Qatar Airways changed the game with Qsuites, the first business class in the sky with a fully-closing door that made a true “first class” seem irrelevant. These business class seats – and the airline itself – have piled up accolades and constant praise as the best business class in the world.
But come on. Can they really be that good?
Yes, Qsuites are truly that good leaps and bounds better than almost every single business class flying today. After a recent flight from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Doha (DOH) to kickstart a trip around the world in six days, we can confidently say it’s truly one of the best ways to fly.
An Ingenious Layout
Almost everything about Qatar Qsuites is different than its competitors, and it starts with how it’s laid out.
Rather than slapping row after row of identical seats throughout the business class cabin, Qsuites are staggered. Some seats along the wings are closer to the aisle, while others are closer to the windows.
More importantly, each row alternates: Some seats face forward, while others face backward. It may sound like an odd setup, but it’s revolutionary. It creates an open and airy cabin that gives every passenger more room than they’d have in a traditional business class cabin, where every seat points toward the nose of the plane.
Every row of suites is arranged 1-2-1, which means every flyer can easily walk into the aisle. And while solo travelers may want to avoid the center section, it’s better for groups and couples than almost any other option.
The unique seat arrangement opens some. For starters, there are the honeymoon seats – backward-facing suites right next to each other. They’re so close, you can create a double bed. If you don’t want to play footsie with your neighbor, there’s a raisable partition between the suites.
Traveling with a family or a group of co-workers? You can even drop the divider between the row in front to create a pod of four suites, all facing each other.
Oh, and did we mention it’s all gorgeous? From the purple, black, and tan color scheme of the suites to the lighting that washes over all of it, everything about Qsuites oozes elegance.
Spacious Suites, Not Seats
How can you describe perfection? You can’t – you just have to show it.
We don’t use those words lightly, but they’re accurate. After spending almost 15 hours in one of these Qsuites, it’s difficult to find any fault or flaw.
Qatar Airways seemingly thought of everything. The slide-out trays are great, giving you a massive eating and working space that gets close enough for mealtime, but can easily be pushed back to slide out for a trip to the lavatory.
The control panel has everything you need in one spot: All the seat controls you could ever need, lighting throughout your suite, and a “do not disturb button,” along with several USB outlets and a universal power socket.
There’s plenty of storage, from the surfaces throughout the suite to set a phone, amenity kit, or pair of glasses to the massive compartment that can hold a water bottle, pair of headphones, a laptop, and more. In all, it has more storage space than most business class seats.
Every square inch of the suite, inside and out, feels tremendously high quality. The seat is plush and comfortable, with an amazing adjustable headrest. The closing doors glide easily and feel sturdy. Even small touches like the reading lamp and the numbers on each suite door stand out. And it all looks so classy.
But most importantly, each Qsuite is bigger than you’d expect. They find a way to maximize privacy without sacrificing personal space. That’s a difficult line to walk, as putting a closing door on a pod eats up precious space. Even some of the world’s other top business class seats, like Delta One Suites or Japan Airlines SkySuites, start to look a bit cramped in comparison.
Even with the door closed, you have plenty of room to stretch out inside your Qsuite. It’s like your own private yet spacious pod in the sky.
When it’s time to catch some sleep, your seat reclines into a large sleeping surface, thanks in part to the padded storage compartment lid that makes it even wider. Only someone 6 feet, 4 inches or taller would struggle to stretch out.
Food You Want, When You Want It
Qatar Airways does dining a bit differently than most airlines in business class. And they do it better.
Rather than serving meals at set times after departure and before landing, Qatar offers dine on demand. You can order anything you want from the menu at any time throughout the course of your flight.
Without fail, everything I ate throughout the flight was excellent. From the amuse bouche, a simple yet tasty scallop ceviche…
… to an outstanding bowl of corn bisque…
… to Qatar’s signature prawn biryani, which was light yet packed with flavor and perfectly cooked prawns.
And it wrapped up with a delicious apple tarte. Start to finish, dinner was one of the best meals I’ve ever had on a plane – in business or first class.
Grade A (Not A-Plus) Service
The problem with being the best is that expectations only get higher and higher. Even the slightest flaw or slip-up sticks out.
Qatar’s service is famously hit or miss. In this case, it was some of both.
The flight attendants working my aisle were all attentive and friendly but somewhat distant. They were meticulous when delivering dishes and laying out tables, but there was none of the rapport or cheeriness that separates a good crew from a great crew.
Ultimately, it’s a minor complaint. The meals were great, drinks were refilled with a smile and a nod, and everyone was unfailingly courteous. It was on par with what you’d expect on most great airlines.
But when you’ve set the bar this high with the Qsuite, the bar raises for everything.
It doesn’t get much better than this. The suites themselves are possibly perfect, with more space and privacy than you’ll get on almost any other business class – though the ANA’s new business class suites look like they could give Qatar a run for its money.
Wondering how to book it? You can book a Qsuite with American miles! And at just 70,000 AAdvantage miles for a one-way flight, you might not find a better value.