Known for its famed, enclosed and unique Qsuite, lavish lounges and impressive inflight service and dining, Qatar Airways Business Class deserves every accolade it receives. For an airline with such a global network from the Americas to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, such highly rated amenities for a global carrier seem unmatched these days.
The airline has now added a new Business Class Suite to its portfolio of seats – which is specific to the latest aircraft to join the Qatar Airways fleet – the upgraded Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Smaller than the Qsuite, the Business Class Suite still offers an impressive level of luxury for the most discerning traveller. Qatar also flies A380s between London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle to Doha, respectively and from June, it will also fly this superjumbo to Sydney.
Qatar Airways is part of the oneworld alliance, which includes the international carriers American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and Sri Lankan. Its flights carry numerous codeshare partnerships to better facilitate global connections between more cities than one airline could feasibly operate on its own.
Members of its Privilege Club program earn and redeem frequent flier miles when flying oneworld airlines, making it easier to earn free trips for future travel while also taking advantage of alliance amenities including lounge access and priority services when flying on other airlines.
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Qatar Airways has just one hub, Doha Hamad International Airport. Like the airline itself, its home airport is a bastion of traveller-friendly amenities including excellent shopping, a luxury airside hotel - complete with fitness centre and swimming pool, and modern artwork.
When flying from Doha, Business Class passengers can use a separate entrance for check-in and security lines - reducing waiting times. This quickly expedites the journey to the airline’s award-winning lounges. Even if you are ending your journey in Doha, there is a separate arrivals lounge to welcome passengers with showers, refreshments and private immigration lines. No matter in what stage of the journey you are, however, there is rarely a wait.
Business Class passengers gain access to the Al Mourjan Business Lounge - a gorgeous, dual-floor lounge with a water feature, shower and nap facilities, numerous dining options including a deli that offers made-to-order panini and a restaurant, cigar lounge and family play area.
You cannot leave Al Mourjan hungry as there are so many dining options, including a wide selection of global cuisines including Middle Eastern, European and Indian dishes. Tipplers will find plenty of bar options including one in the restaurant serving Champagne. Brands on offer vary but include Lanson Brut Rosé Champagne and Champagne Pommery.
Qatar Airways has branded lounges in a few cities dotted around the world including Bangkok, Singapore and Dubai, but otherwise relies on its oneworld partners or third-party lounges.
Business Class Classic fares - the cheapest business class fares - do not include complimentary lounge access although passengers can enter them for an additional fee.
The maroon and grey hues of the airline’s logo continue to the cabin and seat design of Qatar Airways’ aircraft - which offers a variety of seat configurations.
Most notable is its growing number of aircraft that boast the popular and groundbreaking Qsuite. Another important factor is that most Qatar Airways aircraft - with the exception of a handful of narrow body planes that are in the process of being retrofitted - boast flat-bed seats. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 - uniformly - have 1-2-1 seat configurations while the Airbus A330 and some Boeing 777s still have 2-2-2 setups.
If the Qsuite is available, this is indicated on the seat map, and the configuration is always 1-2-1. For the centre section, families or couples travelling together can always request a quartet of Qsuites, set-up as a group. Dubbed the quad, passengers seated in a quartet of Qsuites can lower the partitions to make it an open space although the exterior doors to each Qsuite can still close.
Qatar Airways does not have any middle seats in Business Class, and those that are seated in window seats on 2-2-2 setups can easily step over the foot space of a companion to reach the aisle.
Couples travelling together should opt for the centre seats although they almost always have some privacy since you have to lean forward to see each other.
All seats are free to assign including Qsuites on aircraft that offer them with the exception of passengers purchasing a “Classic” Business Class fare. These only permit seat assignments at check-in. When Qsuites are offered, they alternate between forward and backward-facing seats.
In the standard seat, there is enough storage space for a water bottle, reading material and other things. But, in the Qsuite, the storage space is expanded further with a side compartment that lifts up for extra storage as well as a large table for more substantial items. You can place a laptop or store a pillow and blanket there easily.
Currently, only the new Dreamliner 787-9 series boasts the Business Class Suite. Crafted with the unique Qatar Airways design DNA, this new seat embodies a contemporary design that – according to the airline - is personal, spacious, and functional - allowing passengers to relax in their own private sanctuary.
Each Business Class Suite is equipped with sliding privacy doors, wireless mobile device charging and a 79 inch (2 metres) lie-flat bed. Arranged in a herringbone pattern, in a 1-2-1 configuration, each suite has direct aisle access with a sliding door to ensure the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Passengers seated in adjoining centre suites can slide the privacy panels away at the touch of a button to create their very own enclosed private space
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft. Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested, before making your choice.
Qatar Airways earns high praise for its onboard dining, which is always on-demand and never served at a set time. This type of personalised service is a favourite of passengers although after takeoff seems to be the most popular time to eat, especially on longer flights.
Drinks and a ramekin of mixed Arabic nuts begin the service. Expect starter options include a tasty Arabic mezze or soup delivered with beautiful presentation.
The main dishes vary between three to four courses depending on the flight time. You will find a mix of Middle Eastern and destination-friendly choices including beef, poultry, seafood and vegetarian options. Often an Indian selection is on the menu.
Desserts may be sweet pastries or cakes, impressive fruit or cheese presentations, and ice cream. Since Qatar’s meal service is à la carte, passengers can request what they want and when they want it.
An insider tip: pre-reserve the things you want to enjoy throughout the flight if possible so that the flight attendant can keep them for you to enjoy later in the flight. For example, if you want a pre-arrival pasta or fruit plate, they will reserve it for you.
Special meal choices for vegetarians, Kosher or Halal dining needs are available to reserve before check-in.
There is always an anytime menu as well as pre-arrival selection that varies depending on the time of day. In the galley on longer flights, there is often a snacking station with chocolate bars, crisps and other snacks.
The only criticism that travellers have of Qatar’s onboard service is that it can takes time for meals to be served since everything is delivered on request. The kitchen gets busy after takeoff. It is worth the wait to eat when you want rather than having to rely on an airline’s pre-set - and often not timed to your body clock - schedule of eating. Qatar fliers can eat according to their own schedule.
On selected routes departing Doha, Business Class passengers may reserve a main course of their choice from 14 days until 24 hours before departure.
That is more of a First Class experience rather than Business Class, which is why Qatar receives such high marks in this regard.
Before takeoff, a welcome drink plus the option between a hot or cold hot towel is available. There is usually the option between a Brut and Rosé Champagne. Labels can vary, but often include familiar names like Lanson Black Label Champagne. There is also a beverage called “So Jennie,” which is a non-alcoholic sparkling wine. In the air, the beverage menu is impressive and is presented in its own menu.
The wine list includes full-page descriptions with photos of each bottle. Options include three white wines, three red wines, a sweet white wine and port. Flight attendants receive substantial training about what wines to recommend with each dish, and almost always pour the wine at your seat for that restaurant touch of finesse.
During Ramadan, when other airlines nix alcoholic beverages on some flights, Qatar continues to offer pre-departure beverages although pours drinks in the galley to respect religious norms of other passengers.
A long list of cocktails and mocktails is on offer including classics like an Old Fashioned or dry martini. Spirits range from Bombay Sapphire and Jack Daniel’s to Chivas Regal and Kahlua. Beers regularly include Heineken and Peroni.
Dilmah teas are served on Qatar flights, and specialty coffees include Americano, espresso, latte and macchiato. Arabic coffee, saffron or cardamom Karak Chai, and hot chocolate are also available.
A bottle of water awaits at your seat on boarding, and the flight attendants are always available to offer another upon request. Sparkling water by the glass is always an option.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed.
Hailing from a plethora of countries around the world, Qatar Airways crews speak a wide array of languages in addition to English.
Qatar’s Business Class service is much like First Class on other airlines. Crews welcome passengers by name, take orders, deliver meals and drinks individually. There are no service carts, and the presentation is always meticulous and top-notch. Qatar Airways flight attendants are among the most attentive and service-oriented in the skies today.
Wide entertainment screens on all aircraft keep travellers enthralled no matter the length of the flight. The positioning of the screen may vary depending on the seat type, but it has touch-screen functionality in addition to a remote control. Some narrow body planes have monitors tucked into the armrest - they cannot be used during takeoff and landing. Widebody planes have continuous entertainment from takeoff to touchdown.
Noise-reducing headsets deliver cinema-quality sound, and there is a global selection of music, Hollywood and Bollywood films, sitcoms and short programming including documentaries to keep passengers entertained. Children are offered a great selection of programming and the 3-D moving map display is both educational and exciting to watch.
Dubbed Super Wi-Fi, select Boeing B777 and Airbus A350 aircraft in the airline’s fleet offer inflight connectivity. Eventually, all Qatar planes will have this high-speed option, which is available for purchase. For now, the airline publishes a list on its website of the flights that offer it.
The price is based per flight and not on the amount of data used, and discounts are available to those that buy it in advance or during online check-in versus on board.
Oryx One Communications is the wireless Internet connectivity available on all other aircraft. You can send free SMS messages as well as purchase access to Wi-Fi via this system - although it is not as speedy as the Super Wi-Fi product.
An exciting amenity on some planes is the exterior camera showing passengers wherever they are during the flight even when they are not in a window seat.
International newspapers and magazines are available before takeoff and during the flight, and the Qatar’s Oryx inflight magazine details the airline’s fleet and growing list of destinations.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi.
Amenity kits from well-known brands including BRIC are a collector’s item as there are different colour variations. There are male and female versions. These include all-natural Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio skin care products. Passengers on shorter flights often receive a smaller amenity kit with eyeshades, lip balm and socks.
Before and after each meal service, hot towels are offered to refresh your face and hands, and flight attendants provide a choice between hot and cold towels on most flights. Night flight passengers are treated to pajamas from The White Company and a pair of comfortable slippers.
Families travelling with infants can pre-reserve seats suitable for a bassinet.
Qatar Airways operates a wide range of aircraft on regional flights, including aircraft normally used for long-haul routes. Many short flights are however operated by narrowbody Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, supported by the widebody A330. Most of these aircraft feature a regional Business Class seat that still transforms to a fully flat bed.
On intra-Gulf flights, Qatar Airways brands its premium cabin as First Class, even if the seats are the same as Business Class.
On regional flights, Qatar’s on-demand dining concept is also available with substantial menus offering appetisers and multiple main course dishes. Even on short, intra-Gulf flights, a meal is always offered along with the full range of drinks from the bar. Again, that is the attention to detail that you will not find on other flights. Small amenity kits, bottles of Evian water, printed menus, and a wrapped blanket and pillow continue the impressive theme. Champagne before takeoff and during the flight are welcome touches.
Qatar Airways has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of a shared target set within the oneworld alliance to achieve carbon neutrality. A voluntary carbon offset programme is already available for passengers wishing to offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey.
Onboard recycling and waste management programs to reduce excess food are a priority, and the airline has a fuel optimisation program designed for more efficient ground taxi and inflight operations.
Qatar Aircraft Catering Company has a programme dedicated to the recovery of unconsumed whole and safe food items for charity, donating up to 300kg of surplus food daily. It is also proactively looking for opportunities to optimise food that is carried on each aircraft to minimise waste and reduce emissions from additional weight carried on flights.
Qatar Airways also supports the Fatanpur Wind Farm project, which is focused on boosting India’s renewable energy sources. The project currently supports 54 turbines across the Madhya Pradash districts of Dewas and Ujjain.
In addition, the airline is committed to preventing the illegal transportation of endangered wildlife, which is a notable challenge given its global network. Qatar Airways was a founding member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, and in 2020 established WeQare: Rewild the Planet, an initiative dedicated to transporting endangered animals back to their natural habitat, free of charge.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.