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“First (Class) in Business” – The amazing new Qatar Airways Qsuite

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I’m currently in Berlin for the ITB – the biggest travel show in the world.  Messe Berlin is so big it has two train stations!

One of the main attractions of this year’s show is the new Qatar Airways Business Class seat, the Qsuite.  You can learn more about it on the Qatar Airways website here.

The Qsuite has been highly anticipated as it promised to bring, as Qatar describes it, “a First Class experience to Business Class” and I must say it did deliver.

The overall display of the seat at ITB was pretty clever. In the morning it was covered with a white cloth and only at 11am the seat was revealed with ceremony.

qatar airways new business class seat musicians

But even after the cloth came off you were still not able to see much:

qatar airways new business class seat

I was invited to the press conference at noon and had to wait until afterwards to finally be allowed in the Qsuite and lay my eyes on the seat.

qatar airways new business class seat press conference

The seat

….. is actually a suite.  With a door.  There is absolutely nothing like this available in business class at the moment.

The Qsuite aims to caters for families, couples as well as individual travellers giving as much or as little privacy as desired.

If a family of four or a group is travelling together the wall between the seats can be opened and the tables create a dining area for four.

If that sounds difficult to imagine, here is a PR photo:

Qatar 4 seater

For a couple travelling together, the two beds form a proper double bed.

qatar airways new business class seat bed

Here is the glossy official look:

Qatar couple double bed

Here is a picture from the Qsuite at ITB with the snack selection you will find on board.

rsz_qatar-airways-new-business-class-seat-food

The White Company has designed pyjamas exclusively for Qatar which every passenger in the Qsuite will receive.

We were also told at the press conference that the Qsuite will have a turndown service.

qatar airways new business class seat pyjamas

The window seats are perfect for people travelling alone. You can close the door and switch on a ‘do not disturb’ button for total privacy.

This is the ‘official’ image of how the window seats will look:

Qatar aisle seat

The next photo shows the side table in an A seat.

As you can see underneath the table are several plugs including UK and USB, the remote for the entertainemnt system (Qatar has got 3,000 entertainment options) as well as the panel to arrange the seat from upright to flat.

qatar airways new business class seat individual

This is the dining table at one of the window seats. There is a lot of room for food and drinks.

The new washbag on the side table is by BRIC’S.

rsz_qatar_seat_toiletries

A quick look at the wine and food menu showed a great selection of drinks and food.

qatar airways new business class seat wine and food menu

Here are two official YouTube videos released by Qatar Airways:

and

Here is a 75 second video I shot myself of the event and the demo seat:

Where will you find this seat?

The current plan is to fit this seat to the new A350-1000 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft currently being delivered as well as retrofitting it to Qatar’s existing Boeing 777 fleet. This will take the 777 from having the worst business seat in the Qatar Airways fleet (see Rob’s review here) to the best.

According to CEO Mr. Akbar Al Baker there are also plans to replace the existing seats on the 787 and A380 fleet but this will require a modified design to the narrower width of those aircraft. The aim for those seats is to create total privacy like in the new Qsuites.  There are also plans to reinvent Qatar’s Economy Class as Al Baker believes that there should be the “same standard of additional comfort in coach class”.

The Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft will not be refitted.

The first plane to receive the new seat, a 777, will be flying between Heathrow and Doha.  The start date was announced as June but Qatar has a track record of running late so don’t make any speculative bookings (Al Baker was blaming the delays on Airbus at the press conference…).  Paris and New York will follow and if everything goes according to plan all A350 and 777 will have the Qsuite by mid to end of 2018.

Conclusion

The Qsuite is a real reinvention of the business class seat. You can travel on your own and enjoy total privacy, you can travel as a couple and sleep in a double bed, or travel as a family and have a family dinner on the plane.

All this, and you’ll earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly it as well!  It will also be available for Avios redemptions of course.
Qatar has got a global patent on the design so we won’t be seeing anything identical to the Qsuite on other airlines.  Qatar has definitely upped the game, putting pressure on their Middle East rivals and leaving the British Airways Club World – and arguably First Class – seats for dust.

You can learn more about the Qsuite on the Qatar Airways website here.


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Comments (114)

  • Tina says:

    Great new blankets, a la EY, as well 🙂 !

  • Steve says:

    I think this article has finally made my mind up for me to stop going for 241 vouchers. Now I will focus on avios collection and ex EU deals to fly the Qatar product.

    • Dave H says:

      Agreed I have a 241 voucher sat in my account and tbh I don’t see myself using it, flew with Etihad last year and had the leg from Brisbane upgraded to first, this new seat/cabin looks on a par.

    • Robbie says:

      Yes, I am based in Spain at the moment and have taken to using my Avios on Qatar. Heathrow to Doha on BA 60,000 Avios and 350GBP but Doha to Barcelonaon Qatar 60,000 Avios and 65GBP (Vueling, Norweigen and Easy Jet can get you back to UK for much less than the 200GBP) now it is a better product it only sweetens the deal.

      I am just gutted that my next trip is in July and on a 787 so I may have to wait a couple of years until I am able to take this suite.

      • Yuff says:

        The 787 is still a great product in J 😉
        It’s just Qatar have upped their game from a pretty good starting position 🙂

        • Mark says:

          stupid question but how can you book qatar with avios?

          • Rob says:

            Flights come up automatically on BA.com when you search and seats are available. Can’t do it on Avios.com.

  • Alan says:

    Looks great. Unfortunately doesn’t really work for a family of 3 though. Not to worry, I don’t think I could afford it anyway!

    • Robbie says:

      My first thought as well. I was wondering if it was possible to have a three seat set up – But I think maybe my wife and daughter can go in the double seat and I will take a window seat – and a nice long nap. And as for affording it, that’s what Avios are for. 🙂

      • Alan says:

        I think that by the time I get enough Avios for 3 of these seats my daughter will have left home and I’ll probably only need 2!

  • Jeremy says:

    Makes you wish that Qatar was further away!

    • Rob says:

      To be honest I find the 6-7 hour flight time to the Middle East to be about right, on a day flight. Any longer and you are likely to sleep through part of the flight anyway.

      • John says:

        But it’s not long enough for a night flight and a bed is not really necessary on a day flight of 6 hours. I wonder what QR would make of a Y+ product

  • Amtexfly says:

    Looks amazing.

    Being relatively new to the world of premium flying I haven’t yet tried a product that you put your feet into a home in front, not sure how comfortable I would find that.

    • Lady London says:

      It can feel quite restricting actually. Especially if you tend to toss and turn in your sleep and if that includes the need to move your feet around a bit.

      Sounds like it might feel a bit like the QR A350 setup which overall is my favourite despite this foot in a box feeling.

  • Lee says:

    Are these planes being fitted with first class as well? If so is that poorer?

    • Rob says:

      Only the handful of A380 aircraft have First Class. This is staying. Apparently it will be tweaked in some ways but the open ‘no doors’ arrangement will continue. They need to up their game on food, drink and service, as well as the privacy benefits of an 8-seat cabin, to justify keeping it.

  • Ian says:

    Wow game changer!

    It really does leave BA CW and First for dust. Nearly as incredible as Barcelona’s win last night. Will this finally force BA to up their game? I highly doubt it. They’ll announce some more cutbacks instead.

  • Denis says:

    Finishes indeed look nice. Colours, fabrics all well thought. However what is that about reinvention? OMG! You joking?! Are you Al Baker? It’s basically the same product as EY has on its A380 with doors installed and different finishes. The only innovation is the ability to form a party of 4.

    What about the space? Seats indeed look narrow and the cubbies for legs are really small.

    • Ian H says:

      Pipe down. I thought it was a really good, informative article.

      The EY suite you talk about is 1st class and very expensive. This is business class.

      This is a genuine game changer.

      • Matthew says:

        He is referring to the EY business studio. This looks very similar but just with the addition of doors…

        • Denis says:

          Thanks Matthew, I of course was referring to EY business class Studio. This QR product has nothing to do with EY First or any other international First (neither it should).

          Q suite is much more United Polaris than First.

          “This is a genuine game changer”
          What a joke. Why is that game changer if it looks vastly similar to so many J class products flying around? Just a door, just a door.

          • Rob says:

            Do you have any other suggestions for Qatar?

            Note that the Etihad seat you mention is ONLY on their A380 aircraft, which is a handful. This will be a huge roll-out. As I’ve said before on here, I think the Etihad A380 Business Class studio is the best business class seat out there (although the wine list is iffy), followed by Qatar on the new aircraft. This may well see those two swap places.

            The real issue is actually where BA etc go from here. Well, primarily BA, since even the new Aer Lingus and Finnair seats make CW look like a joke. Even Iberia runs better J seats. I also sat in the new American Airlines 777W seat a couple of weeks ago and that is also hugely impressive, far more so than Polaris.

            Of course, as BA has revenue sharing deals with Finnair, American, Iberia and Qatar (and with Aer Lingus too once it joins the North Atlantic JV) they probably don’t care too much. They still get paid.

          • Denis says:

            I did not think we talk about BA :).

            As per BA, I don’t even know what to say. It’s all around BA so sad and disappointing.

            The problem with BA is actually too heavy business London associated traffic. BA is spoiled. People pay ridiculous BA fares for direct flights to London just because BA offers a direct flight there. There is no such thing in Madrid, Helsinki or even Paris (to much much much less extend than London), so IB, AY or AF have to improve their products to win customers. BA doesn’t. IAG heads clearly understand that. I mean IB and BA are managed by the same people. They see the point of IB providing great product to win customers and don’t see that for BA.

            So I’m pretty sure new QR business won’t make BA to offer anything substantially more competitive, because they don’t need as long as there are 1000 folks daily willing to pay $5000-7000 for direct RT from NYC to London in their current Club world. If they have a real threat to loose those folks they would roll out a better product pretty quickly.

    • Rob says:

      First-ever business class seat set up as an enclosed suite (if you don’t count the new Delta product) seems revolutionary enough for me. At the end of the day you are still working within the confines of ‘seats in a metal [composites, these days] tube’ and the myriad of safety restrictions over materials etc.

      • Denis says:

        Sure! I’m not saying the product is bad or underwhelming in any way. I’ll be happy to take a flight with QR once it’s installed. However “revolutionary”, “game changer” etc seem too excessive and in line with Al Baker usual style.

        Seats are cramped. Cubbies are little. Yes, finishes are stunning and THERE IS A DOOR. You have to admit the product is similar to EY business studio or pretty similar to UA Polaris. So all the buzz is about a door.

        4 large forward facing seats abreast that SQ offers on their 777 and 350 is a way better product and still you don’t call it reinvention or game changer.

        A few sobering points would be much appreciated in this review. Otherwise it looks like paid content.

        • Rob says:

          Polaris is (comparatively) rubbish. I’ve sat in it, as has Anika. Obviously it’s better than Club World but AA isn’t having sleepless nights. And it won’t be fully rolled out until 2021.

          I’ve done the Singapore 777 in Business Class (see here https://headforpoints.com/2015/06/09/my-review-of-the-singapore-airlines-boeing-777-300er-business-class-seat/ ) as has Anika, as has my (then) 4-year old who is pictured. He liked it, I wasn’t over-impressed because the seat is too wide and you are forced to sleep diagonally.

          • Denis says:

            I did test Polaris at their promo stand in SF. It does feel cramped (though still great improvement to what UA has now).

            Rob, here is the thing. I consider you a travel professional and like to read your blog. That’s why I’m expecting a bit more sober review on the product than “wow it’s shining”, “wow it’s new”, “wow it’s game changer”. When in fact the product is GOOD but by no means reinvention since (a) it’s vastly similar to something that has been flying around for years and (b) has obvious issues with space, cubbies and so on. We don’t call SQ J revolutionary even though every seats provides 2X bedding space and 2X personal space compared to QR one.

          • Yuff says:

            I have to say I think Qatar’s J product, on the 787, is quite a bit better than Etihad’s business studio on the A380.
            Rob is a big fan of Etihad’s business studio so can’t see where the bias is.
            I would rather fly Qatar’s J product and if this Q suite, is a big jump up in comfort, I don’t think revolutionary is misplaced in terms of description.

        • will says:

          I mean a double bed in business is revolutionary, as is the ability to sit as 4 people facing each other over a meal while still in your own fully reclining seat.

          Or did I miss the double beds in business and dining table on the other airlines?

          Completely fair review of what looks like an extraordinary product.

          Looks like we’re moving to a world with just business/prem econ/econ which if it looks like the above is fine by me.

    • Sam says:

      It’s a review so based on personal opinion. Anika saw it in person and she liked it so wrote a positive article. I thought this was a great review with lots of photos to back up opinion.

      Back on topic, the seat looks very good for business class. HfP runs mainly BA articles so comparatively, this is a revolution. This is also the first seat I’ve seen which can open up into four – a huge plus for families.

    • Leo says:

      Never seen the point of a review of a review myself. Misses the point somewhat.

    • BA Sucks says:

      I might be biased, but there’s absolutely no bias in Anika’s review at all. To the best of my knowledge. Of which I have full confidence in.

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