Old May 16, 14, 5:44 am
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 213
Qatar Airways' Inaugural "Business One" flight

I wanted to travel to Bahrain for a short weekend getaway to visit my parents and had 45,000 Qmiles sitting doing nothing, so I had a look to see what was available. To my surprise I discovered that not only did I have enough for a J award seat, but the day I was traveling was the first flight of QR16, the all business class A319 flight!

So for 42,000 miles and 170 in taxes I was confirmed on the inaugural flight! That is for one way though, I had 20,000 Avios automatically converted from Tesco clubcard points to see my return to London on British Airways.

After a 2 hour bus journey on X26, TfL's longest bus journey from West Croydon to Heathrow, I found myself at Terminal 4. Check in was very quick with no queue and smiley faces from the staff. The fast track security was fast for a change too!

I made my way to Qatar Airways' Premium Lounge and quickly discovered that of course there was to be a big fanfare about the start of this new flight. Lots of press and industry people in attendance, I was expecting His Excellency to make an appearance, however he did not.

After being welcomed in to the lounge I was offered a vodka cocktail and canapes.

Following are some photos of the lounge areas taken after it had died down a bit.

The rather impressive A380 laser engraved ice sculpture.

Finally I was told that the flight is boarding so made my way to Gate 1C, which was right next to the lounge. We were all given a goodie bag which turned out to be a beautiful crystal engraved Arabian Oryx.

Making my way down the bridge to be greeted at the door of our A319LR (A7-CJA), I was then escorted to my window seat at the back, 10F.

The leather seat is very comfortable, however it can be a little bit tricky getting out of the window seat if your neighbour has the bed flat. That is the only downside I felt.

The crystal Arabian Oryx.

Pyjamas and amenity kit.

It was then time for dinner, tempting the palate: Spinach Oshitashi.

To commence: Butterbean and Thyme Soup with Coriander Pesto and Herb Crouton.

To Follow: Lamb and Apricot Tagine with Spiced Couscous.

Sweet Finale: Vanilla and Pistachio Ice Cream

Whilst changing in to my pyjamas the crew member made my bed, laying down a mattress on top which made it even more comfy.

Time for a Baileys night cap and pop on a movie.

I was so comfortable I fell asleep within minutes, only to be startled awake by the announcement from the Captain through my headphones that we will shortly be starting our descent. I missed breakfast!

Time to change out of my pyjamas and make myself presentable. The toilets are the usual size for an A319, however they were much nicer even than the J loos on the 777, A330 and A340!

Beginning of descent and overflying my eventual destination, Bahrain.

The ever changing skyline of Doha

It was over all too soon but with an amazing crew, this flight was very enjoyable. I was then able to experience the Premium Terminal for the very last time.

All in all, I think it's a great service, however it won't be to everyone's tastes. Depending on connections it can be a great way to travel from London to Doha, or if you're traveling with a companion. If you are flying alone I would suggest choosing an aisle seat.
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