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Around Business Class of a Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 5 Steps

Where: Qatar
July 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM | by | ()

Air New Zealand may have just taken delivery of the latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, but the original 787-8 still has us excited when we find ourselves on one.

Qatar Airways has 9 Dreamliners operating a number of routes out of its brand-spanking new (and humongous) Hamad International Airport in Doha, and an additional 51 on order from Boeing. We recently did a business class return between Stockholm and Doha, which gave us enough time to explore its swanky interiors.

1. The Entrance:

If you recall the first interior images of the Dreamliner and the headlines touting it as a dramatically different flight experience, you'll know that the soaring entrance area was to be a big part of the first impression. Qatar Airways is one of the few who actually opted for this open design, which means no galley, no curtains, nothing to distract from the arch and moodlighting overhead as you step onboard.

2. The Space:

This Dreamliner comes in a 2-class configuration (Business and Economy) seating a total of 254 passengers. Business class is an extremely spacious 1-2-1 across for a total of 22 seats (5 rows of 4 and the one middle pair in the earlier photo in row 6). All seats have aisle access and recline to fully-flat beds. We’d avoid the pair in row 6 because of the proximity to the curtains and the bassinet row in Economy right behind it; on our Doha to Stockholm flight there were several babies and infants who screamed for the majority of the flight. Sitting much further forward and wearing the Bose noise-cancelling headphones will eliminate the ruckus, but we can’t imagine the passengers in row 6 enjoyed complete peace.

Economy has 232 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

3. The Business Class Seat:

Private, spacious, and adjustable in plenty of ways to get comfortable. The colors reflect the Qatar brand (grey and burgundy red) which, together with the off-white of the seat frame and wood-effect trim, conveyed elegance. There is plenty of space to store your belongings, including a little cubby underneath the side table great for keeping valuables and your passport close.

The seat reclines to meet a little footstool (visible just underneath the screen in the above shot), and there is a drawer to store shoes. The table slides forward and folds out during meal time. The 17” screen provides access to the in-flight entertainment, but is actually operated through a touchscreen, smartphone-like control. We struggled with it on the outbound flight; it alternated between being hyper-responsive and not responding at all no matter what we tried. On the way back, and in a different seat, the control worked much better, so we probably just had a faulty unit.

Much has been made of the Dreamliner’s windows, and they are a joy to look out of; we took the above shot to show just how much difference the shading has. Sleeper suits and Ferragamo amenity kits are handed out in business class, which we’ll show you in more detail soon.

4. The Mood Lighting:

Subtle as it might be, the mood lighting—here showing off again the arch of the fuselage—gradually takes you from day to night and back. It certainly adds to the classy feel of the cabin as well.

5. The Food:

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food onboard. On the way from Stockholm to Doha, we had a salmon starter which was tasty, but only a small and pleasant hint of what was to come as a main course.

As we were on the way to the Middle East, we chose a traditional lamb dish which we would rank among the nicest in-flight meals we’ve had in a long time. Tender, full of flavour, it was just delicious.

Aside from the main menu, there were a number of ‘anytime’ options you could order whenever you wanted. We rarely drink alcohol on a plane, but there was a decent wine list as well.

Flight QR168 left Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 4.05pm, arriving at Doha Hamad International Airport at 10.55pm. The return, QR167 left Doha at 08.25am and arrived at 1.45pm in Sweden. We flew the two sectors on the Dreamliner as part of a ticket to Bangkok, with Doha to Thailand on a Boeing 777, which we’ll talk about soon. We paid just under 14,000SEK (Swedish Kroner), roughly $2,000, for the entire trip.

[Photos: JasonD]

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