15 Pictures From Qatar Airways A380 Inaugural Flight

Filed Under: Qatar, Travel

Good evening from London!

As I’ve mentioned, earlier today I flew on the much anticipated (by me) Qatar Airways A380 inaugural flight between Doha and London Heathrow.

For a flight I worked so hard to chase I’d usually share some detailed thoughts day of, but I’m just really damn tired. I’m used to not sleeping much when traveling (which is always, nowadays), but the past few days have been on a completely different level for me.

In Seoul on Monday night my flight was delayed by 14 hours, so I ended up sleeping from 2AM till 6AM.

Then I got to Cairo Wednesday morning at 4AM, and slept from 5AM till 7AM, before going on a tour of the pyramids.

Then last night in Doha I went to bed at midnight and got up at 3AM so I could get some work done before my flight to London.


With that in mind, I figured I’d share 15 pictures and five fun facts from the Qatar Airways A380 inaugural flight from today, and then over the weekend I’ll have a more detailed review.

Let’s start with five fun facts:

  • Qatar Airways serves Krug in the business class bar on the A380
  • The guy that booked Etihad’s The Residence on the inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London in a couple of months was aboard (I’ll see him aboard, though will be seated one row behind him)
  • The attention to detail in Qatar Airways’ A380 really is second to none — the chief’s obsession with minor details really is reflected in this plane
  • Qatar Airways has the nicest onboard bar of any airline — it’s even better than Korean Air’s, which is saying something (and definitely better than Emirates’)
  • Qatar Airways offers A380 first class passengers complimentary wifi with unlimited data usage, which is a blessing given how expensive OnAir wifi usually is (since you’re normally charged based on usage)

And then here are 15 pictures:

Qatar Airways A380

Qatar Airways A380 gate welcome

Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 first class seat

Qatar Airways A380 first class bed

Qatar Airways A380 first class bathroom

Qatar Airways A380 first class pre-departure goodies

Qatar Airways A380 first class complimentary wifi voucher

Qatar Airways A380 first class Giorgio Armani amenity kit

Qatar Airways A380 first class breakfast service

Qatar Airways A380 business class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 business class cabin

Qatar Airways A380 onboard bar

Qatar Airways A380 cake

Stay tuned, I have lots more details on the way, as it was quite a flight!

  1. No photos of you changing at your seat? 🙂

    More seriously, I feel like more airlines should give free WiFi in first class.

  2. WOW! Now I know how you got your name, Lucky! That is quite a flight. The Krug and the bathroom were quite impressive. You have the most amazing life.

  3. It looks nice but I’m still not blown away by it, especially given what Etihad has planned. Maybe your full review will change my mind.

    @Joe – Agreed on wifi.

  4. “The guy that booked Etihad’s The Residence on the inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London in a couple of months was aboard” Would that person happen to be His Excellency?

  5. Kinda surprised at the lack of privacy the first-class seats offer. Singapore has more privacy that that! Frankly, the single business class seats on the window look to be the way to go, really, plus you’d still have access to the bar . . . so probably one of the better business class redemptions out there. Would you agree?

  6. I prefer the openess of first class rather than the boxcar look of suites. Business didn’t look all that full which was probably why the bar was so spacious. I would hang out in the bar any chance I got.

  7. Looks like there is not a single F award seat on QR 380 between DOH and LHR/CDG in the selling schedule.

    Did everything get pulled? They used to have decent availability a few weeks ago.

  8. get some sleep! and relish being young. i’m in my early 30s and i just did a short jaunt to SE asia and the jet lag KILLED me when i got home. adjusted well the first 48 hrs but then it hit me like never before. just don’t have the stamina i had when i was your age.

    also, it must be a crazy feeling to hop around the globe so quickly. does it sink in or just seem surreal? whenever i pause to think about how i can be eating breakfast in hong kong and then eating lunch in new york on the same day 15 hours later, it blows my mind. we really are lucky to live in these times.

  9. @pavel

    Very well said. I am fortunate enough to be in my mid 50’s. The very first flight that I took (which I can remember) was aboard a Lockheed Constellation back in the mid 60’s. It is fascinating to have personally witnessed the evolution of modern air travel.

    But the effects of jet lag at my age is daunting. Last May I flew to London from Washington via Detroit in Delta Business Elite. It was a comfortable flight but I was thoroughly wiped-out by the time I got to the hotel. So I layed down and took a nap as I was having dinner that night at my favorite restaurant, Helene Darroze at the Connaught. I didn’t friggin wake up till 2AM.

    Nonetheless, I so agree that we, as travelers, are living in wondrous times. People reminisce about the “golden age” of air travel but I think this age is pretty damn spectacular, as is evident by Ben’s experience on Qatar. He is indeed a lucky young man! I am both envious of him and thrilled for him.

  10. I thought you booked the Residence or the Apartment, and expected to see those pictures, not these regular seats similar to Lufthansa First class ones.

  11. Come on lads, keep up! The Residence and Apartments are on Etihad’s new A380s. This is Qatar that Lucky flew

  12. @ Erndog — Given that I spent at least half of the flight at the bar, I kind of wondered why I bothered paying for first class — all the good stuff was in the back. That being said, there is a privacy shield in first class, so it is pretty private.

  13. “The guy that booked Etihad’s The Residence on the inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London in a couple of months was aboard (I’ll see him aboard, though will be seated one row behind him)”

    Time to start passively/aggressively stalking…er, befriending him so that he’ll invite you for a visit to super-duper first class…

  14. @ Lucky — I agree with wwk5d 😉 It’d be epic if you could get at least some photos of The Residence for your report 😀

  15. This is SUPER awesome Lucky!!! Did Qatar Airways cabin crew change uniform as well? When I flew on QR 787 earlier this year I can almost swear they wore a lavender/purple-ish hat and skirt with a white blouse.

    I’ve never gone to an inaugural. Have you written a post on what type of things to expect at an inaugural flight?

  16. It looks like qatar has blocked all award space on the a380 first as of now. I am planning to travel next July but I did searches for first in the 3 months preceding my travel dates just to check and it is all negative. guess they are holding on to that valuable space as of now.

  17. @Joey: I flew the inaugural A319 all business class flight from Heathrow to Doha. As well as the special reception in the LHR Premium Lounge, with special cocktails and an A319 ice sculpture, they gave all passengers an engraved crystal Arabian Oryx.

  18. @ Joey — It seems to vary quite a bit by airline. Some will make a big show of the inaugural, while others won’t. In the case of Qatar they had some posts at the gate along with roses for each passenger, and then an onboard cake. That seemed to be the extent of it.

    Didn’t notice them changing uniforms, but I wasn’t looking that closely. Would be funny!

  19. You should have taken a picture of the fluffs on the carpet which was the reason for rejection of delivery by Qatar by about half a year – ridiculous

  20. @Joe – They should start giving free WiFi in all classes! I wouldn’t mind paying an extra $30 into a $1200 ticket let’s say from Asia to Europe, but somehow it seems expensive when paying on the flight.

  21. @Lucky, Actually I just noticed from rereading this post that you took a photo of the cabin crew in their usual uniform in the business class cabin photo. That’s the uniform I’m used to. The photo of the 2 flight attendants with the cake, wearing black, is perhaps the bar uniform?
    I think it’s also awesome they have free wifi for first class passengers. When I flew Saudia in business class a few months ago on their 777s, I was very impressed when they had inflight wifi and how they gave all the business class passengers a free wifi voucher!

  22. @ W — Have to disagree with that. Wifi is slow enough as it is. If everyone had access for “free” (included in ticket cost) it would be even slower. Take Turkish, for example, where it takes an hour to load a webpage.

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