If you’re a frequent traveller or know one, they will tell you how good the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is to fly. There’s only the Airbus a350-1000 or upstairs on an A380 that is better in my opinion. It’s very quiet and also does a decent job in regards to cabin pressure so that when you land you feel less jet-lagged. Here’s what it’s like to fly Qatar’s iteration of Economy. (If your more of an upfront kind of flyer, my Business Class review is here)
First of all, avoid row 10, whilst it may look appealing due to being a bulkhead row (read very front of economy) the extra legroom you get is only slight whilst the amount of actual seat you lose is fairly substantial.
The reason being the entertainment screens are stored in the armrests and as such it makes your seat much narrower. My advice would be to choose row 11. Second to be served so you’re almost guaranteed to get the food you want, plenty of width in the seat and you know what, the legroom is pretty good.
From someone who will always try to grab an exit row in economy, I’d avoid it. Even back in row 26, you get phenomenal legroom, enough to probably lie down there. Again, not without its drawbacks. 26A and K both have the emergency door eating into their legroom and they don’t even get rewarded with a window (one of the few window seats that don’t have a window).
The seat its self wasn’t that comfy. 7 hours in and I did find myself with a numb bum. The headrests are good though with about 1 and a half foot of vertical adjustment it’s fairly easy to get it in a position you find comfortable. The reclining does improve the situation somewhat even though your seat only moves 4-5 inch. There’s a joke to be had there?
Onto the entertainment system, difficult to give a figure for screen size but the quality was more than adequate enough to get fully immersed in your favourite Hollywood blockbuster. The film selection seemed to be an eclectic mix, movies for kids along with plenty from Marvel. You could go from watching the likes of Creed 2 to something like Tolkien.
Be warned though, the headphones they provide are poor. Less Sony’s more 1998 Airtours flights to Gran Canaria spec.
Only 70 minutes after takeoff the food service began. Due to it being a morning flight breakfast and a light snack were on the menu. I chose chicken pate with scrambled eggs and fried square potatoes, a pot of fresh fruit, natural yoghurt with fruit compote and finally a croissant with strawberry jam. The fried potatoes and chicken pate were okay, by okay I mean palatable, the eggs were a definite no go. I didn’t bother with the yoghurt but the croissant was rather nice and the fruit was fresh.
3 hours after breakfast (About 90 mins before landing) you are offered a warm snack with a choice of chicken or vegetarian. I chose chicken and coriander pastry. It was okay but I should have gone for the vegetarian option, a mozzarella and pesto pizza wrap. I had a bite of one and I knew I’d made the wrong choice.
A godsend for people who are always charging things is that every seat has access to a 240v plug socket. It’s located under your seat making it both easy to access and not getting in your way. This is in addition to the standard USB charger that’s built into the screen. I typed up this whole review including ingesting and editing the images throughout the flight in what I would describe as a comfortable fashion. Take note of the headphones, when reviewing a flight I do use the provided facilities for the full flight so that I have the proper experience. Not only were the headphones awful, it was made worse with the fact I had my Sony WH-1000’s in my bag in the overhead locker.
When all is said and done I’d summarise by saying flying on Qatar’s Boeing 787-8 in economy is an average way to fly at best. Yes, the entertainment system is good with new films shown on a decent quality screen and the food is alright but 7 hours in the seats Qatar use in economy isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. I think if you’re on a quiet flight and you have a row to yourself or you’re only flying for 5 or so hours you’ll be in for an okay flight. anything else and it’s not so good of an experience.