Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

First Class RTW (QR, BA, AA, QF) - including the new QR SYD to DOH route

First Class RTW (QR, BA, AA, QF) - including the new QR SYD to DOH route

Old Sep 28, 16, 2:33 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
First Class RTW (QR, BA, AA, QF) - including the new QR SYD to DOH route

I am currently on a First Class Round the World Trip on a few different airlines - here's a snapshot of the full journey:
Sydney to Doha (Qatar Airways)
Doha to Paris (Qatar Airways)
London to New York (British Airways)
New York to Los Angeles (American Airlines)
Los Angeles to Sydney (Qantas)

---------------------------------------------------


Here is my review of my first flight of the journey:
Flight: QR909
Carrier: Qatar Airways
Aircraft - Airbus A380-800
Class: First Class
Depart: Sydney
Arrive: Doha

The Review is below. I did take a fair few photos and videos of the flight - If you want to check them out you can view them on my blog site – http://lifeofatravelczar.com/2016/09...ydney-to-doha/

I am off on a round the world flight, across primarily Europe and United States. I will be heading to Paris, London, Barcelona, Santorini, New York and Los Angeles for a whirlwind trip. The first leg of the journey has me flying on the new Qatar Airways A380 First Class from Sydney to Doha (Qatar only recently upgraded the route to the Airbus A380). Post a lovely time in the Qantas First Class Lounge, I find myself on-board the Qatar Airways A380 and so my journey begins.

THE SUITE
Unlike the other airlines I have travelled on, the First Class cabin is on the upper deck of the A380 aircraft. The cabin is configured with eight suites, which is more exclusive than most other carriers. All suites have direct aisle access (1, 2, 1 style configuration) with the four window seats being perfect for solo travellers while the four seats in the middle are great for couples.

The suites are beautiful with luxury finishes but with an understated tone which isn’t quite the bling of the Emirates suites. The cabin has a mix of purple, wood, beige leather, soft cream and grey woven fabrics along with engraved copper to relax the senses. The Suite has a leather style ottoman opposite to the seat which can also be used by a dining companion at meal times or as a foot rest.
Each Suite has its own 48cm personal High Definition TV screen. There are two touchscreen controllers, one for the inflight entertainment and the other for lighting and seat presets.
An expansive wooden table for dining is located closer to the TV screen (which you can see in use below in the Dinner section) and a smaller tray table (which is a permanent fixture and is used for the introductory drinks as shown below).

I am quite impressed by the product and it certainy has a luxe feel to it without the overt ostentatiousness often seen in some suites.

INTRODUCTORY SERVICE

As soon as I am seated, I am offered a glass of Champagne – it’s the Krug Grand Cuvee with some croutons and a hot towel to start the flight. Later some dates and Arabic coffee were served to complete the pre-flight service.

I have tried the Krug before and in fact reviewed from a dinner I had at Le Bernardin (New York) earlier this year. The wine has wonderful zest, structure and acid. The flavours of citrus fruits are complemented with notes of apples, toasted nuts, candied fruit and brioche with even a touch of spice which flows into the finish. A very refreshing drink to start.

AMENITY KIT AND PYJAMAS

I am provided with a Giorgio Armani Amenity Kit which contains a range of cologne, lotions and shampoo and the most gorgeous plush Missoni pyjamas are also provided for the night ahead. I must say their approach to the amenities is pretty luxe with some big name brands being chosen.

THE BATHROOM

The bathroom is super spacious (there are two of them). It has plenty of space for storage of personal items when on changes, there are sensor operated taps, beautiful selection of toiletries provided by Rituals, comfortable leather seating. It has a dim lighting, similar to a day spa kinda of ambiance (and similar in some ways to the mood of the Qantas First Spa in Sydney actually).

DINNER

The menu is quite extensive as you will see with the perfect dine on demand service which is starting to become the norm in First Class. For dinner, I opt for the following:

Oscietra Caviar with a full selection of accompaniments (grated egg, onion and cream) and blinis and melba toast. The richness and fresh pure salinity of the caviar is a pure treat. It has lovely distinct flavour which leaves and immediate impression. The blinis are soft and pillowy and are a lovely support act to the caviar, I could almost ignore the rest of the accompaniments as the true focus of the dish is the caviar and it shines like no other. I pair the dish with the Krug Grand Cuvee. The Krug proves the perfect tango partner to this dish.

Grilled Fillet of Australian Beef with Thyme Jus, Truffled Mash Potato, Heirloom Carrots and Balsamic Braised Shallots. I skip the more exotic options on the menu and go with the steak & veg… where is my adventurous palate when I need it. The steak is cooked well (a bit too well done for my liking), it’s nothing brilliant but proves a nice staple main course. It has the beef’s natural juices and flavours intact, the herb touch of the thyme which is intermingled with the strength of the truffled mash. The carrots and shallots are nicely done and it makes for a hearty dining experience.

I change wine pairing opting for the: Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Saint Julien, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2008, Bordeaux, France. The wine’s tasting notes are spot on and reflect the experience tonight. The wine does have good blackcurrant, herbs and espresso aromas. On the palate it is typical Bordeaux, the dense fruit of blackberries and cherries, hints of earth and mocha notes. It is a full-bodied wine with wonderful tannins which are perfect for the beef filet.

Chocolate and Raspberry Dessert with Crème Anglaise. The dessert is quite rich and I actually do not eat all of it. The white chocolate, crème anglaise and raspberry mousse were all probably too heavy and needed some lighter ingredients to provide a more balanced dessert.

THE BED

For the long night’s sleep ahead the Suite turns into a bed. There is a beautiful duvet and purple quilt covering placed on the seat. The purple gives the bed a luxe feel and the bed is quite comfortable. I drift off to sleep immediately, only to awoken in regular intervals with turbulence which seems so common on all my trips from Sydney to the Middle East.


ON-BOARD BAR / LOUNGE

There are technically two bars in the cabin. The first bar is in the front of the First Class cabin. It is nothing to write home about, it is more a shelf of chips, salted nuts and non-alcoholic drinks with a selection of reading material.

The main on-board bar is at the back of the Business Cabin, so you do have to walk some distance. The bar is aesthetically pleasing with a wonderful chandelier, the glow of the lighting, plush cream leather seats, and a beautiful wooden bar top adorned with some light snacks. The shelf at the back of the bar is stocked with a good selection of spirits (to make cocktails) and wines. On the downside, the wines are the business class wines and some of the premium drops which are on the First Class Menu are not stocked here, so you do trade down when you head to the bar.

I sit down and relax as the plane floats at 30,000 ft, sipping a lovely Bordeaux red as I ponder the trip ahead and all the exciting places I will be visiting. There is something about being at a bar in the sky that is so alluring…. not sure what it is, but I love the feel.

BREAKFAST

Eventually I am awoken for breakfast and this is what I choose:

Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas and Walnuts. The buttermilk pancakes are lovely, they lack the structure that Qantas pancakes have, conversely however I do love them. They are thinner and less thick and batter-y (if that even is a word) and so I feel light and refreshed rather heavy after breakfast. The pancakes are well supported by the banana and walnuts; the textural contrast is perfect with the softness of the banana and crunch of the walnuts. The sweet smoky caramel overlay also works a treat.

THE LANDING

We finally land in Doha, where I am about to transit through to Paris. For an extra touch Qatar have provided an assistant to escort me to the lounge immediately after I disembark and then from the lounge to the gate for my next flight. That’s quality service.

All airlines differ in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of their First Class product, I have to say Qatar have an amazing First Class product and their Suite (“hard product”) would be my favourite first class suite of all the carriers I have flown with.
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 28, 16, 3:07 am
  #2  
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeSPG 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 8,813
Nice journey^ How do you get from Paris to London?
offerendum is offline  
Old Sep 28, 16, 4:01 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: AA PLT, Marriott GLD
Posts: 107
Enjoyed reading your first segment and looking forward for others.
What was the cost of this trip , If you don't mind sharing?
Nomad98 is offline  
Old Sep 29, 16, 11:20 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Silver, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Melia Gold, Shangri-La Jade, BA Amex PP, Iberia+, Nandos Card
Posts: 1,517
Thanks for the TR, hoping to sample QR F on the same route next year!
obduro is offline  
Old Sep 30, 16, 1:14 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Nice journey^ How do you get from Paris to London?
I get there via BA in Club Europe
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 30, 16, 1:15 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by Nomad98 View Post
Enjoyed reading your first segment and looking forward for others.
What was the cost of this trip , If you don't mind sharing?
Thank you - I actually booked this trip a Oneworld award via Qantas. It's 420k points plus taxes
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 30, 16, 1:16 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by obduro View Post
Thanks for the TR, hoping to sample QR F on the same route next year!
Thanks - you'll definite enjoy it! Have a good trip
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 30, 16, 4:57 am
  #8  
SPG 5+ BadgeFour Seasons 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 8,813
Originally Posted by ArrowFlyer View Post
I get there via BA in Club Europe
Glad you mustn´t swim I guess you won´t really enjoy this part of the trip, but you never now....
offerendum is offline  
Old Oct 6, 16, 8:29 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: N/A
Programs: 100m swimming certificate level 5
Posts: 1,448
your words are mesmerizing!
mitpat474 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 16, 5:46 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by mitpat474 View Post
your words are mesmerizing!
Thanks
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Oct 9, 16, 5:49 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Here is my review of the second flight of the journey:
Carrier: Qatar Airways
Aircraft - Airbus A380-800
Class: First Class
Depart: Doha
Arrive: Paris (CDG)

The Review is below. I did take a fair few photos and videos of the flight - If you want to check them out you can view them on my blog site – http://lifeofatravelczar.com/2016/10...doha-to-paris/

As this was a daytime flight the pictures and videos are much clearer than the flight from Sydney, so it gives a clearer view of the cabin and service.

So I am escorted from the Al Safwa First Class by my host to the boarding area and pretty soon I am on board for the flight from Doha to Paris.

THE SUITE
I am seated in a Suite next to the window again. I reviewed the Suite in my previous post on the flight from Sydney, which I will repeat my comments here as it is the same A380-800 product: “The Suites are beautiful with luxury finishes. The cabin has a mix of purple, wood, beige leather, soft cream and grey woven fabrics along with engraved copper to relax the senses. The Suite has a leather style ottoman opposite to the seat which can also be used by a dining companion at meal times or as a foot rest.” I did a short video tour of the suite, which given this was a day time flight it will be easier to see some of the detail of the Suite.

LEAVING DOHA

Eventually we are seated with some champagne and croutons to match and the flight lifts off to Paris. As the flight leaves Doha, there are some amazing views of Qatar as we leave en route to Paris. It is such a beautiful country.

DINING

For dining, given the morning departure, the menu consists of breakfast plus some lighter dishes for later in the flight. To start I have a cinnamon and date smoothie. The sweetness of the dates, the sweet aroma and spice of the cinnamon along with the creaminess of the smoothie just hit the spot.

For the main course I opt for the “Create Your Own Breakfast” option. My choice was the scrambled eggs, chicken medallion, potato rosti and lyonnaise potatoes. The eggs are soft and don’t quite hit that silky texture that I normally love but from a flavour perspective they are full of the buttery creamy experience one expects of scrambled eggs. The chicken is succulent and well-cooked indeed and the crispy potato rosti and soft moist lyonnaise potatoes makes for a lovely breakfast to commence the flight.

With a “Dine on Demand” offering, there are a range of dishes available for guests to design a lunch post the breakfast service. Later in the flight I choose some light options for the lunch course.

The first dish I have is the celebrity chef dish designed by Nobu. For those of you who don’t know I love Nobu and it is one of few restaurants in the world which I have given a perfect 10/10 rating. The dish designed by Nobu is the Octopus, Enoki mushroom and chive salad with spicy dressing and sesame seed. The rich natural flavours of the octopus are a pure delight and they pair well with the light delicate flavours of the enoki which has a slightly sweet aftertaste. The spice dressing is trademark Nobu; infusing acidic sauces with bite (Peruvian style) with the rich seafood for an enlivening touch on the taste buds. The textural contrast of the crunchy salad and succulent octopus and soft mushroom completes the dining experience.

For a second course, I opt for an Arabian Mezze style platter which has the following; Cheese Sambousek, Grilled Halloumi with Black Olives, Lamb Kibbeh, Flat Bread, hummus, tabouleh and baba ghanoush. The richness of the halloumi pairs well with the Mediterranean flourish of the olives. I am left feeling light and refreshed and the palate is certainly whetted for the rest of the platter. The soft succulent lamb kibbeh is purely at treat and my only wish was there were more on the platter. The cheese sambousek was interesting with a doughy pastry and a rich creamy cheese filling which was a tick on the comfort food scorecard. The pickled vegetables add for a nice palate cleanser. I then leisurely mop up the hummus and baba ghanoush with the flat bread as my eyes stay glued to the movie I am watching.

THE WINES

I have compiled a short video of the different wines I had on-board, there was quite a selection and I was impressed by the choice and variety.

Krug Grand Cuvee: This is the tasting note from my prior post “The wine has wonderful zest, structure and acid. The flavours of citrus fruits are complemented with notes of apples, toasted nuts, candied fruit and brioche with even a touch of spice which flows into the finish.”

Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Saint Julien, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2008, Bordeaux, France: This is the tasting note from my prior post “The wine’s tasting notes are spot on and reflect the experience tonight. The wine does have good blackcurrant, herbs and espresso aromas. On the palate it is typical Bordeaux, the dense fruit of blackberries and cherries, hints of earth and mocha notes. It is a full-bodied wine with wonderful tannins.”

Pierre Janny, Miroy, Chardonnay, Puligny-Montrachet, 2012, Burgundy, France: The wine has lovely citrus aromas with some light almond notes. On the palate the wine displays a rather refreshing zest of the lemon, a refreshing flow of mint along with some good fresh minerality. There are also some lovely nutty and floral notes present in the lingering aftertaste. The wine perfectly complements the octopus dish with the triangle of acidic sauce, acidity in the wine and the richness of the octopus.

Errazuriz, Don Maximiano, Founders Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconcagua Valley, Chile, 2009: I had the choice of either this wine or an Australian Shiraz, but I decide to try something a little different. The wine is deeply aromatic – in fact the punch of the cassis and blueberries arouses the nasal senses immediately and are followed by notes of liquorice and wood. As expected the wine is lush, full of fruit flavours and expressive on the palate with the black fruits dominating although there some nice earthy and spice notes which complement the dominant flavours. The strength of the fruit is balanced by some good acidity and tannins which provide the wine with structure and a lovely mouthfeel.

THE BED

Although it is a day time flight and I should be adapting to the local time to avoid jetlag, I choose to indulge in a short nap. The host makes up the bed for me and soon I rest my weary head on the soft duvet and enjoy a short nap.

THE BATHROOM

I decide to freshen up before heading to the bar to socialise and have a drink. I have prepared a short video tour of the bathroom.

THE ONBOARD BAR

On the previous flight from Sydney to Doha, it was dark for the entire flight and it was difficult to enjoy bar area as much. As the flight to Paris was a day time flight, one could gaze out window at the clouds, the oceans and the countries from above and feel the sense of wonder of drinking at a bar 30,000 ft above the ground.

We flew over the deserts of Iran and I sat back in the lounge and sipped a lovely glass of Bordeaux wine with a real sense of awe at the world and the beauty of the Lord’s creation. We never truly stop to gaze at the world around us. It’s an absolute masterpiece with the oceans, the desserts, the skies, the sun and the clouds all weaved together.

The landing into Paris is uneventful and eventually I farewell the lovely cabin crew who have been so lovely and accommodating with my every request. I certainly enjoyed flying Qatar Airways for the first time and look forward to my next flight with them.
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 18, 16, 4:25 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Here is my review of the third main flight of the journey:
Carrier: British Airways
Class: First Class
Depart: London (Heathrow T5)
Arrive: New York (JFK)

The Review is below. I did take a fair few photos and videos of the flight - If you want to check them out you can view them on my blog site – http://lifeofatravelczar.com/2016/12...to-new-york-2/


I farewell the beauty of Paris and head through to London in transit for my flight to New York. I eventually get to the gate and find myself on-board for the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

THE SUITE
British Airways always welcomes you on-board personally. The flight attendant at the door will leave their post and personally show you to your seat. It’s a nice touch. The cabin has 14 beautiful reverse herringbone seats and offers a dimly lit electro blue backlight “space-ship” feel as we make our way on-board.

The open suites have a beautiful black leather trim with chrome finishes with a minimalistic and more practical approach. A large black lacquered dining table is stored in the side closest to the window. The 22-inch seats with a 78-inch pitch convert into a full flat bed. The beautiful smoke tinted glass windows have electronic window shades to adjust as you desire. Each suite also has a personal 15 inch TV with audio/video on demand, three personal reading lamps and a small closet in the front of the seat.

I start with a welcome glass of Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle, Champagne. I have this champagne every time I am on British Airways. The experience of the Champagne remains as consistent in quality as ever. Here is my tasting note from my last journey across the Atlantic with British Airways: “It’s a beautiful vibrant and sensuous drinking experience with wonderful aromas of honey, hints of almond and brioche which flow with equal strength onto the palate with some nice minerality and citrus sparkle.”

AMENITIES

To assist with the long journey I am provided a gorgeous set of navy pajamas with the British Airways First logo and an amenity kit from Refinery. The PJs are super comfortable. The amenity kit has a beautiful set of products to help through the flight including; a Revitalising Moisturiser, Eye Gel, Shave Gel, Lip Balm Stick, Deodorant Stick, Razor, Brush and comb, Toothbrush/Toothpaste and a pen.

DINNER
Dish: Poached Lobster Tail with Roasted Tomato Marmalade Marinated Kenya Beans and Drizzled with Chive Oil
Wine: Pouilly-Fuisse Vignes Romanes, 2014, Bouchard Pere et Fils, Burgundy, France


The richness of the lobster tail dovetails with the acidity and juiciness of the tomato puree. The beans add a lovely textural contrast for the dish and the chive oil introduces a sensory herby overlay. The acidity of the Pouily Fuisse is a great match for the tomato and lobster and makes for a well-integrated taste experience. The wine is trademark Burgundy Chardonnay with citrus and stone fruit notes on the nose and palate which are beautiful and fresh minerality which drives cleanness and purity in the finish.

Dish: Herb-Roasted Supreme of Corn-fed Chicken served with Potato Mousseline, Edamame, Prosciutto Crumb and Finished with a Rosemary Jus
Wine: Pouilly-Fuisse Vignes Romanes, 2014, Bouchard Pere et Fils, Burgundy, France


The chicken is succulent and moist and makes for a solid main course. The buttery moist potato mousseline is comfort food at its best and the dish is quite well constructed; there is the mineraly salt of the gravel like prosciutto crumb and the herbed richness of the rosemary jus which combine very well with the chicken for hearty taste experience. I stuck with the Pouilly-Fuisse due to my enjoyment of the wine, however, I feel the Rex Hill Pinot Noir from Oregon might have been a better match for the dish. Alas you can’t win them all.

Dish: Cheese Plate with accompaniments
Wine: Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse, 2008, 5eme Grand Cru Class, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France


The cheese I select is the Wensleydale Blue. It’s crumbly, rich with moist texture and the strong bite of acidity. The attendant actually gives a full platter of biscuits and the like on the side to refill my plate as I wish. The beautiful fruit and nut biscotti are the perfect base for the cheese. I choose a nice full bodied Bordeaux red (60% Cabernet / 40% Merlot). The wine’s wonderful blackberry and cassis aromas carry through on the palate with hints of licorice, espresso and some new tobacco streaks to balance the fruit and acidity. The tannins which are coming along (suggest a few years in the cellar is still required) and is a good match for the richness of the Wensleydale.

THE BED
I am so tired and it has been a long day. In fact I realise that I had breakfast in Paris, lunch in London and then dinner somewhere in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean – it’s been quite a day. I reflect on the day and the journey ahead…air travel is such a beautiful experience. I ask the crew to set-up the bed and eventually fall sleep in the comfort of the duvet as the plane gently glides across the skies above the Atlantic.

REFRESHMENTS
Just before landing, we are offered refreshments – which more or less the afternoon tea menu which I have had previously on a day time flight. I opt for just the sandwiches and some tea which is the perfect tonic prior to landing. The sandwiches are; chunky egg, tandoori chicken, cheddar cheese with onion chutney and Loch Fyne smoked Salmon. I must say my favourite was the smoked salmon on rye which made for a lovely taste experience with the flourishing oils of the salmon and the crumbly rye. The other sandwiches were quite standard.

Soon we land in JFK airport and so the journey ends for now. I will be in New York for a few days before jetting off to Los Angeles.
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 19, 16, 4:34 am
  #13  
SPG 5+ BadgeFour Seasons 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 8,813
Always have to laugh when the BA-seat is called "suite"
offerendum is offline  
Old Dec 19, 16, 4:24 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sydney
Programs: Qantas Platinum, Hilton Honours Gold
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Always have to laugh when the BA-seat is called "suite"
Agree - they are not enclosed, but I think the BA "Suites" or "Seats" on the window sides of the aircraft have sufficient privacy to be open Suites.
ArrowFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 21, 16, 10:51 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Iver
Programs: BA GOLD/OWE BA Amex Prem Plus Tesco Airmiles Qantas Bronze IHG SPG Eithad
Posts: 2,879
Subscribed, will read later^
BA5E is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: