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Watch as TPG UK reviews all 3 classes on Qatar Airways’ A380

March 26, 2020
7 min read
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Editor’s note: The team at The Points Guy loves to travel, but now is not the time for unnecessary trips. Our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips and we are not publishing new flight or hotel reviews. While bringing our readers unbiased, detailed reviews of travel experiences is one of our core missions, now is not the time. We all love to travel and know you do too. So, to help keep you entertained — and maybe inspire you — we are publishing a video review that was filmed earlier this year. Hopefully, this will help you once we’re all ready to start booking trips again.

Earlier in 2020, some of the TPG U.K. crew jumped on board one of the best airlines in the world, Qatar Airways, on its biggest aircraft, the Airbus A380, from Doha (DOH) to Frankfurt (FRA).

We have lauded Qatar in the past for its fantastic Qsuite business-class product, winner of the 2019 TPG Award for best business class and found on several flights to the U.S. Far rarer, however, is Qatar's first-class cabin. It only exists on the A380 aircraft, of which the airline only has 10 out of a fleet of well over 200. The A380s do not, unfortunately, feature the Qsuite — nor do they fly to Qatar's U.S. destinations, under the airline's current schedule. The closest you'll find them is in London.

As with all flight reviews, we pay for our own travel. Check out our experience on board the A380 in the video review below.

(The surprised face below is TPG U.K.'s Social Media Editor Liam Spencer, whom the team told for months that he would be flying in economy. When he turned up at the check-in desk, he was in for the surprise of his life.)

First class: Liam Spencer

TPG paid: 51,500 Avios + £ 98.80 (about $120) tax
Average cash price: £4,177 (about $5,030)

Qatar is a Oneworld partner, so it is possible to earn and burn Avios and American Airlines miles on Qatar flights. Because the Doha to Frankfurt leg falls into a lower Executive Club mileage band than a flight to London (2,853 miles to Frankfurt, compared to 3,261 miles to London), a first-class ticket at 51,500 Avios is an absolute steal on this flight, considering the average cash ticket will run you more than £4,000.

The first-class experience began with a bang on the ground for Liam with an enormous airport lounge packed with features including spa service, a games room and a dedicated shopping mall.

On board he was shocked to learn that he had the entire first-class cabin to himself, which resulted in a totally unique, personalized experience. It was the best service he'd ever had. The crew went above and beyond to make him feel at home and engaged in fascinating, personable conversations.

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He had the luxury of a huge private toilet and changing area and massive, comfy seat that could be adjusted exactly to his liking.

He did, however, think that the food, which wasn’t bad by any means, was not good-restaurant quality. The cabin often felt too hot, and his biggest complaint was that the length of the flight was only six hours — he wished it had been longer.

(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)

Business class: Jean Arnas

TPG paid: 38,750 Avios + £ 98.80 (about $120) tax
Average cash price: £2,763 (about $3,328)

Jean, our head of video in the U.K., loved that his window seat was not attached to another seat — it felt exclusive and had direct aisle access. He enjoyed the incredible bar and wonderful large chillout area, and in true Jean style, the plentiful delicious complimentary drinks. He also said the service was fast, professional and friendly.

On the flip side, he thought that the seat could have been more private. As it’s not a suite, the seat is open to the aisle. The Qatar Qsuite on some other aircraft blows this seat out the water. He was not particularly impressed by the food. Whilst the presentation, cutlery, plates and glasses were OK, the actual food itself was not exceptional.

(Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy)

Economy class: Nicky Kelvin

TPG paid: 13,000 Avios + £ 64.60 (about $78) tax
Average cash price: £550 (about $662)

I was surprised to find the economy breakfast (a tough meal for airlines to get right) rather delicious. My seat was spacious and comfortable, and the cabin felt spacious, too, with high ceilings and seats well spaced out. A highlight was the mini bottle of Tabasco — it's the small things. You can't get this in business class on some airlines.

I was also impressed by the entertainment setup with great touchscreens, a wide variety of movies and USB and plug sockets (universal plug sockets are rare in economy). The service was also quick and incredibly friendly.

On the downside, I thought a more substantial pillow and blanket would have improved the experience.

(Photo by Dan Ross/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Dan Ross/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Dan Ross/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Dan Ross/The Points Guy)

Overall, each member of the team on board was impressed by the product they flew, but for the whole experience, check out the video now on The Points Guy UK YouTube channel.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023