“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

  1. Rich. says:

    Great. Just wish BA would upgrade their Business class offering !!

  2. Dwadda says:

    “Just a door?” A door makes a huge difference depending on what you are used to. If you are working it is distracting having people walk by and it is also distracting when you want to sleep. When I fly QR, CX, AA etc with the herringbone arrangement I bring a length of string and a bulldog clip and rig the string between the little hook to hang a jacket on the forward section and the back section. I then ask for a spare duvet and make my own door.

    You can’t do that with BA CW aisle seats so I never sit there. Wonder what the new BA seat will be like. Despite not liking the aisle seats I do like the current arrangement. Great for couples and the windows seats are very private apart from meal times.

    • Dwadda says:

      You need quite a big bulldog clip, btw. The wall of the seat ‘capsule’ you attach it to is just under an inch thick.

  3. Steve says:

    Thanks for the great review. In general it looks great.

    Presumably there is a divider between the centre seats if you’re not travelling with someone you know?

    I can’t see any armrests – is that true?

    Your picture shows what looks like a contactless payment point underneath the table….. any ideas what that’s for? Paying for duty free…?

    The “four bed suite” is certainly innovative… but I’m not sure I’d want to be on a flight where there is a party of four sitting together like that. The people opposite are still a good distance away, so would need to talk quite loudly (as opposed to if you are talking to someone next to you). Furthermore with the ability to close the doors, they could easily become oblivious to their surroundings and forget to keep their voices down…. I suppose that’s what the headphones are for I suppose.

    Minor quibbles, though, for what looks like a really great product. Qatar is hands-down my favourite airline and it looks like it will stay that way for a few years to come!

    • minor quibbles? I sincerely doubt it (especially if trying to sleep without wearing said headphones) – just imagine a group of 3/4 cackling on, as you rightly say ‘oblivious to their surroundings’ – it would be enough to instigate the Father Jack exit (of Father Ted fame) with the drinks trolley…

      I think its a tacky solution, trying to be too clever by far.

  4. Kinkell says:

    Well, I for one, liked the review and would certainly be keen to try it out. Have experienced the Emirates, Cx, BA , Finnair business products. We tolerate BA due to the 241 redemptions , but like the others better.

    • tolerate?? you make it sound like you’re getting strung up by your undercarriage on your tesco tourism flights

  5. Martin says:

    A small point, but when the IFE system is trumpeted as being so good, why do airlines insist on installing either 1.5 or 1.6 aspect ratio monitors? (It looks like Qatar are using 1.6.)

    It means that most widescreen tv content (at 1.77) has to be either stretched or letter-boxed. And widescreen films (1.85) and scope films (2.35) have to be letter-boxed to a greater degree.

    Do Qatar censor films as Etihad do?

    • They do have a disclaimer about content being modified or something along those lines

    • Lady London says:

      Yes. I’ve missed key scenes in some films that made me wonder what everyone else was talking about.

  6. ‘ I am currently sitting in a hotel which is more opulent than anywhere than 99.5% of the UK population and probably 90% of the HFP readership have ever been.’

    …….and that hotel is?

    • the real harry1 says:

      The Golden Age has returned

      Inspired by the imperial palaces of the Ottoman era, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is a five-star luxury hotel that does absolutely everything in superb style. From its exclusive location on the west crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah to the truly spectacular lobby entrance, every detail inspires awe and delight.

      The resort is made up of 379 elegant guest rooms, with 26 lavish suites and 38 Royal Residences offering stunning ocean views. Lose yourself in the outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Discover a whole new way of dining at the magnificent Music Hall. And explore a world of treatments at the palatial Talise Ottoman Spa, home to 42 treatment rooms, eight hydrotherapy rooms, steam rooms, saunas, snow rooms and three Turkish hammams. However you spend your time here, every moment is a pleasure.

  7. The Original Nick. says:

    Flying QR in J tomorrow to BKK from AMS. I will enjoy the onboard bar once again on the DOH-BKK leg..

  8. David S says:

    Good review Anika. Did Qatar or His Excellency explain if and when the retrofit will happen with the fleet particularly 77L since we have the flight in September to AKL and was hoping we might get to see this suite?

  9. Keith S says:

    Puts BA club & first to shame..no contest

  10. Flyerstarter says:

    Hi Rob, I notice that under the table with the controls and plugs you have what seems to be a contactless card panel (RFID), any ideas what this may be used for?

  11. Another nail in the Amex 241 Avios coffin.

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