This trip could be called, "You fell for a sale trip". One morning in October I received an email from Krisflyer stating their new A350 long range flights were on sale. What was normally 88,000 points to the west coast was promoted at 65,000 points. The Newark flight was a little more. I looked at some availability and LA's flight got in too late to fly on to Chicago and Newarks' flight wasn't available for the time I wanted to travel. Then I stumbled upon the inaugural A350 ULR flight to SFO. More digging found Q-Suites to Doha and Q-Suites on the new Qatar A350-1K to Singapore. So with no intention of taking a round the world trip when I awoke that morning, within a couple hours I was booked.
DOH-SIN Qatar Airways A350-1K QSuites Business Class - Al Mourjan Business Class lounge - this report
SIN-HKG Singapore Airlines A380 New Business Class - to come HKG-SIN Singapore Airlines A380 New First Class - to come SIN-SFO Singapore Airlines A350-9 ULR Business Class - to come SOF-ORD Alaska Airlines A320 First Class - to come
Maybe the perfect flight.
Doha’s Hamad International Airport is a stunning piece of architecture. Only an $8 Uber ride from Old Town that takes about 10 minutes, the airport is located on east side of Doha against the Persian Gulf coast.
With the flight leaving at 8:15AM it was an early ride to the airport, and as it turns out I wish I left earlier as there was much to do in the Qatar business class lounge.
A grand entrance awaits premium class passengers.
Check In took a matter of seconds as did security. The airport was plenty crowded, but most were connecting passengers.
I’m sure there is a good explanation for this 5 or 6 million dollar bear, I just haven’t heard it. It’s a good photo op.
High end shops, Apple computers, flight simulators and race cars. And that’s before the lounge.
Take an escalator up to the Al Mourjan business class lounge. The lounge is massive, shaped in a long rectangle. This guide shows the layout.
This artwork is at the entry. Go left to take a tour around the facility or go upstairs for a full service restaurant.
Seating is everywhere, except unlike most lounges the chairs a spread out into spacious areas that offer a certain amount of privacy.
At the far end there are cafeteria like tables where you can grab a coffee and sweet.
There wasn’t a vast amount of food in any of these areas. I suspect due to the restaurant upstairs.
Business workstations, Game Room, Washroom, Prayer Rooms, this lounge has everything.
Including a lake, below the staircase up to the restaurant.
Which I failed to allow enough time to enjoy, next time.
QR944 to Singapore left from the farthest gate, as it turns out it was a remote gate which was a bus gate that offered a closeup of an A380 as well as 2 A350-1K, one of which would take me to Singapore. A golden opportunity wasted. What an awesome picture a closeup of that Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine would have been. Try taking a photo walking up stairs with a busload of people behind you, carry-on roller in one hand and laptop case in the other because I left the shoulder strap at home.
At least I got half!
Today’s journey would be on Qatar Airways A350-1000 registration A7-ANB, delivered on June 30th, 2018.
There are 2 cabins on the A350. The front cabin has 40 of the 48 business class suites on the A350-1K.
During the flight I went back to the mini-cabin that has only 8 seats. Other than boarding congestion, this is the place to be in my opinion.
Specifically in 11A or 11K with a nice view of the engine.
There are only 2 lavatories, behind door 2 on this Airbus which could be problematic on long flights before landing.
Seat 1K would be my home. This seat was not blocked when I booked this flight, unlike row 1 on the 777 out of Chicago. (Next time I'll listen to SoCalNow and snag row 5, or 11)
The QSuite on the A350-1K has 1/2 inch less width than on the 777 QSuite.
Qatar installed the premium dual transparency electronic window shades which are so much nicer than the pull down shades.
When seated in 1K, the only other seat in line of sight is this one.
When seated your privacy with both suite doors open.
Row 1 center, like the 777, is rear facing.
Even with a slightly more narrow pod, the foot well has plenty of room.
The window side armrest can be lowered and connects with padding to make an even larger area to sleep.
IFE controller and ports are opposite of the 777, or maybe it’s that way on seat K on the 777.
QSuite and A350-1000 Safety instructions.
Time to go.
Cleared for takeoff.
Amenities on this trip are similar to those one the inbound 777, with the exception of pajamas due to being a day time flight.
The aircraft had wifi with less than impressive speeds when I tested it.
Coffee is in order on the morning flight before breakfast. Sorry no Mimosa or Champagne for me!
For Breakfast I would have the smoked salmon and scrambled egg.
Later on the Light Options tried are the grilled chicken with pesto sandwich and stir-fried beef tenderloin.
Plus from the Snack Platters menu I’d try the veggie skewer and raspberry tart.
Non-alcoholic beverages for this morning flight.
The smoked salmon with dill cream cheese was outstanding.
These were thick slices of salmon.
And a basket of rolls. It’s so much more like first class doing it this way as opposed to the FA bringing around a basket and you select one.
The main course was restaurant quality as well.
I’m tempted to compare this to a dozen or thereabout other so called premium class breakfasts I’ve had on international flights.
After breakfast the mood lighting was turned on. What’s not to like?
Here is my only complaint about this flight, if you can call it a complaint.
The handheld remote device has the airshow.
Which is pretty cool.
Except it kept shutting off, just like your phone shuts off every few minutes. I gave up after awhile.
Heading east to Singapore where the time zone difference is 5 hours meant it was 5PM before I knew it.
I started my sampling feast by ordering the veggie skewers. My flight attendant for the flight was amazing. Polished, friendly, attentive, all the things that make a great flight experience she had. Much different from the inbound flight. She suggested I order more than one skewer as “they are small”. I enjoyed them with a Cháteau Batailley, which was surprising they had any left after my inbound flight.
No kidding they were small! But delicious.
I was encouraged to try the grilled chicken sandwich.
Why stop now?
The stir-fry beef tenderloin was remarkably good. The chili sambal added just a touch of heat, I was tempted to order another.
I can't imagine a better flight. Having over 30 international business class flights over the last few years this one was the best, over taking my prior Qatar business class flights. With QSuite and the cuisine they serve, Qatar has truly become #1 in business class. The flight crew on this flight was great. They were a little older and more experienced than my flight from Chicago. That's probably the one are where they could improve upon, better trained FA's. But if you can fly Qatar (Qsuites) do it, and spend some time in their lounges as well.
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