- Look inside popular Qatar Airways Business Class on the A380
- 14 hours on one of the best airlines in the world
- How to book this flight for only $495 + 104,000 Qantas Points
So you're thinking of booking a Business Class seat to Europe with a stop in the Middle East or flying the same aircraft on QR906 or QR908 back to Australia? I put the 2017 Skytrax Airline of the Year, Qatar Airways, to the test to find out if you should you spend your credit card rewards points on this flight.
- Airline: Qatar Airways
- Flight number: QR909
- Route: Sydney (Sydney) - Doha (Doha)
- Duration: 13 hours 45 mins
- Cabin: Business Class
- When: Oct 2017
- Cost: 104,000 Qantas Points plus $495 AUD in taxes
- Aircraft: A380
- Seat number: 18E
- Overnight flight: Yes
- Meal included: Yes
- Amenity kit provided: Yes
- Pyjamas provided: Yes
- In-flight Wi-Fi: Yes
- Baggage: Carry on and 40kg checked luggage.
Qatar has shown serious form over the years, being successful enough to win the Skytrax Airline of the Year a total of four times since its inaugural flight in 1997.
We think that Qatar Business Class ranks highly compared to Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, and Virgin Australia and that it is a great use of Qantas Points thanks to the One World arrangement.
Flying Qatar from Sydney to Doha is very popular and the Business Class cabin was full to the brim on the night we flew! We had a large group of around 20 fellow Aussies headed to Doha and then onwards to Amsterdam to begin their Scenic river cruise. What a way to start a luxury trip like that.
How to book this Business Class ticket
I was travelling with my sister to Europe on a last minute trip, where our flights were booked only two days ahead of flying. To buy a Business Class ticket on this popular Qatar flight from Sydney to Dublin with the connecting stop in Doha would cost $5,000 - $6,000 AUD. Naturally, booking on points is the most cost-effective way to book flights.
No surprises here, but not many Australians are members of the Qatar Airways Privilege Club. You could consider it to be an exotic airline program. So other than actually flying with Qatar Airways, there is no direct way to earn QMiles using a credit card issued here in Australia.
So how do you do book a flight on Qatar using points? Thanks to the One World alliance of airlines you can book Qatar flights on Qantas.com. Our flight cost each of us 104,000 Qantas Points plus $495 AUD in taxes.
Booking this flight, I was only able to optimise my 104,000 Qantas Points to be worth about five or six cents per point spent.
Qatar Airways actually costs less for points bookings for Sydney to Dublin in Business Class compared to other airlines especially Qantas and Etihad.
- Qatar costs 104,000 Qantas Points plus taxes.
- Emirates costs 105,000 Qantas Points plus taxes.
- Singapore costs 105,000 KrisFlyer Miles plus taxes.
- Cathay costs 110,000 Asia Miles plus taxes.
- Qantas costs 146,000 Qantas Points plus taxes.
- Etihad costs 162,697 Etihad Guest Miles plus taxes.
To compare frequent flyer credit cards go to our comparison page and you can find your new points card.
Airport Lounge in Sydney
Passengers flying Business Class or First Class on Qatar flights are invited to use the Qantas lounge at Sydney Airport.
Look inside the Qatar Business Class on A380
The Qatar Airways A380 Business Class cabin situated on the upper deck of the A380 feels fresh, new and has some ornate touches.
The continual use of mood lighting and fresh seat designs produces a futuristic feel.
The 1-2-1 layout in the reverse herringbone gives everyone direct aisle access.
The one thing I don't like is the low height of the seats. When you sit upright you can really see across the entire cabin to everyone else.
The seat design on Qatar is much less private than on Qantas, Emirates, Etihad, American Airlines, Cathay, Virgin Australia, and Japan Airlines.
Sleep and rest. That's what it's all about on a long 14-hour flight like this. That's why people are willing to fork out the points to fly with one of the best airlines in the world. They don't want to start their trip off like a zombie.
You can expect a big comfortable modern seat, huge in-flight entertainment screen right in front of your face, personal reading lights, charging ports, and loads of storage around your seat. The actual seat design on the A380 and smaller Dreamliner planes are very similar.
Seats are wide, spacious and comfortable, with ample room to store your carry-on bags and shopping with the overhead bins. Plenty of room in the footwell for bigger passengers.
Every passenger in Business Class also receives a well-stocked pink leather amenity kit by Italian luxury brand BRIC'S.
If you're travelling with someone (or in my case my sister) then the middle two seats are better so that you can be closer. There's a divider that comes down between the seats.
Every snack, meal, and drink on my flight was high quality. The whole menu is a A-la-carte meaning that you can order anytime. The quality of the cuisine, customer service and overall experience was really good.
The A380 on the Qatar QR909 route also has a First Class cabin. Basically, the A380 is big enough to fit loads of Business Class seats and a First Class section. Since Qatar Business Class is so good you could argue that there's no need for anyone to fly First Class.
The Qatar A380 has a bar at the rear of the Business Class cabin. It was not as well stocked as the bar on the Emirates A380.
Unlike the marketing you'll see on airline websites or movies, the bar on a plane isn't a place for well-groomed international elites to mingle or do business deals. It could be a lot of fun if you were traveling with a group.
More like it's a place for weary flyers to get out of their seat for a mid-flight stretch and yes, have a pleasant chat with the other passengers. I think I visited the bar after a few moves at 2am when we were somewhere over the Indian Ocean.
The Flat Bed
Every seat has a seat topper, thick quilted blanket, and pillow. If you're wearing a suit jacket the cabin crew will take it away and hang it up. Pajamas are provided too for this overnight flight.
Each seat reclines all the way back to lay completely flat. Just ask your flight attendant to turn your seat into a bed at any time. I'm unsure but I think I went dark for six to eight hours of sleep on this leg of my journey from Sydney to Doha.
Connecting in Doha
Qatar's hub airport is the Hamad International Airport in Doha (DOH). In my opinion, the airport itself is leagues ahead of Etihad's Abu Dhabi airport. It feels like a large Westfield mall ... in the desert. Doha is a classier and newer airport with tall ceilings and spacious concourses. It is even better than Emirates Dubai (DXB) airport.
The Qatar Al Mourjan Business Lounge is vast, spacious and stylish. In my travels, I highly rate this Business Class lounge. You'll find comfortable seating in the main areas, food and dining options in buffets and restaurants, an excellent business centre, as well as quiet areas to snooze in. There are showers too but you might face waiting times during peak hours.
If you have about six hours or more between flights and feel up for a mini adventure you can do a quick city tour of Doha. We arrived just before dawn in Doha and only had two and a half hours in Doha. So honestly we did not feel up to it this time before our next flight onward to Dublin.
Flying Qatar Business Class on such a long flight was a great experience. Qatar does a really good job. I got to my destination safe and sound, no delays, well fed and rested. Ready to hit the ground running.
Qatar cabin crew were warm, friendly and attentive. Nothing felt like a hassle for them. Not over the top either.
When I tried the wifi it was slow, but I didn't need to use it so it didn't bother me.
I booked on Qantas.com using my Qantas Points which was straightforward and managed to get a good points-per-cent valuation.