Qatar Airways Qsuites Business Class: Impressions From My First Flight

Filed Under: Qatar, Travel

Hello from Doha! I just got off the 12 hour flight from New York in Qatar Airways’ new Qsuites business class, which the airline introduced last year. This is Qatar Airways’ new business class suites with doors, for which they have the slogan “First in Business.” They’re essentially making the claim that this is a first class product at business class prices. Yaroslav shared a review of his experience with Qsuites between London and Doha last June, and in this post I wanted to share my initial impressions.

So, how was Qsuites? Is this actually a revolutionary business class experience, or just a mediocre seat that they slapped a door on? Keep in mind how efficient this configuration is, as they managed to install these seats in the same space as the old business class cabin without reducing the seat count.

Well, I’ve gotta say, Qsuites is an astoundingly good business class product. This has to be the most innovative and well thought out business class seat I’ve ever sat in.

The layout of the cabin as such isn’t that innovative. This is essentially a staggered configuration, and in a way it reminded me a lot of Etihad’s Business Studio. There are four seats per row, and in each row seats alternate between being closer to the aisle, closer to the window, etc. Some seats face forwards, while others face backwards.

One brilliant aspect of the design is how it works for just about anyone. If you’re a solo traveler you can grab a window seat. If you’re a couple you can grab two seats in the middle and turn them into a double bed. If you’re a family of four you can grab four adjacent seats in the center section, and turn them into a bigger suite. On my flight people were enjoying all of those features, from single travelers to couples to families. Absolutely brilliant.

While this is really just a modified staggered configuration, what impressed me was how well designed everything was. The suite had a counter on which you can store things or place a drink or snack, a large storage bin, easy to use and logically placed controls, two USBs and a 110v outlet, a big entertainment screen, etc.

I’m writing this as I’m sitting in my Qsuite, and I’m just looking around in amazement at the fact that this is business class. Personally I don’t find the seat to be claustrophobic one bit, and if you do find it to be claustrophobic you can just leave your suite door open, and that solves that issue (just about everyone always had their suite door closed, so you still have extra privacy even if you don’t close your own door). By the way, the door can be opened and closed manually, and slides and stays shut really easily.

The seat is also surprisingly spacious in bed mode. When you recline your seat you can lower one of the armrests, and then your bed is even wider. I’m a side sleeper and I like to bend my knees when sleeping, which can be tough on a plane due to the limited space. However, I had no issues sleeping in my preferred position, which is fairly rare.

So, are there any downsides to the seat? Yes, a couple.

Personally I found the seat to be too hard. When you sleep there is a mattress pad they give you, but it’s really thin and doesn’t make much of a difference. I didn’t find the seat to be so hard that it was a problem, but I would have preferred it to be significantly more cushioned.

Next, the process of reclining the seat can be a bit awkward. If you’re sitting upright and then recline the seat you may at first think that the footwell is really tight. That’s because the seatback is tall, so once you recline you have to shift your body up at least six or so inches. The same issue is true when you put the seat back up, where you’ll have to slide down on your seat again in order to stay seated.

Qsuites bottom line

What Qatar Airways has done with Qsuites is genius. As far as I’m concerned this is by far the best business class hard product in operation. The bones of the seat aren’t that different than Etihad’s Business Studio, but the addition of the door, the exceptional attention to detail in the design, and the high level of customizability based on where you’re seated, really set this product apart.

Otherwise my favorite business class product is the Apex Suite, though I think this has the edge.

Add in Qatar’s industry leading soft product with dine on demand, an amazing food and drink selection, pajamas, and much more, and you do easily have the world’s best business class.

I can’t wait to try the Delta One Suite as well as Singapore’s new business class in the coming weeks to see how they compare.

If you’ve flown Qsuites, what was your experience like?

  1. The table in the footwell kills the seat for me. When sleeping on your back, raising your knees any amount means you bump your knees into the table (I’m average at 5’10″/178cm). The same goes when lounging if you want to be knees up.

    Otherwise it is a very good seat, just a shame its so poor on the knees..

  2. Looking forward to when they retrofit their 777LRs with this, as much as I love the meaty space of the current setup, the QSuites have the edge in privacy.

  3. Is there any timeline for rolling this out on new routes? I’m flying from JNB to DOH in October, and would love to have this rather than the old seats!

  4. I get to fly on this with my wife in 3 weeks. IAD-DOH. Do the pillows still say “This is my happy place.”? We are booked in the last row double seats. How would you judge noise coming from the economy cabin?

  5. Completely agree – far and away the best business class experience I’ve had. No question.

    Which makes Emirates’ “new” business seat all the more mystifying.

  6. I couldn’t believe how luxurious and well-made all the finishes on the seat were when I flew it. I kept running my hands over everything. It feels incredibly high-end, sophisticated and professional. I loved how high the seat back was – it felt beautiful to sink into.
    I certainly haven’t flown as many J products as you have but for me it was also easily the worlds best business class.

  7. @Lucky, I’m currently booked on Etihad Business Studio and see availability to change my flight to QSuites for the same dates. I have never flown either, do you think it’s worth me switching flights?

  8. Lucky, how would you compare qsuites to Qatar’s first class product? Based on your experience, is QR First still worth the additional cost?

  9. Would you say that every different kind of seat (window, aisle, middle) is more or less of equal quality? You’ve said in the past you still overall prefer reverse-herringbone seats to Apex Suites because all of the seats are created equal whereas in Apex Suites only the window seats are desirable. Does Qsuites finally dethrone reverse-herringbone in your mind?

  10. Yes yes yes, by far the best biz class seat i ve flown in. Did even get the double bed to myself aha…
    That being said i flew qsuite on the 777 which is a noisy plane compared to the A350 which will also get the qsuite.

  11. This looks much better than the Emirates First Class, in my opinion. Add an on-board bar and shower and you have an outstanding product.

  12. @Dan – I noticed that also. Must not be regulating the power off the engines to the personal outlets LOL!

  13. Flew DOH-JFK on a qsuite-configured plane this Monday and completely agree with Ben’s praise. I am 6’3″ and had no problem sleeping (longest time ever in J) in the “pod”; the foot cubby was massive. The service was exemplary as well.

  14. So another clickbait with six instalments like you flogging a dead horse a.k.a EK new First? I understand you’re running out of topics, but what is left when you write the actual review? Thickness of the hot towel and how proactively they offered bread?

  15. I no longer see award availability for business seats on Qatar on Any idea why and how to find it?

  16. just introduced on IAD-DOH route. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try it out some time but fares from here are always very much more expensive

  17. I just realized we were on the same flight. Omg if I knew you were there I might have asked for your autograph.

  18. That privacy divider in the middle seats is pointless, doesn’t stop the other person looking at what you’re doing. The only truly private seats are Emirates’s new first class, or in the toilet. All this stupid door/divider nonsense on business seats is ridiculous, it gives hardly any privacy.

  19. My girlfriend flew this last night to Doha from Dulles and said it was amazing. I didn’t think Qsuites were flying from Dulles until January 19 but apparently I was wrong.

    Can’t wait to try it myself.

  20. Does Lucky or anyone know if the LAX-DOH route will retain Qsuite past 05/01/18.
    Does Lucky or anyone know if/when the gulf flights will be reinstated?

  21. @Mark,

    No chance of the intra gulf flights being reinstated any time soon.

    The general word from Doha is that this is now the future and unlikely to go back to how it was.

  22. The seat looks amazing. Too bad it’s Qatar airways – not going to fly an airline that treats its employees so despicably. But, I really hope that other airlines might copy this design, as it does look amazing. Look at what you can buy when your government will balance your books every year with their oil money, and if you don’t need to worry about turning an actual profit!
    Anyway – I can’t deny that the people at Qatar have excellent taste – which I hope will rub off a little bit on European and US carriers, whose hard products are usually so listless, uninspired and disappointing. I don’t care about the doors, I think that’s useless and a gimmick. I love the customization concept though – for example making two seats into a double bed for couples, or families being able to be closer together. That makes a huge difference when traveling with somebody.

  23. @ Gus

    I really struggle with your attitude. You could as easily criticise the US3 because their government offers subsidies and, the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card, Chapter 11.

    Qatar beats the US3 into the ground. Get over it.

  24. @Lucky

    You forgot to mention the High Speed Broadband Wifi they’ve been quietly launching on those aircrafts 😉

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