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HFP in Doha: Our review of Qatar Airways Qsuite business class (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 of my review of the Qatar Airways Qsuite business class seat, on the A350-900.

Part 1 of my Qsuite A350 review, which was also published today, can be found here.

On we go!

Let’s talk about the door.  It is locked open for take off and landing.  Once the crew have released it, you are free to have it open or closed.  I didn’t feel the need to close it for a day flight in a lightly loaded cabin, but if you do it looks like this from your seated position:

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

I didn’t take any close-up pictures of the leather or fabric on the seat and its surround.  You will need to trust me that it looks very classy and a lot of thought clearly went into it.

Cabin environment

Being an A350, you get the standard benefits of this new composite-based aircraft (a Boeing 787 has the same upsides) – larger windows and improved pressurisation, allowing you to feel fitter on arrival.

Even cooler, of course, is mood lighting 🙂

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

This only appeared on landing – you don’t have to put up with it for the entire flight if you don’t like it.

As you can see from the photo above, there are no central luggage bins.  This definitely makes the cabin feel more spacious and, at least on my flights, did not create any issues in terms of passenger storage space.

I am presuming, however, that the middle pair of seats will not have personal air vents.  You DO get a personal air vent if you sit by the windows.

Whilst I didn’t take a photograph, there is a coat hook inside the suite to hang a jacket.

The Qatar Airways Brics amenity kit

Qatar Airways is currently using Brics-branded bags, which appear expensively made and could have a long future life in your house.

Whether it is a cost saving or environmental reason, you need to pick up a shaving kit or a toothbrush / toothpaste kit from the loo.  The standard bag as left on your chair only contains a few items (background material courtesy of my bed throw at the Kempinski Doha!):

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

You get:

  • eye mask
  • socks
  • earplugs
  • Castello Monte Vibiano lip balm
  • Castello Monte Vibiano anti aging moisturiser (15 ml)
  • Castello Monte Vibiano facial mist

Irrespective of the quality of the products, which I didn’t try (the moisturiser is in my bag for a future trip), I was surprised that Qatar Airways had not teamed up with a bigger brand.

Being able to help yourself to other items is a positive, however, and I think the future for all airline toiletry kits will be empty bags with a trolley service allowing you to take as much or as little as you need.

In-flight entertainment

The outbound flight, leaving London at 8am, had the expected tray of newspapers available, which a crew member popped by my suite to offer.

The return flight, leaving Doha at noon, is clearly trickier for the airline in terms of its British passengers.  I was therefore impressed to see that Qatar Airways had arranged for computer-printed copies of The Guardian to be offered on-board:

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

Interestingly, the lounge in Doha (more on that in a future article) had a woeful selection of newspapers and magazines.  WH Smith at Hamad International was no better.  It is very rare that an airline can trump what is on offer in the terminal itself but Qatar Airways managed it.

Moving on to the ‘proper’ IFE ……

You can find out more about the Qatar Airways Oryx IFE system on this page of the airline website.

As well as the excellent main screen, the Qatar Airways system is one of a growing number to also have a small screen built into the remote control.  You can make your selection by flicking through the options on this screen, and even watch your film on it if you want.  (I have never seen the appeal of watching a small screen when there is a big screen directly in front of you, but clearly it appeals to some!)

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

Recent releases in the ‘Hollywood’ category included Dumbo, Captain Marvel, The LEGO Movie 2 and Avengers: Endgame.  It is a very impressive selection.  What was a little odd, overall, was the lack of major US TV dramas and comedies.

The Qatar Airways branded headphones were noise cancelling.

Wi-fi

Your power needs are well met on an A350-900 Qsuite, with a USB socket, HDMI socket (if you want to put your own media on the screen) and a multi-functional plug socket.  You can use UK plugs without an adaptor, as the UK standard is also used in Qatar.

All of the sockets and controls are easily accessible.  When you are sat down, they are in front of you, built into the small storage area.  The plugs are nearest, with the remote control to the right and the speaker socket to the left:

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

There was also an NFC unit which, being the least techy person you will ever meet who actually runs a website, has a use which escaped me …..

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

The seat controls were relatively standard (a number of pre-set positions for the seat, plus the option to tweak them additionally if necessary), with the exception of a novel ‘Do Not Disturb’ button.  Rather like a hotel room, activating this turns on a light to tell the crew to leave you alone unless absolutely necessary.

Let’s talk about wi-fi.

‘Super Wi-Fi’ is Qatar’s branding for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed broadband technology.  This is being rolled out on the Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 fleet, and it was available on both of my flights.

In theory.

All passengers, in all cabins, get one hour of free ‘Super Wi-Fi’ if your aircraft has it.  (I’m not sure of the deal if your plane only has standard wi-fi.)  The capacity is so big that it can still function efficiently whilst offering this.

More importantly, ‘Super Wi-Fi’ for the full flight to Doha was just $10.  This is fantastic value compared to other carriers, especially as there is no data cap.  (I usually find, if I buy a timed package with a data cap, I easily hit the data cap well before my time has run out, even if just working on HFP articles.)

I used it on the outbound and it was great.  So great, that I deliberatedly left a few hours work undone in Doha because I knew I would be able to do it on the flight home.  Except, despite having a new A350-900 again, it was broken.  The pilot tried to reset it numerous times but it never worked.

This ended up causing me a minor crisis, since my return flight was an hour late leaving Doha and I did not get home until 8.30pm.  My family were not exactly happy that I immediately had to do the 3-4 hours of work that I had planned for the flight, in order to get the next days articles out.

Sleeping in Qsuite

On the return Qatar Airways flight I decided – in the absence of wi-fi – to try to doze for a couple of hours.

The cubby hole under the seat is more than big enough, which is not always the case.  Take a look below.  I have size 11 / 45 feet but, even when pointing upwards, there is loads of clearance.  This remained the case even when I was laying on my side.

Qatar Airways Qsuite business class review A350

In terms of length, at 6 foot 2 inches I could just about – if I pointed my toes downwards – touch the back of the cubby hole when in sleep mode.  Anyone shorter than me would have lots of space.

Another good touch, which you only notice when in bed mode, is that the curvature of the side unit (the area where the plug and remote control sits) gives you more space if you roll over to sleep on your side.  Because Qsuite is so wide, I never felt in any way confined whilst sleeping.  It is a million miles away from the Virgin Atlantic ‘coffin’ bed used in Upper Class on all aircraft except the A330-200 and A350.

The only small issue is that spectacles need to go into the ottoman, which is a little fiddly.  I couldn’t see anywhere else to put them which would be totally secure.

The top part of the seat is cotton, not leather, so it is more breathable during sleep and you don’t find yourself excessively sweaty or sticking to the seat!

This is the end of the ‘practical’ part of my Qatar Airways Qsuite review.  In the next part, later this week, I will look at the food and drink I had across both flights and give my overall thoughts on the product.

If you want to find out more about Qatar Airways Qsuite business class, you can find out more on the airline website here.

HFP in Doha: Our review of Qatar Airways Qsuite business class (Part 1)
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Comments

  1. Timely
    I’m about to get on QR 907 from SYD

  2. I had my first QSuite trip last weekend, and my next will be this weekend. Very impressive and easily the best business class product I’ve experienced, combined with the exceptional on board service. The business class lounge in Doha has a lot to live up to when transitting…. and sadly that part of the journey disappointed me. To use the gentleman’s toilets took almost 10 minutes of queuing.
    Despite that I will look more often at QR when booking now since the quality and price beats anything else for my route. Very impressive.

    • “To use the gentleman’s toilets took almost 10 minutes of queuing” Welcome to our world – any user of female loos ever.

      • Barbara says:

        Exactly my thoughts. 10mins is exceptionally good. Try 30.

        • The only place where women wait less is Galleries First in Heathrow T5…men ALWAYS have to wait for the toilet there…my mum said she never has to haha

  3. Re the NFC unit, my first thought was that maybe it’s a credit card reader, for paying for Wifi, duty free etc. But apparently it’s this (from Twitter):

    “Our newly launched NFC feature for our #Qsuite allows you to transfer your Oryx One playlist to your seat with just a tap.”

    Not clear what exactly you use to do the tapping… 😉

    • I just asked about this – “it’s for Android users only via an app” mentioned Samsung Galaxy users too

  4. I’m now sitting in 3A –
    I thought the previous J seat was fantastic, Qsuite is in a different league – so much room and storage space

    Will see what 15 hours in this is like 😍

  5. Cheers rob great detail. Got my first q suite as a family of 3 in 2 weeks from Frankfurt on a 777 Q suite so be interesting to see the differences versus the A350. The return was changed some months again to an A380 annoyingly but hey ho first world problems.

    Can’t wait for the food and drink (flown QR J class a few times but not in the past couple of years) so be interesting to see the changes if any.

    I chose a window seat for my wife forward facing so away from the window as she hates traveling backwards and for me and my 5 year old a centre pair. Worth noting the entire centre pairs were all blocked and not available to select. Quick call to the service centre and they told me they have to manually select. Even on a day flight I’m hoping they might make up a bed for my son.

    • Should be no problem if you ask them to make the bed. Most carriers will – especially if it is for a child!

  6. Forgot to add they did change the seats to a middle pair for us but it required a call.

  7. I am heading to Singapore in 2 weeks time from Stockholm, so am really looking forward to my first Qsuite experience from Doha. Reading this article whets my appetite further.

    • You will love it I am sure Dave. I will be 2 weeks after you on the same route and I am very much looking forward to the inflight experience. Last year LHR-DOH-SIN was superb even if only one sector was Q-suites, it didn’t matter to me as so many of the other aspects were done so very well. I prefer QF in Business to BA First !

    • Barbara says:

      Doing the exact same journey in 4 weeks, this article is perfectly timed. I was lucky enough to get Qsuits on all 4 legs of my trip!

  8. With no central baggage bins is there still room for everyone’s wheelie bag?

  9. One of the service patterns that consistently frustrates me with Qatar is the lowering of window shades straight after take off even on daytime flights. I love looking out of the window when flying and this removes a big part of the pleasure.

    My experience is that the crew get visibly anxious, but won’t actually stop you, if you raise your window. I just feel like quite an arse as the only person in the cabin doing this. I do appreciate that people are on different timezones and some may want to sleep, but on a day flight this is surely why eyeshades are given out.

    I’ve not known other airlines do this so consistently for daytime flights.

    • +1 although I know that several airlines do this and on the B787 they control it centrally so individuals can’t choose a lighter shade on the tinted windows in order to be able to look outside. Makes for a miserable flying experience on a day flight. Not in the mood to name and shame. Besides, lots of passengers prefer to be in the dark, pun intended!

      At least on the A350, every passenger with a window can choose to open or close the shade or blind. Freedom.

  10. whiskerxx says:

    I have a real bug bear with Q suites. It never seems to get a mention in any reviews including this one.
    When sitting and trying to stretch your feet forward, at floor level there is a very annoying grill which acts as a mini bulk head. The only way to stretch out is with your feet elevated.

    • The grill is under the foot rest in the cubby hole (you can see it on one of the pics) – if it wasn’t there, your feet could not slide under the foot rest anyway.

      • whiskerxx says:

        Its a design issue. It most certainly acts in the same way as a bulkhead. Your feet cannot go any further than the grill unless they are elevated

  11. Personally I will avoid the A380 Qsuite if possible in future. Flown Qatar many times. GOT to SIN a couple of weeks ago and found the A350 experience very poor. The cabin service was very average compared to our non A350 flights. I found the seat uncomfortable and almost impossible to sleep as the seat and the leg box meant I couldn’t get comfortable. I will keep flying Qatar but not in a QSuite.

    • Did you mean the A350 instead of the A380? Don’t believe that Qatar operates that aircraft to GOT or SIN, plus the A380 doesn’t have QSuite (I actually like the open cabin in the A380 J class section on the upper deck, it is my personal favourite).

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