Qatar Air­ways B777-300ER Busi­ness Class

Doha-Mum­bai

Business Traveller (India) - - TRIED & TESTED FLIGHTS -

BACKGROUND Qatar Air­ways’ B777-300ER Áies daily be­tween Doha and Mum­bai. Flight Q; 556 de­parts from Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port at 0820 and ar­rives in Mum­bai at 0200.

CHECK-IN Check-in took place at the ded­i­cated area for Qatar Air­ways’ busi­ness and Àrst class pas­sen­gers at about 0600. Dates and other re­fresh­ments are pro­vided be­side couches. A spe­cial path­way for im­mi­gra­tion and se­cu­rity led me to the rest of the air­port. Al Mour­jan Busi­ness Lounge, the air­line’s busi­ness and Àrst class lounge, is sit­u­ated on level 3.

BOARD­ING Pre-board­ing at Gate C10 took us to a sep­a­rate en­closed sec­tion where pas­sen­gers were di­vided into zones. Board­ing for busi­ness class pas­sen­gers be­gan soon after. Upon en­ter­ing the air­craft, my lug­gage was po­litely taken care oͿ and I was oͿered re­fresh­ments (in­clud­ing or­ange juice, wa­ter and cham­pagne) soon after. I picked sparkling wa­ter along­side a hot towel and put my phone on charge at the USB port on the right side of my aisle seat, 6J, which was in the sec­ond cabin. I was given the menu for din­ner, an amenity kit and a wine list.

THE SEAT Busi­ness class seats are ar­ranged in the 2-2-2 conÀgu­ra­tion. The cabin is fairly large with three win­dows’ space pro­vided for each win­dow seat. This means more leg space and over­head lug­gage room along with a com­part­ment ahead where I stored my purse. A sep­a­rate sec­tion for print me­dia and an ad­di­tional par­ti­tion for shoes are pro­vided. ´Qatar Redµ, the sig­na­ture colour of the air­line, is splashed el­e­gantly across the cabin, em­body­ing Ara­bian op­u­lence with leather head­rests and metal­lic colours. The decor is blended with a mod­ern and min­i­mal aes­thetic that is de­signed to en­sure util­ity. Space is used smartly with a slid­ing stor­age for wa­ter bot­tles (Evian). The Oryx One in-Áight en­ter­tain­ment con­trol is inside a fold­able com­part­ment and head­phones are tucked in to the right. The fold­able din­ing tray slides out from the right for aisle seats, where I placed my lap­top. Seat con­trols are a de­light with a num­ber of per­mu­ta­tions and com­bi­na­tions. There are mas­sage con­trols with vary­ing in­ten­si­ties, but­tons to Áat­ten the bed en­tirely and to pre­pare the seat for take oͿ and land­ing. Leather arm­rests add fur­ther glam­our to this so­phis­ti­cated cabin that was lit in sub­tle blue be­fore take oͿ.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?

I al­ways pre­fer win­dow seats that al­low me to en­joy views and rest my head against the win­dow in econ­omy. How­ever, in busi­ness, my aisle seat al­lowed complete ac­cess to the win­dow with enough space to rest. The Àrst row of the sec­ond cabin is a good idea if you want to leave the plane soon after ar­rival.

THE FLIGHT Be­ing a short Áight of three hours and 45 min­utes, or­ders for din­ner were taken as soon as the seat belt signs were switched oͿ. I skipped the soup of the day and be­gan with the Ara­bic mezze plat­ter that came with hum­mus, tabouleh and muhad­dara along­side pita bread. The sec­ond op­tion of the ap­pe­tiser was pine nut chicken cheese tikka with mint chut­ney. In­stead of pick­ing a main be­tween saͿron chicken ko­rma, herb crusted lamb loin with rose­mary jus, and tan­doori cot­tage cheese with but­ter sauce, I de­cided to go for the sec­ond ap­pe­tiser with In­dian bread to keep it light. Choco­late Áoren­tine gateaux with nuts served for dessert was rich and sim­ply de­li­cious. The Qatar Air­ways’ bev­er­age menu in­cludes So Jen­nie, a non-al­co­holic sparkling drink, masala chai and hot choco­late, as well as an ex­pan­sive wine list fea­tur­ing Àne Cham­pagnes, iconic Bur­gundy and Bordeaux wines. I en­joyed the del­i­cate Lan­son Brut Rose Cham­pagne along with my appetisers.

After din­ner I watched a movie with some hot choco­late and snoozed un­til land­ing. The du­vet and pil­low pro­vided were quite ÁuͿy and com­fort­ing to en­sure a peace­ful nap on its fully Áat bed.

AR­RIVAL The Áight landed within three hours and 45 min­utes at Mum­bai Air­port. Im­mi­gra­tion was quick and smooth after a has­sle-free dis­em­barka­tion.

VER­DICT Ara­bian lux­ury with mod­ern hospi­tal­ity. A stylish ex­pe­ri­ence in the Gulf skies with an ex­cel­lent din­ing menu and a fairly spa­cious seat in busi­ness class.

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