How Much Trouble Should I Endure to Fly a Specific Product?

I’ve got a trip to Southeast Asia planned for later this summer, and I was planning on flying Qatar’s and Etihad’s A380s in first class on the way back. I’d fly BKK-DOH-AUH-JFK, giving me a chance to hit up Qatar’s and Etihad’s new first class lounges as well.

But Qatar keeps changing the aircraft for my BKK-DOH leg. They fly the A380 on the route, but not for all flights, and the other aircraft they use on this route (a Boeing 777-300ER) doesn’t have a first class cabin. I already switched flights once to chase the A380 (and now have a ridiculously long layover in DOH scheduled), but today I noticed that they’re not flying an A380 on that flight that day either. I’ve already flown Qatar in business class on the 777-300ER from DOH to BKK, so that wouldn’t be a new product for me.

So now I’m contemplating what to do. I’ve got some date flexibility, so I can potentially move things around and try to get back onto the A380 (flying from Southeast Asia to the US via the Middle East is two award for American, so I can potentially have an actual layover for a couple of days in Doha), but there are also no guarantees that Qatar won’t continue to switch aircraft. These awards were also booked pre-devaluation, so I imagine that I’m limited on how many changes I can make at the old rates. And of course, there’s not currently award space on either Etihad or Qatar for the dates that would be ideal…

How much trouble should I go to to fly Qatar’s A380 in first class? Should I just wait to see if they swap aircraft again? Should I start swapping things now, even though Qatar might change aircraft again? Should I just suck it up and fly business on a product I’ve already flown?

2 thoughts on “How Much Trouble Should I Endure to Fly a Specific Product?

  1. Mike

    Aha, I just flew that exact route on pre-deval awards and had the same thought! The Qatar a380 is super impressive but not as impressive as the Apartment leg. I’d say if you’re forced into the 777 it’s no big deal. However! One major downside is not being able to enjoy the first class lounge at DOH. I had a long 15hr layover there and loved every minute. The hotel say (technically the dayroom) was perfect, food top notch and just generally amazing space. Worth the splurge to get the massage treatment too.

    Overall though it was an incredibly long way to get home from SE Asia. If it wasn’t for the deval and the chance to fly the pinnacle of high end travel, I don’t think I would have done it.

    1. Edward Post author

      I should still get first class lounge access since I’m flying “first” class between DOH and AUH, but you’re right that it’s an incredibly long way to get home. My current itinerary is pushing 3 days to get back!


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