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waterpolodan
Topic Author
Posts: 1621
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:46 pm

First international business class trip planned- Qatar

Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:36 pm

My wife and I are taking a trip to South Africa this coming September, and we just booked tickets. After much hand-wringing about cost and amenities, we decided to fly IAD-DIA-JNB on Qatar. As an avgeek, I wanted to fly BA through LHR to experience a 747 one more time, but the business class product and lounges for Qatar seem to be far and away the better choice, and the price wasn't significantly higher.

Anyway, since I've only ever traveled internationally in economy, what tips do you guys have for us? Do they have a lounge in IAD? Would be nice to get there sufficiently early to enjoy that. Our layovers in Doha are 4 hours on the way there and 7 hours on the way back, so we will definitely spend time in the business lounge there. Is it worth paying to access the First lounge?

For the in-flight product, seems like the first leg is on a 777 with the Qsuites. These look fantastic and we've booked adjacent seats in the middle of the plane, can't wait! The 2nd leg to JNB is on an A350 with what I guess is the older business class seat... are these really significantly inferior? I'm quite tall at 6'3" and the main point of booking this cabin is to sleep so we can be ready and rested once we arrive. Thanks for any advice!
 
Aeroflot001
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:43 am

Re: First international business class trip planned- Qatar

Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:20 pm

Great choice, QR offers a great product, flew them MIA-DOH-MCT back in March.

QR uses the Turkish lounge at IAD which is nice but can get crowded, worth a visit nonetheless since access is included.

Al Safwa's price has doubled in price and is now at $165, I paid half of that to get in on an 8 hours layover overnight which was worth it given the food, bedroom and drinks however $165 is quite steep now and 4 hours in the AL Majourn lounge should be just fine. At what time is your layover on the way back? DOH is only 20 minutes from Downtown so on my long layover I rented a car for $35 and explored the city which was cool there is also a city tour offered by QR as well.

I flew on both the Q-suites and the old seats. In terms of comfort the old seats are quite good too, just far less private, which I don't mind anyway.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.
 
waterpolodan
Topic Author
Posts: 1621
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:46 pm

Re: First international business class trip planned- Qatar

Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:40 pm

Aeroflot001 wrote:
Great choice, QR offers a great product, flew them MIA-DOH-MCT back in March.

QR uses the Turkish lounge at IAD which is nice but can get crowded, worth a visit nonetheless since access is included.

Al Safwa's price has doubled in price and is now at $165, I paid half of that to get in on an 8 hours layover overnight which was worth it given the food, bedroom and drinks however $165 is quite steep now and 4 hours in the AL Majourn lounge should be just fine. At what time is your layover on the way back? DOH is only 20 minutes from Downtown so on my long layover I rented a car for $35 and explored the city which was cool there is also a city tour offered by QR as well.

I flew on both the Q-suites and the old seats. In terms of comfort the old seats are quite good too, just far less private, which I don't mind anyway.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.


Great feedback, thank you!!
 
User avatar
stl07
Posts: 2529
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Re: First international business class trip planned- Qatar

Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:22 pm

Arrive at least 4 hours early to the airport. You want time to enjoy your sit down meal at the lounge, take your pictures in the lounge, and get all the other services associated with being in Business class. You also want to board early (try to be one of the first) so you can take pictures and interact with the FA, as they will be eager to show off the Business/first cabins and give you a tour of the inflight lounge if your plane has one.
I just took my first trip abroad to AUH in Business (on a 388), and I'll never forget the experience. But please, don't make your trip at the airport a rush. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and you will deeply regret it if you don't have time for the lounge or board last as you will miss the experience you paid for.
Instead of typing in "mods", consider using the report function.
Love how every "travel blogger" says they will never fly AA/Ethihad again and then says it again and again on subsequent flights.

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