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Qatar Airways A330-300 Business Class Doha to the Maldives (+ Youtube clip)

Qatar Airways A330-300 Business Class Doha to the Maldives (+ Youtube clip)

Old Mar 10, 17, 11:52 am
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Qatar Airways A330-300 Business Class Doha to the Maldives (+ Youtube clip)

On February 5, 2017, I flew Business Class in an Airbus A330-300 of Qatar Airways (QA) from Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Qatar to Male International Airport (MLE), also known as Velana International Airport, in the Maldives. The previous flight segment from Brussels to Doha was operated by a QA Boeing , and you can read my FT trip report of this flight here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...tube-clip.html.

QA offers several types of Business Class products on its A330 fleet, with some aircraft featuring the old seats (that dont fully recline) and some other featuring the updated product (with fully flat-bed seats). This particular flight was flown by an A330 featuring the new product, but although quite comfortable, QAs A330 Business Class product is inferior to the one it offers on its A350, B787 and A380 planes.

Unfortunately, the flights departure was delayed by one hour and 15 minutes due to an aircraft swap). Because of this delayed departure, we lost our landing slot at MLE and had to circle for one hour near the airport (there were six aircraft in front of us) before the control tower allowed us to land. MLE has only one runway and planes need to turn on the runway and track back in order to reach the terminal, hence explaining why only one plane can land at MLE every 10 minutes. The good news is that we got some awesome views of the spectacularly beautiful Maldives and its 50 shades of blue (and the pilot guaranteed us that we had enough fuel to circle for 90 minutes in total).

You can watch my Youtube clip with impressions of the flight here (including some spectacular views when landing at Male):

- Trip: DOH-MLE
- Airline: Qatar Airways (QA)
- Aircraft type: Airbus A330-300
- Aircraft registration number: A7-AEH (delivered in 2006)
- Flight Number: QR672
- Date: February 5, 2017
- On time departure: no (3.30 am instead of 2.15 am)
- On time arrival: no (10.30 am instead of 8.50 am)
- Miles: 2056
- Flight time: 5 hours
- Seat: 3A
- Class: Business Class (D)

1. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN

QA operates several versions of the Airbus A330s. This flight was operated by a two cabin A330-300, seating 30 passengers in Business Class (featuring the new product) and 275 in Economy Class.

The Business Class cabin on the A330 makes a chic first impression upon boarding the plane, with dark grey seat covers, wood trimmed decor touches, and QAs signature pink colour displayed on the entertainment screens. Nevertheless, its design and layout is inferior to the Business Class product offered on QAs A350s, A380s and B787s, even though this particular A330 plane was equipped with the refurbished Business Class cabin (QA still has several A330 flying around that feature the old Business Class product with seats that recline to a maximum of 165 degree). The plane featured 5 rows of 30 fully flat-bed seats placed in a classic 2-2-2 configuration in one single Business Class cabin. All seats faced forward and had aisle access, except for the window seats (where you had to climb over the legs of your neighbour to get to the aisle). A remarkable feature was that two adjoining seats didnt completely line up, so you sat either a little more to the front or back as compared to your neighbour. This is not much of a deal when you travel with a companion, but it does create an extra level of privacy when you are seated next to a stranger (especially when pulling out the large, sliding screen divider).

2. BUSINESS CLASS SEAT (& WHAT SEAT TO CHOOSE)

I was seated in 3A during the short 4-hour flight to Male.

The QA A330 Business Class seat has a pitch of 60 inches (152 cm) and a width of 21 inches (53 cm). One arm rest features the seat controls and also houses the moderately sized tray table which needs to be pulled out for any use (after which you are kind of blocked in your seat). Below the large entertainment screen in front of the seat, is a small compartment with narrow ottoman for your feet (or legs when you transform the seat into a bed). On the other side of the seat, behind the headrest, is a small, somewhat difficult to reach storage compartment, where you find the noise-canceling headphones and the remote control for the entertainment system. The seat does go fully flat, but while the seat itself is wide the footrest is very narrow, so its not very comfortable for a good nights rest (and please keep in mind that QA also operates other A330 planes with reclining but not fully flat-bed seats).

What are the best Business Class seats on QAs A330-300?
- All seats in the cabin, except for the first and last row, are quiet good, especially for couples. Make sure to prebook your seat online (which can be done free of charge) to avoid disappointment at the airport, since QA flights are often fully packed.

What are the worst Business Class seats on QAs A330-300?
- The 2-2-2 Business Class layout does not make the cabin very attractive for solo travelers, since you will always end up sitting next to a stranger. There is a screen though between adjoining seats for added privacy.
- Window seats dont offer direct aisle access.
- Passengers seated in the first row may be bothered by the noise of the galley and passengers going to or returning from the lavatories.
- I also suggest to avoid the last row of Business Class, which is close to Economy bassinet seats.
- Window seats in the last row are missing a window.

3. AMENITIES

For this short flight to Male, Business Class passengers were given a light blanket, a thick pillow, and a small, Economy-like amenity kit containing essentials such as earplugs, eyeshades and socks. QAs famous Armani amenity kits are only handed out on medium- and longhaul flights, and you can read more on that in my QA B787 trip report.

4. MEALS

Upon boarding, I was offered a choice of hot or cold towel, and a glass of Champagne, orange juice, water, or QAs signature drank, lemon mint. I choose the latter and IMHO, this is the best welcome drink offered by any airline in the world.

This was short flight of only 4 hours, and only one meal service breakfast was offered. I was told by a flight attendant that breakfast was served after takeoff, but I noticed that other passengers had their breakfast before landing (which I would have preferred as well). The menu was very similar almost identical to the one of my previous flight segment (Brussels to Doha). Since I was not very hungry, I only choose the following items from the menu:
- Greek yoghurt with mixed berry, granola and nuts
- Traditional Arabic breakfast, with feta cheese, cucumber, tomato and green olives, served with foul medames and arabic bread
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Old Mar 10, 17, 12:00 pm
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Old Mar 11, 17, 9:33 am
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Great report so far - one very small thing, Qatar airways IATA code is QR, not QA.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by dcmike View Post
Great report so far - one very small thing, Qatar airways IATA code is QR, not QA.
Thank you! But was not really my intention to use the IATA code. Just wanted to use an abbreviation for Qatar Airways.
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