I nestle back in Seat 4K as it reclines into an almost horizontal position. The smiling cabin crew are at hand to tend to my every need – which at the moment simply involves knowing which button will pop me back up into an upright position. There is a glass of prosecco winging its way to me, and I’ve already been greeted with a cardamom-infused Arabic coffee served from a gleaming coffeepot.
No, I’ve not left my budget airlines roots behind. I’m still the person that won’t pay to reserve her seat on a flight (“I’ll take my chance that Mr Fletche and I won’t be 20 rows apart thank you very much…”) but when an email popped into my inbox inviting me to join Qatar Airways for a VIP Business Class Experience at the Birmingham Mailbox I wasn’t going to turn it down. Which is how I find myself reclining in Seat 4K from the 787 Dreamliner in the middle of a shopping mall on a Thursday evening. Glass of prosecco in hand.
As someone who cannot sleep a wink on flights, upgrading to Business Class may be the answer. Even in my two minutes of testing out the luxurious lie-flat seat-turned-bed, I feel my body tuning into bedtime mode. The email should have advised me to bring along pyjamas, a sleep mask and a teddy bear to truly test whether I could have dozed off under these circumstances. I could have popped on the thoughtfully supplied Bose noise cancelling headsets, selected one of the 4000 inflight entertainment options on the Oryx One and drifted off, dreaming of landing in Doha.
This pop-up experience on Level 2 of the Mailbox is styled to replicate a Business Class Lounge, and we’re “checked in” on arrival – luckily no-one is on hand to ask whether I am smuggling nail scissors or more than 100ml of liquids on board. As well as the Arabic coffee and prosecco, there is beer, soft drinks and a fancy-looking alcohol-free pink champagne on offer. Qatar Airways Business Class offers dining on demand in flight, however for this event they have partnered with Tom’s Kitchen Deli, also located in the Mailbox, who supply the delicious canapes floating around.
Voted “World’s Best Business Class” in 2017, Qatar Airways are celebrating two years since they launched their first departure from Birmingham Airport to Doha. Passengers can connect from Hamad International to over 150 far-flung destinations. And I’ll certainly be looking for the first opportunity to test out this airline for real – even if I can’t quite stretch my funds to Business Class…
I was invited to attend this event by Cohn & Wolfe, partnering with Qatar Airways, and Mailbox Birmingham. I was not asked to write a review but wanted to share this experience with A Brummie Home and Abroad readers! Have you ever flown business class? Is it worth the extra money?