Review: Qatar Airways Qsuite Business Class, Washington Dulles to Doha (IAD-DOH)

11E / 11F

Introduction

Flight Details:

  • Date of flight: March 14, 2019
  • Where: Washington Dulles (“IAD”) to Doha (“DOH”)
  • Flight time: 12 hours 50 minutes
  • Flight #: QR708
  • Seat: 4J

I’ve been dying to try Qatar Qsuites since the product was launched. I had really high expectations coming into this flight after hearing many authoritative bloggers refer to it as the world’s best business class. Although I would have preferred to be leaving from JFK I didn’t mind a short stopover in Dulles if that meant I’d get to experience the Qsuite.

Cabin

My initial impressions of the Qsuite cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER were quite good. The cabin was stunning. Apologies for the dark pictures, but Qatar kept the cabin very dimly lit during boarding. While sexy it wasn’t exactly conducive to picture taking.

The cabin is split up in a 1-2-1 configuration. There’s 6 rows in the front cabin and 4 rows in the rear cabin.

Pro tip – If you want to know if your Qatar flight features Qsuites look on Expertflyer for a staggered seating pattern as pictured above

Recommended Seats

If you’re traveling with someone seats 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 E & F are a good choice. These seats turn into double beds. I’d avoid the front of the cabin as it’s by the bathrooms so may have a bit of foot traffic. I was in 11F (as pictured above), which was rearward facing and offered a lot of privacy.

Seats 1E/1F, 3E/3F and 7E/7F, 9E/9F turn into quads, which is nice if you’re traveling with friends, family or co workers and want to face each other.

If you’re traveling solo 3A, 3K, 5A, 5K, 8A, 8K, 10A, 10K are ideal. They are window seats and offer a great deal of privacy.

The middle seats aren’t generally available at time of booking for award redemptions; however, you can submit a request and the Qatar agents will do their best to accommodate you at the airport. I contacted Qatar via their Twitter handle (@qatarairways) to submit my request.

The seat was very spacious and nicely upholstered in dark cloth fabric. The center divider can be manually lowered if you’re traveling with friends or family and in the up position the divider offers a good deal of privacy.

The Qsuite features a door that easily opens / closes. It’s not like Emirates first class that has a door that goes up to the ceiling of the cabin so flight attendants can peak in. For meal service they would open the door and wouldn’t simply serve over the door, which I found to be nice.

Each seat came with a thick blanket and a pillow. The blanket may be too thick some depending on the temperature of the cabin.

There’s ample storage for your cell phone and laptop. I highly recommend storing your phone in here while sleeping so it doesn’t get lost under the seat.

The suite has a large 22″ HD in flight entertainment system. It’s loaded with a wide selection of western movies / tv, music and games.

Amenity Kit

The soft amenity kit is made by the Delhi based luxury good manufacturer Nappa Dori. It features a print of the Doha landscape on the front, brown leather trimming and dark blue fabric on the back.

The amenity kit contains a pair of dark blue socks, Qatar branded dark blue eyeshade with brown strap and ear plugs in a hard plastic dark blue case. The cosmetics are from Castello Monte Vibiano, which I hadn’t heard of before this flight. They’re an Italian winery who also produces cosmetics. Contained in the kit was lotion, lip balm and a refreshing facial mist. The facial mist smelled like watermelon and was indeed quite refreshing.

Service

Service was very inconsistent. The left and right side of the cabin were served by different flight attendants. The left side received amenity kits, menus, pajamas and pre-departure beverages way ahead of the right side. To give you an idea of the service issues, the flight attendant who served the right side of the plane stopped by and told me she’d be back to explain the features of the seat. She never came back.

The service started with a choice of pre-departure beverage and choice of hot or cold towel. Qatar serves Lallier Grende Reserve Champagne (retails at $40) and Altier Rosé Champagne (retails at $27) on this route. I chose a glass of rosé champagne, which was accompanied by warm mixed nuts served in a ceramic ramekin – no Korean Air nut rage here.

Pajamas and slippers were then distributed. All sizes appeared to be available. While not particularly fancy the pajamas were light weight and very soft.

Food and Beverage

Menus were distributed ahead of takeoff

The table setting was very nice. First a white linen table cloth was placed on the fold out table. Then a flickering candle, maroon water glass, personal bread basket, butter, olive oil/vinegar and stainless steel salt and pepper shakers were brought out. Prior to the meal I was served a shrimp amuse-bouche.

I started with the cauliflower soup, which tasted much better than it looked.

I then moved on to the Arabic Meze. I was disappointed by this dish. It was bland and flavorless.

For my main I got the Chicken Machboos, which was delicious.

Following the meal I asked that the flight attendant make my seat up into a bed and slept for a solid 6-hours.

About 90-minutes before landing the flight attendant came around and took breakfast orders. Again a personal bread basket was brought out with breakfast pastries this time accompanied by butter and jams.

I started with a platter of seasonal fruits and a cappuccino. It was refreshing to be able to have a cappuccino on a plane.

I then proceeded to have the steel cut oats with berries and cream, which was quite good.

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Approved

I was really impressed with the hard product. After having flown British Airways First Class over the summer I can now say that Qatar business class has it beat. For me the most important feature of business class is the hard product and the ability to get quality sleep before reaching your destination. Qatar Suites wins in this category.

There’s definite room for improvement. While the food was okay I wasn’t blown away by anything. The service could definitely be improved. The flight attendant who served the left side of the plane did a fantastic job. The flight attendant who served the right side of the plane could learn a thing or two from her colleague.

I walked off the plane feeling pretty good and ready to meet some friends in Doha before continuing onto the Maldives on another Qatar Qsuites flight.

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