Since the launch of Qatar Airways Qsuite business class product, we had waited patiently for a chance to try it.
Fully enclosed cabins in the 1-2-1 format was a formula never before seen in business class. Since its launch, Delta has also launched a similar product which will hopefully see this become the norm in business class travel. On our way to the annual Swiss watch conference SIHH, we decided to book with Qatar and experience this great new product.
Route: Sydney – Doha
Flight Number: QR 907
Flight time: 14:30mins
Price: AU$6,700 (SYD – ZRH return)
Here’s our review of what’s hot and what’s not with the Qatar business class Qsuite.
1. You can start your flight in the QANTAS first lounge, providing you’re a One World Emerald or QANTAS Platinum member.
2. Onboard the Qatar 777-200, the Qsuite is as impressive as it looks in the press photos. Spacious and modern. We didn’t want to jump the gun but this could be business class heaven.
3. We jumped on SeatGuru and took their advice of the rear facing 10A for its additional privacy. On comparison, I feel there was not much difference between the forward or rear facing window / aisle seats.
4. High walls ensure the Qatar Qsuite is private, very private…even without the door closed. Unfortunately my door was broken so it required a folded pyjama bag to keep it closed throughout the flight.
5. Don’t expect to see anyone the entire flight. It may pay to keep it open when you want to catch the flight attendant’s eye for a top up. Facing rear on the window is the best seat and most private. Sitting backwards is no big deal when you’re on the window.
6. The Qatar amenities kit was one of the better ones. Earplugs, eye-mask, moisturiser and lip-balm all provided by Monte Vibiano. Essentials for a long flight in the air conditioning.
7. Under counter storage is useful for books and headphones.
8. Under the left arm offers an adjustable arm rest and storage with a complimentary bottle of Evian. The arm rest is also adjustable based on your height.
9. Tray table was a little annoying; my long legs had a tendency to bash into it during the flight. It was no problem, however, when I was laying down or sleeping.
10. The reading light is well protected by the QSuite’s enclosure, so there’s little risk of annoying your neighbours (or being annoyed by theirs).
11. Ergonomics of power, plugs and controls is better than most business class seats. Easily reachable yet far enough away without knocking or turning them on in the night.
12. The 21.5” entertainment screen is huge and has matte finish. The touch screen is super responsive, UX is very intuitive and well thought out. It’s a step above those of Emirates, Qantas and Singapore.
13. Turning the small control screen off during night was a bit confusing, so I gave up and buried it under a blanket.
14. Qatar’s business class menu is extensive and includes signature dishes from Melbourne’s George Calombaris. We highly recommend the Beef Short Rib. The convenience of Qatar’s ‘Dine On Demand’ service can’t be faulted.
15. The beverage list is respectable but lacked big names in the wine and Champagne categories. Three reds on a wine list was a touch limited with only a Bordeaux, Brazilian Cab Sav and Barossa Shiraz on offer. Do not expect any mainstream Champagne brands; Lallier is their bubbles of choice.
16. Not only do you get a set of The White Company pyjamas, Qatar offer mattresses which takes the bed from good to bloody amazing. This also includes a pillow case cover. Holy sh*t.
17. The Qatar 777 bathrooms whilst only used sparingly during flight are well appointed. There’s an alarming amount of light to do your make-up or spruce your hair.
18. Storage for clothing and sneakers was a problem. You can place belongings next to you, however the storage bins in the A380 are quite handy to have.
19. The staff are really attentive. Small things like asking how I slept, was everything okay with the bed and seat (it was broken, but let’s ignore that for now) and finally making the effort to find a vacant toilet before landing to get changed.
20. Transit in Doha is a breeze and the airport dumps on Abu Dhabi. The Al Mourjan lounge is for business travellers only and free of Oneworld economy travellers with screaming kids.
The Wrap Up
- The Qatar Qsuite is not available on all routes, so do your research on which Boeing 777 and A350-1000’s.
- Key routes thankfully include Sydney to Heathrow.
- My biggest disappointment would be that we only got to experience the Qsuite on one leg of this work trip.
- Value for money in comparison to Qantas and Emirates, Qatar Airways is a real player in the premium travel market.
- Oneworld partnership is great for earning QANTAS status credits.