark. I’m looking forward to your SQ and LH!

  • Comment 466517 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 447 Comments

    OK, now we’re back on track.

    -Yes we are, and uphill from here!

    -A rubber Oryx perhaps?

    HaHa, good one!

    No kidding…they have a healthy bar budget here… Do you happen to know what bubbles are on offer?

    -I can't find the menu. I know I took photos of both food and bev and can't find them. Must have deleted them. So no, but next time I doing all my drinking and eating before I get on the plane. That tart was outstanding. That cake was outstanding. And the wine, well you know better than me!

    ?But it looks like you can fit a drink and some nuts on it…and reach it…unlike LHs tray…
    -I was thinking similar while complimented LH as there's is pretty useless. So much for the German form follows function philosophy. Qatars is pretty ugly you have to admit.

    I can see how boarding at night could contribute to this experience. I think it’s a quite smart looking and elegant space.

    -But it was dark for 13 1/2 hours!

    The caviar presentation is lovely but the portion is pitiful.

    -and no vodka offered

    Was it not catered? It’s on the menu…

    -FA error???

    Such a great feature. Was it buzzing with people? I can’t see any from your pictures. I’m glad the staff stationed there was friendly and well suited to socialize. My time in the QR bar on the A380 was with a not “well suited” staff.

    -2 people, the couple that sat behind me CDG-DOH were in business. They'd been on a cruise down the Danube. Nice Aussies. As I walked into the bar the FA was talking to that couple and as I went to snap a photo she said "And I'm falling away so you can take a photo" as she softly fell onto the couch. It was rather clever and funny.

    It seems that QR is not committed to offering F service and it shows in their uninspired menu and unpolished service.

    -Agreed, but why did they open that palace of a lounge for first class? Puzzling.

    Thank you Christian!

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