When making my way to Europe back in October, I flew with Qatar Airways. After an excellent flight on its A350-1000 in QSuites, I spent a few hours in one of Doha airport’s lounges before catching my connecting flight to Vienna. Like with the flight from Tokyo to Doha, I was offered the option to upgrade into business class on this shorter segment too.
At just over 350 dollars, the offer was good. After a bit of hesitation, I decided not to accept it, though. As such, continue reading to see what the flight on Qatar Airways’ 787-8 was like in economy class.
Boarding Qatar Airways Flight 183
I left the lounge quite some time before the scheduled boarding time to see if there were any places in the terminal where I could do some plane spotting. Not being able to find anything decent, I just walked around for a while before heading to gate C28 where my flight was scheduled to depart from.
The gate area was packed with all seats taken and flights to many corners of the world ranging from Iraq to Hungary departing. I found the variety of destinations being called for boarding while waiting for my flight amazing – especially so considering the COVID-19 situation.
Boarding for my flight started at 7:44. Another ten minutes later, Zone 2 which included my seat was called to board. With the flight departing from a remote stand, a long, 20-minute bus ride followed.
Eventually, the bus stopped in front of a 787-8 registered A7-BCJ. I got off the bus and climbed onboard.
Qatar Airways 787-8 Economy Class Cabin & Seat
All Qatar Airways’ 787-8s are in a two-class configuration featuring business and economy class. Business class is equipped with 22 reverse herringbone seats in 1-2-1 layout. Economy class is equipped with 232 seats in 3-3-3 layout.
After getting onboard, I briefly settled in 24F, an aisle seat in the middle section. With the flight being fairly empty I eventually moved to 24K, a right-side window seat.
While the legroom would have been OK, the in-flight entertainment box under the seat in front was a bit annoying. It would have been worse if the seat next to me was occupied, though. Luckily, both of the seats next to me stayed empty, and so I could enjoy plenty of space throughout the flight.
In addition to a tray table foldable in half and a seat pocket containing a safety card and a waste bag, the seatback in front was equipped with a coathook, a fairly large and high-resolution IFE screen, and a USB charging port.
There was also a regular power outlet under each seat.
Departure from Doha Hamad Airport
At 8:25AM, the captain welcomed everyone onboard and mentioned that we were expecting a flight time of 5 hours and 11 minutes. He also mentioned that we would cruise at 40,000 feet. Considering that it was a fairly short daytime flight, I found it nice that pillows and blankets were waiting on each of the seats upon boarding.
Not long after the captain’s announcement, the flight attendants went around the cabin handing out “protective kits” containing a mask, hand sanitizer, and rubber gloves.
The aircraft doors were closed at 8:37 and a couple of minutes after that, Qatar Airways’ soccer-themed safety video starring Seth Rogen among others was played. Then, the flight attendants went around the cabin handing out headsets.
At 8:50AM, ten minutes behind schedule, we were pushed back and slowly taxied toward runway 34L. While doing so, I enjoyed watching a few aircraft take off. We took off at 9:08AM and were offered a good view of the A380s that British Airways had stored in Doha.
Qatar Airways Economy Class Brunch
With the flight departing mid-morning and being fairly short, the main meal offered on the flight was a brunch. The service started about 45 minutes after take-off and three options were offered:
- Scrambled eggs with sausage
- Beef stew
- Vegetarian pasta
I decided to get the pasta which turned out to be lasagna. The main came with some fruits and a mousse. For drink, I opted for mango juice. Metal cutlery was provided with the meal. The pasta was excellent and the dessert was good too. The meal overall, in fact, was arguably better than what Lufthansa served on my flight back to Japan later that month.
About half an hour after serving the meal, one of the flight attendants came to clear the table and offer hot drinks. While I didn’t get any drink, I happily accepted some Manner wafers.
Qatar Airways 787-8 In-Flight Entertainment System
As mentioned earlier, the IFE screen was good. The provided headset was fairly good for economy class too. In terms of content, it was the same as on the A350-1000.
There was a large selection of both Hollywood and international movies, TV shows, and music. Quite a few games were available too.
Lastly, the IFE system was equipped with an in-flight map too.
While the aircraft was equipped with in-flight wi-fi, it was considerably worse (slower, more expensive, and restricted in terms of data usage) than the “super wi-fi” offered on the A350-1000. The following plans were available:
- Messenger: Free one hour of messaging (excluding photos and videos)
- Starter: Up to 30 MB for $5
- Price: Up to 100 MB for $10
- Ultimate: Up to 200 MB for $20
Pre-Arrival Snack and Landing in Vienna
Considering that the flight was scheduled to depart at 8:30AM, land at 1:20PM, and last less than six hours, I was wondering what the meal service would be like and whether it would only consist of one meal.
Around noon Austria time, I was happy to find out that light but warm pre-arrival snack would be served. The two options included chicken and potato sandwiches. I opted for the former and a can of Pepsi. The pastry filled with minced chicken kebab was quite tasty.
At 12:30PM, the captain addressed us through the PA once again, mentioning that we were planning to land at 1:10PM, and that it was partly cloudy and 13 degrees Celsius in Vienna. Not long after, we started our descent and the seatbelt signs were switched on at 12:54PM.
We landed on Vienna airport’s runway 34 at 1:11PM, and just five minutes later (four minutes ahead of schedule), we parked at our arrival gate.
Qatar Airways 787-8 Economy Class Summary
Overall, Qatar Airways didn’t disappoint on this mid-haul economy class flight. The seat was relatively comfortable (although the IFE box would have been annoying if the seat next to me was occupied) and the meals were tasty.
Combined with the airline’s very good fares (and the potential for a cheap upgrade offer), I can only recommend booking Qatar Airways if it shows up as an option while you search for your flights.