Qatar Airways flew its A380 and the world's best business class* in to Perth on Tuesday to take over the daily service to Doha.
Travel Talk was at Perth Airport for its arrival and took the opportunity to explore the plane’s upper deck.
The mantra coming from airline staff in the lead up to the plane’s arrival was 'it's all about the detail'. And to be fair, you'd need a sharp eye to find where they have missed the mark; if they even have.
Business class: It's all there - the expected extra legroom, comfy chair, plump cushions and those special business class blankets that you can picture be wrapped up in while sitting on your lounge at home; a modern design, plenty of personal storage and a remote control for your seat that has more buttons than your TV controller.
Both business and first class passengers also get a complimentary BRIC’S amenities pack and pyjamas from The White Company, London. It’s all about the detail.
No time to sleep: There are 11.5 hours to use up between Perth and Qatar. Because you’ll depart at 2305, you'll be inclined to sleep - and the flat bed in business class will make that easy to do. It’s only 2.5cm shorter and about 7.5cm slimmer than the first class bed.
But you'd be wasting an opportunity to indulge if you snoozed away the journey.
You could stay in your seat and spend that time browsing through the on-demand entertainment package - with more than 4,000 options, including games, TV, music and movies.
You won’t go hungry: It's advisable that you board the plane hungry if travelling in business or first class. There are about 40 dishes available for you to try on the a la carte menu, all designed by chefs and made from local Australian ingredients. You can order what you want, when you want it. Seafood is the star on the menu, but there are plenty of other options and the pull-apart style bread rolls are served warm. It’s all about the detail.
The Lounge: The A380 boasts The Lounge for those first and business class passengers who would rather socialise or get up and stretch their legs without having to loiter in the aisles.You should be able to book a spot alongside this bar for the duration of the journey, without needing a seat. Here you can find something to read, some snacks to eat, or some premium drinks to enjoy. It’s all in the detail.
Get to work: If you travel business class because you have work to do while commuting, there is plenty of room for you to spread out, WIFI to utilise and the means to keep all ofyour devices charged. With a 1-2-1 configuration, as well as everyone having an aisle seat, there are opportunities for a bit of privacy too. You can easily forget there are other passengers on the flight. TIP: If you get in early and can select any seat, the front row of business class offers a little more room that the rest of the cabin. It’s all in the detail.
First class: If you find yourself in one of the eight seats at the pointy end of the plane, you don't need to get up to be social.The first class seats can be configured so that two people can enjoy dinner together, face-to-face. That tells you how much room they have. As you would expect, this section comes with its comforts. You don't even need to pull your window shade down when the sun is shining through; there is a button on your remote control for that. And surely there isn't a bigger bathroom/toilet/powder room in the air anywhere, except for maybe on Airforce One.
Economy tip: If you are one of the 56 economy class passengers that have to endure the walk through the business and first class cabins on the upper deck of the A380 to get to your seat, it's worth it. Usually set aside for Qatar's Privilege Club or One World members, these passengers enjoy a little more room than those seated in economy class downstairs.Being so close to The Lounge and not being able to use it, might be a bit tough to take though.
* Qatar was awarded Best Business Class 2017 by Skytrax.