Since starting to fly a Boeing 777-200ER to New Zealand in 2017, Qatar Airways Business Class to the UK and Europe has been one of our most popular options for clients. Fine Travel Consultants have flown Business Class to the UK and Europe with Qatar Airways and experienced an onboard walk around of the Business Class cabin when it is in Auckland.
Qatar Airways really made its mark when it announced the direct service between Auckland and Doha. It was to be a direct service (to rival Emirates direct service to Dubai) and the Business Class airfares were, and continue to be, very attractive. So what is the onboard experience like?
Qatar Airways Business Class Seats
One question we are frequently asked is whether the Business Class seats are lie flat (this has become less of an issue with most airlines now providing lie flat seats as standard). The Qatar Airways Business Class seats on the flight from Auckland to Doha are lie-flat.
We understand from the Qatar Airways team in New Zealand that there are still some Business Class cabins with older "angled lie-flat" seats, but these are rarely used and generally only on day services to a limited number of European destinations.
There are two things to keep in mind about the Business Class seats between Auckland and Doha:
- If you are travelling by yourself, the privacy dividers between the seats are quite small when in the upright position (limiting the effect of "the message" if the passenger next to you is eager to chat).
- Passengers in the window seat may have to step over a sleeping passenger in the aisle seat if they are in the full lie flat position (as you can see from the picture above).
For the overall quality of the cabin, the lie-flat seat and the price point, Qatar Airways Business Class meets the criteria for a very good Business Class option for a long flight.
Dine on Demand Cuisine
On a long flight, knowing that you'll be well fed is important (regardless of when your body clock decides it's time to eat). With the Qatar Airways "Dine on Demand" service you can choose to eat from the à la carte menu when it suits you.
For the service from Auckland to Doha the meals are prepared in Auckland (and we have had the pleasure of meeting the head chef). The menu has dishes which are "Middle Eastern Inspired" and accompanied by a wine /cocktail list.
Special dietary requirements are catered for, but need to be pre-ordered.
Yes it is a long flight
When the new service between Auckland and Doha was announced it was the longest commercial flight at just over 17.5 hours.
For a popular destination like London (Heathrow), you departing Auckland at 2:30pm, have a connection in Doha, which can be as short as 2.5 hours (it can be longer depending on the connecting flight and Doha stopovers are available). Business and First Class passengers have lounge access in Doha before boarding a 7.5 hour onward flight to London's Heathrow airport.
For travellers preferring to fly out of Wellington, or from the South Island, there are options to connect via Sydney or Melbourne to a Qatar Airways Business Class flight to Doha and then the UK / Europe. Out of Australia there is an A380 option, which is a larger aircraft with an onboard bar.
Frequent Flyer Membership
Qatar Airways is a member of One World which makes it attractive to members holding points and status through loyalty to Qantas, British Airways and American Airlines.
Our View of Qatar Airways Business Class to the UK and Europe
We have had consistently positive reviews of Qatar Airways from our Business Class clients and the onboard experience of our Fine Travel Team backs this up. Single travellers looking for more privacy have been happy to pay a higher airfare for alternative carriers, however this has certainly been the exception.
The price point for Business Class airfares to the UK and Europe did reflect its desire to break into the New Zealand market. The trajectory of prices during the Early Bird campaign largely followed the expectations in our article on the Best Time to Booking Business Class Airfares to the UK and Europe.
If you have specific questions about Qatar Airways Business Class from New Zealand to the UK and Europe, please feel free to contact us for first hand experience.