I’m not a sucker for most of the fancy things in life. I drive a 2004 Honda Accord I plan to drive till it stops running. I’ve lived in small apartments for most of my adult life. I’m fond of saying that I spend money on food and travel, and that’s about it.
But I do love business class when flying. It’s the lounge access, the ability to try wines I’d never ever spend my own money on, and the chance to take what’s usually the most frustrating part of the travel experience and make it something to actually look forward to.
And so our most recent international business class experience was a fun one for me: I got to try business class on a 787 Dreamliner for the first time. Not only that, we flew it on one of the fanciest carriers that fly the skies today: Qatar. How was it? In a word: Superb.
When you walk onto the plane, the lighting already draws you in.
The lighting is what they call “full spectrum LED lighting” and it basically means they attempt to mimic lighting you might receive throughout the day if you were outside. So there are settings that take you from dusk to dawn essentially, and hopefully help you feel more adjusted upon departure.
And while that’s certainly exciting, I’m more concerned about a few other things, namely the seat (and amenities that come with it) and the food.
The seat is wonderful. It’s spacious, and comes with an amazing entertainment system called Oryx. We had our choice of tons of movies, an insane amount of TV shows, and a host of games and audio entertainment as well. This varies from airline to airline, and I’d say Qatar had not only one of the better selection libraries but one of the cooler screens as well:
But there’s more. In addition to a beautiful main screen, the remote acted as its own screen, allowing dual capabilities while flying. So in other words, you could have a movie playing on the big screen, while playing a game on the small phone sized touch screen remote.
The seat also provided every option you’d expect in business class as far as recline, and I found it quite comfortable not only to sleep, but for eating as well as some wonderful lounging positions for reading and watching movies.
It also had a very convenient storage built into the armrest where I kept a bottle of water, and some amenities I enjoy throughout a flight like chapstick.
The amenity kits were also nice. Designed by Salvador Ferragamo it came packed with cologne, hand cream, lip balm, and of course tooth-brush and tooth paste, a very comfortable eye mask, and compression socks.
And then of course, there’s what was my favorite part of the flight: The pajamas. These damn things are so comfortable I wear them as my regular pajamas now!
The Famous Window
So the windows are a big deal on the 787 and I know, it sounds weird, so hear me out because no Qatar 787 business class review is complete without mention of the windows. First, they’re huge!
But the next best part is there is no pull down shade- it has a window dimmer you utilize by clicking buttons to go from fully transparent to dark. I tried to get a video of it but the window decided to act funky, but you can see a photo after of the dimmed effect.
And then at the mostly dimmed stage:
And you know the airline thinks the windows are a big deal when they put one in the bathroom. A bit awkward, but certainly one of the best views you’ll ever have in a bathroom!
Food and Drinks
This is where I felt Qatar truly shined. The food and drink selection was great. I started with a 2008 Henriot Rose Millesime Champagne, a great way to start the flight!
They had a fair selection of cocktails, as well as a variety of 8 other wines available.
The most interesting wine was by far the port I tried at the end of the meal, a 1974 (you read that right) Kopke Colheita Port. Delicious!
Here is a confession few travel bloggers might make: I suck at documenting the food experience, visually at least. I LOVE food, and so I get so lost in enjoying the meal I forget I am technically “on the clock” But I can tell you this, the food was good. The menu was a la carte, and I love the ability to order as I please, when I please, in whatever order I please, and maybe ask for a second serving. Yes, the parmesan and za’atar crusted shrimp were too good to have just one serving!
The bad of the meal was this: The bread was hard as hell, and the butter frozen beyond belief. If that’s my worst case scenario, I can deal. The shrimp was amazing, a favorite item on any flight ever! The classic Arabic mezze was tasty.
And the lamb biryani- out of this world good. Succulent lamb, great sauce, the whole meal was something I would have paid money for at a fancy place on the ground somewhere!
Laura and I are suckers for the fancy experience in the sky. And it must be obvious: Every single time, one of us is asked by our flight attendants to fill out the survey that we see given to maybe 1-2 passengers at most. I don’t know what that says about us, or perhaps the rest of the (surly) business class passengers.
But Qatar put together a great product. The seat was comfy, the food delicious, the wine fun to dabble in, and the entertainment never-ending. What more could you ask for?