Qatar Airways are currently introducing a new business class seat called Qsuite. It is a fully enclosed suite for privacy and features a number of other interesting features such as the ability for parties of four to converse and eat together.
After flying in business class with Qatar on several flights, I could not get my head around why they would do this. The current latest seat is perfectly fine, or so I thought. This business class trip highlighted the shortcomings of the current setup.
QR169 – Doha to Stockholm Arlanda (DOH-ARN)
12 September 2017
Boeing 787-8 – A7-BCE
Seat: Business Class 2A
Departure: 01:50 Arrival: 07:15
Boarding in Doha often involves a bus and I really like how business class passengers get their own posh bus. Once on board there is a wait until everyone is there and off to the aeroplane you go.
Climbing the stairs to board through the spacious Dreamliner entry way with its mood lighting is a great experience. Once you arrive at your business class seat, it’s time to stow cabin bags and sit down.
Business Class Cabin and Post Boarding Routine
All seats are angled away from the aisle. Window seat passengers face the wall slightly and aisle seat passengers angle towards the person on the other side of them. Once on board the crew swing into action, first offering you a drink and a hot or cold towel.
Once the drink is delivered, the menu and the sleeper suit arrive. When boarding is complete, newspapers are offered and dinner orders are taken at push back. This is the standard operating procedure so it is comfortingly familiar at 2am.
Unfortunately the much vaunted Boeing 787 windows did the usual thing when confronted with a temperature difference. They tend to fog up which prevents seeing out so choosing a window seat becomes a bit of a pointless exercise.
The menu on the overnight flight of around 6 hours is quite sparse. It features a late night dining menu along with the light breakfast options.
This makes sense as it is assumed most people will sleep on such a short sector. I found that a good percentage of people are awake throughout the flight. I asked the crew to deliver my meal straight after take off.
Late Night Dining
Not long after take off the crew come by and pull out the tray which is located under the television. Your table is then set and the meal is delivered. For this flight I chose the Achari paneer tikka with tomato and onion masala.
Quite frankly both selections did not appeal. I had the cod on a previous flight so I was sort of forced into my choice. Luckily it is quite tasty. The Glazed chocolate ganache cake with crunchy biscuit followed.
I find the cake to be excellent. Having already changed into my pyjamas before dinner, I put the seat into bed mode and settled in for a sleep.
Business Class Seat Deficiencies
This is when I found out why Qatar Airways are introducing a new business class seat. I bumped my knee against the tray table under the television monitor as I lay down. I put it down to being a newbie and got on with settling in.
Next I found that the foot well is fairly tiny to the point that it feels like your feet are enclosed. It is pretty bad when trying to turn over as well. Not great, and not a patch on the space you get when sleeping on the Boeing 777 at Qatar. Row 1 has a bigger foot well due to the layout so my advice is to sit there if possible.
The side of the seat facing the aisle has no privacy whatsoever. As it feels weird with your head out in the aisle I found sleep possible on one side only. Of course, my head wasn’t IN the aisle, it just felt like it as it is so exposed.
Now I can see why Qatar Airways chose a new business class seat. The current one is fantastic for a day flight and has a great layout but for sleeping it is not great. I also managed to bump my knees twice more on the tray and I’m not a clumsy person. Or maybe I am!
Oryx One Movie Time
Happily Oryx One has a decent selection of entertainment options and one Hitchcock Collection movie was still on the system for this flight. Dial M For Murder!
I quite like how they have a selection of classic movies on board. It’s nice to catch up on some really good cinema on board. New releases such as Alien Covenant are also available this month.
During the night I asked for my half litre bottle of water to be refilled. The crew member commented, “You seem very healthy so we’ll give you a big bottle. I wish I was as healthy as you!”, politely ignoring the 75 glasses of Champagne I drank. One and a half litres of Evian kept me appropriately hydrated from then on.
Approximately an hour and a half before landing it is time for breakfast. The Arabic Breakfast is my go to on a Qatar Airways flight and once again it did not disappoint. A taste sensation and it feels quite healthy. Soon after we landed in Stockholm and I still couldn’t see outside, alas.
Despite the annoyances with the seat, I did manage to get a little sleep on board. The new Qsuite product looks lush and as this is to become the new business class seat at Qatar Airways it can only be a good thing.
Flying on the 787 is a fine experience if you overlook the window issue. It’s not a big deal on an overnight flight as it is dark outside but still, it should not happen. As always the service from the crew is exemplary and the meals are very nice indeed.
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Featured image by Curimedia P H O T O G R A P H Y via Wikimedia Commons.