Qatar Qsuite Business Class has been reviewed as the “world's best business class” but is it? I just flew it, and while I'll have a complete review and video later, here are my first impressions of its pros and cons.
Qatar Qsuite Pros
1. Good Design for Charging Devices
I liked that not only was the power outlet within easy range of the seat, there was a little shelf big enough to set my laptop on it while it charged. With other business class products, it can be tough having room to charge a laptop while also eating a meal; the shelf eliminated the need to have it charge on the tray table.
2. Closing Suite Door
As the Qsuites name implies, there's a suite door that manually closes. You can still peer over it, and it's not as high as the Singapore Suite doors, but it is higher than JetBlue Mint suite doors, and provides some appreciated privacy when sleeping or working. Just be careful not to inadvertently press the emergency button when closing it.
3. Tray Table Design Enables Entry/Exit
It's quite common, even for business class, that when your tray table is in place, it's not easy to get in and out of your seat, say if you need to go tend to a family member or want to retrieve something out of the overhead compartment. Fortunately, the Qatar tray table, even when opened up, still enables you to get in and out of your seat, which I liked. The tray table design does take some getting used to in another way, however; you have to press the right spot of the underside of the table to get it to release and slide towards you, or to release it to slide it closed.
Very few airline business class products provide pajamas in business class; EVA Air does, and Qatar Airways is another. Knowing this, we didn't even pack our own pajamas for this trip, as we knew we could count on getting some from Qatar. Keep in mind the pajamas run large; I normally take a medium, but should have asked for a small, and the small were quite large on my 10 year old, even though he's over 5 feet tall.
5. IFE Classic Movie Selection
This may seem odd coming from me, as I often barely use the IFE, but I have to say I was impressed at the selection of older films on Qatar Airways' Oryx One in-flight entertainment system, everything from 80s favorites such as Back to the Future to 40s film noir such as Mildred Pierce with Joan Crawford, which I watched. Naturally there are Hollywood new releases, Bollywood favorites, and other Asian and European films, but it was the classic selection that impressed me most, as it's often entirely missing from other airline IFE choices.
6. Friendly Qsuite Flight Attendants
I found the two Qsuite flight attendants who assisted me very friendly and helpful, although they seemed overworked–more below.
Qatar Qsuite Cons
The Qsuite cabin was full, and staffing seemed insufficient for the cabin, since it took awhile for welcome drinks, menus, pajamas etc. to be distributed, and it took over 1.5 hours into the flight for my appetizer to be served. Before landing, I requested a juice and said I'd be changing out of pajamas, but when I returned, none of my bedding had been put away and my juice was nowhere in sight.
2. Uncomfortable Bed
I found the Qsuite seat very firm, with little padding, which made for an uncomfortable bed, even with the very thin mattress pad, and with using the duvet to provide extra padding. I wanted to give the bed a try without using my Thermarest, and regretted it. Without a sleeping pill I wouldn't have gotten any sleep, due to how uncomfortable the bed is.
3. Water Not Topped Up
This likely relates to the understaffing mentioned above, but it's typical, even in international Economy Class, for there to be water refills. No one ever refilled my water glass during my meal. Fortunately there's a bottle of water already provided in the storage ottoman, but since flying is so dehydrating I used up that bottle quite quickly.
Food and Drink
I haven't mentioned food as either a pro or a con–it was exactly what I'd expect for business class, good but not great. Probably the highlight was the crab and avocado amuse bouche, which was very tasty, and better than all other savory items I tried. The other highlights were a nice Sauvignon Blanc and a lovely cardamom masala chai with breakfast.
Stay tuned for a future complete Qatar Qsuites review and video. If you've flown Qatar Qsuites recently, what was your experience?
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