The ability to face each other in Qatar Airways' QSuite business class is game changing. While our family is the type that would probably sit in four window seats next time, other travelers are bound to enjoy this seating configuration.
If you’re trying to learn more about the QSuite experience, I’d highly recommend you check out the review of my flight from Hong Kong to Doha, where I gave an extensive evaluation of the hard product. On this flight I assigned my family a quad suite, which is one of the ways Qatar Airways creatively customised their QSuite product. This trip report will mostly focus on that, as well as how the soft product differed of that of the other Qatar Airways flights I took on this trip.
After clearing immigration, I headed towards the E gates, since our flight was leaving from E4. I’d never taken the train at Doha Airport before; while modern, the trains were quite hot, and poorly ventilated (which isn’t exactly a complaint, since I realise Doha doesn’t have the coolest climate). Fortunately the train ride was quite short, and I made my way towards the “other” end of Doha Airport.
Doha Hamad Airport E Gates Area
There were annoying “dots” on the terminal wall, though a gap allowed me to see the 777 that would bring us back to Hong Kong. Our flight would be operated by A7-BEU, a year-old 777 that had sported the new QSuites ever since it was delivered – this is important, as the quality control of the planes delivered with QSuites seems to surpass the quality control of the planes that were retrofitted with QSuites.
For the geeky, as far as the 777-300ERs go, A7-BEK to A7-BEX came with QSuites; A7-BAF, G, M, X, Z, A7-BEB, A7-BED to A7-BEG, A7-BEI and J were retrofitted, and the rest feature Qatar Airways’ older product, which I’ve reviewed here. If that’s just a load of letters to you, you can check if your plane features QSuites through ExpertFlyer, though obviously there are equipment swaps way too often.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Doha Hamad Airport
Qatar Airways boards flights into a “holding pen” until the plane is ready for boarding, and when my boarding pass was scanned I was thanked for flying Qatar Airways. I stayed in the gate pen for a while until boarding was called, and I was one of the first to board.
Qatar Airways Flight QR818
Monday, August 12, 2019
Origin: Doha (DOH) Gate: E4 Dep: 02:30 (02:45)
Destination: Doha (DOH) Gate: 6 Arr: 16:05 (15:55)
Duration: 8 h 35 min (8 h 10 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER Reg: A7-BEU
Seat: 4D (Business Class)
Qatar Airways 777 Quad Suite Overview
Once again I found myself back in the understatedly luxurious QSuite cabin. I was in the forward cabin, which features 24 seats across 6 rows.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Cabin
As aforementioned, this time I had assigned myself a quad suite. Due to the way the QSuites are staggered, each quad suite features two seats close together that can be converted into a double bed (though doesn’t have to be), and two seats further apart that create their own separate beds.
My mother and my sister were more likely to take advantage of the double bed, so my dad and I took seats that were further apart and closer to the aisle, so we could face them. My seat was 4D, which was a forward-facing seat that was closer to the aisle.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Seat 4D
The quad suites on the QSuites-equipped planes are:
- 1E, 1F, 2D and 2G
- 3E, 3F, 4D and 4G
- 5E, 5F, 6D and 6G
- 7E, 7F, 8D and 8G (select planes don’t feature this)
- 9E, 9F, 10D and 10G (select planes don’t feature this)
As seen above, rows 7-11 are positioned in the rear cabin (seats 11E and 11F don’t convert into a quad suite). Three QSuite-equipped 777-300ER planes don’t feature a rear cabin (A7-BAX, A7-BAZ, A7-BEB), so there are only three quad suites on those planes. I’d recommend the quad suite across rows 3 and 4 as they’re furthest away from the toilets; though if you prefer the intimacy of a marginally smaller cabin, the quad suite across rows 9 and 10 is also a great choice.
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Seat
This was my only QSuite flight where I had a seat nearer to the aisle, so it required some acquainting. In many ways, the aisle-side QSuites mirror the window and center QSuites, though there are some subtle differences. Firstly, the storage compartment/armrest is located on your right, and it opens away from you so you have easier access to it. While I appreciated that the compartment opened towards the seat, it does make for tougher opening, as you have to pull a string loop of sorts to pull the compartment door “away” from you.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Seat 4D Storage Compartment
Secondly, I felt like the seat was slightly smaller due to how the door was positioned. It didn’t feel claustrophobic for me personally, but it didn’t feel quite as spacious as the windowside seats did. Obviously I chose this seat because I wanted to experience the quad suite with my family, but I’d avoid a B or J seat if travelling alone, as it’s configured similarly.
Everything else about this QSuite is identical to the windowside seats, though. To the right was a console, which consisted of a large side table (which connected to the table of the G seat to create a shared space in the quad suite) as well as all the seat’s controls and power features.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Side Table
The power features consisted of seat controls, two USB ports (one of which was fast-charge), a 110V universal power port, a handheld remote control for the PTV screen, a dual headphone jack, and contactless payment.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Side Table Storage
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Power Plugs
Since the seat was closer to the door, an armrest was positioned next to it. It’s worth noting that the windowside/center seats don’t have armrests on both sides, so you might want to choose a B/D/G/J seat if that’s very important to you.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Armrest
The tray table slid open from underneath the TV screen, and worked seamlessly.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Tray Table
When a crewmember came to offer me a welcome drink, I asked if she could help us open up the Quad Suite, to which she gladly obliged.
Qatar Airways 777 Quad Suite
The Quad suite consists of rearward-facing E and F seats and forward-facing D and G seats in the row behind, where the walls between seats can be opened up. This creates a large shared space which can’t be found in any other business class seat out there.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Quad Suite
If all window seats are taken, E and F seats aren’t too bad as individual seats. There’s a sizeable privacy partition in the middle, and even though you can kind of see the head of the person sitting right beside you during takeoff and landing (especially if you’re tall), this won’t be an issue in bed mode.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Middle Seat
Before my parents and Hailey boarded, a family got onboard and hectically dumped their personal items into the seats across mine. I’d assigned those seats for my mom and my sister, so I raised this to the attention of the cabin crew, who quickly relocated the family’s personal items into the rear cabin where they were seated. I didn’t manage to interact with this crew much (since I was so tired and slept throughout a large portion of this flight), though they were so attentive and eager to please, and I have nothing bad to say about them.
Once we were settled into our quad suite, we had a beautiful, open space where we could chat. The seats across weren’t too far away so that I could comfortably talk to my mother and my sister, but they weren’t too close for comfort in any way that made me feel cramped, either. Even when sitting in the quad suite, this product is a huge win, and offers a degree of customisability that no other airline has caught up with yet.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Quad Suite
In addition to the great hard product, the age of the plane meant the seat was in mint condition, which isn’t the case on other QSuites aircraft. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I find Qatar’s 777 aircraft that were delivered with QSuites (A7-BEK to A7-BEX – we were on A7-BEU) to be in much better condition than the 777s that were retrofitted with QSuites.
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Amenities
Before the suite was opened, a secondary pillow, blanket and amenity kit were propped up against the suite dividers. The pillow and blanket were beautiful and substantial, much like the ones provided on previous flights.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Pillow, Blanket and Amenity Kit
The amenity kit was quite attractive, and the same as the amenity kit offered on my flight from Doha to Amsterdam. I much prefer the ex-Doha male amenity kits to the inbound amenity kits (picture here).
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Amenity Kit
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Pre-Departure Service
As aforementioned, the flight attendant serving my aisle welcomed me onto the flight and asked if I wanted a pre-departure beverage. I selected a lime and mint juice, which came with a cold towel.
The male inflight service manager advised me of our flight time of 7 hours and 50 minutes, and told me to let him or any of his colleagues know if I needed anything. He offered his name, but I didn’t catch it, unfortunately.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Pre-Departure Towel and Beverage
Prior to takeoff, I asked if our entire family could have mattress pads, so we could get comfortable before takeoff. The crew member obliged, and told us to wait until after boarding was finished. Sure enough, after boarding, she came around to our seats and put comfortable, plush mattress covers over our seats, as well as putting pillow covers over the pillows provided at our seats. She then said “this is the best we can do for now, since we need to keep your seat upright during takeoff and landing”. I love that Qatar offers the option of putting mattress pads on seats before takeoff, but wish they pre-set the mattress pads on all seats before boarding on night flights like these (our flight departed at 2:30 AM) like other airlines do in business class such as Qantas. Even if I wasn’t planning on sleeping, these mattress pads were really nice for getting comfortable in.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Mattress Pad
The crew also came around with menus and pyjamas. I quickly changed into my pyjamas, so I could get comfortable.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Business Class Pyjamas
We pushed back at 2:45 AM, and made our way to the runway, where we took off at 3 AM. After takeoff, the crew turned on mood lighting (which I personally didn’t think was necessary, since many people were trying to sleep). As was the case on my past two flights, the crew member serving my aisle came to close my suite door.
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Door
While aisle-side seats feel marginally more exposed during takeoff and landing, the seat walls set a decent amount of privacy even when the suite door is open (so, for example, still much more privacy than you’d get in Qatar Airways’ old business class). Obviously privacy even in the aisle-side seats is unparalleled when the suite door is closed.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Door
I decided to take the opportunity to grab a good cabin picture, which caught the attention of a crewmember serving the other aisle. She asked if I was a blogger, to which I said “yes”.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Cabin upon Takeoff
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Dine-On-Demand
While I did recline my seat into bed mode briefly, for some reason I still couldn’t sleep. So I decided to eat, and ordered an Apple Cooler off Qatar Airways’ mocktail menu, which came alongside some tasty hot nuts.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Pre-Meal Service Beverage and Hot Nuts
I told the crew that I’d eat before bed, so she came around and took my meal order. I’d ordered a beef ciabatta online prior to the flight, which was acknowledged while the crew took my meal order – since the beef ciabatta was featured on the menu anyway, I really don’t see the point of pre-ordering your meal when flying Qatar Airways business class, since there’s a more limited online selection than onboard (which is counterintuitive).
I asked for the soup of the day, which was tom kha gai. It was served with a lid that was removed my seat, and it was oh so rich and creamy. Yum. Qatar Airways generally impresses with soups, and this was one of the best soups I’ve had on them.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Meal – Soup of the Day (Tom Kha Gai)
After my soup was cleared I was served my main course, which was a beef ciabatta. I actually thought it wasn’t half bad – the beef had decent flavour, even if the fries by the side were soggy and terrible. That being said, this certainly wasn’t worthy of any catering awards, and I continue to disagree that Qatar Airways’ catering is worthy of being called “the world’s best” (an award that Skytrax has given them many times in the past).
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuite Meal – Beef Ciabatta
As I said, I didn’t interact with the crew much on this flight, though they were courteous, efficient, and oh so attentive. Granted there weren’t many people eating (since most people went straight to sleep), though my table was always cleared within a couple minutes of finishing, etc..
At this point I went to brush my teeth, reclined my seat, and went to sleep. By the time I went to sleep it was already light outside, despite the fact that we were less than two hours into the flight.
Landing into Hong Kong Airport
I wish I had something more to say about the flight, but I woke up to a “30 minutes before landing” announcement. I put my seat back upright and my suite door was shortly locked open. The inflight service manager came by and observed that I’d slept a lot on the flight, and asked if I’d slept well. I certainly had, to the point where it negatively affected my jetlag (since I wasn’t expecting to sleep so well for some reason). It’s so impressive that part of Qatar Airways’ service protocol is to check if their business class passengers slept soundly, and shows the degree of personalisation that Qatar Airways crews consistently aim for.
It was a quick descent into Hong Kong, and we taxied into gate 6 at 3:55 PM, with us deplaning shortly after that.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Hong Kong Airport
Chaos at Hong Kong Airport (2019 Protests)
Unfortunately this was the same day that protesters had unexpectedly taken over Hong Kong Airport (the airport protests were extended by a couple of days, the airport facilities weren’t prepared for it, and protesters wouldn’t let travelers catch their flights), so a ground stop was implemented. It was quite surreal to see all flights canceled for the rest of the day.
Cancelled Flights at Hong Kong Airport
This also meant that we couldn’t get home, and we stepped into an arrivals hall of chaos. We made it out to the car park where we waited for our airport transfer, though unfortunately our driver was stuck in traffic at Tung Chung, so all we could do was wait. The worst thing was that there were so many people at the airport that the airport’s cellular bandwidth was stretched out thin as a sheet, so I couldn’t keep myself updated on any new sites or text my friends, either.
The only thing I could do (besides join the protests – which I wasn’t going to do, as I’ve always found the “disrupt airport operations” approach counterintuitive) was planespot, so I found a vantage point from the carpark and watched the last of aircraft descend into Hong Kong, before airport operations called it a day and shut down the airport.
Planespotting at Hong Kong Airport
Eventually, as traffic cleared up, we managed to catch our airport transfer and made our way back home safely.
Conclusion: Qatar Airways 777 QSuite
While our flight’s destination was plagued with divisiveness, my itinerary with Qatar ended on a really good note. Once again, I recommend you check out my reviews of my flights from Hong Kong to Doha and Doha to Amsterdam if you’re looking for a more comprehensive review of the QSuite, since most of this flight was spent sleeping. However, during the short period of time that I was awake on this flight, I was glad to see Qatar Airways’ soft product at its best, with decent catering and a stellar crew.
Above all, Qatar Airways’ QSuite hard product is a winner. While I’d strive to get a windowside A or K seat if traveling alone, the quad suite is so creative, and offers a social family space that no other airline offers yet (not even the other airlines that have come up with brand spanking new enclosed-suite business class products such as British Airways and ANA, unless you’re talking about British Airways’ “involuntarily” social 2-4-2 business class product). I wasn’t expecting it to offer as much space as it did, and found it so easy to talk to my family members inside the quad suite, so I was left very impressed.
No matter who you’re traveling with, Qatar Airways offers one of the best business class products out there, and given their frequent fare sales I’d recommend them in a heartbeat. If Qatar Airways gets less complacent with their catering, improves their Doha Airport WiFi situation (or build a better lounge altogether, but that’s probably not happening anytime soon), and stops swapping out QSuite-equipped planes with non-QSuites equipped planes so often, they’d have the best business class product out there by far.
Read more from this trip:
Have you flown Qatar Airways’ QSuite quad suite before? Was it as good as I’ve described it?