Since very few airlines go to Madrid from Manila direct we chose the best airline with the cheapest business class seats and that’s Qatar Airways. The entire flight including a stop over a Doha took about 23 hours that’s why business class was the only way to go.
Our journey started in the lounge at Naia terminal 1. Qatar Airways used Delta’s lounge.
The arroz caldo didn’t look as good as the one served in Philippine Airlines’ lounge.
I did enjoy the mixed nuts and peas.
That’s all the baggage I had for 3 weeks in Europe. My Nomadic shoulder bag had lots of velcro closure and zippers and it was theft-proof in my experience. There was so many hidden compartments that I couldn’t find my wallet at times. It was also big enough for my camera, water bottle, scarf and hat.
Beside my seat cushion was the headphone plug and usb charger.
I usually bring my own battery powered noise cancelling headphone but this trip I didn’t need to use it since these headphones were provided. It wasn’t as effective as my battery operated headphones but it was good enough. Although my ears were sore after wearing these heavy over the ear headphones. Mine were in-ear buds.
We were given a set of pajamas on both legs of our flight. I went back to Manila with 4 sets of pajamas!
It was amusing but the flight attendant gave me pajama set sized xl and this is how it looked like. The pants were even bigger. It turned out they only had small and xl on stock so I got the small and used the pants which fit fine albeit a bit short. I really liked the drawstring pants which had pockets. Thankfully the rest of my flights I was able to get medium sized jammies.
Add two sets each of these amenities and you will understand how my black tote bag got so stuffed. I just couldn’t bear to leave these behind when I could give them away back home.
The lotion and cologne were Molton Brown. I took some wet wipes (on the right) and they proved handy during my trip specially when I ate messy gelato in Rome.
For our preflight drink I had the lemon mint which was soooooo syrupy sweet I didn’t drink it. Rochelle had the laban which was a yogurt drink. It was much better but it was served lukewarm which I didn’t care for.
lemon mint drink & laban
Overall the meals on board wasn’t very impressive. I much prefer the food on Philippine Airlines long haul business class. But the service was first class. I couldn’t ask more from the super friendly and attentive flight attendants who took care of every request I had. There were several Filipino flight attendants on both flights.
fresh vegetable spring roll
Rochelle’s Filipino style chicken dish was made with a combination of dark and white meat. I found the coconut flavor too mild but she liked it.
pinatisang manok (chicken cooked in fish sauce and coconut milk)
The choices for dessert was quite disappointing since there was nothing chocolate but the bread pudding we both chose was quite good. They did serve Godiva chocolates and shortbread cookies with our coffee. Those went into my black tote bag too.
apple & raisin pudding with vanilla cinnamon sauce
Their coffee wasn’t very good but an extra shot of espresso made it better.
This leg of the trip we tried their snacks. I wasn’t really hungry so I just chose the cheese platter which had a good selection of cheese. Specially good was the fig jam and the savory herb crispy ‘vessel’ it was in.
cheese plate of matured cheddar, fourme d’ambert & brie le maubert
Of all our meals on Qatar Airways the most memorable was Rochelle’s lamb barley soup. It was unbelievably delicious with bits of lamb too. If only I had room in my tummy I would have ordered one too. I kept hoping they would serve it again on our return flight but luck wasn’t on my side. To this day Rochelle and I think of this soup.
herb scented barley in lamb broth
For those who are interested you can see the extensive wine list on both flight here.
You can see the pictures of the Qatar Airways’ amazing business class lounge in Doha here.
Our experience in Qatar Airways business class was simply amazing despite the average food. I loved our seats, the entertainment system (although there wasn’t too many new movies) and specially the excellent service by the capable flight crew. I will definitely take Qatar again on my next trip to Europe.
European Vacation 2012 series start here