Qatar Airways economy review: 777-300/ER Doha to Amsterdam

01. Air Tahiti Nui A340-300 economy class Los Angeles to Paris (CDG)
02. Qatar Airways A380-800 business class Paris (CDG) to Doha
03. 5 Instagram-worthy things to do in Doha
04. Qatar Airways 777-300/ER economy class Doha to Amsterdam
05. easyJet A320 main cabin Amsterdam to London (LGW)
06. Norwegian 787-9 main cabin London (LGW) to Los Angeles

As excited as I was to try Qatar economy class, it occurred to me during the taxi ride to the airport this morning that I did things a little bit backwards on this trip. You see, the business class flight down to Doha two days ago was the pinnacle of this journey. It came at a time when I was still filled with peak levels of stamina and excitement, and frankly, I could have been just as happy stuck on a United Airlines CRJ-200 with a seat adjacent to a broken lavatory door that wouldn’t shut all the way. The trip was still young, I was overflowing with a raging sense of adventure, and I certainly didn’t need business class at that particular moment.

But this morning, slumped over in the back of that taxicab at 5am, stamina and excitement levels were dangerously low. Starting the long journey home after an amazing trip is never easy, and while I was feeling excited to experience what Qatar economy class was like, I couldn’t help but to think that business class on the way home would be far more beneficial to my body and soul than business class on the way there.

Then, just as we were pulling into the airport, I saw a billboard advertising Qatar’s stunningly beautiful Qsuite product. And if that wasn’t a strong enough kick in the junk, my taxi driver then asked “business class or economy sir?” Ok – that’s it. Next time I do a mixed class itinerary, it’s economy first, THEN business. Now let’s see if I have the mental capacity to actually remember that before I book my next trip….

QR273
Doha, Qatar (DOH) – Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS)
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Aircraft: 777-3DZ/ER
Registration: A7-BAP
Duration: 6 hours 49 minutes
Seat: 47F (economy class)

Qatar Airways 777-300 side view

Qatar Airways 777-300/ER side view illustration by Norebbo.com.

Qatar Airways 777-300er seat map

Seat map of this Qatar Airways 777-300/ER (courtesy of seatguru.com) showing my seat (47F) for this flight to AMS.

Doha to Amsterdam flight track

Our route from Doha to Amsterdam this morning

The video for this Qatar economy flight to Amsterdam was another one of those “oh crap I don’t think I have enough footage“ stress-fests that had me worried. I like to be fairly detailed in my videos, and browsing my footage of the flight as I was firing up Adobe Premier Pro had me squirming in my chair. I really didn’t think I had enough to pull it off.

Somehow I managed to eek out a 9-minute video review of this flight even though I was in an aisle seat with no views to the outside world. And now that I think about it, being forced to create compelling videos under constraints like this is what helps me to grow as both a filmographer and editor. So even though I was cursing at myself under my breath for not getting as much footage as I would have liked, I felt like I learned another thing or two about the challenges of video production. Mostly that I’m an idiot and I need to get more footage next time…

Yes, I actually do enjoy flying economy class. Especially Qatar economy.

As much as I make sarcastic jokes about how much I’d rather be flying business class, the truth is that I’m extremely thankful to be a self-employed full time blogger who gets paid to fly around the world. I spent my fair share of time chained to a desk in the corporate world, and I’m happy as heck to be free of that. Economy class or business class is fine with me.

Doha airport departures

Curbside, Doha Hamad International Airport. It’s very early, and I don’t even remember the things I did to get here, but…I’m here! I did remember to take this pic though, which is a reassuring sign that I wasn’t completely brain dead.

Similar to how my long haul Emirates economy class experience began in Dubai last year, arriving at the airport here in Doha was a near religious experience. Hamad International Airport is nothing short of stunning. It’s big, bold, and extremely beautiful from every angle (I was going to say “just like Ms Piggy!”, but I won’t). What is it with these middle eastern airports and the overwhelming sense of scale and glitz?

Doha airport departures hall

Brain functions coming up to speed now as I stand here and admire the architecture of the main departures hall. And it wouldn’t have surprised me a bit if my brain was making the same noises a crusty old Packard Bell PC from 1997 made during the boot-up process.

Qatar Airways check in kiosk

Considering how blurry my vision was, I’m shocked that I didn’t accidentally press the “yes” box when the kiosk asked if I was carrying fireworks and leaky batteries.

Standing in the center of the terminal soaking up the ambiance that is DOH is a difficult experience to describe. It’s truly the crossroads of the world with connecting passengers from all parts of the globe roaming about, and it’s easily one of the most fascinating airports I’ve ever been to. This Qatar economy experience was getting off to a really great start, thank you very much.

Doha airport teddy bear

Speaking of feeling sleepy, looks like he was about to fall over and crush everyone (and everything) in a 50ft radius. Still pretty neat to see the world-famous Doha Lamp Bear though!

Even as a Qatar economy passenger, the ground experience here in Doha can’t be beat

First of all, I just want to make it explicitly clear that I’m not saying really nice things about this airport just because there’s a Camden Food Co here. Yes, I was nearly as excited as a miniature chihuahua who tinkles on the floor every time the doorbell rings when I came around the corner and saw it, but I’d still be in love with this place if even if it didn’t exist.

Camden food co Doha airport

Nothing will snap me back to full consciousness faster than the sight of Camden Food Co! I have no idea how I resisted the urge to run in there and hug everyone.

Once I was able to pry myself away from the culinary black hole that is Camden Food Co, it was easy to understand why this is one of the best airports in the world. It’s a stunningly beautiful place to roam, and it wasn’t difficult to find vacant nooks and crannies to hide and get away from the masses. Not that I’m antisocial or anything…

Doha airport terminal interior

That’s it. I’m putting hardwood flooring on my ceiling when I get home! No moving walkways between rooms though, because that would be overkill…

Doha airport terminal

Not only is that my ride to Amsterdam this morning, those are the exact same chairs found at my home airport of SAN!  Nobody in this pic seems as amused as I am.

Qatar Airways 777-300

You know how it’s all but impossible to gently touch the nose of a baby (or a dog) and go “ooooh so cute!” when you see it up close? If there wasn’t a thick pane of glass between me and this airplane, I totally would’ve done it to this 777.

Gate C8 Doha airport

It’s gonna be gate C8 today, and I still want wood flooring on my ceiling at home.

Qatar economy review

No, this is not a pic of my passport and boarding pass. It’s a pic of all the people queuing up even though the boarding process hasn’t even started yet. Of course I jumped in line too, because #herdmentality.

One minor nitpick about about DOH: most of the food options are contained within the food court (which is located at the center of the terminal). This is a massive airport, and you’re going to have a lot of walking to do if you’re feeling hungry at the farthest ends of this place. One of the few drawbacks of being a Qatar economy passenger I guess. I’ll bet business class passengers don’t have to go far for food!

My very first look at Qatar 777-300/ER economy class

The boarding process started just a few minutes late, but overall it was fairly efficient. Except for the part about the gate agent walking away with my passport after scanning it. She had a very concerned look on her face, then told me to “please wait one moment sir…” as she walked away (with my passport and boarding pass in hand). As far as I know, I’m not on any “lists”, so…I had no idea what to think as I stood there holding up the line for a minute and a half. Yeah, I was THAT guy.

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Thankfully she returned all smiles and I was fee to go. From there, it was down the jet bridge and onto the plane.

Doha airport jet bridge

I wonder how many other travel bloggers have taken a pic of me just like this as I walked down a jet bridge somewhere in the past? Probably never, because I look like such a dork.

Qatar Airways 777-300 boarding door

When you’re just seconds away from boarding a Qatar Airways aircraft, any delays caused by congestion can seem like an eternity. Yeah, we may have only been standing here for three seconds (tops), but I swear I could feel gray hair sprouting all over my head. Let’s goooo!

Qatar Airways flight attendant

She looks friendly. Easily friendly enough to agree to sign up to be a SANspotter Patron if I would have asked!

Qatar Airways 777 economy seats

Qatar Airways 777-300/ER economy seats. Dare I say…sexy? This is a color combination I like!

Qatar economy seats

I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “sexy” to describe an economy class seat before, but if it had to happen, letting it slip in a Qatar Airways review seems to be the most logical place to do it.

Qatar Airways 777-300 seat pitch

Ain’t nothin’ sexy about SANspotter’s knees though. As my bird legs demonstrate, seat pitch is really good back here in economy class.

Qatar economy seats review

These aren’t the exact same seats I experienced in Emirates A380 economy from DXB to LAX last year, but they’re very similar. I survived 16 hours in those, so 7 today in these should be a piece of cake!

Qatar Airways 777-300 economy class

Looks as if the guy up there in the bulkhead row found a baby in his seat. Neat!

Qatar Airways economy class headphones

“Property of Qatar Airways”. After experiencing how strict security was in and around Doha over the past two days, I had no desire to find out what the consequences would be for getting caught snagging one of these as a souvenir.

Qatar Airways 777-300er safety card

The first of two times I looked at the safety card during this flight. The second time was when we were getting rocked by extremely high winds on the approach into AMS, and I needed to determine where exactly the aircraft was likely to split open when we hit the ground belly first in a monstrous downdraft. Flying is fun, isn’t it?

SANspotter selfie Qatar economy

One of the nice things about sitting all the way at the back is that it gives me extra time to stuff my AirPods into my ears if I see an overly talkative person coming down the aisle with his/her eyes on the open seat next to me.

Overall, Qatar Airways economy seemed nice in those initial few minutes, and I was very much looking forward to the 7 hour ride up to Amsterdam this morning. Even better was the fact that the seat next to me remained vacant. Yet again! And I certainly wasn’t complaining.

Wanna know what the food is like?

Of course you do. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. FYI, this was a seven hour flight, so there was two meal services. The first were breakfast, followed five hours later by a light snack. Neither were anything I’d call “spectacular”, but both were decent and tasty enough.

Qatar economy class video screens

In the air now headed towards Amsterdam, and I’m pretending to be Maverick here in 47F while I wait for the food. “Sorry Goose, but it’s time to buzz the tower…”

Qatar economy menu

I’m only three rows from the back of this airplane (a really long 777-300/ER no less). I *really* don’t want the pancakes, but I’m preparing myself for the inevitable situation of nothing being left but the pancakes.

Qatar 777 economy class cabin

They started the meal service 40 minutes ago and there’s still no sign of the flight attendants. Mmmm, paaaancaaakes.

Being seated all the way in the back gave me all the reason in the world to believe that there’s no way they’d still have my primary choice (eggs) available by the time they got to me. Miraculously, they did. And you know what? I worked so hard to psych myself up for the pancakes that I almost chose that instead. lol

SANspotter selfie Qatar economy breakfast

Everyone in the first half of the airplane finished their meals 30 minutes ago, but I took solace in the fact that they will be hungry again 30 minutes before I will. It all evens out in the end!

Qatar economy food

Wanna know how culturally ignorant I am? I just Googled “Qatar chicken farm” wondering what the chances were of this meal being prepared locally or not. Turns out there ARE chicken farms in Qatar and I’m dumber than I thought I was.

Qatar Airways economy class food

Hold on a sec while I Google “do apples grow in Qatar” lol

For comparisons sake, I’m going on the record as saying that the Emirates economy class breakfast I was served last year from DXB to LAX was slightly better. Not that I’m knocking Qatar economy or anything, but EK is a direct competitor and I’d be foolish not to mention it.

Qatar Airways 777-300 lavatory

Not that I was expecting fresh flowers and gold fixtures or anything, but something a little nicer than “Southwest 737 with pee drops on the floor” would have been nice.

Qatar economy cabin 777

You know you’ve got a sucky seat when you can basically stand up from it and get a shot like this.

Five hours later (just as my stomach was yelling “ok, send more!”), the flight attendants came by with snack boxes. These steaming-hot boxes consisted of a “hot pocket” type of thing (curried pizza is the best way to describe it), which was…ok. The guy across the aisle at three of them, thanks to a generous flight attendant who had extras she was trying to get rid of.

Qatar Airways economy snack

“Coconut chicken Arabic pastry”. I mean, how can this NOT be delicious?

Qatar economy snack

Anything shaped like a log with meat stuffed inside is cool with me. So far so good…

Qatar Airways economy class review

The first bite, confirming solidly once again that I really like Arabic food.

SANspotter selfie Qatar economy snack

I need to savor this moment, because it’s back to Cheerios and water for me when I get home (the food of starving full time bloggers).

Final thoughts on this economy class experience to Amsterdam

I know it’s not really fair to compare this Qatar economy experience with my Emirates economy experience from last year (since that EK flight was a 16-hour ultra long haul), but I’m going to do it anyway.

Flying over Slovakia

Screaming over top of Slovakia, still licking the crumbs off my fingers from that delicious snack, and I can’t help but to think of how this Qatar economy experience compares to Emirates economy…

Everything about that Emirates experience was slightly better. Not by much, but indeed slightly better. The food seemed a bit more fresh, the cabin crew seemed more eager to please, and the video entertainment system was more diverse with a better selection of movies to watch. Again, I’m not at all complaining about Qatar economy class – I’m just making an observation based on the things I’ve experienced.

Qatar economy honest review

On the descent into AMS now, and it looks as if those people in the bulkhead row *still* don’t know what to do with that baby they found on their seat.

Qatar Airways 777 cabin pic

Fast forward 25 minutes, and we’re on the ground in Amsterdam after what was quite possibly the scariest landing of my entire life. Now, Ive been terrible at any flight simulator I’ve ever tried, but even I’ve managed to pull of a landing or two better than this one! I’m not blaming the pilots though – the wind was brutal and all I could think the entire way in was “Delta 191 Delta 191 Delta 191” over and over again (with tightly clenched butt cheeks).

Sanspotter selfie Qatar economy overhead bins

Reunited once again with my trusty backpack. I’m so focused on getting footage for these trip reports sometimes that I swear to God that I’m going to forget and walk off the plane without it one of these days. I’ve done far stupider things in my life.

End of Qatar economy flight

The final moments of my Qatar economy experience were marred by this guy aggressively pushing past me as I was stepping out into the aisle. I know a SANspotter hater when I see one!

I guess the best way to sum up my thoughts on Qatar economy is to say that I’d have absolutely no problem at all doing it again on an ultra long haul flight such as LAX-DOH. As a matter of fact I’m sort of tempted to try it just to give it a proper comparison against Emirates. But if I do that, then I’d have to try Etihad as well.

Hmmm, I smell another awesome trip brewing…

    1. Bruinsfan28 May 5, 2019
      • SANspotter May 6, 2019
        • BruinsFan28 May 6, 2019
          • James B. May 8, 2019

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