Trip to Guangzhou in Turkish Airlines Business Class & Guangzhou to Mumbai in Qatar Airways & Etihad A380 First Class
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 😉
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Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Guangzhou to Doha
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Review: Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
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Flight: QR 1044
Departure time in Doha (DOH): 8:20
Arrival time in Abu Dhabi (AUH): 10:30 (Actual 10:16)
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Date of flight: November 4, 2016
*Award Ticket, Business Class flight #118
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge
There is no doubt that the Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge is simply stunning and is definitely one of the best first class lounges there is. After taking a shower in one of the shower rooms located in the family area, I decided I'd have a quick breakfast and went to the main restaurant.
By 7:20am, an agent approached me and informed that we would be taking a bus to the plane as it was in a remote stand. It was strange that as a new airport, they are still boarding passengers by driving buses to the aircraft and not directly from the boarding gates in the terminal. Luckily, this trip was not in the month of August 😉 Ten minutes passed and I was informed that we had to wait for another 5-6 minutes. Finally, at 7:38, we took the elevator located inside the lounge to the ground floor where a bus was waiting for us.
Boarding, remote stand
We reached the plane around 8:05am and as I boarded, I was greeted by Aileen, a Filipina flight attendant who checked my boarding pass and directed me to my seat.
Inflight Safety Video
The menu read as follows:
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Avocado and fig smoothie
Seasonal fresh fruits
Asparagus and gruyere frittata with herb tomato sauce
Coriander and panko crusted halloumi cheese
As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, the flight attendant started setting up the tables.
The whole meal was served in a tray as is the norm on short haul flights like this one. I loved the way they offer different varieties of smoothies on different flights and this avocado and fig smoothie actually tasted very good 👍
Toilet & Lavatory
View before Landing
The captain once again came on the PA to give us updated flight info including the weather in Abu Dhabi which was clear with 26 degrees Celcius.
Landing at Abu Dhabi International Airport
I have flown this route before (and several other intra-Gulf flights) and as I always say, I am impressed by how the crew can give an excellent service on a 35 minute flight. There were 7 of us in the cabin and the meal service was perfect. There were only the CSD and another flight attendant serving the cabin so I really salute them for executing the meal service really well. Of course, the food was great specially the smoothie 😉 To all the crew on this flight, Shukran and hope to see you again soon!
Qatar Airways First Class, Dubai to Doha
Qatar Airways First Class, Abu Dhabi to Doha