[Click above for the video review.]
Here’s my review of flight QR150 on March 27, 2016 on Qatar Airways (QR) Business Class on their 787-8 Dreamliner from Madrid to Doha.
This part of the journey started in Lisbon, Portugal where we had spent the night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lisbon Fontana Park. We then took an early morning Iberia flight to Madrid.
Upon arrival at Madrid – Barajas Airport, it was a rather long walk and a train ride to get to satellite terminal of Terminal 4, after which we still had to exit Schengen Passport Control. There was virtually no line so we were thru within no time.
QR uses the Iberia Velázquez VIP Lounge which inside the duty free store area. Upon entering the lounge, we showed our boarding passes to the lounge agent, but the agent also asked me (in Spanish) for a lounge invitation. I responded in Spanish that the agent in Lisbon did not give us one. A few more taps on the keyboard and mouse, and we were in.
The lounge is pretty much a long hallway with sweeping views of the tarmac. From the entrance, you can turn right to eventually get to the main hot food buffet spread, or left to eventually get to the wine bar. There were plenty of seating throughout the lounge. There were two TV rooms, business center, showers, and a rest area which were lounge chairs in a dark room. There were plenty of drinks and snacks stations throughout the lounge. We ended up staying close to the wine bar as we had a better view of the runway and airplanes passing thru the apron.
The food and drinks selection was decent, they had a few hot food options including Spanish Tortilla (omelet), some pasta, and meat dishes. They also had a cooler with some cold sandwiches and wraps. There were also croissants, donuts, and fresh pastries available. The drinks and snacks stations had water, soft drinks, and some liquor options. The wine bar had a pretty extensive selection of wines. Sadly I did not partake of any of the booze as it was about 10:00AM and I was too heavily fixated on their awesome espresso/cappuccino/latte machine!
As our flight time was nearing, I decided to take a shower in one of their shower suites. It was a good size and nicely decorated, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Soon it was time to board our flight to Doha. As we exited the lounge, we walked through the huge duty free area and eventually got to the concourse where it was a few minutes’ walk to the gate. There was already a growing queue when we got to the gate, but still got through within a few minutes.
Our plane was a QR Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner which is one of my favorite planes. Upon boarding we were greeted with a smile by Asma, the Cabin Service Director and introduced us to her colleague who showed us to our seats. I was seated in 3A, and my companion in 2A both of which are Window seats. The flight attendant asked us if what we wanted to drink as well as if we wanted a hot or cold towel. I asked for their signature lime and mint drink and a cold towel, both of which were brought promptly. I really love how QR offers both hot and cold towels! Also at our seats were the wine list and menu, as well as a Giorgio Armani Amenity kit.
Soon after settling in, boarding completed and we were on our way to Doha. During pushback and taxi, Asma, The Cabin Service Director introduced herself again, thanked us for flying QR, and mentioned that she would be taking care of us during the flight. It was a short taxi and soon enough, we were at taking off at runway 36R. It was a short, and smooth takeoff. It was a nice day for flying and the views Madrid were spectacular! My only gripe was that since it was a sunny day, the sun was shining directly in my eyes. I tried to dim the windows, but the controls were locked by the crew. No problem, I just put on my shades and I was fine.
Soon after takeoff, the seatbelt sign was turned off and the crew sprang into action. Asma came up to me and asked me for my beverage and lunch order. I ordered the rosé champagne for my beverage. Then I ordered the Arabic Mezze for the starter, the Chicken Tikka Masala for the main, and some ice cream for dessert. My champagne was promptly brought with a ramekin of nuts. Then, soon after my table was set, and the food brought out plate by plate individually unlike other carriers who use trays. The crew was very efficient and did everything with a cheerful smile. The service was excellent even exceeding some First Class products I’ve experienced in the past. Oh – and they also finally dimmed the windows.
The Arabic Mezze was pretty good, and filling. The chicken tikka masala plated very nicely and was surprisingly not dry – it was very delicious! The ice cream was also very nicely presented and was a nice end to the meal.
I went to the bar/social area behind the main business class cabin, and took pictures of the nice setup. I visited the lavatory, and then reclined my seat for a few hours nap.
After a few hours, it was almost time to land. Asma went around and thanked us again for flying Qatar Airways and gave us a small box of Valrhona chocolates.
I put my seat upright and got ready for landing. I normally would take video of the landing sequence, but it was so dark outside that I could not get any decent footage. The landing was uneventful and smooth, and soon we were taxiing to our remote stand. We disembarked and were bused into the terminal.
Another great flight with QR! The reverse herringbone seat is truly the one of the best business class seat in the sky. Pair that with great food, and excellent service from the crew and you have an experience that’s close, if not exceeding some First Class service on other airlines. Special thanks to Asma for taking good care of us! She really did an amazing job with the meal service and anticipated all of our needs during the flight. I’ll give this flight a 9 out of 10!