Never before have I stepped on to a plane excited about the second leg of our long journey home to Australia from Europe. Our Qatar Airways business class flight between Doha and Sydney was different. It was our first time travelling in the Qsuite and we could finally see if this new Qatar business class experience lived up to the hype and why Qatar Airways continues to be named the best airline in the world.
Qatar Airways Qsuite Review
We chose Qatar for this trip based on their competitive price. Based on our previous experience flying Qatar Airways business class we also knew it would be a great experience.
We checked in at the counter at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as our full flight schedule was Paris – Doha – Sydney – Brisbane. They quite literally rolled out the red (or Burgundy) carpet for check in. One Qatar Airways representative even walked us to the front of the Business Class check in line after seeing we had our baby asleep in her stroller. It always puts you at ease when you are welcomed with a baby in business class by both the airline and other travellers. Thankfully, that was the case on all of our Qatar flights.
From check in, we made our way to the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in Paris to relax and shower before our flight. On arrival in Doha, we did the same; taking the time to shower, eat and relax in the very large Al Mourjan Lounge, which is exclusively open to passengers travelling business class with Qatar Airways (as opposed to the First Class lounge which allows partner airline passengers’ entry).
Flight and Plane
Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER
The Qsuite is also available on the Airbus A350-900 and the A350-1000.
Doha to Sydney
14 hours 15 mins
The Qatar Airways Qsuite
Thankfully, we weren’t the only excited passengers settling into our suites as we boarded the plane. All of those around us, whether in the centre Qsuite or single suites by the window, were poking and prodding all of the amenities, buttons, bells and whistles as they boarded. There were many a suite selfie taken too.
There are 42 business class suites spread between the two cabins on the Boeing 777-300ER.
We were in seats 5E and 5F.
The Qsuite model has been spruiked as a more romantic seating layout for couples, with the option to transform the two seats into a lie flat double bed. It was for that particular feature that the Qsuite appealed to us, but for a slightly different reason; we were travelling with a baby. Having a double bed and lots of privacy would enable our daughter to sleep in between us while giving us enough room to stay comfortable and sleep as well.
The cabin configuration was 1-2-1. However, only the rear-facing middle seats were those that could be transformed into a double bed. So, ensure you choose this option online (we had to call and request this specific Qsuite option). This makes for quite an odd feeling on take off and landing.
The forward facing seated pairs can feel a little further from each other. The couple facing us commented on the distance while disembarking but didn’t seem too concerned about it. They would be the less-awkward option for friends or colleagues travelling together who need a little personal space, other than a simple privacy screen.
If you are travelling as a group of four, the Qsuite quad configuration would be ideal. The privacy panels located behind the TV screens can be drawn back between the centre four seats to create a shared quad space to chat, work or enjoy a few cocktails together at 40,000 feet (the 777-300ER doesn’t have a bar like the A380 does so the four-suite quad model is a great answer thanks to the privacy screens to the aisle, makes the space more intimate than a common bar area).
Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to the Qsuite. As we patted our brows with a fresh cool towel and sipped on a welcome glass of pretty pink Drappier Rose Champagne, we explored and exhausted all of the many storage options, seat positions, mood lighting levels and the general splendour of our make shift hotel room in the sky.
The his and hers BRIC amenity kits feature a mask, ear plugs, socks and luxury Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio skincare products. Comfortable White Company slippers and sleepwear are delivered to your suite before take off.
The TV had the largest screen we’ve had in business class and with two of the 21.5 inch screen sitting side-by-side, our seats felt somewhat like a personal cinema experience. There are more than enough programs to keep you diverted with 4,000 entertainment options from Hollywood blockbusters to TV sets.
Charging your electronics and staying connected is easy with plenty of pockets, power points and a USB point with the TV remote in the control centre, all within easy reach.
The Qsuite seats themselves are wide and lie flat for sleeping. Flight attendants helped set up our double bed complete with mattress topper, doona and plenty of pillows as part of their turn down service. The double bed was extremely comfortable. With privacy screen to the aisles pulled closed and the Do Not Disturb light illuminated, we were able to cosy up as a family and get some sleep during the flight. The foot cubby was very generous too. So much so that I stored an extra bag in the space.
The business class bathrooms were huge and I never had to wait in line, which was particularly good when I had to step in to change my daughter’s nappy. There was plenty of room to do so too. The flight attendants usually saw me walking with her and stepped ahead, set up the table and held the door open so I could walk straight in too which was lovely.
Dine on Demand
The in-flight dining on Qatar is the best we’ve had on any airline. It is absolutely a dining experience, not just an in-flight meal. Every part of the experience is curated, from the menu to the table presentation. There are no small, shaky tables and plastic trays here. Each detail has been carefully choreographed, making it easy to forget you are on a plane. White tablecloths, signature crockery and glassware, a (safety) candle for ambience, personal mini-salt and pepper shakers and the list goes on. These luxury touches make a meal feel special, not rushed.
Of course, the best feature is the dine on demand a la carte menu. Eat what you like when you feel like it. Again, this feels like a crossover from a first-class experience. As we were travelling with a baby, we could easily take turns eating (while the other took care of the baby).
I actually held off on eating at the lounge in Doha because I knew the food onboard would be so good. For dinner, I tried the grilled tenderloin of beef with crushed new potatoes, asparagus spears, baby vegetables and béarnaise sauce. For breakfast, I chose the greek yoghurt, strawberry compote and toasted granola with nuts and the Emmental cheese omelette with chicken and herb patties, potatoes, tomato and mushrooms. There was a glass or two of Pommery brut dotted throughout the flight too.
The wine list included an Albert Bichot Burgundy, Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc a 2012 Chateau Lynch-Moussas Bordeaux among many others.
Related: A Luxury Loire Valley Cruise
The service in Qatar Airways business class is unmatched. From the moment we sat down and were each personally greeted by our flight attendant to offers to babysit so we could sleep to knowledge of food and wine, we have found the team on every Qatar business class flight friendly, polished and extremely fast to help when called, even in the middle of the night.
Related: What to Pack for Travel With a Baby
Qatar Business Class With a Baby
While it is always very daunting boarding a plane with a baby, particularly over the long haul, we were made to feel welcome from the moment we checked in at the Paris counter to the moment we landed in Sydney. This was the same on all of our other business class flights with Qatar too.
During this flight the flight attendants checked in on us and our daughter often, they offered to entertain her to give us a break, they brought us a baby amenities kit (consisting of nappies, wipes, food pouches and creams).
Without question, I would rate the experience as a five out of five. There’s a reason the Qsuite has been called revolutionary. It really stands out as the best business class seating option on the market. I am yet to fly first class, but I am sure this is the closest step to first class that exists, right now.
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller. She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health. As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Skye created The Fit Traveller as a beautiful online space and community where people feel inspired to escape the desk to move and explore more.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her insatiable appetite for adventure.