What Is It like to Fly the Qatar Airways Qsuite?
I spent 150,000 AAdvantage miles and $100 in fees to find out if the Qsuite is indeed “ﬁrst in business”
March 2, 2023
Let’s face it: South Africa is far from Dallas. But when friends invite you to a New Year’s Eve double wedding at a winery outside Cape Town, it piques your interest and inspires you to start looking for ﬂights.
There are nonstop ﬂights to South Africa from the United States on Delta and United, but those sell out quickly and come at a wildly inﬂated price, especially in business class. So I decided to connect in Europe or the Middle East on my way to Cape Town. Fortunately, the award-winning Qatar Airways Qsuite was there for me. With design elements handpicked by the airline’s Group CEO, Akbar Al Baker, the Qsuite seemed ideal to take me to such a distinguished occasion.
Qatar Airways refers to its Qsuite Business Class as “ﬁrst in business,” the idea being that the category is more ﬁrst class than business class and a step above any other business class in the sky. It was time to ﬁnd out for myself. I spent 150,000 AAdvantage miles and $100 in fees for a round-trip ﬂight from Dallas to Cape Town and back.
I arrived at DFW Airport and quickly checked in for my ﬂight to Doha’s Hamad International Airport. Qatar uses the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW, which is perfectly ﬁne for a preﬂight snack, but I didn’t want to ﬁll up too much, having heard great stories about the cuisine in Qsuites.
Boarding and Cabin
I arrived at the gate at DFW Airport’s Terminal D at my prescribed boarding time, but quickly realized that boarding had commenced much earlier. I was escorted to the front of the line and boarded the A350-1000, barely able to contain my excitement.
The cabin was truly luxurious, with a spacious seat and dramatic magenta lighting, accentuating the color palette. The door made it feel like my own space.
One of the ﬂight attendants came by to ensure I knew how to operate everything. After that, it was a glass of Laurent-Per-rier Alexandra Rosé 2006 champagne, and the long, enjoyable journey to Cape Town began.
We calmly took to the skies. It was to be a “quick” 14 hours and 30 minutes into Doha, followed by a relaxing visit to the Al Mourjan Business Lounge at Hamad International Airport, and then just under 10 hours south into Cape Town. Sitting in my Qsuite, I thought, 24 hours in this seat doesn’t seem too bad.
The menu was expansive and featured international options from various cultures. It all began with a reﬁll of champagne (brut or rosé) and a small ramekin of warm nuts, followed by a salmon amuse-bouche.
Before the courses, my table was set with silverware and a ﬂickering “candle.” Bread was served with a few different options for oils; I went with the classic olive oil and vinaigrette, and sampled a wide variety of appetizers, all delicious and plated extravagantly.
Across my two ﬂights to Cape Town, main entrées included American short ribs on a porcini mushroom risotto, with a fantastic cheese plate for a late-night snack. I also loved the desserts: A special World Cup chocolate orb contained a raspberry cake and came with cream and raspberry sauce.
We had breakfast before landing. I enjoyed a delectable Liège waffle and continental breakfast, with coffee and more champagne. Overall, the food was wonderful.
The seat faced both forward and backward. As a bigger guy, I found it to be very roomy, with lots of storage space. When it was time for sleep, my ﬂight attendant quickly installed a mattress pad and put my seat into bed mode. Even at six feet tall, I could comfortably relax and sleep well on both ﬂights. The seat controls were customizable, so I could ﬁnd perfect positions for lounging and catching up on emails using the incredibly inexpensive onboard Wi-Fi ($10 for the entire ﬂight).
When it comes to in-cabin service, there are two types of airlines: “Don’t Hit the Call Button Because Flight Attendants Are Walking Through the Aisles,” or, “Hit the Call Button When You Need Something Because the Flight Attendants Don’t Want to Disturb You.” It took me a while to ﬁgure out that Qatar belonged to the latter group, but once I did, it took my experience from great to extraordinary. Qatar Airways offers a rare service that falls midway between that of of Singapore Airlines and Cathay Paciﬁc, with the former over-the-top, and the latter a bit “warmer.” Qatar’s service is energetic: Every time I asked for something, it was delivered promptly with a smile. Likewise, Qsuite was as opulent as it was functional, and my ﬂight experience was truly up there with some of the best ﬁrst class offerings in the world. Flying direct may take less time, but spending 24 hours in a Qatar Qsuite is not a bad alternative.