A few months ago, I came across some tips on Flyertalk about a cheap business class fare from Vilnius to Toronto on Turkish Airlines and since I wanted to earn Elite status in the airlines' Miles & Smiles program by the end of this year, I did not hesitate and booked the flight. Unfortunately, a schedule change forced me to cancel the flight and look for another option. I had some miles left on my American Airlines Advantage account so I thought I could redeem them flying from Guangzhou to Mumbai in first class. Flying from Mumbai to Bangkok was easy since Air India flies direct between these two cities. After thoroughly planning the trip, I ended up buying an open jaw ticket in Turkish Airlines business class, from Stockholm to Guangzhou and back from Bangkok to Stockholm. It actually turned out perfectly well as I was able to fly Qatar Airways A380 first class from Guangzhou to Doha and then to Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, I was able to visit the newly opened Etihad First Class Lounge & Spa and from Abu Dhabi, I flew on Etihad's A380 to Mumbai. It was 8 flights in 6 days which was really tiring but who cares when you're flying in first and business class 😉
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Stockholm to Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class, Istanbul to Guangzhou
Review: Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun
24 hours in Guangzhou, China
Review: Premium Lounge, Guangzhou Airport (CAN)
Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Guangzhou to Doha
Review: Qatar Airways First Class, Doha to Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Review: Etihad Airways A380 First Apartment, Abu Dhabi to Mumbai
Review: Loyalty Lounge, Mumbai Airport (BOM)
Review: Thai Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C West, Bangkok (BKK)
Review: Thai Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C East, Bangkok (BKK)
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Bangkok to Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Stockholm
Flight: QR 875
Departure time in Guangzhou (CAN): 00:35 (actual, 00:28)
Arrival time in Doha (DOH): 4:40 (actual, 4:18)
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Duration: 8h 50min
Date of flight: November 4, 2016
*Award Ticket, First Class flight #40
Guangzhou Baiyun Airport (CAN)
I left the Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun (where I stayed for a night) around 7pm and was at the airport at 8pm. Since the check-in desks were scheduled to open at 9pm, I decided to check out the shops in the terminal since it was my first time to visit this airport. The terminal was actually very modern and the palm trees reminded me of the airport in Dubai 😊
Check-in, Zone J
Premium Lounge. As this lounge is being used by several airlines most of which depart around midnight, it was really very busy during my visit. This is one of those times that I wished Qatar Airways was using a real "first class lounge" to complement their first class service in the sky.
By 10:20pm, I left the lounge and slowly made my way to the departure gate.
Boarding, gate A117
First Class Cabin, upper deck
Doha and Paris in December 2015 and then again in June this year so I will be concentrating more on the service this time.
As I boarded, I was welcomed by the purser who handed me over to one of the flight attendants working in the business class cabin. She escorted me to my seat and offered to hang my jacket. Before she left, she informed me that her colleague would soon come to take my drinks order.
Moments later, See, the lovely Thai flight attendant working on my side of the cabin came to introduce herself and offered me the new first class amenity kit and the Missoni pyjamas and slippers. The contents of the amenity kit were the same as before and consisted of Giorgio Armani perfume, Armani All Over Shampoo, Armani Men Master Lotion and Armani Men Perfect Master. The only new thing is the Giorgio Armani bag which is made of another material and which I actually liked more. Although I've flown twice in first class in the past, it was my first time to get these pyjamas since both two were day flights and Qatar Airways only give them on night flights. I have received a lot of first class pyjamas and I have to say that these Missoni pyjamas are actually one of my favorites. I just checked this item on EBay and saw that it costs 240 Australian dollars. I guess I should be selling mine too 😜
As soon as the seat belt sign was turned off, See came to my seat to take my meal order. It was my first time to see the caviar on the menu so I did not have any second thoughts. Then, I thought I'd have the filled pasta after that and for breakfast, the noodles. Moments later, she was back to offer me some nuts and a glass of apple juice.
The menu read as follows:
Late night dining
Tomato and basil cream soup
Barley salad with mixed sweet pepper, mesclun leaves and sesame dressing
Grilled marinated chicken tortilla wrap
Oolong tea smoked black cod fish with chilli fried rice
Filled pasta with spinach, ricotta cheese and pumpkin cream sauce
Cheese selection served with crackers
Fresh strawberry tart with passion fruit coulis
Selection of biscuits, chocolates or mixed nuts
Fresh orange juice
Mixed berries smoothie
Apple and rocket healthy energizer
Seasonal fresh fruit
Choice of breakfast cereals
Greek yogurt with mango compote, toasted granola and nuts
Smoked mackerel with horseradish and potato salad
Kung pao chicken with stri-fried noodles
Create your own breakfast
Raisin pancake with caramelized peach
Breakfast pastry, tea or coffee
Krug Grand Cuvee Brut
friends from Singapore Airlines could give them some good tips 😜
The caviar was excellent as always. The presentation was also much better than what Lufthansa do in first class.
See offered to make my bed although I told her to just leave the mattress and I'd fix it myself when I've finished watching the film and which she was glad to do. She also told me that she would wake me up 1 hour and 20 minutes before landing for the breakfast service.
This is definitely one of the nicest onboard bars on an A380 👍
The stir-fried noodles was very tasty and definitely one of the best meals I've had on a plane eventhough it was a bit spicy for me.
Landing at Hamad International Airport
About 40 minutes before landing, the captain came on the PA with updated flight info including the current temperature of 26 degrees. Moments later, See came by to offer some mints.
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge
There were a lot of things I loved about this flight: first, I was finally able to get the elusive Missoni pyjamas; second, the Oscietra caviar which was not served on my previous flights with them in first class was served on this flight; third, See was just so adorable as she really made sure I would have an enjoyable flight with them; and lastly, the Al Maha service was very much appreciated as it allowed me to go through security controls smoothly. Of course, the complimentary wifi was perfect as I was able to check some mails during the flight. One small thing though which I thought they could improve on is making sure the logo on the butter faces the passenger and why not, a better first class lounge in Guangzhou. Overall, this was one of the best flights I've had on Qatar Airways in first class. Now, if only they also had an onboard shower 😜 To all the crew on this flight specially to See, Shukran!
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