Someone At Qatar Airways Is Getting Fired…

Filed Under: Qatar

Admittedly this is really geeky, so if you’re not a big aviation geek, stop reading now.

The 2015 Paris Air Show is going on right now, which is one of the biggest aviation events in the world. It’s one of the few air shows that the industry “big wigs” attend, and we often see some major aircraft orders come out of the event.

Per @jonostrower, Qatar Airways had an ad at the Paris Air Show. It shows a picture of Qatar Airways’ new business class seat, and then says “a travel experience like no other.” And then it specifically mentions the “787 Dreamliner.”

If you’re a real aviation geek, you’ve probably already caught the obvious error here.

If you haven’t:

  • It’s especially curious the ad is specific to the 787, when Qatar Airways has the same business class product on their A350 and A380
  • It’s even more interesting that it’s a Boeing specific ad at a huge airshow in France, which is the home of Airbus (in a way it seems like Qatar Airways stabbing Airbus in the back, given that they operate both Airbus and Boeing planes, and have been thrilled with the performance of the Airbus fleet as of late)
  • So my guess is that this is probably actually more of a Boeing ad than a Qatar Airways ad, or else they wouldn’t specifically mention the 787

Which brings us to the glaring error with this ad. The picture is clearly taken on a Qatar Airways A380. How do we know? Because in the picture there’s clearly a window shade. One of the unique features of Qatar Airways’ 787 is that it doesn’t have window shades, but rather “dimmers.” Furthermore, the windows are the shape of the A380 windows, and not the 787 windows.

For reference, here’s the A380 business class cabin:

Qatar Airways A380 business class seat

Qatar Airways A380 business class cabin

While here’s the 787 business class cabin:

Qatar Airways 787 business class seat

Qatar Airways 787 business class cabin

Bottom line

This is totally minor, and chances are only a handful of people would naturally notice. That being said:

  • Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, is the most detail oriented person in the airline industry, so I’d be willing to bet he would notice right away if he saw it
  • The windows are the one thing that differentiates the 787 business class from the A350/A380 business class, so you’d think they’d get that one detail right, if they’re going to make the ad Boeing specific

Methinks some ad agency is going to get fired here.

So this is the true test to see if you’re an aviation geek or not — did you notice the error right away?

  1. Fired, no. Possibly an angry memo, sure. This stuff happens all the time. Fox Sports showed Vancouver aerial shots and called it Moncton over the weekend on WWC Soccer.

    Worst case the agency won’t be rehired, but fired not a chance.

  2. @ Andrew — We’re talking about Qatar Airways here. Al Baker is known to fire flight attendants *during* flights when he’s not happy with their service.

  3. And just after His Excellency’s receipt of the French Legion of Honor in large part because of his dedication to Airbus!

  4. I noticed the windows were wrong but I couldn’t tell if it was taken on an A380 or A350 since I have yet to fly on Qatar A350 in business class. 😉
    There are 787s at the Paris Air Show, no? Isn’t the Vietnam 787 going to be there?

  5. Andrew said: “Worst case the agency won’t be rehired, but fired not a chance”

    Wouldn’t you agree that not rehiring an agency is about the same as firing it? 😉

  6. I would imagine that the ad reference to 787 was approved but someone used a wrong photo (either at Qatar or the ad agency).

  7. Firing FAs mid flight? Do they get ejected midair from the plane? Somehow that wouldn’t totally shock me, given Qatar’s (both the country and the airline) labor practices.

  8. As there is an Airbus A380 and Airbus A350 at the show in Qatar livery I’m sure Airbus will cope with the fact they are advertising a Boeing product as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Qatar have done it specifically to show Airbus that we buy Boeing as well so you better look after us.

    As for using the wrong aircraft, Doh!! Probably the same people who put up pictures of the A380 whilst talking about the A320 Germanwings crash.

  9. Lucky, when you link an instagram pic, can you also upload a copy of it? A lot of work intranets block instagram; so it’s just a blank space and not very helpful. Gary uploads a copy and it seems to work very well. Thank you

  10. @Lucky I don’t think there is anything wrong.
    First, It is Airbus begging Qatar to buy their aircrafts, it is a buyer market, especially after Emirates cancelled the A350 order. Qatar can do whatever they want because they are the boss.
    So why do you put Boeing’s ad here? It could be showing that they have 787 too, while many people are looking for that. Second, it could remind Airbus that don’t forget who is the boss, Qatar always has an alternative choice. Smart decision. I heard Emirates did similar trick to Airbus (748 vs. A380, and force Airbus to compromised on some terms)
    Second, window shade doesn’t matter , because the studio probably used some photoshop techniques to polished the poster. Who will seriously think what you saw on Ads are what you are going to get? It is an artistic rendering.

  11. Of course Lucky would have immediately noticed the shade since he’s so good at throwing it.

  12. @02nz No it means the FA gets off the flight on arrival as a regular passenger and she never flies as a Qatar Airways FA again.

  13. So much shade recently.

    The first time I learned/heard that word was from RuPaul’s “Supermodel of the World” CD which I was fascinated with when it came out. It had a song called “A Shade Shady (Now Prance)” which was about struggling to get paid after a performance. The lyrics were something like “Don’t be throwin’ no shade, I just wanna get paid.” I wonder which airlines RuPaul likes to fly. I’m sure RuPaul requires a larger baggage allowance than many passengers.

    At the time, I was absolutely riveted by the video:

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