Review: Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Doha to Munich

Introduction: 20,000+ Kilometers In Three Days
Virgin Atlantic 787 Premium Economy Hong Kong to London Heathrow
How Is It Like Staying At An Imperial College Dormitory?
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow Airport
Virgin Atlantic 787 Premium Economy London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge Doha Airport
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Doha to Munich
Hotel Bayerischer Hof Lindau
Hotel Kempinski Berchtesgaden
Mandarin Oriental Munich
British Airways Galleries Lounge Munich Airport
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Munich to Doha
Al Maha Lounge Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 787 Business Class Doha to Hong Kong


Qatar Airways Flight 57
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Origin: Doha (DOH) Gate: A9 Dep: 07:20 (07:20)
Destination: Munich (MUC) Gate: B12 Arr: 12:30 (12:15)
Duration: 6 h 10 min (5 h 55 min)
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 5K (Business Class)

I boarded through the forward door into Qatar Airways’ stunning leased A350 cabin, owned by LATAM.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

Qatar Airways’ leased A350s feature five rows of business class laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration, for a total of 30 seats. As I’d mentioned earlier, the aircraft was leased from LATAM, which actually has one of the more underwhelming A350 business class products out there – they’re one of four airlines operating the A350 not to feature direct aisle access at every seat in business class, the other three being Ethiopian, Lufthansa, and Air Caraibes. LATAM’s A350 seats seem to be an evolution of Zodiac Aerospace’s Aura Lite business class seats, which are definitely a downgrade from the B/E Aerospace Diamond seats you see on Qatar Airways’ own A350s, as well as their 787s.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

That said, I found the colour tones on LATAM’s A350 to be gorgeous – the red and grey tones complemented each other so well, and coincidentally also fit in with Qatar Airways’ colour scheme.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seats 3H and 3K

Personally I thought that the cabin was stunningly laid out as far as forward facing fully flat seats go. This is especially since I was traveling with a family of four, which meant that we could sit together in pairs. I’m not sure if I would’ve been as thrilled with the cabin if I were traveling solo.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Row 5

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

I also had a peek at the economy cabin, which I thought looked comfortable enough (though apparently these seats are a downgrade from Qatar Airways’ own A350 economy cabins too). When I asked some of the economy crew if I could take a picture, they said that “pictures are better with crew in them”, and posed for a photo. While I found that very nice of them, unfortunately I forgot to ask if I could use the photos in my review, so I’ll refrain from posting them.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Economy Class Cabin

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Economy Class Cabin

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Economy Class Cabin

For this flight I had selected seats on the right side of the cabin, in rows 4 and 5. I’d assigned seats 4H, 4K, 5H and 5K, which is my preferred layout when sitting in 2-2-2 configurations, as no one would be stuck in a middle seat.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seats 5H and 5K

I had assigned myself seat 5K, which is my preference anyway – I love a seat tucked away in the back corner of the cabin. The seat was really well padded, which I appreciated.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seat 5K

Qatar Airways’ leased A350s feature legroom for days in business class – my legs could barely reach the ottoman in upright mode.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Legroom

At this point I decided to explore my seat. To the left of my seat on the panel between seats were the seat controls, which were largely intuitive.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seat Controls

The tray table also folded out from the panel, though they weren’t as wide as the seat. I appreciated that during the flight, as I could get in and out of my seat during mealtimes (which was especially important to me on this flight as I was still sick), though I’d say the table was a touch on the small side.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Tray Table

Situated in front was an ottoman which also housed a storage area. I found the storage area handy for my camera bag, though I’m assuming that others would find it more handy for shoes. The ottoman itself was one of the biggest I’ve seen in business class, which is one of the positives about this specific configuration – they’re great for sleeping, especially in the privacy of a window seat.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Storage Compartment

Also situated in front was a small storage compartment at every seat, which was handy for placing a phone or small device due to the situation of the USB port above it.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Storage Compartment

I thought the USB ports were conveniently placed, though there was one more by the seat, which helped if you wanted to use your phone while charging it.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class USB Ports

The USB port by the seat came with a 110V power port as well, which was functional.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Power Port

I had heard that Qatar Airways had downgraded their bedding on flights to Europe, so I was happy to see the same duvet I had on the Hong Kong to Doha flight. I have to admit that it isn’t the best blanket I’ve seen on a plane, but it was better than a scratchy cat blanket.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Blanket

Located by the partition at each seat was an amenity kit, which was the same amenity kit that I’d found flying from Hong Kong to Doha. These are hard case amenity kits, which I really enjoy, as the case becomes really handy after the flight.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Bric’s Amenity Kit

The contents in the case were standard – it featured facial mist, moisturiser and lip balm from Monte Vibiano, as well as socks and eyeshades. As with the last flight, a dental kit wasn’t present, though they were provided separately in the bathrooms.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Amenity Kit Contents

In the storage compartment next to the seat was a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. I was happy to see an actual noise-cancelling switch, but it wasn’t too much of a step up from the noise-cancelling headphones I’d had on the flight from Hong Kong to Doha apart from the fact that it had a single-prong headphone jack (which means that I could use it on my own device if I wanted to). It’s also worth noting that the headphone jack at the seat is also single-pronged, which travelers carrying their own headphones will appreciate.

Regardless, I ended up using my Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, which come with a two-pronged adapter, so it didn’t matter as much.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Headphones

Also provided was a bottle of Vitel water, which was appreciated.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Water

10 minutes into the boarding process, the friendly flight attendant working our aisle came around to take my drink order. I ordered the lime and mint juice, which was “mintier” than it was on the flight before, so it was tastier. I was also offered the choice of a hot or cold towel, and chose a cold one, as the cabin was hot.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Pre-Departure Beverage

Unlike usual, my parents were first onboard with me (they usually like boarding last, as Hailey is slightly claustrophobic, which doesn’t bode well with flying). My dad sat next to me and ordered a rose champagne for his pre-departure beverage, which he enjoyed.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Pre-Departure Beverage

As I mentioned the cabin was sweltering hot, and it didn’t feature air nozzles, which is unfortunate.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Overhead Panel

As the boarding process finished some of the seats on the left side of the plane stayed empty, though they ended up being filled by a few mothers traveling with their children. Neither of them seemed to be frequent flyers, so it was fun to watch them get acquainted with the seat, etc.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Seats 4A and 4C

I also used the lavatory prior to departure, which was standard for an A350 lavatory with the standard Qatar Airways lavatory amenities.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Lavatory Amenities

At around 7:10 AM the boarding process was completed, with every seat taken in business class (economy seemed rather empty, though). I was ready for the second leg that would take us straight to Munich!

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin

It seemed like a beautiful day in Doha, so I kept my eyes glued to the window observing fellow Qatar Airways heavies taxi to the runway.

Traffic Doha Airport

Traffic Doha Airport

Around 7:25 AM the safety video played. Best I could tell the A380 video was played on this flight, so Qatar Airways didn’t get around to making a safety video specific to their leased A350s.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Safety Video

The safety video wasn’t as “captivating” as their other 787 video, but it wasn’t one of the most boring safety videos I’ve seen. I generally find that the more “professional” safety videos try to be, the less people pay attention to them, so I always love a good quirky safety video.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Safety Video

After that we began our taxi, where we had clear views of Doha Airport’s remote stands, which were mostly populated with planes in Qatar Airways’ (failed) offshoot airline’s livery, Al Maha Airways.

Taxiing Doha Airport

I was excited to be seeing various Qatar Airways aircraft along the way. Their livery is gorgeous!

Qatar Airways Airbus A320 Doha Airport

Qatar Airways Airbus A330-200 Doha Airport

Our taxi took around 10 minutes, so we reached the runway at around 7:35 AM.

Runway Doha Airport

Upon our (rather long) takeoff roll I spotted a Qatar Airways A380, which I’ve always wanted to try.

Qatar Airways Airbus A380 Doha Airport

I also spotted a Qatar Airways 777-300ER taking off on the other runway at the same time as us, though it quickly turned right after departure.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Doha Airport

Takeoff Doha Airport

We initially had views over the ocean, though we quickly made a left turn to head northwest, where I got a cool glimpse of Doha from the right window.

Views upon Climbout Doha Airport

Views upon Climbout Doha Airport

Views upon Climbout Doha Airport

Soon after takeoff the signature LATAM mood lighting was turned on, which complemented the cabin well.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Cabin After Takeoff

At this point I decided to explore the Oryx One entertainment system, as I hadn’t done so on the last flight. I thought that it was okay. It didn’t feature a tail camera as far as I could tell, and the moving map featured a limited amount of views. That said, my parents and Hailey all found movies that they enjoyed watching.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Entertainment System

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Entertainment System

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Entertainment System

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Entertainment System

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Entertainment System

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Entertainment System

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Airshow

There’s no WiFi on Qatar Airways’ A350s, which is unfortunate, as this was a daytime flight. Ultimately it didn’t matter, as I knew that coming in, so had pre-loaded work on my computer (and I was sick AF, so I wanted to sleep after the meal service anyway).

I decided to give the economy cabin a quick visit. It looked great – sleek and modern, despite being noticeably under-equipped compared to Qatar Airways’ own economy seats. I was a little amused by the guy who had his tank top hung over his seat, though (near the right of the photo below) – some people just don’t get it, do they?

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Economy Class Cabin Inflight

Soon I browsed the menu. Qatar Airways offers dine on demand, so I could eat whenever I wanted. However, I wanted a quick nap after breakfast, so decided to eat right away. The menu read as follows:

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Menu

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Menu

To start I ordered a mixed berry smoothie, which was good – tart and sweet.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Breakfast Beverage – Mixed Berry Smoothie

My dad decided to order some wine and wait until his movie was done before he went ahead with his main course. Sure enough, the flight attendant obliged, checking to see if he wanted anything else in the meantime.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Wine

I found it rather surprising that I had to wait 30 minutes for my table to be set up, given how efficient I was finding Qatar Airways’ service procedure to be by this point. Ultimately that’s not a big deal, though I was dozing off at my seat waiting for my meal.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Table Setup

At 8:50 AM my breakfast was served. I ordered the traditional Arabic breakfast, which other people had recommended. I always find this kind of food awkward to eat alone, as I had a huge bowl of foul medames and three pieces of (really tasty) Arabic bread. The cucumber tasted fresh, the feta cheese was good, the tomatoes were good and the olives were fine, though I only ate as much as I could.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Breakfast – Traditional Arabic Breakfast

The breakfast came with an individual bread basket, which was good.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Breakfast Bread Basket

My dad requested his meal to be offered an hour into the flight (about the length of his movie), and sure enough he received it then. I recommended he order the spinach and ricotta ravioli, given that the spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta dish I had on my earlier Qatar Airways leg was phenomenal. Unfortunately, he didn’t have great things to say about the ravioli.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Breakfast – Spinach and Ricotta Ravoli with Sundried Tomato and Basil Sauce

Overall I probably wouldn’t order the Arabic breakfast again if I was on another Qatar Airways flight, though the dish was well executed and flavourful. Once again, service was fantastic and proactive, with the flight attendant serving us not hesitating to ask if we needed anything, etc.

Prior to sleeping I went to brush – Qatar Airways offers high-quality toothbrushes in business class, which are great for keeping for the length of your journey.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Toiletries

After breakfast it was time for a nap. Despite this not being my favourite configuration, the window seats in this configuration are plenty private for sleeping, so I had no issues falling asleep. The bed itself was comfortable, as the seat was very well padded.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Bed

I napped for around three hours, waking up 55 minutes out of Munich.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Airshow

At this point I quickly opened the window and appreciated that we were flying 40,000 feet above Europe. It was a beautiful clear day outside.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Views upon Descent

Upon waking up I needed tissues, and the flight attendant didn’t hesitate to stop by and ask if I was alright. I was, though I used the opportunity to order an apple cooler, which was crisp and refreshing.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Drink – Apple Cooler

Around 30 minutes before landing the captain came onto the PA to announce that we’d be arriving into Munich soon, detailing the fine weather we’d have.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Airshow

The views got progressively better as we neared Munich – stunning!

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Views upon Descent

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Views upon Descent

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Views upon Descent

We had clear views of Munich Airport during our approach, which I appreciated. Unfortunately as the plane touched down my portable charger fell off the seat panel and slid into the seat in front of us, so I spent the 10 minutes of taxiing time trying to find the best way to fish it out.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Views upon Final Approach

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Views upon Final Approach

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Leased Business Class Airshow upon Landing

By 12:15 PM we were parked at the gate, though by this time I had three magazines stuffed under the seat in hopes of retrieving my portable charger. After we stopped, Hailey realised how to take apart her legrest, and I was able to retrieve my portable charger. The flight attendant came by to warn me that I could possibly get electrocuted due to the wired seat controls, though at this point I had found my portable charger, so I just pulled my hand out with it.

Traffic Munich Airport

I bid the fantastic flight attendants farewell, and made my way over to immigration, but not before taking a picture of the gorgeous LATAM A350 parked at Munich Airport.

LATAM Airbus A350-900 Munich Airport

Immigration was a mess – despite being first, we were told to pass the checkpoint as a family, and we were questioned a lot about where we were staying, asked to present our hotel bookings, etc.. By the time we passed immigration, a massive queue had built up behind us, and that’s despite the fact that we were the only flight arriving into Terminal 1 at the time. Munich Airport is a huge dump, at least at Terminal 1, but I’ll talk about it more during the return (you can have a look at a teaser of how bad the service ethic at the airport is for now).

Baggage claim was right after immigration, though we all had to wait about 15 minutes for our bags. That was fine, since Munich Airport has fast, free WiFi by Telekom (possibly the one redeeming quality of the airport), so I was able to catch up with emails, messages, etc.

Baggage Claim Munich Airport

We met our driver Henry at the arrivals hall and were on our way. I wanted to get a SIM card, though unfortunately Terminal 1 doesn’t offer that (you’d figure that it’s the one thing that airports should be selling, since they can charge ridiculous prices and get away with it), so Henry drove us over to Terminal 2 – which wasn’t any better, since the SIM cards there were sold out. We ended up just using data roaming provided by SmarTone for the trip.

Bottom Line: Qatar Airways’ Leased A350 Business Class

Qatar Airways’ leased A350 business class is obviously a step down from their mainline business class product on their own A350s, though this works as an “interim” solution as Qatar Airways’ own A350s continue to take delivery. The business class seats are easily the most comfortable seats I’ve experienced as far as forward-facing business class seats go (though they still aren’t competitive compared to most configurations you’ll be able to find out there, including Qatar Airways’ own), and food and service was great as usual – I may have ordered a dish that I didn’t appreciate, though it was still way above average in terms of how airline catering goes.

I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Qatar Airways’ leased A350 business class, though wouldn’t choose it over a flight installed with Qatar Airways’ 787, A380 or mainline A350 business class (these seats look more comfortable than the seats on Qatar’s A330s and A340s, though I can’t speak from experience).

Have you flown Qatar Airways’ leased A350 business class?

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