Flight number: QR 943
Aircraft Type: Airbus A350-1000
Route: Singapore to Doha
Class: Business Class
An almost perfect flight and business class seat.
On a recent business trip to the Middle East I wanted to experience Qatar Airways' famous QSuites seat.
QSuites has been praised ever since its 2017 launch and is often even rated above other airlines' first class products. It's a supposedly revolutionary business class seat with lie-flat seats, private doors and the ability for travellers to eat and sleep next to each other.
Qatar Airways was also recently named the world's best airline for business class in SKYTRAX's 2019 awards, so I wanted to see if QSuites lived up to all this hype.
Flight number: QR 943
Aircraft Type: Airbus A350-1000
Route: Singapore to Doha
Class: Business Class
Booking a seat on QSuites with frequent flyer points is difficult for Australians. There's only one route at the time of writing, which flies from Canberra to Doha via Sydney. As you can imagine, finding available seats to book on this route with points is rare.
So instead of hoping a seat from Australia would open up, I looked for flights from other destinations and found availability from Singapore to Doha about a month out. Qatar flies QSuites on most of its aircraft flying between Doha and Singapore, so consider searching this route if you can't find seats on other routes.
The total cost was 50,000 Asia Miles plus approximately $400 in taxes and fees per person. This is great value compared to what the same number of points will get you in the Qantas or Velocity programs.
This flight was booked with Asia Miles, which is a rewards program affiliated with Cathay Pacific. You can also use Qantas Points or points in other oneworld frequent flyer programs to book QSuites. Read the below links to find out more:
My flight from Australia got me to Singapore at 10 in the morning, so I only had the option of using the dnata Lounge before my flight to Doha. If you want to experience a better lounge, I would recommend flying into Singapore slightly later so you can get access to the better British Airways and Qantas airport lounges which are throughout T1, T2 and T3 of Changi Airport.
The dnata Lounge is by no means bad, but it's not very exciting. Qatar Airways does everything else related to QSuites with a certain wow factor, but the same can't be said of its airport lounges outside of Doha.
The lounge itself was quiet when I visited and had all the facilities you'd expect including buffet breakfast options, shower facilities, coffee machines and Wi-Fi.
Boarding was on time with no delays and QSuites passengers were able to board first. Upon boarding I was greeted by the customer service manager, who then introduced me to my attendant for the flight.
I was then offered a choice of pre-flight drinks including champagne, non-alcoholic sparkling wine and juice. Even though it was a busy flight it was impressive that the crew took the time to offer various options while still on the ground.
The QSuites cabin is set out in a 1-2-1 configuration, with some seats facing the rear of the plane. This is definitely not going to be to everyone's liking, so be sure to check the seating plan before booking. Most importantly, every seat has aisle access unlike other Gulf airline business class products.
The cabin itself has an unbeatable wow factor. It looks luxurious, with elegant decor and a generous sense of space in the cabin. Qatar's signature colours of burgundy, grey and rose gold are also used tastefully throughout.
If you're travelling by yourself, definitely pick a window seat. For couples or families the middle seats are the ones to pick, giving you the ability to eat and in some cases sleep with each other.
The seat itself is the star of the QSuites experience and was comfortable with lots of leg room. There's plenty of room to work with both a laptop and paperwork and it's comfortable when dining. There are also various storage compartments around the seat.
The seat can be controlled using a small remote or with switches on the seat itself. The controls were user-friendly and I experienced no glitches when using them.
Qatar Airways hasn't skimped out on amenity kits, partnering with two Italian luxury brands: Bric's and Castello Monte Vibiano. The kit contained all the essentials when flying plus some skincare products.
Amenity kits were placed in the QSuite as we boarded, with pyjamas made by The White Company also available upon request.
Service was excellent throughout the flight. The crew were very personal, which I'm always delighted to see when flying as this seems to be sadly becoming a thing of the past in the industry. Your experience flying will often be a reflection of the cabin crew on a particular flight and I thought the crew did a magnificent job on this flight.
The crew engaged with all passengers, checking in on us regularly to see if we were liking our flight and meals and if we wanted any extra food.
The entertainment screen in QSuites is sizeable at 21.5 inches and the Oryx system has plenty of choices available in various languages. It recently came second in SKYTRAX's awards for best entertainment awards and this is well deserved.
The onboard meals were the stand-out feature of the whole flight.
Qatar Airways offers on-demand dining in QSuites, which is a great concept that more airlines should adopt.
At the start of the flight we were given menus for main meals, snacks and wines. You can then choose whatever you like and dine at your own leisure throughout the flight. To guarantee specific choices I would recommend picking your meals immediately after departure, especially if it's a busy flight.
The menu had a range of different dishes, including a sweet potato and coconut cream soup, smoked tuna and quinoa salad, chicken machboos, pecorino fagottini pasta, a cheese plate and bread. Desserts included ice cream and a warm chocolate plum cake. Qatar also often features local dishes on its menus, so there was a laksa on this flight.
The snack menu included smoked salmon and asparagus, lamb kebab, Vietnamese spring rolls and grilled chicken with mushrooms for those wanting a lighter meal.
Qatar Airways is famous for its signature Arabic mezze, so I picked that for the appetiser and thought it was 10 out of 10. It was fresh and tasty.
Next up was the herb-crusted lamb cutlets with fig juice. This was served with mashed potatoes, grilled tomatoes and warm bread. It was delicious. The crew were attentive throughout the meal service, even asking if we wanted seconds or other meals from the menu.
Surprisingly, the highlight of the flight was the mini sliders. These were delicious, especially given we were 40,000ft in the air.
Qatar Airways has paid great attention to detail with QSuites when it comes to dining. The crew set up our tables with a nice tablecloth, the cutlery is made for Qatar Airways specifically and there was a little battery-powered candle on the table which was a nice touch.
When it came to alcohol there was a selection of European and Australian wines, cocktails, mocktails and spirits including Glenfiddich, Chivas Regal, Woodford Reserve and Grey Goose. Beers included Peroni, Heineken and Hoegaarden.
In a time when airlines are cutting back on services and extras it's nice to see Qatar going the extra mile. It's also important to mention that this was only a seven-hour flight. Some Gulf carriers won't even give you this volume of food on a 14-hour haul flight.
There was one hour of free Wi-Fi on this flight. This was fast and worked well with no glitches. Once the hour runs out you can pay for certain blocks of time ranging from an hour to the whole flight.
When flying into Hamad International Airport in Doha you can use the Al Mourjan Business Lounge on arrival. This is a huge lounge with a range of different areas including quiet areas and work areas.
I would have no hesitation flying QSuites again. The product is innovative and it's clear Qatar Airways has cut no corners in terms of the cabin, seating and dining. It has really earned the hype. Combine this with great service and it was hard to fault this flight.
Qatar Airways could improve the experience even more with a dedicated lounge in Singapore. In my opinion, if it's flying several aircraft out of Singapore every day, there should be a dedicated Qatar Airways lounge at Changi Airport. There wasn't a huge deal wrong with the dnata Lounge in Changi, but it was a little underwhelming given the calibre of QSuites.
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