I recently flew Qatar business class from Atlanta to Bangalore, connecting through Doha. Here’s the highs and lows about traveling on this pristine airline
1. The Q-Suite
Qatar airlines has one of the best business class setups with the Q-suite. This configuration, available on some planes flying through Doha, provides a totally private space to relax including a seat that will recline entirely flat. This includes a folding table for food, a side table, a private TV, and two hidden storage areas. Just be sure to check the storage so you don’t leave any personal items behind.
2. Amazing Food and Beverages
Both the food and the beverage on the flight is complementary, unlimited, and a large selection is available. I counted 12 different wines and about as many food options, and the food was actually really tasty. The flight attendants were happy to bring anything at any point in the flight. The menu also had a good selection of cocktails and mocktails to sip on while flying.
3. Access to Lounges, Especially in Doha
In general I think airport lounges are overrated, but the biggest exception to this is the lounge in Doha. The Points Guy has a complete review, but in short this lounge is incredible. It’s quite, expansive, and offers unique amenities like lattes and showers. The drinks are nice, bathrooms are clean, and there were plenty of power plugs. This made it easy to get some work done while waiting on my flight.
4. Courtesy Items
While flying business class on Qatar Airways the airline will provide you with a few gifts to make your flight more conformable. First on each flights there will be a small bag that contains a variety of lotions and other premium toiletries. Qatar also provided loungewear (pajamas) which are very comfortable. I kept both of these with me and even got my wife a set of the loungewear from the flight home.
5. Lay flat seats
My longest flight was 15 hours from Atlanta to Doha, I knew if I wanted to be functional the next day getting sleep on this flight would be critical. Fortunately all the Qatar business class seats will fold entirely flight and Qatar provides blankets and pillows that make it easy to sleep on these long flights. On Q-suite enabled flights each passenger has a Do Not Disturb button that tells the flight attendants not to bother you while sleeping.
Con: Feeling Trapped
On flights without a Q-suite the business class seats are just ok, but there are major problems with window seats. The plane had a 2-2-2 configuration leaving the passengers in windows seats stuck if the isle passenger has extended their seat. On top of this you’ll have to tip toe over this stranger’s bags to use the bathroom, or walk around a bit. In my experience this let to me feeling trapped and a little claustrophobic while sitting in the window seat. This problem can be avoided by sitting on the isle, or in the two middle seats.
Con: Strange Boarding and De-Boarding Processing
My first interaction with Qatar was rushed. While waiting in the lounge in Atlanta’s international terminal an announcement was made that my flight was boarding. This announcement came over an hour before our flight time. Feeling confused, I grabbed my luggage and ran to the gate. While at the gate the agent needed to see my passport, boarding pass, and visa (which I also showed on check-in).
After boarding I double-checked my flight time, which was still 45 minutes away. The flight left on time and had we wondering why the rush.
14 hours later I arrived in Doha. Once we landed we were rushed off the plane a onto busses, which dropped us off at the non-secure area of the airport. This meant that after a very long flight I had to pull out my laptop and liquids and go through more metal detectors. The inconvenience of this process was disappointing, but Doha’s lounge was my sweet reward.
Even on my next flight from Doha to Bangalore, we were rushed on the plane almost an hour before the flights. This time I had a Q-Suite, so I ran onto the pane and sipped some champagne.
Con: Flying Backwards
On any flight that has the incredible Q-suite, half of the seats are facing the back of the plane, including mine. When I selected my seats all the Q-suites that were available for selection faced the back. This inconvenience made take offs and landing very awkward and made me feel a nauseous.
Qatar’s business class amenities are elite and I would gladly fly this again. Assuming of course that my company is crazy enough to pay for it. The total cost of these flights from Charlotte to Bangalore and back was over $4,000. Yikes!
Overall I just can’t say enough good things about Qatar airways and their service, they really know how to treat their business travels.