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READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP
Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France / KLM Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France A350 (Business); Toronto – Paris
• Review: Air France A320 (Business); Paris – Stockholm
• Review: The Generator Hostel (Stockholm)
• Review: Norrsken Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Menzies Executive Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: American Express Lounge by Pontus (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Stockholm Arlanda Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Qatar Airways A350-1000 (Business); Stockholm – Doha
• Review: Four Points By Sheraton Doha
• Review: The Westin Doha Resort and Spa
• Review: Al Safwa First Class Lounge (Doha)
• Review: Qatar Airways 777-300ER (Business); Doha – Muscat
• Review: Sheraton Oman Hotel (Muscat)
• Review: Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz Carlton Hotel (Muscat)
• Review: Primeclass Lounge (Muscat)
• Review: Turkish Airlines 737-800 (Business); Muscat – Instanbul
• Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge (Istanbul Airport)
• Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge 787-9 (Istanbul – Atlanta)
This review will be an extension of my previous Qatar A350 review. Many of the features were the same but I will also highlight where aspects were different.
The airline has been working on retrofitting the new seats on existing planes but at the moment:
- Qsuites are available on all A350-1000s and;
- Qsuites are available on select A350-900s, 777-200LRs, and 777-300ERs
Interestingly, when I booked my specific flight, the route was scheduled to use a 777-200LR without Qsuites. I chose this flight because it would provide a proper review of their “old” business class, however, Qatar had a last minute equipment swap and it was replaced with 777-300ER with Qsuites.
Again, “Qsuites” have been all the rage since Qatar introduced the seats in the summer of 2017. I wish I would’ve been able to review the “old” seat but I wasn’t completely upset…I mean, it is Qsuites!😉
HOW I BOOKED THE FLIGHT?
Typically, I try to redeem miles on the longest flights so I can obtain the “full experience.” However, this 1 hour and 40 minute flight
provided the seats that I wanted to review and fit my schedule so I redeemed 24,000 British Airways Avios and $72USD while the retail fare for my specific flight was $1,144USD).
I had taken advantage of an AMEX/British Airways 40% Transfer Bonus so I only paid 18,000 points total however this trip is easy to replicate with credit cards that transfer to British Airways such as American Express Gold Card (READ MORE), Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred.
777-300ER BUSINESS CLASS (QSUITES) REVIEW
The business class cabin is split into two sections. The most forward cabin has 6 rows and the rear cabin has 4 rows on the windows and 5 rows in the center. Both cabins had a 1-2-1 configuration. Using a visual, this is what the cabin configuration looks like:
After reviewing Al Safwa First Lounge, I departed for my gate (C4) at, approximately, 6:30PM. My flight schedule was:
Qatar Airways 1136
Doha (DOH) – Muscat (MCT)
Scheduled Departure: 7:40PM
Scheduled Arrival: 10:20PM
Duration: 1Hrs 40Mins
Seat: Originally 4J (Business Class) but then every seat (explanation below)
At the gate, we went through ticket and ID validation before entering the actual gate waiting area. Within a few minutes of arriving at the gate, an announcement advised passengers to remain seated in their boarding zones and check-in would begin soon.
Near the boarding door were a several rows of “priority seats” for Business class passengers. I was one of, perhaps, 5 passengers that sat in this section.
At 6:40PM, we began boarding. Business class passengers boarded through door 1L while remaining passengers boarded thru 2L.
The windows at Doha Hamad Airport are covered with a web-design barrier that assists in keeping the airport cool and reducing the effects of the scorching desert sun. Unfortunately, this makes it nearly impossible to obtain a picture of most planes.
I was greeted by the cabin manager and escorted to my seat (4J). Immediately, I noticed how the cabin did not feel as spacious as the A350 because of the storage bins above the middle seats.
It is worth noting that, similar to the A350-1000, all seats throughout the business cabin alternate between forward-facing and rear-facing. For example…
I picked 4J because I wanted to review a forward-facing seat instead of a rear-facing seat which I reviewed on the A350. You will also notice that the seats also have individual air nozzles which is always a plus in my book.
When I arrived at my seat, I found the exceptional Qsuites bedding which included a thick and firm lumbar pillow located on the seat and a comfortable blanket. Unlike the A350, it did not feature the additional pillow with the travel-related quote.
Additionally, there was a storage bin to the right side of the seat but it did not have any plane information, headphones, or the bottle of water in it.
Within seconds of taking my seat, the flight attendant introduced himself, welcomed me on board, and asked if I would be interested in a refreshing mint lemonade drink and a hot towel.
I began taking photos of both the window seats and seats in the middle section. The flight attendant returned with the drink, hot towel and first class menu and quickly said “I’m not sure if you’re interested but I believe there isn’t anyone sitting in the rear cabin [of business class], and you would have the opportunity to try out every seat. Would you like to move?”
He checked and a few minutes later invited me to move to the rear cabin.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) we were delayed by 40 minutes so I was able to try out every seat in the rear cabin. This is also the reason that I have photos from various directions and seats. I sat in forward-facing, window seat 9J for departure and landing but spent the majority of the flight in the rear-facing, middle section seat 9E.
In the middle section, the rear-facing seats are close to one another, have a counter separating the seat and the aisle, and can turn into a double bed (Sort of! You still have separate footwells).
One of the cool features of Qsuites is that you can have a “quad” if traveling as group. For example, it is possible to lower the partitions between your seats, and move the TV partitions to the side so you can see and talk to the people you are traveling with. It’s, basically, a four-person suite.
The footwell was a good size. With some staggered seat configurations, footwell space can easily evaporate making the seat feel extremely claustrophobic but not in Qsuites.
Again, the detail that is on display is amazing! Take a look at the simple but elegant light fixture and the intricate stitching design in the headrest…
The attendant returned a few minutes later and asked if I would like to try the tea and a date. I happily agreed. The tea and date tasted excellent – so much so that I had several glasses and dates!
The 40 minutes went by extremely fast. The main cabin door closed and the Captain welcomed everyone aboard. He apologized for the delay and informed us of our new arrival time 10:44PM.
At 8:20PM we began our pushback. Next to us a 777 was being washed.
Our taxi to the departure runway was quick, however, we were held from departing for another 15 minutes. After the delay, it was a fast takeoff and we were in the air within a few minutes.
As we climbed out I browsed the entertainment selection. Oryx One has an excellent and robust selection of movies, TV shows, and music. In fact, there were 308 movies in the Hollywood section alone (yes, I counted)
Typically, I prefer to listen to music…
However, the flight was fairly short so I decided to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for the entire flight. This is a classic episode with Uncle Phil’s wig…
Again, the cabin is extremely well designed.
On the side of the seat you will find easy-to-use seat controls, an entertainment controller, and both a 110V/60Hz and USB outlet.
Personally, I was ecstatic to see the outlet that supported plugs from around the world. I had forgotten my adaptor so this was a lifesaver as my computer was slowly dying. Additionally, there is a second USB outlet located below the TV which was great because I had a lot of devices to charge.
When we reached cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign was turned off, and the flight attendant inquired about my meal preferences.
The menu was slightly condensed on this flight and the menu read as follows:
As you can see from the photo below, I ordered it all (e.g. feta and mint skewer, hummus, warm Arabic bread, romaine, plum tomato, cucumber and walnut, watermelon, panco crusted green pea and cashew nut paneer, dill and garlic marinated prawn skewers, and the lemon meringue pie.
Before I knew it, we were descending into Muscat.
Just before landing, the flight attendant and the cabin manager came around and thanked me for flying with Qatar Airways.
We ended up touching down at 11:19PM (1 hour behind schedule).
From there we had a roughly 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate.
As we approached the beautiful Muscat International Airport, we passed a Gulf Air 787 Dreamliner…
…an Oman Air 787 Dreamliner…
…and several Oman Air 737’s.
It was a matter of minutes before the forward door was opened, we bid farewell to the crew, and were off to immigration (where this unfortunate incident took place).
Although it’s not the best picture I’ve taken of a plane, I was able to snap a photo of the beautiful bird.
Once through immigration, I made my way to my rental car and was able to see Muscat’s new airport which is BEAUTIFUL!
The flight was an abbreviated version of the long-haul flight. For example, no amenity kits, pajamas, or headphones were provided.
Despite this, Qatar Qsuites is still amazing and the hype that it has received over the past 2 years is justified.
Personally, I prefer the A350 Qsuites to the 777 because of the overall “openness” of the cabin but the service is hands down the best in the business.
Beyond the new plane and new seat, the food is delicious (despite the limited menu), lemon-mint drink, individual air nozzles, attention to detail and high-end finishes of the QSuites product are what take this product to the next level.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth review of the Qsuites, read my A350 Qsuites review. There is a reason that they have been awarded the world’s best business class in the world for the past consecutive 5 years.
Have you flown in Qsuites? What was your experience?