Review: Qatar Airways Airbus A380 lounge and bar

Review: Qatar Airways Airbus A380 lounge and bar

It might seem odd to plonk down thousands of dollars for a business class ticket and then spend very little time sitting or sleeping in that premium seat.

But on Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380 there’s a good reason to decamp from the pointy end – it’s the elegant lounge and inflight bar which gives the 517-seat superjumbo an undeniably private jet vibe.

The sweeping design incorporates sofa-style seating for ten passengers, with elegant lighting and high-end finishes wrapped in a restrained colour pallete of woods, dusky caramel and burgundy.

It’s quite different approach to Emirates' in-flight bar (below).

There are softer materials, a warmer design and greater emphasis on the interaction of passengers rather than the bar itself being a local point – which is perhaps closer to the boutique feel of The Lobby on Etihad’s A380 (below).

Also read: Airlines launch 'bar wars’ on the Airbus A380

For instance, Qatar's A380 bar isn’t really a place for standing around – passengers gravitate to the long snaking sofas, which could also make this a more comfortable environment for solo female business travellers to relax with a drink.

The curvaceous combo bar/lounge sits at the rear of the business class cabin on the A380’s upper deck.

(The bar’s location also puts it just ahead of a small 56 seat economy cabin, where passengers will be afforded tantalising glimpses through the curtain of life in the luxe lane.)

So why would you leave the comfy confines of your business class nook?

The spacious lounge offers an escape from the more commonplace airplane environment, plus some top shelf spirits if you'd like a tipple while you relax.

It also pours Krug champagne, which is a cut above the Billecart-Salmon and Taittinger Rose offered in the business class cabin – a significant drawcard to fans of the fizz.

The attendants can also whip up espresso coffee including a cappuccino or latte.

While there’s a small selection of appetisers served at the bar, simpler dishes from the business class menu – such as a cheese platter – can be delivered to the lounge instead of your seat.

I was pleasantly surprised to find AC power sockets at each end of the two window-side lounges for charging your laptop, although USB ports to top up your tablet would be a welcome addition.

Electronic window shades with two settings let you block the bright outside light to give the lounge a more, well, ‘lounge-like’ ambience.

Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380s currently fly from the airline’s home port of Doha to London, Paris and Bangkok, with New York tagged as a likely future route.

Also read: Airlines launch 'bar wars’ on the Airbus A380

David Flynn travelled as a guest of Qatar Airways

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

11 comments

  • Bizflyer

    Bizflyer

    12 Jan, 2015 08:58 am

    It's a great bar better than emrites with extra comfort and space aswell a better selection of booze and nibbles

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    15 Jan, 2015 01:31 am

    Krug is definitely a plus!

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    12 Jan, 2015 09:15 am

    David, if the bar staff are busy and dont see from which direction the pax are coming from, whats to stop upper deck Y pax from sneaking into the bar on the pretence of 'looking for the loo' and just staying there? Unless bar staff asked for a boarding pass of Y staff from their cabin came into the bar and recognised them, there's only a curtain stopping them from sneaking in. I imagine it would be very tantilising on a long Y flight?!

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  • David Flynn

    David

    12 Jan, 2015 04:14 pm

    A few times during my stay some economy passengers wandered through the curtain and were immediately 'intercepted' by bar staff (they said they were just going for a walk to stretch their legs - yeah, sure!) (well, except for one who asked if he could stay for a drink, and told no). So staff do appear to be quite on the alert. :)

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    15 Jan, 2015 01:18 am

    Look, but don't touch lol. Quite a tease, particularly if the patrons are having a jolly old time. It's certainly a nice looking space.

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  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    12 Jan, 2015 10:25 am

    A pity that the QF lounge in their A380s doesn't even start to compare.  The current lounge is useless and uncomfortable.  I'd love to redesign that area.  I'd start by removing the (I think) CSM's office, reduce the width of the stairway and move it to the side of the plane, and ideally remove the first row of seats in J.

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  • Merc25

    Merc25

    12 Jan, 2015 12:54 pm

    I think it was Virgin Atlantic that started the bar theme in its upper class class section years ago! I used to enjoy flying Sydney to London with them when they were flying to AU

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    13 Jan, 2015 03:09 am

    No.. that would be probably Pan Am when they first had their 747s. It was upstairs where they had the bar. Many airlines in fact had their bars there. Air Canada even had a disco up there. Singapore Airlines, of course did not want to be outdone, and had its signature Raffles Lounge on the upper deck bubble on its 747-200B aircrafts, and its second lounge, the Silver Kris lounge on the lower deck.. between First Class and Economy. (No Business Class in those days)

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    15 Jan, 2015 01:27 am

    Yes, it's funny that in some ways we are going back to the past (golden days of air travel). Even Qantas had a Captain Cook lounge onboard at one time.

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    16 Jan, 2015 07:25 am

    You'd hate to be sitting/sleeping/working in the last few rows of Business Class while there's a bunch of people getting rowdy at the bar.  Why would the Krug not be served at your seat?  Bit of a pain to have treck all the way to the back of the plane for a glass of champange.

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  • flatout

    flatout

    16 Jan, 2015 06:35 pm

    The bar is shared by both F & J pax.  As Krug is served in the F cabin, it is also available in the bar as well, although I think we were all J pax when I travelled. 

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Guest

16 Jun, 2019 11:08 am

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