First things first, if you’re wanting the latest and greatest business class seat from Qatar Airways the Boeing 787-800 isn’t the one. Due to the cabin of the 787 being a mere 5″ narrower than a B777 or A350-900, Qatar is unable to install their industry-leading Q-Suite. Does that mean you don’t want to be on what is now deemed to be Qatar’s old business class seat? No, defiantly not.
As is customary with Qatar Airways, premium customers are held in a separate area at the gate and are boarded first.
It isn’t just an amazing cabin that greets you when boarding, a flight attendant guides you to your seat for the personal touch. As trivial as this sounds, it’s details like those that make for an unforgettable experience.
Once boarding completes in the business class cabin, that same flight attendant will call by your seat and offer a pre-departure drink of your choice, a cold or hot towel along with some nuts whilst the rest of the plane boards.
A quick seating guide to help you pick the best seats for you out of the 22 on offer:
- A and K seats get 2 windows each and are good for solo travellers
- E and F are great for couples
- If you’re a social butterfly you’ll want row 5 as the bar is right behind you. If you aren’t social, avoid like the plague.
- The couple seats in row 6 would be the winners but they’re flanked by 2 toilets
Let’s start with seats E and F. As mentioned earlier, if you’re travelling as a couple or a party of 2 the centre seats are a win. Despite the seats being angled into each other in a herringbone formation, you’ll find yourself leaning forward somewhat should you want to converse. That isn’t to say they aren’t comfy, If you need to spend a good 7 hours bolt upright editing images and sorting documents for clients you’ll have no issues what so ever.
If, like me, you like having your laptop close by during any flight, try and grab row 1. As you can see, you have very easy access to a large cubby hole you can use for extra storage. Pictured above is the aptly named Passport Messenger from LowePro to give you an idea on size.
Another benefit of choosing seat E or F in row 1, the extra legroom. Pictured above on the right is your standard footwell which has plenty of height should you have normal size 10-12 feet though it is a little on the narrow side. On the left, the footwell from seats 1E/F. Same height, but a lot more width.
Row 6’s E and F mini honeymoon seats. On their own at the back of the business class cabin would be perfect if they weren’t flanked by toilets either side. Perhaps the most private seats though.
Now seats A and K. Not just for the solo travellers but for those who love to watch the world go by, those who like to feel like a god soaring above the clouds, those who like to be among the stars; after all the Boeing 787 has the largest windows in any passenger aeroplane.
The 17″ screen is certainly on the smaller size in modern day standards, none the less it displays all the latest movies rather well regardless of whether your sat upright or lying down.
Consider the below more a rough idea of what to expect. Qatar Airways change their dine on-demand menu every few months so the chances of the below menu being served are slim to none.
“Would you like skimmed or full cream milk with your cereal Mr Robertson?” Once again, to have the choice seems insignificant but like everything else is the cream on the milk as it were. Before you get to that point though, the warm pastries, served with chilled butter and jam are heavenly.
Light dining in the form of “Mini Sliders” consisting of Chicken and Beef burgers served with chunky chips. Take note of the miniature jar of Heinz tomato ketchup, a burger isn’t a burger without Heinz.
To finish, a cheese plate consisting of Normandy Camembert, Rutland red and Allgáu blue served with crackers and orange marmalade.
Hears the kicker, it’s dining on demand. Unlike most other airlines who dictate when you eat, you decide (Read in an X Factor style voice). I don’t mean you can have your starter then 30 mins later have your main. Depending on how long your flight is, you may have up to 3 meals each of which you get to pick when you want them and they’re usually served as at least a starter and main.
Yeah, why not? A bar on a plane is always a good idea. There are limitations but a bottomless bottle of bubbly, some fruit and the obligatory nuts (individually packed so you never have to question who has touched them). If bubbly isn’t your jam, the flight attendants are well trained in noticing when your glass is close to empty and provide you with a top-up of your chosen drink.
If you just fancy stretching your legs in the vertical position, there’s a fairly well-stacked magazine rack for you to peruse.
Perhaps the whole point of flying business class, the ability to recline your seat fully flat and have a bed made. Somewhere to grab a few hours or more of sleep so you can arrive at your destination well-rested and refreshed.
Unfortunately, I think this is where Qatar Airways comes up a little short. As you can see above is a still from an in-cabin timelapse. My feet are not far at all from touching the end of the footwell. Qatar state their beds are 80″ long, the same size as a king bed. In my experience they feel somewhat shorter. If you’re a bit of an avid gym-goer who loves some shoulder press and lat pull-down action, you may find it a “snug” fit when lying down.
All that said, it is a fully flat bed, no join marks, fiddling things into place or wriggling around to get comfy. The soft light duvet keeps you warm and the pillow is large enough to be able to get a cold side. It may look bright, but that is camera trickery, the cabin is extremely dark at night.
It appears the general consensus is that Qatar Airways staff is lacking however I’ve always found them to be great. Given the option of business class on QR’s A350, A380, 777 or 787 the 787 will always be chosen last, Especially if you’re wanting privacy as you can see above. Crazy to think, as the 787 business-class cabin is better than a long list of other airlines, it’s just the all the other aircrafts Qatar use to fly with the world-class Q Suite.