Now flying daily between Adelaide and the Qatari capital of Doha, Qatar Airways connects South Australia to the Middle East using its state-of-the-art Airbus A350 aircraft, and then beyond to destinations across Europe, Africa and North America.
The A350 is also a stalwart of other Qatar Airways international routes including Singapore, Frankfurt, Munich and the USA.
In what’s becoming the norm for international business travel, the 36 business class seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout so that each traveller enjoys direct aisle access.
You can also stretch out and relax on those 13+ hour flights with each seat transforming into a 203cm bed – a lengthy 6' 8'' by imperial standards – but as on any aircraft, some seats are more desirable than others.
Photo tour: Qatar Airways Airbus A350 business class
Qatar Airways Airbus A350 business class: best seats
The seating layout puts the ‘A’ and ‘K’ seats by the windows and the ‘E’ and ‘F’ seats in the centre of the aircraft, with a main cabin at the front for rows 1-6 and a second cabin just behind for rows 7-9:
Dividing them isn’t a typical galley: instead, a social area where passengers can stand, chat and enjoy drinks and refreshments throughout the flight.
Taking everything into account, here are our top picks within the cabin, and those to avoid if you can:
2A-5A, 2K-5K: These seats are away from the galleys, lavatories and socialising area which makes them quieter on overnight flights, and being in the forward cabin, a long line of economy passengers won’t be passing you as happens in rows 7-9, due to the position of the rear boarding door.
All other ‘A’, ‘K’ seats: If you like to cruise a little cooler, note that adjustable air vents are found over the window seats but not over the centre seats – so choose a perch with a view and you can change the breeze to suit, too.
That’s because there are no overhead lockers in the centre of the cabin, so passengers in the ‘E’ and ‘F’ seats stow their bags above the window seats instead. It’s not something that disturbed our rest when flying by the window, but lighter sleepers may say otherwise.
'E' + 'F' seats, for couples: The centre duos are great for couples as you can chat easily between seats...
... and if you wind up here on your lonesome, just raise the handy privacy divider and you're in your own little world:
Avoid rows 6, 7: Bordering right onto the social area and also mid-cabin restrooms, these seats prove much noisier than elsewhere with bursts of light as the bathroom doors open and close, making them a fine pick on shorter daytime flights like Doha-London, but less so from Adelaide.
Avoid 1A, 1K: Most seats aboard offer a handy side storage bin, but in 1A and 1K, the cabin layout makes that bin a tad too small, so it’s sealed shut. These seats are also prone to bursts of light from the galley, but again, which didn't disturb our sleep.
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