There have been some changes to Qatar Airways A350 business class service since the pandemic. There are fewer choices on the menu, you are handed a face shield at the gate, and there is no lounge at Stockholm Arlanda available.
Cabin crew wear personal protective equipment and you receive a travel with confidence pack for use during the flight. While there are all these changes, a lot remains the same, such as dine on demand in business class and impeccable on board service.
No Lounge Access Today
Many airports around the world have limited lounge access, with many facilities remaining closed due to the pandemic. At check-in, I was informed this was the case and received a 100 SEK voucher (US$12/€10/£9/AU$16) to spend in the airport.
Once done, I proceeded to the gate where I stood waiting for a short period before boarding was called. Everyone is issued a face shield and must wear it, along with face masks when boarding and on the flight. After moving to the holding area, eventually we were asked to board the plane.
QR170 – Stockholm Arlanda to Doha (ARN-DOH)
15 December 2020
Airbus A350-900 – A7-ALR
Seat: Business Class 2A
Departure: 08:15 Arrival: 16:25
I hadn’t removed the inside plastic liner on my face mask, so I was fogged up when I arrived at the door to the aircraft, which caused the crew much amusement! They then escorted me to my seat.
A Pre-Flight Drink
After I stowed my cabin bag, I elected to have a glass of Champagne to start the flight. The crew saw me taking photos and offered to get one of me in my seat, which was nice.
There were just four passengers in business class today, which meant even more attentive service than usual. Soon enough, everyone was on board and we headed to the runway and into the air.
You can dine on demand on Qatar Airways and for this flight I wanted breakfast straight away. You can have pretty much what you want from the menu, which can make for a large meal.
I opted for the breakfast smoothie, greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and Assiette of cold cuts… for my starter! That was a lot of food on its own. Each element arrives on a single tray and covered, for health and safety reasons at the moment.
Everything turned out to be excellent as usual and I had a green tea with my meal. Once I had finished, the main dish arrived and that turned out to be lovely too. Well satisfied, I decided to go online, as Wifi is currently completely free on the Qatar Airways A350 through to the end of January to celebrate 100 aircraft with the service fitted.
Spic and Span Bathrooms
Qatar Airways always have completely clean toilets throughout the flight. This is because the hard working cabin crew actively check them as they’re used.
It can’t be stressed enough how good it is to visit the facilities and always find them clean. If there’s anything that destroys an impression of a flight, it’s terribly unclean toilets.
Scenes from A Qatar Airways A350
Thanks to the light load and passenger distribution, I was able to wander about getting some decent shots of the Qatar Airways A350 cabin. Usually flights are so full that it is quite difficult to get these.
While I was doing that, it struck me I should get a video, so there’s a short minute and a half of the cabin below which you can enjoy.
The rest of the flight passed uneventfully. I had a great chat at my seat with one of the crew, who kindly let me take a photo of the Taittinger Champagne bottle.
The Internet service did stop at one point towards the end of the flight, so I switched to the external cameras. We landed in Doha without incident and another good flight came to an end.
Qatar Airways A350 business class is excellent, even with what are now the old seats. Newer aircraft feature the Qsuite, which is considered one of the best seats in business class in the world.
Even with the changes due to the pandemic, flying Qatar Airways feels the same as it did pre-pandemic. Attentive service from the crew, decent food and a comfortable cabin – what more could you ask for?
Have you flown with Qatar Airways since COVID-19 hit? What do you think of the changes? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.