Qatar Airways' Qsuites continue to fly high. Widely rated as the world's best business class, these well-appointed private suites are progressively appearing on more Qatar Airways aircraft, flights and routes around the globe.
The Executive Traveller guide to Qatar Airways' Qsuites answers all your questions about the stunning Qsuite: including where you'll find it, how to identify Qsuite flights when booking your travel, how to choose the best seats in the Qsuite cabin, and more.
What is Qatar Airways' Qsuite?
Launched in 2017, Qatar Airways' Qsuite is a spacious yet private business class seat with many of the traits of a first class suite. Foremost among these is a sliding door which transforms the seat into a luxe cocoon where you can work, relax, eat and sleep with minimal interruptions.
But that's just the beginning of the Qsuite experience; A unique cabin layout can turns adjoining middle suites into a double bed, so that two Qsuites become a bedroom above the clouds.
Taking this a step further, four Qsuites can be opened up to create a 'family room'...
... or let you and your colleagues collaborate during a business trip.
Add to that a 'dine on demand' inflight menu, high-speed WiFi and Qatar Airways' onboard service, and you can appreciate why so many business travellers strive to book the Qsuite where possible.
How the Qsuite experience is superior to standard business class
The Qsuite isn’t just another business class seat – a multitude of factors come together to provide a well-rounded experience. Frequent travellers will also appreciate the ability to customise some aspects of the service to suit their schedules and body clocks.
Qatar Airways’ luxurious Qsuites celebrate attention to detail. The Qsuites and the overall cabin are adorned with high-quality finishes and a refined colour palette comprising satin rose-golds, charcoals, slates and touches of marble-whites.
All the Qsuites, particularly the backwards-facing window seats, have plenty of space to stash your belongings on top of and underneath the wide shelf.
The armrest opens up as well, revealing a deep pocket where little bits and bobs can be kept out of the way. (Just don’t forget to check you’ve got everything before leaving the plane.)
The foot cubby space has also been thoughtfully designed to not be too narrow, which is a common problem in other current-generation business class seats.
Dine on demand
Instead of serving meals at fixed times, and often on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, Qatar Airways offers a completely personalised 'dine on demand' service. You can order whatever you want from the menu, whenever you want it during the flight.
This is great for business travellers who might enjoy a light meal in the lounge, a small snack onboard before sleeping for a few hours, and then the main meal when they wake up.
The key to 'dine on demand' is that it's totally flexible. Fancy grazing upon the breakfast mezze platter during the middle of the afternoon? Is your body clock craving the dinner steak at 3am? It's up to you.
An office suite in the sky
It's wonderful to switch off and enjoy your flight: those hours represent a rare slice of 'me time' in our hyper-connected world where you can slip on the supplied noise-cancelling headphones and settle down to watch the latest movies or entire seasons of your favourite TV shows on the Qsuites' massive 21.5" video screen.
Sadly, sometimes there's work to be done as you jet from A to B. This is when business travellers appreciate the Qsuite's ability to become a fully-connected office suite.
Plonk your laptop on the sizeable tray table, plug into the easily-accessible AC and USB power ports and jump onto Qatar Airways' exceptionally fast inflight WiFi. It's free for the first hour in Qsuites, and then just US$10 for the rest of the flight. Executive Traveller has measured download speeds of 5-8 Mbps, which are quite comparable to your average cafe hotspot.
A wide, fully-flat bed
Each QSuite seat is 21.5 inches wide and reclines to a fully lie-flat bed that's 79 inches long.
Upon boarding, you’ll find an amenity kit, pillow, and thick duvet at your seat. Later, the crew will come by with slippers and pyjamas by The White Company. Qatar Airways is one of the few airlines which offers pyjamas (aka ‘sleeper suits’) in business class.
Then it's just a matter of closing your suite's door, tapping the Do Not Disturb button to the crew know to leave you alone, and drifting off to sleep.
What does the Qsuite look like?
The Qsuites are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, with each row alternating between facing forwards and backwards.
This photo shows how the Qsuite looks at the solo window seats: you can see that to the left of the passenger, the Qsuite behind her faces the opposite direction.
Likewise, the centre section has paired forward-facing and rearward-facing Qsuites. Two of those Qsuites can be opened up to as 'doubles', to share with your partner...
... while the walls between some of the Qsuites can slide back to form a 'quad' for four passengers.
The key to all this is knowing which specific Qsuites to select when you make your booking.
Which planes offer the Qsuite?
The Qsuites are found on a number of Qatar Airways' Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft only. At the time of writing, that's approximately:
- all of Qatar Airways' Airbus A350-1000s, as those are the newest in the fleet
- 50% of Qatar Airways' Boeing 777-300ERs
- 80% of its Boeing 777-200LRs
- 30% of its Airbus A350-900s
Over time, more of the existing Boeing 777s and Airbus A350-900s will be refreshed with the new Qsuites business class. It's expected that a variation of the Qsuite will be added to Qatar Airways' Boeing 787, as the narrower cabin of those Dreamliner jets can't accommodate the current Qsuite design.
Does the Qatar Airways Airbus A380 have Qsuites?
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380s do not have the Qsuites – instead, the superjumbos fly a more conventional open-style business class seat, which we still rate very highly.
The A380s will not be upgraded with the Qsuites, as Qatar Airways plans to retire its superjumbos from 2024 when they reach approximately ten years of age.
Which routes have the Qsuite?
Some of Qatar Airways' Australian destinations now have the Qsuites flying on a regular basis:
- Sydney, Canberra: QR907/QR906
- Adelaide: QR915/QR914
- Perth: QR901/QR900, albeit only on a temporary basis between September and December 2019
Unfortunately, Melbourne currently misses out, and Perth will be back to its usual A380 before the year's end. Here are some other major cities for business travellers that feature the Qsuite from Doha, as of August 2019:
- London: QR5/QR6, QR7/QR8, QR15/QR16
- Paris: QR37/QR38
- Munich: QR59/QR60
- New York: QR701/QR702
- Chicago: QR725/QR726
- Boston: QR743/QR744
- Washington Dulles: QR707/QR708
- Shanghai: QR870/QR871
- Hong Kong: QR816/QR817
- Bangkok: QR830/QR831
- Singapore: QR943/QR942, QR945/QR944, QR946/QR947
- Auckland: QR921/QR920
In addition, the Qsuites can be seen flying to other cities such as Colombo, Amsterdam, Montreal, Kuwait City, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dallas and Tokyo, to name a few.
If your flight is on an Airbus A350-1000 it will definitely feature the Qsuites; if it's on a Boeing 777-200LR or Boeing 777-300ER there's a good chance it will also have the Qsuites.
Best seats when choosing a Qsuite
Although the number and layout of Qsuites will differ between different types of planes, our general advice for the best seats remains the same.
If you’re travelling on your own, you’ll probably appreciate privacy, space, and a view. With a 1-2-1 configuration, the sides of the plane are the place to be. The rear-facing A and K seats are closest to the window, so you'll have the best views.
(Those are also the seats to select if you feel the privacy door might be a little confining, as the seat is located further away from the door compared to the forward-facing B and J seats where passengers are sitting next to the door.)
In fact, per Qatar Airways policy, solo passengers should only be able to select A, B, J and K seats initially, so the double/quad pods don’t get broken up by single travellers unless there’s no more space.
Couples will relish the opportunity to cuddle up on a ‘double bed’ - which is possible on the rear-facing E & F seats. There are six such pairs on the Boeing 777, for example, and the crew can make up your bed and cover the gap between seats for a literally ‘seamless’ experience.
If productivity is called for on the flight, the D & G pairs also feature a shared table in the middle, which would be useful for collaboration.
Groups of three of four will be in for a treat, as they can utilise the special ‘quad pods’.
With the centre dividers able to open up, it’s perfect for families and colleagues alike.
In a nutshell, here are our best picks for the Boeing 777s:
- Solo travellers: 3A, 3K, 5A, 5K, 10A, 10K
- Cosy couples: 3E & 3F, 5E & 5F, 9E & 9F, 11E & 11F
- Colleagues: 2D & 2G, 4D & 4G, 8D & 8G, 10D & 10G
- Groups of four: Any of the five available ‘quad suites’ (at seats D, E, F and G)
Read our detailed ‘best seats guide’ for the Qsuites for more information on other seating layouts you may find when booking the Qsuites.
Booking your Qsuite
Identifying Qatar Airways flights with Qsuites is fairly easy now, as the website will automatically tell you which flights will sport the new seating.
If you’re booking Qsuites through a frequent flyer program, such as with Qantas Points, then you’ll need to do a bit more legwork to ensure it’s the right flight, such as cross-checking the details on Qatar Airways’ own website as well.
However, a more foolproof method is to set up a free ExpertFlyer account and create a 'seat alert’ with your desired flight details. It will show you the current seat map, and if you see the alternating left/right and inside/outside arrangement as below, then that flight has the Qsuites.
Qatar Airways does not levy any surcharges for flying on the Qsuite compared to non-Qsuites flights. This means business travellers should have no trouble directing their work travel agency to book the Qsuites flights where the schedule permits.
Using frequent flyer points
As Qatar Airways is part of Oneworld, you can use the frequent flyer points of any Oneworld member airline to book for Qatar Airways business class, including the Qsuites. Executive Traveller has a detailed guide on how to book Qsuites using Qantas Points.
You’d need just 104,000 Qantas Points to book the Qsuites from Canberra or Sydney through to Doha, or a total of 139,000 Qantas Points to go all the way through to London.
However, from 17 September 2019, those rates will increase to 119,200 and 159,000 Qantas Points respectively, due to Qantas’ sweeping changes to points-based bookings across the board.