As much as I was looking forward to try Qatar Airways 777-300ER economy class, the thought of any long flight in the bowels of a large airplane is hard to get psyched about. To make matters worse, just as we were pulling into the airport, my taxi driver asked “business class or economy sir?” *sigh*
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been feeling so negative. This is an excellent long haul economy class product with generous leg room, great video screens, and pretty good food. There are far worse ways to fly.
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.
My full review of Qatar Airways 777-300ER economy from Doha to Amsterdam
Similar to how my Emirates A380 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).
The Qatar Airways economy ground experience at DOH
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 777-300 economy experience was getting off to a really great start, thank you very much.
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…
The boarding process for flight number 273 to Amsterdam
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.
Thankfully she returned all smiles and I was fee to go. From there, it was down the jet bridge and onto the plane.
As far as long haul economy class seats go, the ones here on the Qatar 777-300ER are pretty nice. Leg room is excellent (though not as good as what you’ll find an ANA 777-300ER economy), and the seat cushions are squishy enough to put a smile on your face.
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.
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The first meal service
This was a seven hour flight, so there were two meal services. The first was breakfast, followed five hours later by a light snack. Neither were anything I’d call “spectacular”, but both were decent and tasty enough.
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
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.
The lavatory (and overall cabin comfort)
One of the nice things about being seated so far back in the economy cabin was being so close to the loo. Not close enough to have to put up with smells, but the walk to it was quick and easy.
The second meal service
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.
Final thoughts on this Qatar Airways economy 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.
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.
It’s worth noting that while the overhead bins on the 777 are large, they are also quite deep compared to similar aircraft (something I talked about in my 777 vs A330 comparison). You might have a problem retrieving your carryon bag from the overhead bin on a 777 if you’re vertically challenged!
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 (even as tempting as Qatar Airways A380 business class would be). As a matter of fact I’m sort of tempted to try it just to give it a proper comparison against Emirates. My back hurts just thinking about it…