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June 18, 2016 / oneworld82

Another amazing flight on Qatar Airways – LHR-DOH QR J (A333)

Flight QR2, LHR-DOH

Airbus A330-300

Business Class, Seat 2J

May 19th, 2016 – 09:30 – 06:35+1

Qatar Airways gate(s) is located pretty much on the opposite side of the Skyteam lounge, so it’s a 5-10 minute walk from where I was. Boarding started promptly at 08:35pm – quite early if you ask me. I am not sure how many people there way in coach, but when boarding started there were no more than 30-35 people around the gate area.

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After taking a long walkway I boarded the cabin through the airplane’s front door. I was the second one to board, which gave me a chance to take some pictures of the cabin, while the other gentleman onboard offered to take a picture of me. Here’s the result. J

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The crew was very amicable and cheery – and it would be that way throughout the flight; compared to Etihad and Emirates, I find QR crew to be warmer, which is a good thing.

The retrofitted cabin on the A333 is very attractive and looks brand new. Seats are on a 2-2-2 configuration, with the middle section perfect for couples traveling together as the footrest cubbies are close to each other, giving a good degree of closeness. Between seats, a screen guarantees good privacy in case you were traveling alone.

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Once seated the flight attendant assigned to my area came by and introduced herself, then offered to hang my jacket, and then offered me a pre-departure drink. For some reason unknown to me, I got water. Sparkling. What a waste of drinks. Especially because it would be 45 minutes or more before be started taxiing. Go figure what I was thinking haha.

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Once airborne, the cabin manager came to introduce herself and announced a flight time of 6h18m; I find flights longer than 5 hours but shorter than 7h30m hard, as you do not really have time to have a proper meal + sleep + have breakfast/snack, but it is what it is I guess.

Meal orders were taken shortly after take off, including pre-dinner drinks. I was impressed by the quality of cocktails on offer, and so I decided to sway from the usual champagne and gin and tonic and have an old fashioned. In the sky! I did not have high expectations, but it actually turned out to be really good! The drink was served with a ramekin or warm nuts.

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About 15 minutes later, dinner started to be served. This was the excellent menu.

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I am a sucker for Middle Eastern food, and so I obviously started with the mezze. They were a collection of hot and cold ones, served with pita bread. They were great.

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Then, as main, I opted for the …, which was saffron rice with marinated chicken and came with raita. It was quite delicious.

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As drinks, I had some champagne – Qatar Airways has Billecart-Salmon is business class, which is a champagne I really like.

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To kill off the meal, I had the cheese tray. I was quite worried because the menu did not describe the types of cheese served, but the selection was really good, with a blue, a soft, and an aged cheese served in a very attractive way with crackers.

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I had a glass of the Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte with it – apparently an award winning wine – but I did not find it with enough body to accompany such cheeses properly.

After the cheese I had a cup of coffee.

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At departure, together with the Armani amenity kits, pjs were also offered – which I thought was great on a 7h trip in business class. I had already changed into them (they were L/XL, so quite big for me), and so after the meal I just went to brush my teeth before reclining  my seat in lie-flat mode and catch some sleep.

I was worried the my feet would feel constrained given that the foot cubby looks quite small, but that was not a concern at all. The set is firm and comfortable, and while it’s not the widest seat out there I had a good 2-3 hour nap. When I woke up, we were about 45 minutes from Doha; as I was still full from dinner I skipped breakfast and I only had some coffee, and by the time I changed back into my clothes we were almost landing in Doha.

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Overall, this was a fantastic trip on Qatar Airways. The service was super attentive, the refurbished seat was great, F&B was excellent… QR truly offers a 5-star business class product, and I am very excited that my wife and I will be flying them on the A350 next January on our way to Africa.

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