What instigated me to post this Qatar Airways Economy Class review is when my ‘romance’ with Qatar Airlines began; after I purchased a round trip ticket to New York for less than USD 500 in June 2016 for a trip to New York 3 months later.
I was extremely happy with the entire trip, so I started flying with Qatar Airways Economy class most of the time after my journey to Colombo-New York.
When it comes to flying; there are a few main aspects to consider prior to purchasing a ticket. You would come to know all these details, so please keep reading.
You would not only learn about Qatar Airways Economy Class in this review, but you will also gain knowledge and advice you require, to consider seriously before selecting a flying partner:-) like Qatar Airways.
I am now going to include some of the positive and critical experiences that I encountered during my below-mentioned journeys.
This is for your benefit so that you would come to know how to solve some of the critical factors and issues if you encounter them when you travel. So stay tuned!
Colombo – Doha – New York, USA
Colombo – Doha – Rome. Italy
Colombo – Doha – Paris, France
I flew from Colombo to Doha on a A340-600 and Doha to Paris on a A380-800 and most of my reviews contain details of these two airbuses of Qatar Airways.
I just want to let you know that this is was the first time that I had an experience with Airbus A380 and for me, it was like a wish come true.
Table of Content of Qatar Airways Economy Class Review
Seat Review and Leg Spaces/ Gaps
Qatar Airways Baggage Allowance
In-Flight Entertainment System
Ground Service Staff
Qatar Airways Economy Class Food
Cabin Crew and Service Review
How to Handle Flight Delays
Be aware of Ticket Terms & Condition
About Qatar Airways
Seat Review and Leg Spaces/ Gaps
Qatar Airways economy class seats are extremely comfortable and very attractive. My seat was quite spacious, with a pitch of 32 inches and a width of 18.5 inches on almost every flight I took.
Each seat is laid out with a pillow and a blanket for ready use onboard. Since I do not use pillows or blankets during any flights, I store it away in the overhead locker so that I have more space to sit comfortably.
Sitting down I found the leg space ample, similar to that of SriLankan Airlines, and the entertainment box in front did not obstruct the space.
I found that the headrest was a bit uncomfortable when the seat was in an upright position as the headrest could be moved up and down but could not be adjusted. However, I like the look and feel of the headrests[This feature is only available on A380]. I was also pleased with the leg gap and the comfort of the seat on both flights.
Once the flight departed, we passed through quite a bit of turbulence, until things smoothed out when we reached cruising altitude.
In-Flight Entertainment System
I usually do not use the entertainment system, but as I wanted to write this Qatar Airways Economy Class Review, I checked with Cabin Crew about the in-flight entertainment system and I was informed that there are 178 movies, 263 television programs, music, games, an entire channel devoted to children.
It’s worth noting that most movies are available in several languages, which definitely is a plus point.
Touch Screen of Qatar Airway Flight
The touchscreens are much bigger than what you get on SriLankan Airlines and it is a bit easier to manipulate. A380’s touchscreen is much bigger and easy to navigate but I found it a bit difficult to navigate the touchscreen on A340-600 Colombo to Doha and vice versa.
Well! coming to think of it touchscreens on any airlines are not very user-friendly, am just telling you about my personal experience.
I found A380-800’s touchscreen to be the best among the other Qatar Airways flights. You need a bit of patience and a little bit of knowledge to navigate the screen, especially to figuring out where to touch or press on the screen.
If you master the “know-how” of how to use a touchscreen effectively, you would be able to use any touchscreen on any airlines without frustration.
The seat number is displayed on the touchscreen of A380-800 and that is nice! also you will never miss your seat:-)
I talked to a few passengers on board, and they said, that they are extremely happy with the selection of movies and the choice of the Qatar Airways Economy Class entertainment system.
Headphones are provided to passengers before take-off (to my knowledge and experience), however, I read in some blog posts that passengers received headphones only after the flight takes off.
I tested the headphones provided, and it served the purpose and is similar to what is provided on other airlines, to my understanding they are semi-disposable ones. Therefore, do not expect of a branded quality such as Apple.
The WiFi service is known as ‘OnAir’, but for some reason, it did not work on this flight at all. I checked some other blog posts regarding onboard WiFi, and it is the same issue passengers face: NO WiFi.
Electric Outlets for Electronic gadgets on Qatar Airways Economy Class
Since we use our electronic gadgets such as smartphones, iPad, Laptops and Cameras, often during our journey, it is very important to have the required charging outlet in an airplane, nowadays as a required standard.
Please read this carefully:
The Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600 from Colombo to Doha had an USB slot to charge my phone but from Doha to Colombo, Qatar Airways A340-600 did not have an USB slot to charge my phone, therefore I had to switch off my phone as it was very low on battery power.
On the flight from Doha to Paris, Qatar Airway A380-800 had multi-purpose plugs, not only did I charge my phone but my camera batteries as well. I had everything, a general passenger required on flight A380-800.
I decided to write the food taste/service experience of my entire journey; in order to give you a very clear up to date review on Qatar Airways Economy Class.
I asked the Cabin Crew for a cup of coffee as soon as I boarded the plane in Colombo and while it was taxiing, to test the service standard of Qatar Airways Economy Class.
My request was politely declined by the Cabin Crew at that time, stating that they are not allowed to serve anything during taxiing and take off, but assured me that she will serve me after take off.
I was served my coffee with a smile:-) about 15 minutes after takeoff, true to her promise and I was quite pleased about the service.
The Cabin Crew were very attentive and provided service at their best. This does not mean that your requests are met in a fraction of a second, but in a considerably good time frame.
I pre-ordered a Hindu Meal [although I am not Hindu] as It comprises of rice and spicy chicken.
I always order the Hindu non-vegetarian meal, when I fly with Qatar Airways, as I prefer to eat chicken than any other meat.
If you are like me who would always prefer chicken to other meats, please pre-order your meals as you may not have that much of a choice otherwise.
You would have to take what is offered to you by them, depending on the time you are flying and the meal.
Food Taste of Qatar Airline Meals
The Hindu non-vegetarian meal comprises of rice, chicken, and vegetables with the required amount of spices and cooked in true Asian style. You are sure to like this meal if you like your meal spicy.
White steamed rice is served usually, but this time it was yellow rice (colored with Turmeric). I loved the style that the chicken was cooked, but it was not that spicy as I expected it to be. The vegetables were carrot and peas with a delicious sauce. I loved it!
The salad was fresh, it had beetroot, gherkins and some green apple. I did not have to add salt or pepper as it was just nice and fresh the way it was. The bun was fresh too and I ate it with butter.
If you pre-ordered your meal, inform the Cabin Crew about it, also have online proof to show the Cabin Crew in case they have missed it.
I have never had an issue with my pre-ordered meal, but I noticed that some passengers had quite a bit of heated arguments with the Cabin Crew, having pre-ordered but NOT having proof of the order. 🙂
If you pre-order, a Senior Staff of the Cabin Crew serves your meals to you. Please note that if you have pre-ordered your meal; do not change your seat even though you find a lot of empty seats, as they would find it difficult to locate you.
Similar meals were served to me on both sectors of my flight: Doha to Paris and Doha to Colombo.
I selected Scrambled Egg with Chicken Sausage from Doha to Paris. In addition, I was served Tomato and Potato Rosti [The Swiss way of cooking potatoes].
The meal was fresh, warm and good. I did not eat the chicken sausage but eat the rest of the meal.
I selected Scrambled Egg with Mutton Sausage (This is the first time I heard of Mutton Sausage so I wanted to check what it tasted like) from Doha to Colombo. This time instead of Potato Rosti, Hash Potato was served. I did not eat much of the Mutton Sausage but enjoyed the rest of the breakfast.
I cannot remember what I was served for dinner from Paris to Doha, as I slept most of the time.
To sum up the taste of all meals served on all 4 flights I took; Colombo-Doha, Doha- Paris and back on Qatar Airway: I must say that I enjoyed all the meals.
Drinks & spirits
Cabin Crew serves drinks followed by the meal and the drink selection go beyond normal beverages.
Spirits like Beefeater Gin, Johnny Walker Red Label whiskey, and Smirnoff red vodka were on the selection.
If you prefer wine, you can select Red or White or could request Heineken Beer (the only brand of beer available on the flight).
I am not sure whether it is rude to mention this but in-flight drinking is a kind of social drinking, therefore do not think that you are in a Pub or Bar and order liquor without a limit. 🙂
I had two servings of red wine from Colombo to Doha and Paris to Doha, they served me generously. Since I was in Zone 5, next to Business class, when I flew from Paris to Doha, they presented the bottle of wine to me and showed me the label and name of the wine before opening it.
I was thrilled with that presentation as you would not except this type of service in Economy Class. This type of service is expected when you go to the restaurant and order a specific wine or if you fly Business Class or First Class.
I usually stroll up and down the aisle when I want to stretch out, mostly every time when I reached the service area the Cabin Crew never failed to ask if I required something to eat or drink. Attentiveness to customer’s needs is excellent when it comes to Qatar Airways.:-)
Qatar Airways Economy Class Baggage Allowance
Based on my experience, you are allowed 1 carry on baggage of 7 kg. (you cannot exceed this limit). You are also allowed to checked-in luggage not exceeding 32 kg. This is all! Do not expect more.
A single piece of checked-in luggage must not weigh more than 32 kg. (70 lbs) or exceed 158 cm (62 ins) in length + width + height.
If you are flying Economy Class, you are permitted 1 piece carry on baggage not exceeding 7 kg. The dimensions for each piece of carrying on baggage must not exceed 50 x 37 x 25 cm.
“In addition to one carry on baggage, does Qatar airline allow me to take my laptop bag or my heavy handbag or camera? Very unlikely. they would NOT allow you to do so.
“Can I pay extra to enable me more weight allowance to carry my laptop bag or my heavy handbag or camera along with by carrying on baggage, on board with me?” I am not very sure about this, but I have read many negative reviews on this.
Ladies! your carry on bag and your handbag together, should not exceed 7 kg if you want to take it on board with you.
I have read many reviews on different forums, most of them had a very bad experience with additional carry on baggage or extra weight in their checked-in luggage.
As stated earlier, I paid USD 65 as one of my checked-in luggage was overweight. It does not matter how many kilograms that your bag is overweight, you need to pay a flat rate of USD 65 per bag.
You need to be extra careful about the weight of your carry on and checked-in luggage when you select Qatar airways as your travelling partner.
In my opinion, these are general rules in the airline industry, therefore it is better to adhere to these rather than facing unpleasant situations at check-in counters.
Cabin Crew and Service Review
Qatar Airways Crew are Multinational, therefore multicultural. However, they have been well trained to handle in-flight services and they are very friendly, courteous and attentive.
If you have flown on SriLankan Airline, Singapore Airlines or Malaysian Airlines you will experience cultural warmness, and national pride from these Cabin Crew, which I missed on Qatar Airways.
But I must say hats off to the excellent service given by the Qatar Airways Economy Class Cabin Crew.
Flight Delays and Cancellation & How to Handle them? and Whom to contact?
I experienced a flight delay, only on one instance flying on Qatar Airways from Colombo to Rome.
The flight arrived at Colombo Bandaranaike International airport 45 minutes late and departed 1.5 hours later than the scheduled time.
Although the flight left Colombo 1.5 hours later than the scheduled time, it cruised faster, saving 45 minutes and landed at Doha Airport 45 minutes later than the scheduled time. I was fortunate enough, as I had a 4 hour layover time at Doha Airport which was cut down to almost 3 hours because of the delay.
However, prior to writing this review; I have read many customer reviews in many forums of incidents where they had missed their connecting flight due to flight delays of Qatar Airways.
I have hardly come across many positive reviews on Qatar Airway when it comes to dealing with flight delays and missing connecting flights.
To avoid these types of events make sure to book your connecting flights with a layover time of at least 2 to 4 hours.
In an unfortunate event as such, try your best to sort out the issue with Qatar Airways staff, if no proper solution is made, do not hesitate to take it to the next level.
With the thought of writing a very comprehensive review of Qatar Airways Economy Class, I thought that I should add the below-mentioned note, for your reference.
“Even though 8 million people around the world are eligible for compensation, less than 2% understand what they’re entitled to.”
Ground Service Staff
It is not fair if I don’t add my perception of the Qatar Airways ground staff’s service or quality, in my review. The ground staff performs a crucial service and is the first impression you encounter with Qatar Airways, or any other Airlines; for that matter.
Even though I never had a major incident to complain about, I have never been happy with Qatar Airways ground staff services.
Of course, they do their job properly, but with low service standards. I have to mention very specially that the boarding counter staff were rude and unprofessional.
Qatar Airways is an airline that has received many service awards, and I do not blame the Airlines in general, as the staff comes from different cultures and countries; but I strongly feel that the ground staff, require more training to provide better service.
Having stated all the positive and critical observations in my review; Qatar Airways Economy Class is still my first preference as it gives me true value for money that I invest.
In-flight Cabin Crew service, entertainment, and food is excellent and I highly recommend it.
Qatar Airways has created a new market niche in the airline industry, due to its aggressive pricing model and value creation to passengers. Many of the other Airlines have to compete and match services that Qatar Airways presently render.
Most of Airlines like Singapore, Emirates, Etihad, and some others, have had to try different strategies to improve their airline business due to Qatar Airways’ excellent value creation for passengers.
I have no fear in traveling with Qatar Airways, as mostly all of its fleet of aircraft go through aggressive safety compliance regulations according to the Aviation Industry news.
Looking forward to reviewing the Business Class of Qatar Airways in the future.
Be aware of Qatar Airline Ticket Terms & Condition.
Although this is in addition to my Qatar Airways Economy Class Review, I am compelled to write some tips in order to give you an inside experience that you need to be aware of, before purchasing a Qatar Airway ticket.
Qatar Airways Economy Class Ticket Prices
To my surprise, I always find cheaper flight tickets at the local Qatar Airways counter rather than online.
As mentioned to you earlier, the ticket that I purchased to New York was purchased online. All my other purchases were from a Qatar Airways local office and each cost me at least USD 100 less than if I purchased it online.
I was informed that Qatar Airways’ local office has different price discounts, and online prices are according to Doha Qatar Center. If you do not understand this do not worry, just check the price with the local Qatar Airline before purchasing a ticket.
Do You Purchase an offer ticket or a Full Fare Ticket?. Be Aware about that Your Qatar Airways Economy Class Ticket
If you buy an “offer ticket” or “promotional ticket”, you would not be entitled for date change, cancellation, no show or any other flexibility, therefore make sure you are aware of what you purchase.
I had to advance my date of departure by 3 days after arriving in Paris. I was under the impression that they would charge the date change charges only, but they charged USD 450, as they told my wife that I had purchased a promotional ticket.
Nobody buys full-fare tickets! therefore you must make sure to check the terms and conditions, in advance before purchasing a ticket of Qatar Airways Economy Class
About Qatar Airways
You could skip this section of the post if you are not interested in the summary of Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airline operations began in 1994 when the airlines was a small regional carrier serving a handful of routes. In April 2011, Qatar Airways reached a milestone, reaching 100 destinations in its global route map. Two months later, the airlines achieved a remarkable feat, just 14 years after its re-launch, being named Airline of the Year 2011 at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards.
Airline of The Year 2011, 2012, 2015 & 2017
Best Business Class In The World 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017
Qatar Airways will become the first airline in the world to meet and exceed ICAO’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety.
Qatar Airways has received tremendous support globally for its television and social media commercial titled ‘No Borders, Only Horizons’, which has been viewed by more than 54 million viewers worldwide, making it the top viral video during the last week of June 2017
From only four aircraft in 1997, the airline grew to a fleet size of 28 aircraft by the end of 2003 and a milestone 50 by October 2006. Today the airline operates 206 aircraft to more than 150 destinations
Qatar Airways exceeded over 26 million passengers in 2014/15, and more than 30 million passengers in 2015/16. Qatar Airways’ success relies on the support of its home and hub, Hamad International Airport, which was opened in 2014 and now processes more than 38 million passengers a year