April 29, 2018 Qatar GCC Middle East

Flying Qatar Airways From Beirut to Muscat Oman and Back: Experiencing Two Classes

Even though I flew Qatar Airways in the past, it came to my attention that no review was published on NoGarlicNoOnions yet; flying from Beirut to Muscat-Oman through Doha, it was time to write my first review. Economy from Beirut to Doha, Business class on the way back, I had the chance to try two different classes in less than 48 hours.

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Qatar Airways is known to offer one of the largest legroom in economy, a wide screen and a usb charger plug. Airbus A320 is the aircraft for today’s flight. I was lucky to have an exit seat adding even more space for the legs.

What I love about this company is the professionalism in service; economy passengers are treated decently, given a headset, offered a refreshing towel and served good food. Another service of juices and drinks is also proposed before landing.

Lamb Daoud Bacha with rice, a season’s vegetables salad, a chocolate cake and portion of cheese; good food is served on Qatar Airways!

After a three hours flight to Doha, we landed at the state-of-the-art Airport which won several awards already for its architectural details and varied duty free choices. The airport has a kid’s area, an open lounge, computer screens, television rooms and an endless choice of shopping options.

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Now is the best part: trying the Airbus A350-900 for the first time, the newest aircraft on the market equipped with large windows, dimmed and colorful lighting, big touch screens, a usb plug and an electricity plug for each economy seat. A large aircraft in width -fitting three rows of three seats each- and in length that’s why it’s called “900”. No more annoying white lights but two colors, orange for the the ceiling and blue for the sides.

It was a pleasant experience, the seats are relaxing, the choice of movies is interesting and the snack is as tasty as you would expect it to be. Had both the chicken samosa and the vegetable samosa which I enjoyed. Known for their professionalism, I was excited to experience the way back in Qatar Airways’ Business Class.

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The trip back to Beirut starts on an Airbus A320 equipped with six business class seats. A wide seat is made of black leather and no television. It’s a small aircraft used for fast routes, the seat doesn’t even have feet support.

Anyway, Qatar Airways looks into the details of things to make your experience a memorable one: the journey starts with a drink and a cold or hot towel. Coffee followed by dates, one of the tastiest dates I’ve had. The chief of cabin approached me afterwards, apologized for not taking enough care of me before takeoff and suggested a selection of drinks; I asked for a Diet Coke. 

For lunch, a porcelain platter with six compartments on which the following is served: a portion of hummus, mozzarella and tomatoes, flatbread, shrimp on toast and a puff pastry wrap (vegetable or chicken). I enjoyed the food and service, the attention and Divya’s professionalism. Divya smiles, welcomes and says goodbye. Warm and pleasant manners as if the company was her own; you really feel pampered.

I have a favorite airline and this is confirmed! Arriving to Doha, a ramp took us down from the plane to a private bus specially designed for business class customers; individual luxurious sofas where the pampering continues.

Allow me to give the lounge a review of its own, the sexiest and most luxurious lounge I’ve ever seen in my entire life; the biggest, most illogically high-end lounge I’ve accessed to date where space is out of norm, a la carte restaurants, bars, sushi and a specialized shopping space. I was much more impressed than words can describe.

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After two hours of running across lounges for my photos and reviews, it was time to take the last leg, Doha-Beirut onboard an A320 equipped with wide business class seats, big touch screens and the same professional service you expect from a five stars airline like Qatar Airways.

Cold or hot, you can choose your refreshing towel; a drink follows while we wait for takeoff. Almost all aircrafts are equipped with WiFi and phone service which is an important add-on to many European airlines that didn’t propose it yet.

I hope someone from the Qatar Airlines management team reads this review: our host tonight was Shabreen, meaning happiness, she is the sweetest, most professional and happiest hostess I’ve met; Shabreen deserves a raise, a praise and a reward. 

On the menu:

  • Soup of the day
  • Classic Arabic Mezze
  • Shish Tawouk
  • Spices Marinated fillet of grouper with Harra sauce.
  • Chicken biryanis.
  • Grilled beef fillet with peppercorn sauce.
  • Mediterranean vegetable lasagna.
  • Cheese plate
  • Bread
  • Olive oil and balsamic dip
  • Hazelnut and salted caramel tart
  • Seasonal fresh fruits

Champagnes and wines:

  • Lanson black label champagne.
  • Lanson rose champagne.
  • Laroche chardonnay, Chablis premier cru, France 2015.
  • Leyda, Sauvignon blanc, single vineyard Garuma, Chile 2016.
  • Assemblage catarratto and pinot Bianco, leonne d’almerita, terre sicilliane, 2016 Palermo Italy.
  • Médoc, château haut condissas, bordeaux France 2010.
  • Shiraz, killerman’s run, 2015, Clare valley, Australia.
  • Assemblage petit Syrah and Zinfandel, conundrum red, California 2014
  • Margan, sémillon, botrytis 2013, Australia.
  • Gran Cruz, porto 1992, Douro valley, Portugal.

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A glass of rosé champagne, a cup of fresh crunchy nuts, the experience was just starting. Many were already sleeping and I really didn’t know how they could sleep: the best hostess, great food, amazing drinks... I wanted to live the entire journey. The white wine was also memorable.

It’s a dining experience and not plane food: a full set of cutlery, a plate for your bread, a portion of butter, salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Plates are brought from be kitchen one at a time, set on the table with care; everything with a smile and positive vibes.

Qatar Airways uses the best ingredients: Badoit sparkling water, Evian spring water, Monte Vibiano olive oil and balsamic vinegar among others.

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Food is served: A Lebanese plate of mezze, a creamy garlic hummus, fresh tabbouleh and zesty Baba ghannouj eggplant purée with flatbread. The soup is awesome! I’m not a fan of soups but this one is so good. Creamy mushrooms, cooked to perfection with end notes of acidity. It’s yummy! The soup is presented in a porcelain plate, served with a cover which is removed in front of you.

Grilled beef, even though overcooked, I still loved the meat, the juice, the sauce, the grilled onions, the baked potatoes and the boiled carrots. It’s the equilibrated balance of flavors that I loved!

OMG! Dessert! This is the best so far! A crunchy fresh tart filled with cream and loaded with crunchy hazelnuts! Awesome, simply awesome!

No words can describe the experience; I have a new favorite airline, I was already planning my next trip on business class or maybe the first class for the first time.

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