Home -> Trip Report -> Doha to Stockholm with Qatar Airways in Business Class

Route : DOH-ARN

Airline: Qatar Airways (QR)

Cabin Class: Business

Equipment : Airbus A330-200

Flight Number: QR 91

Seat Number: 12F

 

Date: October 5, 2013

Departure time in Doha (DOH): 1:55

Arrival time in Stockholm (ARN): 7:30

*This is an award travel, Business Class flight #34

 

Text and Photography by Arthur Jeciel

Introduction

October 12, 2013 When I booked this flight a few weeks before the trip, I was so excited because I knew that Qatar Aiways has started flying the Dreamliner to Stockholm from August 1, and that I would finally be able to test their most famous business class seats on an angled reverse herringbone arrangement. Unfortunately, a few days before the actual flight, I checked the flight on Amadeus and found out that the equipment would no longer be a Dreamliner but an Airbus 332. I couldn't help but be disappointed and just hope that there would still be a last minute change so that we could still set our foot on a Dreamliner flying in business class.

Check in

The business class check in desks at the Premium Terminal

We arrived at the airport more than five hours before departure, not because it was allowed to check in that early, but because I had spoken with their Al Maha Service staff while still in the hotel and was told that it was ok to check in earlier and just wait in the lounge. Impressive!

Lounge

I have written a separate review of the business class lounge and you can find it here.

Aircraft

The Airbus 330-200

This picture was taken upon landing at Stockholm Arlanda Airport

From the Premium Terminal, we were driven to the aircraft by a luxury bus, pretty much like what Emirates uses in Dubai for their premium passengers.

Cabin

The business class cabin actually has 24 seats with a 2-2-2 configuration. Strangely, 2 of the 8 business class passengers got to sit on the first class cabin which has 12 flat bed seats. Qatar Airways do not sell first class tickets between Doha and Stockholm so I was presuming that the first class cabin was used for these two passengers, giving them business class service of course. I thought it would have been a fine gesture if they had accommodated all of us at the first class cabin since the angled seats on the business class cabin was really uncomfortable specially for sleeping. I am presuming all the other passengers who sat with us in the business class cabin didn't know anything about this.

Welcome to Qatar Airways

Our predeparture drinks with the Salvatorre Ferragamo amenity kit

After the beverages came the hot towels...

...followed by the pajamas.

Meal

After take off, I decided to have a look at the menu which read as follows:

 

Tempting your Palate

Salmon rillettes, ciabatta crostini

 

On request

Clear soup with crispy rice and mushrooms

Classic arabic mezze, hummus, tabouleh and mujaddara served with arabic bread

Chicken with sesame seed salad, sauteed potatoes, bell peppers and spring onions

Arabic spiced lamb and vegetable wrap with tahina, za'atar with roasted potatoes, cherry tomato and raita

Individual cheese plate of emmental, castello blue and brie, dried apricots and prune cake

Selection of seasonal fresh fruits

Freshly baked cookies

 

Bakery basket

Herb baguette, tomato and basil, multi cereal and granary rolls

 

Because I already had my dinner in the lounge, I skipped the meal and decided to take a nap instead.

After my "short sleep", it was time for breakfast and I ordered a glass of raspberry smoothie to start with. I remember being served the same drink the last time I flew with them in business class and I actually liked it so ordering it again was quite expected. The other choices were:

 

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Laban

Here it is: the menu card still being presented on a nice leather folder. A big plus since this is common only in first class.

Selection of seasonal fresh fruits, creme fraiche

Croissant, multi cereal baguette, apple and cinnamon muffin

The other choices for starters were: Toasted muesli and Smoked salmon with apricot and celery salad.

 

 

Main

Cream cheese omelette with chicken sausage

From the menu, the other choices were:

 

Paneer Bhurji with yoghurt potato curry with spiced sesame cashew nuts with warm croissant

Vanilla french toast with orange coulis, candid citrus zest

Arabic breakfast plate: feta, shanklish cheese and labneh with za'atar served with moussabah, cheese manakish and arabic bread

 

I found the meal simple with nothing extraordinary so to be honest, I wasn't that impressed.

Seat

The first row on the right side of the business class cabin.

The legroom is spacious, as expected.

Entertainment

I woke up about two hours before landing so I decided to check the films available and ended up watching Man of Steel which I thought was pretty okay.

Toilet and Lavatory

Inside the lavatory, there were shaving kits as well as dental kits.

Well, I have to say I love their Attimo hand cream and refreshing water. Plus points for this.

Beautiful view from my seat!

Arrival in Stockholm

After about six hours of flying, we landed at Arlanda Airport with the weather being cloudy.

 

Conclusion

 

My mission in taking this flight was to be able to compare the business class of Qatar Airways to the other two Gulf Carriers, namely: Emirates and Etihad, and find out which is the best airline among the three. Had this been a flight on a Dreamliner, I would have given the title to Qatar Airways one hundred percent. But after they changed the Dreamliner to an old Airbus because "they didn't have enough aircraft" according to the cabin attendant, then I didn't have much choice but to find something else that would make this flight really special. Unfortunately, there was not much except for the friendly and efficient service from the crew. The food was okay but not that exceptional.

 

If I were to give a piece of advice to Qatar Airways, I would say that being one of the fastest growing airlines in the world is good (ie. opening the most number of routes in a certain period) but please make sure that the airport facilities specially the lounges and the number of aircrafts you have are keeping up with the pace, otherwise there would always be compromises along the way.

 

My future flights unfortunately (or fortunately) do not include flying with Qatar Airways so it would take a while before this Doha based carrier gets another chance. Till next time! Goodluck, Qatar Airways!

 

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