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September 5, 2015 / oneworld82

A magnificent experience: Qatar Airways Business Class DOH-PHL (QR J, DOH-PHL).

Once landed at the new Doha airport it was a rather long walk to the transfer desk where I got my connecting boarding pass to Philadelphia. This time I would be seated in row 13, on an old-version business class seat.

I went through security and then I explored the terminal duty-free area a bit – it was quite impressive to see how many people there were at midnight at the airport, a reminder of the huge night-time bank characterizing Qatar Airways departures. The new terminal is sleek, modern, with lots of shops. It’s a nice area where to spend a hour or so shopping around.

I proceeded to my gate about 45 minutes before departure, and within minutes we started boarding.

I took my seat – located in the mini-cabin behind the main business class cabin – and it turned out I was seated next to a Jamaican QR pilot who was going back home for Father’s Day weekend. That ensured good conversations for a good chunk of the flight.

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My assigned flight attendant came by shortly after I had sit down to introduce herself – she was Chinese and it turned out she spoke Italian, as her fiancé was from my same country or origin. That set the mood off right.

I got a glass of orange juice pre-departure, and then I started taking a look at my seat. While the 2-2-2 configuration doesn’t guarantee complete aisle access, the cabin is very comfortable and luxurious. The color palette and seat-finishing are top notch, and so are the seat features. Good lighting, lots of reclining options, easy-to-use IFE system. While the seat is not as private as AA’s business class seat (or Cathay Pacific’s), this is overall a great seat.

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After take off, the flight attendant came around taking dinner orders. While I originally did not plan to eat too much, the menu looked so appetizing that I ended up getting a full meal.

I started with some amuse bouche and a glass of Dom Perignon. It was some sort of dumpling with fish roes and a dipping sauce – I honestly do not remember how it tasted.

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That was followed by a fastastic mushroom soup. It was a clear, broth-y soup that was extremely flavorful and not heavy in the least! I really enjoyed this dish.

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After the soup the appetizer followed. It was basically a mix of samosas – very tasty.

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The the main dish followed – lamb over pilaf rice. It was very nicely presented, and it tasted great.

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So far the meal had been excellent. How to top it off? Why with a Laduree chocolate cake, of course!

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After brushing my teeth and lying my seat flat in bed mode, I fell asleep for a good 6 hours – some of the longest sleep time I have ever gotten on a plane. The seat was very comfortable, and the cabin temperature was just right. Turn down service was not offered though, which was a tad disappointing (although this was only business class, I understand that QR offers turn down service on these flights).

I woke up with about 4 hours to go, and after watching some Big Bang Theory I was ready for some breakfast.

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The menu was pretty exhaustive, but I wasn’t too hungry. I opted for a Middle Eastern breakfast of foul medames, lebneh, and halloumi, together with some orange juice and a cappuccino. I also asked for some scrambled eggs, but the crew was out of eggs – quite an oddity on a U.S.-bound flight if you ask me. Anyways, food quality was very good.

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After watching some more TV…

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…I proceeded to the restroom to change and freshen up. We landed in PHL on time, and off I went to take my connection to Dallas.

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Overall, this was an amazing flight on Qatar Airways – definitely the best business class product overall I have flown to date. Great service, great F&B, comfortable seat, great amenities (same kit as on QR F)… My fourteen hours to Philadelphia literally flew away. Qatar Airways offers, comparatively, a better business class experience than a first class one, and the product is slightly better than Etihad Airways in J.

I will now have to try Emirates business class to have the full picture, but I consider myself very lucky to have tried this great product on a ultra-long haul route.

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Moritz / Sep 8 2015 2:23 am

    Great review! The hard product leaves something to be desired in my opinion, but the soft product with the amazing service and the great food makes QR one of the best airlines in Business Class for me. I just love flying them 🙂

  2. dannyeb82 / Sep 12 2015 3:54 am

    Agree completely. The business class offering on QR is one of the best. Maybe just slightly behind SQ.

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