After a lengthy 22 hours in Doha, all in the name of trying out the A380, it was a relief to finally board. We were impressed by our trip from Nice to Doha. As a result, we were excited to see how the A380 would compare.

This review shows our experience flying on the Qatar Airways A380 in economy. We’ve also sampled Qatar’s A380 in Business Class. You can find the review here.

At the Airport

The connections process through Doha is pretty seamless. Once disembarking, you’re required to go through a security check and can then go through to departures. We were able to use the business lane to do this with oneworld Emerald status. It looked as if any of the queues would be fairly fast though.

Unfortunately the attitude of the security personnel was rather poor, and bordering on rude. This slightly dampened the experience (I was repeatedly told to ‘hurry up’ when repacking my bags. This was despite the fact I was doing so as quickly as possible. In the end, I actually broke my backpack because I was being rushed so much).


If you’re travelling in economy but are oneworld Sapphire or oneworld Emerald, you will be able to use the airports ‘Business’ and ‘First Class’ lounges respectively. These are not the same lounges which are accessible to those actually flying in Business or First Class. We found the First Class lounge to be more than adequate and our review can be found here.

The Cabin

Boarding was an efficient process and we departed on time. The upper deck of Qatar Airways A380 in economy has a 2-4-2 configuration. It was preferable to that of the lower deck which is 3-4-3. We were able to get exit row seats. You have to request these at the airport. In the end our seats were 30j and 30k.

30j and 30k come with unlimited legroom. Also, unlike on the 787, they’re not situated in front of the toilet. If you’re able to get them then I’d recommend doing so. The upper deck also has storage space by the windows, however, this wasn’t accessible in exit row seats.

The Qatar Airways A380 economy upper deck feels far more private due to the small size of the cabin. This section has just 56 seats (the rest of the upper deck is dedicated to First and Business). The cabin was about 60% full, and so didn’t feel busy.

The in-flight entertainment system was mostly good. Unfortunately though, whilst my screen worked perfectly, Tiago’s was slow and unresponsive, and had to be reset three times during the flight. When working, the IFE was very good and included a wide range of options.

The flight was wifi enabled and it was possible to get 15 minutes for free (maximum of 10mb) however, within 5 minutes of logging on with my phone, I’d used the allowance.

Wifi was available to purchase, however, the rates were not particularly competitive. They were limited both in terms of time and data allowance.


Having been very impressed with the service on our last flight we were hopeful the service on this flight would be equally as good. Although in the end it couldn’t be described as bad, it was far less personable than our first flight.

Shortly before take-off, amenity packs were provided. These were of a good quality and included earplugs, eye-shades, a dental kit, lip balm and flight socks. These packs would appear to be standard on night flights but not on day services. Blankets and pillows were also provided prior to take off.

Shortly after take-off, one of the members of cabin crew introduced herself to me (this appears to be standard if you have status with another oneworld carrier), and asked if I’d like to make my meal choice in advance. The menu consisted of the typical chicken or beef, but also included an Asian vegetarian option of fried tofu.

I asked if I could reserve the chicken option, and also asked if Tiago could make his selection too (he also wanted the chicken). Reluctantly I was told this would be fine. When the food came though I was told that only one chicken option was left, despite the earlier request.

This was slightly awkward – if Qatar is going to make the effort to do a personalised greeting for status members, it seems rather awkward if they won’t extend this to a travelling companion (on our previous flight, it was no issue for both us to select our meal option). It worked out okay though as we were able to sample two different meals.

Food and Drinks

In the end, I sampled the beef, whilst Tiago had the chicken. The beef was disappointing. Unlike the beef on the first flight which was perfectly tender, on this flight it was cremated, and bordering on inedible. The sauce was also not particularly appetising and I struggled to finish it. Tiago, on the other hand, enjoyed the chicken option.

Qatar 787 economy food meal dinner tray wine

Qatar has a perfectly good drinks selection in economy, and we opted for the red wine with our meals. It was of a fairly good standard. During the flight we also requested additional drinks. This was no problem, although the service was not particularly friendly, and a little on the slow side. Water and juice were available in the galley, and the cabin crew passed around with these two or three times during the flight.

Approximately 2 hours prior to landing, a final snack was provided. This consisted of a chicken filled pastry, and a cake. The chicken pastry wasn’t well seasoned and didn’t taste of much. The cake was also little sickly. On a 6 and a half hour flight, we weren’t particularly hungry or in need of additional food, so it wasn’t a great problem.


We made a very smooth landing and arrived in Bangkok on time. If you fly on the Qatar Airways A380 in economy and do choose to sit on the upper deck, it’s worth noting that this means you’ll be among the last to disembark.

We were very nearly the last people off the plane. If you’re in a hurry upon arrival, or have a short onward connection, it’d probably be better to choose a seat on the lower deck.

The A380 is a great aircraft to fly – it’s quiet, and felt spacious. We enjoyed our experience on the upper deck, and it was worth requesting exit row seats. The hard product was more than satisfactory. the only real problem was the temperamental in-flight entertainment system.

The soft product also wasn’t bad. Having been very impressed by our flights to from Nice to Doha with Qatar, our expectations were perhaps a little too high for this flight.

The Cabin crew weren’t unfriendly, but at the same time, weren’t particularly personable. The food was also somewhat less impressive.  This said, Qatar offer competitive fares from Europe. If you’re prepared to accept a connection in Doha, you’ll enjoy far better in-flight service than on many airlines which fly direct.

We enjoyed flying on the A380. however, in future, we’d prioritise a shorter connection time, as opposed to aircraft type. Would we fly Qatar in economy again? Most probably, if the price was right.