There were many reasons to enjoy a business trip in Qatar Airways' Airbus A380, especially on the long leg between Sydney and Doha, before connecting onto another QR flight – typically to London, elsewhere in the UK or Europe (with several of those routes also served by the superjumbo).
There was Qatar's business class seat: not the latest Qsuite, to be sure, but still a very comfortable design with ample room for working, relaxing, and at some point snoozing on the lie-flat bed.
There was Qatar's flexible 'dine on demand' à la carte menu, from which you could choose what you wanted to eat at a time that suited you, with an array of quality meals served by friendly, attentive crew.
But most of all, there was the elegant lounge at the rear of the business class cabin: and with Qatar Airways' decision to retire half of its A380 fleet, leaving a superjumbo-sized question mark hanging over the remaining five still-grounded A380s, there's a good chance this social space will never again grace the skies.
Qatar Airways' outspoken CEO Akbar Al Baker last week described the purchase of ten superjumbos as "the biggest mistake" in the airline's 27-year history, adding "I don't think there is a market for that airplane in the foreseeable future."
Looking back at Qatar's A380 lounge
As a regular traveller on Qatar Airways' Sydney flights, usually through to London on another A380, not a flight went by when I didn't spend several hours perched on one of those padded benches.
Prosaically dubbed The Sanctuary during the A380's development stage, but later and more generically described as the Premium Lounge, it provided a 'change of scenery' from the business class seat – a dash of variety which helped every flight pass faster.
Conceived by London design firm PriestmanGoode and cabin interior specialist AIM Altitude, Qatar's A380 combo bar/lounge added an undeniably private jet vibe to the hulking double-decker colossus.
The sweeping design incorporates sofa-style seating for ten passengers, and it was their interaction – rather than the central presence of the bar itself – which became the focal point.
Shortly after take-off, sometimes even before Qatar Airways' crew could dress the counters with drinks and snacks, business class passengers would gravitate towards the lounge – sometimes solo travellers, sometimes in pairs or groups – but always in a social frame of mind.
It's a wonderfully common trait of any inflight lounge: mixing and mingling, chatting with fellow travellers, learning their story and hearing their first-hand tips on cities around the world.
That said, the provision of AC power sockets at each end of the two window-side lounges meant you could even plug in your laptop or tablet while catching up on work or some reading (I certainly did both from time to time).
Another considered touch: electronic window shades let you block the bright outside light to give the lounge a more, well, 'lounge-like' ambience.
Of course, doubling as a bar, it served some top shelf spirits plus Krug champagne, or more modest espresso-based coffees.
In addition to the selection of appetisers, simpler dishes from the business class menu – such as a cheese platter – could even be delivered to you at the lounge instead of your seat.
If this lounge was among the best places to be on Qatar Airways' Airbus A380, then the counterpoint would be found just beyond the lounge, behind the thick curtain that separated it from a small economy class cabin at the rear of the upper deck.
You can imagine the envy of passengers in that first row of economy at hearing through that curtain the sounds of chatter and merriment, the popping of the odd Champagne cork and clinking of glasses.
But then, perhaps this would provide the enticement they'd need to upgrade to business class on their next journey...