QR9, Doha-London Heathrow
Boeing 777-300ER, A7-BET
As I was connecting from Singapore, I didn’t need to stop by the check in area, not that I could have anyway on this particular trip. In fact, as the incoming flight from Singapore was running a little late, I didn’t even have time to visit the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge. It was straight to the gate.
Once there, there was a slight issue with me being granted entry due to not having a passport, but I was granted entry after a few minutes.
Boarding was called for Business Class first, although it wasn’t enforced all that well. Most of the people ahead of me carried on straight down the economy jet bridge, where as there was just a couple of us that veered off towards the separate business jet bridge. As I reached the plane, I was pleased to see that it was fitted with the Qsuites – the previous generation of Qatar Airways 777’s are fitted with a 2-2-2 layout. The 777-300ER fleet is currently around a 50/50 split of Qsuites and the older product.
Once on board, I was welcomed by one of the cabin crew, brought a hot towel and offered my choice of drink.
Ready and waiting at my seat was a couple of pillows, a blanket and an amenity kit. This was followed a few moments later by a set of menus, newspapers and PJ’s.
As I was one of the last booked on to this flight, all that was left was a middle seat. This ended up being a blessing however as the only spare seat in the cabin was next to me.
We pushed back a little late and made a slow journey over to the runway. Once we took off, the crew started the service pretty quickly, which was the complete opposite of my experience on Singapore Airlines in 2017, where the crew took quite literally hours to get the service started. Much like my previous late night/early morning departures on Qatar Airways, it was a snack service to begin with, before a more comprehensive service later on. The service started with drinks and warmed nuts.
This was followed around ten minutes later by the “late night dining” service. I opted for the beef steak panini, and it was very tasty.
Followed with yet another hot towel and some chocolates.
Once my table was cleared, I took advantage of the spare seat next to me and lowered the divider between the two seats to make one of the biggest beds I’ve had in the sky. Although as I found out, this isn’t something that can be done by yourself. The divider portion can be lowered fairly easily with a tab by the table, but to get the whole area to disappear into the floor will require the crew (or in my particular case, three) to use a special tool to unlock it.
After a reasonable few hours rest – I say reasonable as the 777 isn’t the quietest plane out there, plus the seatbelt sign pinged on a couple of times – I was awoken by the cabin crew starting the breakfast service around 90 minutes outside of London. Never really all that keen for much after sleeping on a plane, I went with the lighter option of cereal and fruit.
For the remainder of the flight, I used my hours free Wi-Fi. This aircraft was fitted with the new superfast Wi-Fi that is being rolled out across the airlines fleet. Whilst it was more stable and faster than a lot of airline’s Wi-Fi, I still think it’s a bit of a push to call it super fast. Although I didn’t try, I suspect I would have struggled with streaming any kind of video. It was fine for messaging and light browsing though.
We landed at Heathrow around fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, and as we were on runway 27L, it was a fairly short journey over to terminal 4. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any arrivals lounge available for use, so it was straight home for me.
In conclusion, another good enough flight with Qatar, and a bonus Qsuites flight (see here for details) on the 777. I found there was a little more storage with the seat on the 777 compared to the A350, although I still wouldn’t go as far as to say there was a lot. The biggest part that impressed me however was the almost private cabin-esque set up of the centre seats. In my opinion that was well worth missing out on a window seat for. The crew were mostly ok, although there was a couple of their old tricks from previous flights setting in – most noticeably having to ask for something more than once. Another minor niggle was that I was told that mattress pads for the seats weren’t carried on the shorter sectors, only the “ultra long haul flights”. This wasn’t strictly true as I was pro actively offered one on my Doha-Singapore sector, and then as I was disembarking I saw a few dotted around on other seats in the cabin. Oh well, I still managed to sleep reasonably well.