QR302 Helsinki Vantaa to Hamad International Airport-Doha (Business Class)
Summer Premium Adventures
In this Summer Premium Adventure (Warning: Long!)
- In the Summertime when the weather is hot…
- Off to Heathrow, British Airways Galleries North Lounge
- BA762 London Heathrow to Oslo – A321neo (EuroTraveller)
- Oslo Airport, OSL Lounge
- AY914 Oslo to Helsinki, Business Class
- Helsinki Airport lounging
- QR302 Helsinki to Doha (Business Class)
- Doha Lounge Stop Part 1
- QR946 Doha to Singapore (QSuites)
- Hotel Indigo, Katong, Singapore
- Exploring Hawker Markets
- Intercontinental, Bugis, Singapore
- Orchids Everywhere – The National Orchid Garden
- Off to Changi featuring the Singapore Pokemon Centre
- Scoot TR604 Singapore to Bangkok
- Dream Hotel, Bangkok
- Exploring the Wats
- Food Mistakes in Bangkok (Or Regrets. I have a more than a few)
- Back to Suvarnabhumi, Qatar Airways Lounge, Bangkok Airport
- QR833 Bangkok to Doha (QSuites)
- Another long Doha Layover
- QR175 Doha to Oslo
- Back at Oslo Airport
- BA767 Oslo to London Heathrow (EuroTraveller)
- Homeward bound
- Always Curious
QR302 Helsinki Vantaa to Hamad International Airport
Qatar Airways, Airbus A350-900, Seat 2K
140 Tier Points Earned, 2,732 Base Avios + 683 Cabin Bonus
After another drive around the tarmac at Helsinki airport, and eventually, we pulled up against the waiting Airbus A350-900. Also entertainingly, a Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 was pushing back at the same time. It seems gate space at peak time is a major problem for Helsinki Airport.
With a few pictures in hand of the Japan Airlines aircraft I climbed the stairs to the waiting business class experience
This Airbus A350-900 is configured with the original Collins Aerospace SuperDiamond open style seat and cabin.
Whilst I may be in Qsuites later, there is no shame at all in the SuperDiamond. With over a 1000 installs, it is a pretty damn good business class seat, with room for storage, flat-bed, and straight-up comfort in most positions, as well as mains and USB outlets.
The cabin in this A350 only had overhead bins at the side – with none installed in the middle to create a very spacious cabin. I settled in and greeted by the cabin crew member who would be looking after me. I was offered drinks and a choice of towels.
The cabin crew member also pointed out where the headphones were hidden, the BRICS amenity kit and so on.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen – if you’ve never flown Qatar Airways before, you get a choice to towels – either a hot one or a cold one
It’s a small thing, but in hotter climbs or if you’ve been running around, a cold towel can be a wonderful thing to have.
The menus were also distributed, and the cabin manager came to say hello as well. It’s a well-rehearsed thing with Qatar Airways, and it shows with the attention to detail.
The meal service would be “dine any time.” As I have had a bit to eat so far, and I wanted to get some typing done – I held off on my man meal until two hours after takeoff. That and I wanted to do some typing before I had dinner in the air.
With the cabins loaded (and only 7 people in Business Class), the doors went to close, It was time to begin this part of the adventure.
But not before my favourite safety video. And that was said with tongue in cheek. Or as I call this pair – the Akbar Al Baker enforcer duo.
Both of which are there for your safety, but will happily take you out of if you say a bad thing about Qatar Airways, or dare ask about Premium Economy Seating.
With that video performed twice (once in English, once in Arabic), the A350 begun a short taxi around Helsinki airport
With no other aircraft in the way, their pair o Rolls Royce Trent engines spooled up and propelled QR302 into the sky, starting the long journey to Doha.
With the aircraft in the air, I thought it would be fun to attempt to hit the Wi-Fi service. Last time I tried this, this was the old L Band service the airline used to offer.
However, it seems that the Inmarsat Global Express equipment had been switched on this bird. Which is good in theory. What wasn’t good was it took the aircraft a good two hours to find a satellite lock to give stable broadband connectivity aboard QR302.
When it was up – it was plenty fast enough, and with a snappy response to make for a pleasant experience. Especially since the first hour of the connectivity was free.
Can’t argue with that.
Post departure drinks and hot nuts were offered too.
I chose to dine on-demand as I wanted to get some typing done first, so I skipped the main wave of meals. This gave me time to explore the Thales IFE system. This had a remote control and touch interface on it – that made for a reasonably good browsing experience.
I headed to my default experience at 35,00ft – Comedy programing. Thankfully, there’s a fair bit of animated content, with Bobs Burgers and Futurama filling this gap nicely.
With a little bit of bad typing done (I was focusing on text entry rather than precision) and the flight nearly three hours in – this was the perfect time for dinner.
I had chosen the Beef bresaola and Lamb biryani, I was interested to see how Helsinki catering could handle Qatar Airways catering style.
The answer was of course – pretty well.
First thing, let’s talk about the placing – and I’m going to refer to it as “Qatar Airways candle-lit suppers by Hyacinth Bucket.” If you’re not aware of the reference, I’m referring to a classic British Comedy “Keeping up Appearances” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_Up_Appearances, where a certain Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) attempts to climb the social ladder.
Back to the table layout, where yes – there is a candle on the metal tray. Of course – it’s an LED battery powered candle and not the real thing. This is added to the table setting, along with an option of bread, butter and olive oils for your bread
The beef starter was an interesting take on the tomato and mozzarella starter, whilst the lamb byriani was full of flavour for an in-flight meal
With the meal cleared down, it was time to continue watch Futurama, as day turned to night at 35,000ft. Which is always a nice experience – but even nicer in a SuperDiamaond seat. It’s no wonder that 1000 of these are deployed out there – they offer an easy to control experience, which at a lot of angles is very comfortable
Certainly, a certain British airline made the right decision in purchasing these for their Airbus A350 fleet – even if they’ve gone full Beyonce and stuck a door on it.
And there are times like this it’s easy to lay back and watch the world go by… and not worry about virtual desktops, servers and the grind of the daily world.
Eventually, the captain came on the speaker, announcing it was 40 minutes to landing. This starts the bustle of pre-arrivals and tidying the cabin.
I took the opportunity to re-organise myself, rebag a few things (ensuring I took my amenity kit), and put the seat back into the upright position
Meanwhile, the attentive member of staff checked on me and thanked me for flying Qatar Airways.
If there’s something I like about flying the airline – its the attention to detail and interactions with the staff who know when to be approachable, and when to leave a passenger to rest.
With the midnight sky of a Doha night, our aircraft weaved its way around the airspace as it headed to its home base.
And with ease, QR302 landed at its home base of Hamad International Airport.
With QR302 peeling off the runway, the aircraft taxied around the tarmac for a while, before making a turn away from the terminal areas.
Wonderful. We’re up to bus number 4 this trip. And yes, I’m still counting
With the aircraft parked, the seatbelt signs were released.
The seven business class passengers got up and prepared to get off the aircraft first to their waiting bus – whilst economy class passengers were held back.
A rather polished performance by Qatar Airways on QR302, with attention to detail and very little to fault apart from some oddities with the in-flight connectivity and of course, the undesirable boarding and disembarkation by bus. But otherwise, everything was on point, the cabin crew were attentive without being intrusive and the seat is still one of the best in the business as a flatbed solution.
Next: A Short Doha Transit.
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