Review: Qatar Airways First Class (777-300ER)

qatar airways first class 777-300er review featured image

After an excellent experience at the W Maldives a few years ago, we decided to head back to this gorgeous paradise and check out the Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa for a longer eight night stay. After flying Qatar Airways QSuites and Qatar Airways Business Class to the Maldives last time, we looked to replicate that routing since they were some of our most enjoyable business class experiences to date.

However, when booking, I noticed that I was able to secure Qatar Airways First Class seats for the Doha to Male segment roundtrip at no additional cost. Needless to say, I found availability for both legs of my journey and didn’t hesitate to secure first class tickets for our vacation so we could try this product for the first time.

Let’s take a look at Qatar Airways First Class to see what you can expect on your next flight.

Booking Qatar Airways First Class

First ClassAircraftRouteFlight Duration
Qatar Airways 672Boeing 777-300ERDoha to Male4 Hours 40 Minutes

My Qatar Airways First Class flight was booked as part of a broader itinerary that included Seattle-Doha-Maldives, meaning I was also able to once again fly the highly-desired Qatar Airways QSuites on my first leg to the Maldives. The fact that I was able to add the first class segment on both the inbound and outbound flight award bookings was simply icing on the cake.

The whole one-way itinerary from Seattle was booked via Qatar Airways Privilege Club with points earned on my RBC Avion Visa Infinite card, which were converted to British Airways Avios and then transferred to Qatar Privilege Club. The itinerary cost 85,000 Avios + $200 USD per person. Interestingly enough, this is the same price that it would cost to fly business class on the entire route, meaning I was able to fly first class on the second leg for no additional cost.

Ground Experience

During our 7-hour layover in Doha, we stopped by the Al Safwa First Class Lounge to get some rest and relaxation in what is considered one of the best lounges in the world.

As soon as you enter, the lounge gives off heavy museum vibes with its wide walkways, high ceilings, and various art installations. Most notable is the iconic and stunning water feature located in the center of the lounge.

Once entering, we headed directly to the area with the sleeping rooms. Al Safwa offers a number of single and double bed sleeping rooms available free of charge. They do book up quickly, so if you are interested in getting some rest you should check immediately upon entering the lounge if there is availability. If you can secure a room, this is a great alternative to the Oryx Airport Hotel which can be quite costly.

While there weren’t any rooms with two beds available during our stay, we were able to share a room with one bed which was more than enough to get some rest and to refresh with a shower. All rooms also include a desk if you are interested in getting some work done during your layover.

The bathroom was also adequate with all the necessary toiletries and a hairdryer. Nothing beats refreshing with a shower after a long 14-hour flight!

qatar airways al safwa first class lounge single sleeping room bathroom

After a rest, we stopped by the restaurant for dessert and a few cocktails. The full menu can be found here.

Our time at Al Safwa was excellent and it was so refreshing to visit an airport lounge that wasn’t busy and loud. I would absolutely jump at the opportunity to visit this lounge again in the future, and it was a great primer in advance of our Qatar Airways First Class flight.

Cabin Arrangement

The first class cabin on Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER planes has six seats arranged in a 1-1-1 format. All seats are identical, making it so there really isn’t a bad seat to be had. Couples may prefer seats A1 and A2 as they have their own private aisle, but it is really up to personal preference. If anything, the only choice that needs to be made is if you would prefer a window seat or not.

qatar airways boeing 777-300er first class seat map
Seatmap courtesy of Aerolopa.com

Of note, these planes are currently leased from Cathay Pacific with an undetermined end date as to how long they will remain in Qatar’s fleet. While the interior has been restyled in classic Qatar Airways color and styling, there is at least one remnant of Cathay Pacific which I will touch on below.

Seat

Upon entering the first class cabin on Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER, it was immediately obvious how massive each suite is with an excessive amount of seating space.

qatar airways first class 777-300er seat overview

Once seated, the second seat and entertainment console are located directly in front.

qatar airways first class 777-300er extra seat and entertainment console

The second seat comes with a seatbelt and can be utilized by a travel companion to enjoy food or drinks together in the sky. The seat also doubles as the “footwell” when the seat is in lie-flat mode.

qatar airways first class 777-300er extra seat

Directly below the entertainment console screen is a small storage compartment. This contains the headset to be used with the entertainment console and a bottle of still water.

qatar airways first class 777-300er storage compartment with headset and water

The unit that houses the entertainment console also contains the main baggage storage available at each first class seat. Secured by a latching door, the main storage compartment is bigger than it looks and can easily store a normal-sized carry-on bag plus a jacket.

I preferred the storage being on the ground as the lack of overhead bin storage space creates a very open cabin environment.

qatar airways first class 777-300er no overhead storage

The seat itself is huge and incredibly comfortable. Two pillows and Qatar’s signature blanket were also placed in my seat prior to boarding.

qatar airways first class 777-300er main seat

On one side of the seat, a literature pocket contains safety materials. There is also a reading light available on each side of the seat.

qatar airways first class 777-300er literature pocket and light

Directly below the literature pocket are three manual buttons for various pre-configured seat settings.

qatar airways first class 777-300er seat control buttons

Moving to the other side of the seat, the entertainment console remote is available if you would prefer to use that to control the console. The remotes on Qatar Airways are always very responsive and some of the best I’ve used. 

You can also do neat things such as displaying the flight map on the remote while watching a show on the main display unit.

qatar airways first class 777-300er entertainment console remote

Beside the entertainment console remote are the touchscreen seat controls. This is the one spot where the Cathay Pacific branding is quite visible. On both flights, the touchscreen controls were finicky and required multiple presses before working. Needless to say, I’ll always prefer actual buttons versus a touchscreen when it comes to seat controls.

There was also a small oddly-shaped storage compartment available.

qatar airways first class 777-300er storage compartment

The tray table is stored in the console near the window. Flight attendants on both of my flights struggled to extend the tray table as it seemed to require a considerable amount of force to release.

qatar airways first class 777-300er stowed tray table

The tray table itself is in one piece and very rigid; I prefer those that can fold in half and extend as needed so I can customize based on the amount of space desired. If dining with a partner, an extender can be inserted by the flight attendants to double the space.

qatar airways first class 777-300er tray table extended

Finally, each first class window seat comes with a staggering three windows. Nothing better than enjoying a glass of champagne while watching the sun rise as you get closer to your destination!

qatar airways first class 777-300er windows

Outside of adding a privacy door and removing the touchscreen seat controls, there was nothing that I would change about this first class seat. It was roomy and comfortable with ample storage space and was one of the most comfortable seats I’ve flown yet.

Bed

After meal service wrapped up, flight attendants offered to make up beds for those who wished to get some rest for the remainder of this short flight. A mattress pad and pillowcase were provided in addition to the signature Qatar blanket.

qatar airways first class 777-300er lie flat bed

Most notable is that the Qatar Airways First Class seat doesn’t have a footwell at all, meaning that it is incredibly comfortable to sleep and relax in whatever sleeping position is most comfortable for you. This was the highlight of the seat for me and made me notice how restrictive some footwells can be on other business class products.

Amenity Kit

While this was a relatively short flight, a full amenity kit was provided for all first class passengers. The amenity kit is provided by Diptyque and varies in design for male/female passengers.

qatar airways first class 777-300er diptyque amenity kit

The contents of the amenity kit are very similar to what you can expect to receive on Qatar Airways QSuites and include socks, an eye mask, ear plugs, fragrance spray, body lotion, and face cream.

qatar airways first class 777-300er diptyque amenity kit contents

Additionally, pyjamas by The White Company are provided to all first class passengers. While flight attendants will guess what size is best for you, you can always ask for a different size if you would be more comfortable with a bigger or smaller pair.

qatar airways first class 777-300er white company pjyamas

You can take the pyjamas home with you if desired.

Dining

The overall dining and service provided on Qatar Airways First Class was second to none. While all six seats of the cabin were full, there were two flight attendants and they were on top of service and incredibly proactive.

While we were on the ground, I was offered a pre-departure beverage of my choice. I selected the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold which retails for far more than I would ever pay for a bottle of champagne. The flight attendant was gracious in letting me snap a few pictures of the pour as I was excited for my first taste.

qatar airways first class 777-300er armand de brignac champagne pour

A small pre-departure snack was provided in the form of cheese and olives. This was a nice departure from the typical assorted warm nuts that are provided in many business class products.

qatar airways first class 777-300er welcome drink with snack

Shortly before departure, flight attendants came around offering Arabic coffee and packaged dates. I’m not a big coffee guy so I declined, but decided to accept a date that was very sweet and tasty.

qatar airways first class 777-300er premium dates

Before we got off the ground, both the food and beverage menus were provided.

qatar airways first class 777-300er menus

Qatar Airways offers dine-on-demand for all menu items. However, on a short flight like this, choosing to dine only leaves a few hours for rest and relaxation, so weigh your options accordingly. The food menu on my flight was as follows:

There was also a comprehensive drink menu available, with some outstanding champagne choices:

Once we were up in the air, I opted to try a glass of the Laurent-Perrier Grand Cuvee Alexandra Rose 2007 which was served with a small bowl of warmed nuts. The champagne was excellent, but I opted to switch back to the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold for the remainder of the flight as it was just that much better.

qatar airways first class 777-300er rose champagne with warm mixed nuts

I opted to eat immediately after take-off and shortly thereafter, my table was set complete with a breadbasket and tomato chili olive oil. The tomato chili is the best choice if you enjoy a bit of spice with your meal.

qatar airways first class 777-300er table setting with bread basket

As I was getting close to the end of a long stint of travel, I wasn’t feeling overly hungry on this flight. I opted to skip the soup and appetizer and instead opted for the beef wellington with thyme jus. The presentation was stunning and the taste of the meal was just as good.

qatar airways first class 777-300er beef wellington

I also decided to enjoy a few scoops of ice cream with berries to close off my brief meal.

qatar airways first class 777-300er ice cream dessert

Breakfast was also available on this flight, but I was starting to feel jetlagged and a complete lack of hunger near the tail end of my journey. Not to mention, two full meals in a four and a half hour flight is a lot of food.

Finally, shortly before descending, the flight attendants passed out the signature Laderach chocolates to all passengers.

qatar airways first class 777-300er chocolates

Both the food and drink were excellent on this flight, but the champagne selections stood out the most. These were the most unique selections I’ve ever had the opportunity to taste and both the brut and rose were excellent and well worth indulging in a number of glasses on the way to the Maldives.

Entertainment

Entertainment Console

The entertainment console is embedded in the storage cabinet directly in front of the seat. It can be controlled via touch screen or via the entertainment console remote located beside the seat controls.

qatar airways first class 777-300er stowed entertainment console screen

While the monitor needs to be stowed for takeoff and landing, it can be unlocked and slid directly in front of the passenger for viewing while up in the air. It is unable to be angled or adjusted but is perfectly viewable once slid into place.

qatar airways first class 777-300er entertainment console extended

All passengers are provided with the noise-canceling Qatar Airways headset. The sound was fine, but I would have preferred to be able to connect my own headset via Bluetooth like on Etihad Airways Business Class.

qatar airways first class 777-300er entertainment console headset

The entertainment console is the Oryx One system, similar to what is seen on other Qatar Airways flights. I did find that the selection was quite different and more expansive than what was available on our QSuites flight from Seattle to Doha, which was a nice change in being able to consume different content on the second leg of the journey.

Needless to say, there is a wide variety of movies and television shows available. For those who are looking for something a bit different, games and music are also available.

WiFi

Qatar Airways offers in-flight WiFi on many of their aircraft at a reasonable price. Passengers can purchase in-flight WiFi for $10 USD for the whole flight when onboard or can purchase a voucher for $8 USD in advance when checking in online.

qatar airways first class 777-300er in-flight wifi

Qatar Airways Privilege Club members also can take advantage of a free hour of in-flight WiFi simply for being a member. However, with this being a shorter flight, I did not utilize the in-flight WiFi and instead opted to watch a few shows and rest.

Conclusion

Qatar Airways First Class was a real treat. The first class cabin is stunning, the elevated food and beverage menu is excellent, and the service was unlike anything I have experienced on an airline previously. I would jump at the opportunity to fly this product again should my travels and would love to check out Qatar Airways First Class on the A380 as well.

Needless to say, this was an excellent way to spend four and a half hours and was one of my best redemptions so far in the world of miles and points!

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

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