Review: Qatar Airways Business Class B777-2, Los Angeles – Doha
Our Qatar Airways flight on the World’ Five Star Airline lived up to it’s expectations. We had a comfortable business class seat, great amenities in the form of a fabulous wine list, mattress pad and pyjamas made available for business class travellers. We also had terrific food and beverage on this flight, making it easy to choose Qatar Airways as a carrier of choice to and from the middle east.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates via Emirates First Class, South African Airways Business Class and Qatar Airlines Business Class
- American Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Los Angeles
- American Airlines AAdmirals Club: Los Angeles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Los Angeles
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Los Angeles – Doha
- The Westin Hotel and Spa, Doha, Qatar
- Souq Wahif, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha – Johannesburg
- The Slow Lounge, O.R. Tambo Domestic, Johannesburg, South Africa
- British Airways Club Class: Johannesburg – Cape Town
- The Westin Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
- Winelands of Paarl, South Africa
- Shark Diving at Gaansbai, South Africa
- The Hermanus Coastal Walk, Hermanus, South Africa
- Returning to Stellenbosch & Franschoek, South Africa
- A Repeat Visit to the Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
- Air Namibia: Cape Town – Windhoek
- Overland Travel: Driving to the Desert; Windhoek – Sesriem
- The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem, Namibia
- The Majestic Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Sesriem – Walvis Bay, Namibia
- The Pelican Point Lodge, Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Walvis Bay – Spittskope – Windhoek, Namibia
- The Hilton Windhoek, Namibia
- Air Namibia Windhoek – Maun – Victoria Falls
- The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Stopping Hippopotamus on a Zambezi River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Feeling the Smoke that Thunders, a day at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- British Airways Club Business Class: Victoria Falls – Johannesburg
- The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class: Johannesburg – Mauritius
- The St Regis Mauritius, Le Morne, Mauritius
- Emirates First Class: Mauritius – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- The Heat of the Desert at Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class Lounge Terminal “B” Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class: Dubai – Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines Board Room Lounge, Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Seattle
- Delta Sky Club Lounge Seattle South Terminal
- Delta Airlines First Class: Seattle – Vancouver
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class B777-2, Los Angeles International Airport – Doha Hamad International Airport
“Qatar Airways lived up to its expectations as the world’s five star airline with terrific food and beverage, pyjamas, mattress pads and a wine list that rivals casual dining restaurants “
LAX-DOH (Los Angeles Airport Terminal 2 – Doha Hamad International Airport)
Departure: 4:05 PM
Arrival: 6:10 PM + 1
April 14, 2016
Booked: Boeing 777-200
Flown: Boeing 777-200
The booking experience for this flight was super easy. Qatar Airways was releasing up to 4 reward business class seats per flight on this route when we booked and it was easy to find dates that worked with our connection to South Africa. We were able to transit the middle east region thanks to the QR exemption on American Airlines AAdvantage reward rules that allows flights on Qatar to pass through Doha (provided that you are flying on QR in and out of Doha).
At about T-50, boarding was announced in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Los Angeles by a Qatar airways ground representative who made the rounds. After that lounge experience, we were looking forward to getting onto the 7th longest flight in the world on “The World’s Five Star Airline”.
We headed down to the terminal where there was a proper business class boarding lane, that was maintained throughout the boarding process. We were able to walk up about 10 minutes after the initial lounge boarding announcement and get on without getting stuck.
On Board Qatar Business Class:
It was single jet bridge boarding today with boarding through 1L. On board, we turned right into the business class seat configuration of 2-2-2. As there was single jet bridge boarding, all the passengers streamed through the business class cabin as we settled in.
The seats are quite dated, but they are exceptionally comfortable for traveling as a couple. There is quite a bit of space between the seats, with only 4 rows of business in the front cabin, and 3 rows of business in the second cabin. There was so much space, I couldn’t even reach the foot rest with my feet!
The seat had a multi adjustment to almost every angle. The chair is more comfortable for lounging. As a side sleeper, without the mattress pad, the seat material can be quite firm. It was not impossibly comfortable, but it was no hotel mattress by any means.
There was a mattress pad and blanket available on the seat, in addition to wrapped pillows.
As we settled into our seat, Felix came to personally introduce himself to us as our server for the day. The lead purser also came around to introduce himself, inviting us to call on them at any time.
There was a bottle of water at each seat in the compartment.
Pre – Departure Beverages:
There was a prompt pre-departure beverage of water, lemon mint or champagne was offered. Of course, with any international flight, we went with champagne today in a proper elongated flute along with a towel service.
It’s a great way to start with champagne in proper stemware like this.
The Amenity Kits: Giorgio Armani & Pyjamas
Keeping with the great start, amenity kits and pyjamas were also presented.
There were separate men and women’s Giorgio Armani kits in sleek black pouches. The contents were not super useful, (as in, there were not a lot of items inside), but it was better than nothing. The kits were also classy looking.
Departing Los Angeles:
As we headed out on taxi, I caught my first glimpse of the British Airways A380 that would eventually seasonally serve Vancouver. We’d later get the opportunity to fly on British Airways First Class London – Vancouver in the Airbus 380.
We took off to altitude from Los Angeles. I played around with the entertainment system Oryx One and located the flight take off screen, which simulated a cockpit view.
As per usual, there were always great views taking off out of Los Angeles.
I also toyed around with the flight map, which showed our track from North America to the Middle East.
The Meal: A Full A La Carte Dinner Service
The menus were presented shortly after boarding. The menus were in a nicely bound paper with subtle textures to the cover.
There was also an outstanding business class wine list, featuring two types of champagne (regular and rose), Premier Cru Burgundies, Grand Cru Classe’ French Bordeaux, sweet chenin’s and port.
Needless to say, the wine list was super impressive and much better than expected from other business class carriers.
The meal service was offered immediately after take off, or almost 40 minutes into the flight. The dining was a la carte – literally I asked for the beef and got the beef served right away. I should have ordered the appetizers as well, in that order. Instead, I had the entire meal in reverse sequence.
The dinner service started with a mixed nuts accompaniment, paired with Drappier Rose Champagne. Table set up was done with a proper napkin presentation at each opportunity.
So, in reverse order, Grilled Fillet of Beef with horseradish jus, parsley mashed potatoes. Maple glazed carrots and baby onions, paired with Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Grand Cru Classe.
This was followed with Roast Butternut Squash Soup with lemon and herb crème fraiche with a cheese twist
Lastly, the Smoked salmon with pea and potato salad, paired with Rully Premier Cru Gresigny Burgundy.
MrsWT73, usually a harsh food critic, particularly enjoyed the menu items on Qatar, and the general availability of items that appealed to her. She really liked the Dine on Demand option, although found the seats a little firm for her liking as well.
I started into the James Bond movie Spectre but didn’t get too far. I crashed out pretty quickly, and didn’t even bother to change into pyjamas or set up the mattress pad. The plane offered noise-canceling headphones. The cabin was dark (shades drawn) for most of the flight. I must have been exhausted from that 3:30 AM early wake up, as I woke up about 6 hours later, a full 11 hours into the flight, as we were over Turkey.
Good thing I am not flying this thing, thanks to the Arabic map, I can’t even read where we are.
There were some beautiful mountains over what appeared to be Iraq as I got ready for the second service. The second service, as with other dining, is on demand. There was a polite explanation that the food takes a bit of time to cook or heat, as they placed the plate setting.
The Second Service: Breakfast
As I woke up, it was time for the second service. There was a variety of items for breakfast, with enough to chose from to keep anyone happy.
I went with the banana and coconut smoothie, two café lattes, and the cheddar cheese omelette with grilled chicken sausage. Qatar seemed to run out of smoothies as MrsWT73 asked for one after a taste test of mine and she was not able to get one at all as they had run out.
The cabin got prepared for landing as we headed towards the end of our fifteen hour flight.
There was not a lot in the way of cabin ambience. There were the typical soft blue lights in the roof of the plane, but nothing state of the art, or that contained a wow factor that you see on some of the other Middle Eastern “3” carriers.
Landing in Doha Hamad International Airport:
As the flight drew to a close, the cabin got ready for landing. At this time, a funny thing happened. As I was stowing my laptop in the overhead, I took a look around the cabin and happened to notice that about 50% of the cabin had changed into traditional Middle East attire (abbeyas and dishada’s). Throughout the flight, all the passengers were in flip flops and jogging pants so it was a little different to be almost completely surrounded by black robes, some with full niqab’s. It was a unique and fun experience that I had not had the opportunity to experience despite over 700,000 lifetime miles flown.
We had a nice approach into Doha at sunset, arriving to Doha Hamad International Airport next to an Emirates Boeing 777. I managed to spot the Qatar A380 which I hadn’t seen before.
We got off the plane and entered the fantastic Doha Hamad International Airport. Between the three Middle East Airports, I think this one is heads and tails above Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We happened to see the million dollar stuffed bear on our way through to customs.
Qatar Airways Business Class Arrival Lounge:
As we headed for the exit, we took advantage of the arrival lounge. Qatar offers its first and business class passengers a separate arrival processing facility. It contains couches, espresso machines and other small beverages. The immigration facilities are in this area and it’s a quiet and peaceful way to clear customs away from the long line ups of everywhere else. No one appeared to actually sit in the lounge, but I sure appreciated the non existent lines as we got our visa’s on arrival and we were stamped into the country for our 13 hour stay.
Given that our bags appeared to have been checked through to DOH per our claim stubs, we played it safe and waited for them at the baggage belt. They never turned up so we visited another baggage claim office in the hall. We had assurances that they were being checked through to “your final destination” – it wasn’t clear whether that was Johannesburg or Cape Town. Thankfully, we carried enough in our carry on to survive the night and then some. We headed off for a brief stay at the Westin Doha Hotel and Spa for a short stopver.
My Thoughts on Qatar Airways Business Class Long Haul:
All in all, the “World’s Five Star Airline” lived up to its promise and execution. It was a great flight despite being the 7th longest in the world at the time of writing. The wines were great, the seats were mostly comfortable and the food was more than enough to keep us satisfied for the 16+ hours we were on board. If they changed the departure terminal to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, you’d almost have a near perfect flight experience.