In the mean time Qatar Airways is leasing some Boeing 777s from Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific has a surplus of jets (given what’s occurring in Hong Kong), whereas Qatar Airways has a scarcity of jets (given the provider’s dispute with Airbus over the A350).
One of many locations presently served by these leased 777s is Male, so flying one in all these planes labored out completely for our return journey from the Maldives to the US. I’m unsure I can correctly sum up how excited I used to be for this flight, since this expertise would primarily be a hybrid between two of my favourite airways — Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.
How I booked our Qatar Airways firstclass tickets
Qatar Airways presently presents three every day flights between Male (MLE) and Doha (DOH) with the Boeing 777, and every flight usually has two firstclass award seats, which is nice for these seeking to redeem miles.
Our one-way firstclass award from Male to Doha price simply 40,000 American AAdvantage miles per particular person, which is sort of a cut price. On condition that I acquired a not-insignificant variety of AAdvantage miles for ~0.42 cents every, which means the flight price me round $168 per particular person, or round two glasses of the 2004 Krug we loved on the flight. 😉
Along with the miles there have been $182 per particular person in taxes, because the Maldives not too long ago elevated its departure tax.
For what it’s price, I had initially booked this flight:
05/01 QR675 Male to Doha departing 7:45PM arriving 10:10PM
However because of our points with getting into Qatar, we ended up taking this flight:
05/01 QR673 Male to Doha departing 9:05PM arriving 11:35PM
The time change between Male and Doha is 2 hours, so these flights are blocked at ~4.5 hours.
Qatar Airways 777 firstclass cabin & seats
Our Qatar Airways flight to Doha boarded through a distant stand, so we needed to take a bus there. The primary fascinating factor to notice in regards to the airplane is the livery. Whereas this airplane is being leased from Cathay Pacific, it has been repainted within the Qatar Airways livery… kind of.
The airplane’s exterior had Qatar Airways’ emblem and branding, however didn’t have the complete Qatar Airways livery. The bottom of the airplane was white, but it surely nonetheless had “QATAR” written in huge letters, plus the brand on the tail.
We boarded by the ahead left door of the plane, the place we have been welcomed by the cabin supervisor and escorted to our seats. I used to be like a child in a sweet store being again in Cathay Pacific’s 777 firstclass, because it has been too lengthy.
The 777 firstclass cabin consists of a complete of six seats, unfold throughout two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration. Whereas these aren’t totally enclosed suites with doorways, they’re extremely spacious and comfy, and this stays one in all my favourite firstclass merchandise on the planet.
In some ways not rather a lot modified since Cathay Pacific flew these jets — even the artwork on the bulkhead stays unchanged. The one factor that actually modified is the seat upholstering, in addition to the content material of the leisure.
The best way the cabin is laid out, the left aisle is for simply two seats, whereas the appropriate aisle is for 4 seats, as the middle seats open to the appropriate aisle. Ordinarily if I have been touring with somebody I’d select seats 1A & 2A, however on this case we had the cabin all to ourselves, so we selected 1K & 2K.
These firstclass seats are completely large, and you possibly can simply seat two individuals subsequent to at least one one other in them.
There’s additionally an ottoman at every seat that may double as a buddy seat, to be able to dine face-to-face with somebody, in case you’d like.
The leisure monitor is to the entrance of the seat, and you may push a button in order that it slides out sideways, which means the display screen can be immediately in entrance of you (the display screen doesn’t swivel in any other case).
Additionally on the entrance of the seat is a closet, which is massive sufficient to retailer a full measurement carry-on, or to hold a garment bag (not that there are lots of of these on flights from the Maldives).
To the entrance facet of the seats are the leisure and seat controllers. As you possibly can see, there was some conflicting branding right here — the leisure controller had Qatar Airways’ branding, whereas the seat controller had Cathay Pacific’s emblem.
Instantly in entrance of that was a storage compartment, which is designed to be large enough for headphones to be saved in.
The tray desk folded out from the facet of the seat, and was large. Be aware that in case you’re eating with somebody, there’s an additional tray desk extension that can be utilized to make the desk even larger.
Every seat had AC and USB energy shops, which have been simple to entry.
One draw back to this product is that there sadly aren’t particular person air nozzles on the seats, however relatively there’s only a studying mild above the seat.
What a completely incredible product, particularly for a brief 4 hour flight, and particularly when you’ve the cabin all to your self.
Qatar Airways 777 firstclass loos
There are two bathrooms within the entrance of firstclass on these jets. Each are proper by the flight deck, and the rest room on the left is considerably larger than the one on the appropriate. Those that have flown Cathay Pacific’s 777 firstclass will little question keep in mind the distinctive sink characteristic right here, as Cathay Pacific has considerably higher firstclass sink water stress than nearly another airline.
There have been some fundamental facilities within the bathrooms, together with dental kits, shaving kits, mouthwash, and a few merchandise from Diptyque.
Qatar Airways firstclass facilities
The variety of facilities provided on this brief flight in firstclass was form of unreal. Maybe much more spectacular is that the facilities are nearly an identical in enterprise class.
Ready at every seat upon boarding was Qatar Airways’ typical bedding, together with two pillows and a luxurious blanket.
We have been additionally provided Qatar Airways’ new Diptyque amenity kits, which had socks, earplugs, eyeshades, lip balm, physique lotion, face cream, and even a perfume.
Regardless of how brief this flight was, we have been provided pajamas and slippers from The White Firm, that are the identical you’ll discover in enterprise class on lengthy haul flights.
We have been additionally provided a hygiene equipment, which included a face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. By the best way, after takeoff we have been knowledgeable that we didn’t must put on our masks, as we have been correctly “social distanced.” Qatar Airways appears to have a semi-official coverage whereby some premium passengers don’t must put on masks whereas at their seats, together with in firstclass, in addition to in enterprise class when there’s additionally a door.
We have been additionally given the usual headphones that Qatar Airways presents premium passengers.
Additionally ready at our seats upon boarding have been the menu and wine listing, in addition to a bottle of Acqua Panna nonetheless water.
Throughout boarding we have been provided our alternative of non-alcoholic pre-departure drinks (the Maldives doesn’t enable alcohol to be served on the bottom). I ordered a glass of the signature lemon-mint juice, and I used to be provided a chilly towel in addition to a snack of parmesan and olives. Apparently Qatar Airways doesn’t appear to supply pre-departure Arabic espresso and dates in firstclass anymore.
Boarding wrapped up early, and as talked about above, we have been the one ones in firstclass (in the meantime in enterprise class, 44 of the 53 seats have been taken). Round departure time the captain knowledgeable us of our flight time of 4hr10min, and our cruising altitude of 38,000 toes.
The cabin door closed forward of schedule, at which level temper lighting was turned on, which positive was fairly.
The protection video was screened at this level. I’m a giant Qatar Airways fan, however am I the one one who strongly dislikes this sports-themed security video?
Qatar Airways 777 firstclass leisure & Wi-Fi
We took off forward of schedule, and after takeoff I browsed the leisure choice. Qatar Airways presents a modified model of its typical Oryx One leisure system on these leased 777s.
The choice is nice, however not fairly nearly as good as you’ll discover on a few of Qatar Airways’ newer jets. Nonetheless there have been dozens and dozens of films and TV exhibits to select from.
I merely watched the map characteristic for many of the flight, since I’m boring like that.
These 777s additionally characteristic Wi-Fi (Cathay Pacific was making good progress putting in this on 777s pre-pandemic), and Qatar Airways has rebranded the portal a bit. Qatar Airways has its typical “Tremendous Wi-Fi” pricing, which is simply $10 for your entire flight with no knowledge caps. That’s glorious pricing, particularly when you think about that the associated fee is identical on an extremely lengthy haul flight.
I used the Wi-Fi a bit through the flight, and located the speeds to be good.
Qatar Airways firstclass meals & drinks
As is the case on all flights, Qatar Airways presents a dine on demand idea in firstclass. The dinner menu learn as follows:
Qatar Airways additionally has a robust beverage recreation, and the drink listing learn as follows:
By the point we have been airborne we have been each hungry and drained, so we determined to eat instantly, in hopes of with the ability to get some relaxation earlier than touchdown.
Lower than quarter-hour after takeoff, we have been served our first drink. We determined to have some champagne, and particularly ordered the Krug. Qatar Airways doesn’t simply provide your “normal” Krug Grande Cuvee Brut, however relatively presents the 2004 classic, which sells for about twice as a lot per bottle. We have been served some heat combined nuts to associate with this.
At this level our desk was set for dinner. I am keen on Qatar Airways’ presentation, from the pretend candle, to the ridiculously cool water glasses, to the textured plates.
To kick off the meal we each ordered the caviar with balik fashion salmon, which was served with the standard accompaniments, together with blinis and melba toast. Yum!
After the caviar course my desk was totally set with a brand new bread basket, olive oil, butter, and so on. I used to be then provided a lobster amuse bouche.
Subsequent up I had the Arabic mezze, which consisted of hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabouleh. It was glorious, as standard.
For my primary course I chosen the seared salmon and prawn with wild rice, citrus segments, and parsley velouté. Yum.
Lastly, for dessert I ordered the sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream, with sea salt toffee sauce and caramelized walnuts.
What an outstanding meal, particularly for such a brief flight. It’s doable I’m lacking one thing, however I can’t consider one other airline that serves caviar in firstclass on a flight with such a brief block time.
Additionally, simply to share a couple of extra meals photos, Ford ordered the mushroom and hazelnut soup with herb baguette toast, which he loved.
He additionally ordered the chateaubriand with morel mushrooms, with purple potato fondant, wilted spinach, and tomato.
Qatar Airways firstclass service
There have been two crew members caring for us in firstclass, together with the cabin supervisor and the primary class flight attendant. Each have been textbook good. As you’d count on, service was extremely personalised, given that there have been two flight attendants caring for us simply the 2 of us. What a deal with.
Qatar Airways 777 firstclass mattress
We loved our meal at a really leisurely tempo, and have been performed about 90 minutes earlier than touchdown. At that time the crew requested if we wished turndown service with a view to sleep. Hah… positive, why not! So I headed to the rest room, and some minutes later I had my cozy mattress prepared for a nap.
I fell asleep nearly instantly (thanks, Krug!), however awakened with a nasty hangover round 45 minutes later (thanks, Krug!).
Qatar Airways arrival in Doha
Qatar Airways tends to arrange the cabin for touchdown actually early, and this flight was no exception. Round 45 minutes earlier than arrival we have been woken up by an announcement from the captain informing us that we’d quickly begin our descent, and at that time the crew had everybody put their seats upright, and so on.
We have been requested if we wished the rest to drink, and we each ordered a cappuccino. This was served in a to-go cup, in order that we may take pleasure in it all through the descent, which was a lot appreciated. We have been additionally given a small field of candies.
We had some attractive views of Doha on the strategy, together with of The Pearl, in addition to the skyline alongside the corniche.
We touched down in Doha at 11:20PM. From there we had a roughly 10 minute taxi to our (distant) arrival stand, the place we parked at 11:30PM. Humorous sufficient we parked a couple of stands down from an Oman Air A330, as Qatar Airways can be leasing some Oman Air A330s in the mean time.
We deplaned by the second set of doorways, which allowed me to take a peek into the mini enterprise class cabin behind firstclass.
Bye, fairly fowl!
There have been two separate premium buses to take passengers to the terminal, which takes the sting out of arriving at a distant stand, since no less than you’re not packed in like sardines.
Qatar Airways has an arrivals lounge of types for premium passengers. Once you get to the immigration corridor simply go to the very left, and also you’ll see the primary & enterprise class arrivals space. There’s loads of seating right here, in addition to gentle drinks, water, and occasional. Then there are additionally devoted immigration services right here.
What an unbelievable flight in Qatar Airways’ 777 firstclass. I used to be enthusiastic about this flight from an AvGeek perspective, if nothing else (flying a Cathay Pacific jet being operated by Qatar Airways), however every part in regards to the Qatar Airways expertise was perfection as properly.
Dine on demand, 2004 Krug, caviar, pajamas, full turndown service, and so on., all on a brief haul firstclass flight? Merely wonderful! The unhealthy information is that Qatar Airways’ firstclass footprint could be very restricted, because it’s solely in any other case obtainable on A380s. The excellent news is that Qatar Airways’ enterprise class is fairly spectacular as properly.
In case you’ve flown Qatar Airways’ 777 firstclass, what was your expertise like?