TRIED AND TESTED FLIGHT

DOHA HAMAD IN­TER­NA­TIONAL – LON­DON HEATHROW

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS -

Qatar Air­ways QSuite

Doha – Lon­don Heathrow

BACK­GROUND Qatar Air­ways new busi­ness class, the Qsuite, was in­tro­duced in March 2017, and is grad­u­ally be­ing rolled out across the car­rier’s en­tire long-haul fleet. This flight was op­er­ated aboard the new A350-1000 air­craft out­fit­ted with the QSuite prod­uct.

CHECK-IN When I ar­rived at Hamad In­ter­na­tional at 10 AM, there were no lines at pre­mium check-in for ei­ther first or busi­ness class. I asked to move seats from a win­dow to a cen­ter seat so I could ex­pe­ri­ence the phe­nom­e­non of putting four seats to­gether, both for­ward- and back­ward-fac­ing.

Once through se­cu­rity, I made my way to the Al Mour­jan Busi­ness Lounge, the Al Mour­jan Busi­ness Lounge, lo­cated on Level 3. At 11:30 I made my way to Gate C1 and upon board­ing, I was wel­comed and of­fered a choice of drinks, in­clud­ing cham­pagne.

THESE AT The Q Suite setup is very dif­fer­ent from nor­mal busi­ness class. On the A350-1000 there are 46 seats across two busi­ness class cab­ins, a main cabin with 38 seats, nine rows at the side and ten rows in the mid­dle, all in a 1-2-1 con­fig­u­ra­tion. The sec­ond, smaller cabin has just eight seats, just two rows, also in a 1-2-1 con­fig­u­ra­tion. The seats are for­ward- then back­ward fac­ing, like train seats. Row 1 has four back­ward-fac­ing seats and row 2 has four for­ward-fac­ing seats. Thus the cen­ter seats can make a four-seat pri­vate suite if the di­viders are con­fig­ured that way. In ad­di­tion, each seat has a slid­ing door for pri­vacy. The cen­ter di­vider is op­er­ated by the pas­sen­ger, but the flight at­ten­dant op­er­ates the fore and aft di­vider.

The seat was roomy and quite com­fort­able and the 15-inch dis­play of­fered an abun­dance of movies and en­ter­tain­ment, and was on for the en­tire trip gate-to-gate. The seat re­clines so that your feet meet the footrest be­neath the IFE screen, or you can rest your feet on the floor even when the seat is re­clined.

THE FLIGHT Be­fore take-off menus had been handed around and or­ders taken, al­though it was made clear we could also have dine on de­mand. The menu was a good one, start­ing with soup of the day and a choice of ap­pe­tiz­ers. Main course op­tions were chicken maqlooba, herb-crusted loin of lamb or veg­etable jal­frezi. I had this last op­tion, which was de­li­cious.

The wine se­lec­tion was ex­ten­sive and in­cluded two cham­pagnes, plus a se­lec­tion of whites and reds, and dessert wines. The dessert op­tions in­cluded banof­fee pie with crème anglaise, fresh berries with al­mond syrup or an ice cream se­lec­tion.

AR­RIVAL We ar­rived at Heathrow slightly early, only to cir­cle around the air­port for 20 min­utes and then spend a fur­ther 15 min­utes wait­ing to get to our gate. Once there, we were quickly off. I had no checked lug­gage, so in short or­der was land­side for the jour­ney into cen­tral Lon­don.

VER­DICT The QSuite is Qatar Air­ways’ bid to add a touch of first class to the busi­ness cabin. The unortho­dox lay­out may con­fuse some pas­sen­gers but can be truly con­ve­nient for oth­ers. Seat con­fig­u­ra­tion not­with­stand­ing, the ser­vice was ex­em­plary, and the food and wine choices were all top class.

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