As a points and miles enthusiast, I do my utmost best to travel in ‘relative comfort’ but every now and then a combination of rigid dates/flight availability and cash prices make me do the unusual. This time around, I was supposed to travel YUL-YYZ-AMS-BOM in economy. But thanks to a winter storm, my flight from YUL-YYZ was canceled. I was rebooked on Qatar airways, YUL-DOH-BOM and found myself staring at a 12 hour journey in economy. The Y-suite. Get it? 😉
Qatar Airways Economy Class 777-300ER
Flight: QR 764 YUL-DOH
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Duration: 12hr 20min
Qatar was prompt with their pre-boarding announcements and boarding commenced at 7:00pm, as per zones designated on the boarding passes. The passenger load on this flight was light.
This was my first time with Qatar airways and I was impressed with the cabin cleanliness, interior design and the spiffy look of the economy seats. The cabin was configured with a 3-4-3 layout.
The standard seat pitch in the economy cabin on Qatar’s 777-300ER is listed at 31-33 inches. As I settled in to the seat, I could not help but notice the comfortable knee and leg room I had. I am 5’8, if you are looking for perspective to the picture below;
The seatback entertainment unit was adequate and boasted to an extensive library of choices, in multiple languages. The seat-back was also equipped with USB plug, power port and what looked like a LAN port!?
Each seat in economy came with a pillow, a blanket and a basic amenity kit. I do appreciate airlines that make an effort to provide basic amenity kits to passengers in economy section. Another thing Qatar gets right.
The in-cabin service kickstarted with a refreshing towel and distribution of menus for all passengers.
Unfortunately, our departure from YUL was not as prompt as the boarding of the flight. We were stuck at the gate for over 2 hours, due to a mechanical issue. Such was the misery of my wait, I tweeted my agony and Qatar responded in a spectacular fashion.
Given the long transit of the flight, the meal service included a Dinner and a Brunch service. Unfortunately due to the 2 hour 22 minute delay, the flight took off around 10:30pm and dinner service did not begin until well past 11:00pm. Meal service went on for more than an hour, it was past mid-night when the lights in the cabin were finally dimmed for passengers to rest.
I opted for the Paneer Tava Masala, food taste was fine but the presentation lacked imagination. My tired brain did not register to take a picture of the food. I just wanted the service to end so I could rest.
Once the lights to the cabin were dimmed, I engaged my super powers (one where I sleep through all flight conditions) and was able to stitch together a 6-7 hour sleep.
Cabin crew came around with a sandwich and ice-cream service mid-way through the flight and made it a point to wake me up and ask. Not sure why some airline crew feel compelled to wake-up passengers to offer food. I obviously declined and went back to my slumber. Brunch service was offered a couple of hours before landing and I declined that as well, the options did not excite me to interrupt my second wave of sleep 🙂
When I was not sleeping, I did manage a movie and tried to connect to the wifi onboard. I was excited to learn one hour of the wifi service was complimentary, but the connection never really worked. The few times I tried, the service was unavailable.
This is the longest I have flown in economy cabin, ever. Delays and wifi service aside, it was not hard to see why Qatar Airways is regarded as one of the better airlines out there. Even in an economy cabin, the little things like an amenity kit, printed menu and wet towel service go a long way in winning customers. The hard product was impressive as well. While I don’t plan on doing 12 hours in economy again, my overall impression of Qatar Airways Economy class on 777-300ER was positive, and that includes their reaction to my tweets as well!
Whats the longest you have flown in economy class?