When I booked this flight, I was hoping to receive a decent upgrade offer like I did on the same flight a couple of months earlier. Since that didn’t happen – the “offer” was about the same or even more expensive than buying a business class ticket outright – I instead flew the sector in economy.
While it would have been nice to start my wife and I’s trip to Europe in the excellent QSuites, I was also glad I got to review the airline’s 777-300ER economy class for the first time. Continue reading this article to see what the flight was like.
Check-in, Lounge & Boarding Qatar Airways Flight 807
We got to Narita airport’s terminal 2 just after 6PM, almost four hours before our flight’s departure. There, we headed to “C” check-in counters where our Qatar Airways flight was being processed.
As usual, with Austria having had stricter entry requirements at the time than Slovakia where we were traveling, it took me a while to convince the staff that traveling between the two countries by car indeed counted as “transit.” Because of that, even though we didn’t have to wait long until it was our turn to check-in, it wasn’t until over half an hour later that we received our boarding passes and got on our way.
By comparison, with the airport being deserted, getting through both security and immigration was a breeze.
Once airside, thanks to recently regaining a Oneworld Sapphire status through a promotion run by Finnair over Christmas, we headed into JAL First Class Lounge. While normally we would only be eligible to enter JAL Sakura Lounge, that one was (and still is as of the time of writing this) closed.
We left the lounge around 8:50PM and headed to gate 62 where our flight was departing from.
With the gate being one of the nearest ones to the lounge, we got there in no time. Outside, the 777-300ER that would take us to Doha was being prepared for the flight. Inside, quite a few (at least compared to some of my previous flights out of Japan during the pandemic) passengers were waiting for boarding to start.
That happened just after 9PM, starting with business class passengers and status holders. Being the latter, we got in the line and found ourselves on board in no time.
Qatar Airways 777-300ER Economy Class Cabin & Seat
While Qatar Airways operates 777-300ERs in multiple different configurations, the one that we flew on was equipped with 42 QSuite business class suites and 312 economy class seats for a total of 354 seats.
The business class seats were spread across two cabins and arranged in a 1-2-1 layout. For more details, read a review I wrote about a 777-300ER QSuite flight from Doha to New York a while back.
Economy class, on the other hand, was spread across three cabins and was mostly in a 3-4-3 layout.
The legroom was a bit tight but acceptable.
On the seatback in front, there was a fairly large high-resolution in-flight entertainment screen. There were also a USB port, an audio output, and an in-flight entertainment controller.
Power outlets could be found under the seats with two outlets being shared by three seats.
It’s also worth noting that individual air vents were installed in the overhead panels.
Departure from Tokyo Narita Airport
Going back to the flight, after being welcomed at the door by one of the flight attendants, we headed down the second aisle to our seats in row 42. On our seats, we found blankets and pillows.
Boarding was completed at 9:38PM and a couple of minutes later, the captain welcomed everyone onboard. He mentioned that we would be flying at an altitude of 38,000 feet and that our expected flight time was 12 hours and 10 minutes.
Another five minutes later or so, the cabin crew distributed sanitary kits containing a mask, gloves, and a few packs of hand sanitizer. Headphones and amenity kits followed. The amenity kit came in a nice-looking plastic pouch and included an eye mask, a pair of socks, earplugs, a dental kit, and lip balm.
The cabin crew closed the aircraft’s doors at 9:50PM and we were pushed back a minute later, four minutes ahead of schedule. Around the same time, a safety video was played.
We taxied toward runway 34L and took off at 10:08PM.
Shortly after take-off, we were offered some great night views.
Qatar Airways Long-Haul Economy Class Dinner
Around 10:30PM, seatbelt signs were switched off and the crew started preparing for dinner service. About 20 minutes later, one of the flight attendants reached our row and offered us the choices below (the menu could be found online before the flight too):
- Chicken katsu don with rice
- Beef cottage pie
- Wok-fried egg noodles with julienne vegetables
I chose the chicken dish and my wife went with the beef option. Both meals came with an ume soba noodles salad, yuzu mousse with berry coulis, and a packaged piece of bread. For drink, I had a cup of mango juice.
Both of the main dishes tasted good and so did the appetizer. My favorite parts of the meal were the mousse and mango juice, though, both of which were excellent. While the bread was OK, it would have been nice if butter was provided.
Once the meal trays were cleared, the flight attendants went through the cabin offering black tea, green tea, and coffee. I decided to get a cup of green tea. It was served together with Manner wafers.
After finishing dinner, I enjoyed some night views of South Korea and explored the in-flight entertainment system a bit. Then, I decided to get some shut-eye.
Qatar Airways 777-300ER In-Flight Entertainment System
The IFE screen was just the right size. It wasn’t too small but it also wasn’t as large as the one on Emirates’ 777-300ER for example which some might find too large considering the close viewing distance. The provided headphones were also above average for economy class.
As for the content itself, there was more than enough to keep a person entertained on a long-haul flight.
There was a large selection of movies (both Hollywood and international), TV shows, and music. As usual, while there were quite a few different TV shows, only a couple of episodes of each were available.
Quite a few games were available too. Unlike on the 787-8, the 777-300ER seats were equipped with remote controllers potentially making playing some of those easier.
Lastly, and for aviation enthusiasts perhaps most importantly, there were also an in-flight map and external cameras. That said, on my flight, for some reason, I couldn’t close an ad that was showing and so they weren’t working.
Qatar Airways 777-300ER Onboard Wi-Fi
In addition to the in-flight entertainment system, the aircraft was also equipped with onboard wi-fi. While most Qatar Airways’ aircraft feature onboard wi-fi which is fairly slow and expensive, this 777-300ER – just like the airline’s A350-1000s – was equipped with “Super Wi-Fi” which is faster and much cheaper.
Not only was the pricing wi-fi pricing cheaper than on my flight on Qatar Airways’ 787-8 but also simpler. Instead of being tiered by data or speed, there was one option only: 10 USD for the full flight. Additionally, Qatar Airways Privilege Club members (with or without status) could use the internet for free for one hour.
Qatar Airways Long-Haul Economy Class Breakfast
Having managed to sleep for six or seven hours, I woke up about two hours before landing (around 8AM Tokyo/2AM Doha time). Around the same time, breakfast service started.
I decided to have scrambled eggs while my wife chose pancakes. Both of them were served together with some yogurt, fruits, a warm croissant, and a bottle of water. For a drink, I went with mango juice again.
While the breakfast was nothing to write home about, it was OK. I also appreciated there being a couple of choices – something that was missing even on my recent business class flight with Finnair from Helsinki to Tokyo.
Arrival at Doha Airport
At 3:30AM, the captain made an announcement that we would be starting our descent soon. Around the same time, we flew over Dubai which offered some excellent views of parts of the city including its airport.
Soon after, the seatbelt signs were switched back on and a video explaining the arrival and quarantine procedures for Qatar was played.
We landed on Doha Hamad airport’s runway 34R at 4:08AM and reached our arrival gate, B6, at 4:15AM – 45 minutes ahead of schedule.
Qatar Airways 777-300ER Economy Class Summary
All in all, as has been my experience in the past, Qatar Airways provided a considerably above-average experience in economy class. The meals were good, the in-flight entertainment offered more than enough options for even the longest flights, and the seat was decent.
In my case, flying Qatar Airways resulted in a considerably longer travel time than other options would have. However, if you don’t have to go out of your way to fly with the airline – whether on the 777-300ER like I did or any other aircraft type – I certainly recommend keeping it as one of your top choices.