A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have my first experience of travelling in Business Class. And not just with any airline either – I was onboard with the opulent, award-winning Middle-Eastern airline, Qatar Airways.Unless you’re a celebrity or high-powered business-person, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Here, I’ve broken down some of the highlights of my Qatar Airways Business Class experience.
The first thing you notice onboard is the level of individual attention you get. With just a dozen or so passengers in Business Class, the Purser greets each individual warmly and personally. The cabin crew greet you by name, and treat you like a superstar. Once seated, you’re served a beverage, and your first little surprise is that the flight kit your eye mask and flight socks come in is branded Giorgio Armani, and comes with an intoxicating travel-sized perfume and body lotion from their Si collection. Already, my expectations are exceeded.
The rich middle-aged people sitting near me smiled indulgently as I took photos of everything from the perfume to the bowl of warm mixed nuts I was served before take-off – they knew I wasn’t a regular around these parts.
The safety announcement
This isn’t a specifically Business Class thing, it’s across the board, but I wanted to give a mention to Qatar Airways’ safety video. The airline sponsors Barcelona FC, and rather than create a standard, boring safety video that nobody pays any attention to, they’ve put quite a lot of effort and imagination into creating a different kind of video starring the Barcelona players and their own cabin crew.
The players demonstrate the safety features from the football pitch, the subs bench, the crowds and other settings, while a commentator highlights important instructions. I was really impressed with this and thought it was a great way to engage people in an important topic that many people ignore.
Rather than doling out food to everyone in one go as happens in Economy, the crew ask you before take-off what time you would like to have your meal at. It’s a small touch but it’s a great touch that once again makes you feel that little bit special! I really enjoyed the Arabic mezze I had for starter, although the hummus may have lost a little of it’s flavour at altitude (did you know that flying impacts the flavour of food?). The main course of chicken and veg was simple but tasty, and the dessert of ice cream and berries was delicious. Although I don’t drink alcohol, I felt the occasion called for some bubbles, so I ordered what turned out to be a very enjoyable glass of Qatar Airways’ sparkling grape juice, So Jennie.
Sinking in to the comfort
I was delighted to be seated in the very first row in a window seat. Most of the solo travellers seemed to have been given this option, while the middle seats were given to couples who might have wanted to sit together. The seat reclines fully without encroaching on the person sitting behind you. I sat up straight while I was reading, reclined a little for maximum relaxation while I watched the latest Hunger Games movie, and lay down flat for a nap mid-way through the flight. The level of comfort was incredible, and I didn’t even realise until after the flight that those chairs have a massage button too! I’ll know for next time.I don’t know if Qatar Airways have totally caught up with Emirates yet in terms of in-flight entertainment, but it’s very close. The bathrooms were much more luxurious, with shaving kits and toothbrushes left out for passengers.
I was almost sad that my flight was only six hours long, but I was totally reinvigorated by the time we landed in Doha. Since my least favourite part of any flight is waiting for all the slow coaches to get their hand luggage and get off when the plane touches down, I loved strolling off the plane without any queueing. I was directed straight to the Business Class Lounge, where they have an immigration counter with no queues, so there was zero stress upon landing.
Overall, it was an incredible travel experience, and one that I hope I get to do again in the future.
Have you ever travelled in Business? Or even First Class? What was the highlight of the experience for you?
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