Another flight in Qatar Airways' beautiful QSuite, which is undoubtedly one of the industry's best. The amenities and bedding were great as well, WiFi was fast and affordable, and catering was quite nice (though not spectacular).
After a disappointing transit at Doha Airport, we headed over to gate C5, where our flight would be departing. While I have my issues with Doha Airport (mainly the WiFi), it still comes across as almost psychedelically modern on first glance, with high wooden ceilings and the occasional train passing by overhead. The C gates occupy the “center” of Doha Airport (with the A and B gates on one end and the D and E gates on the other), so this part of the airport felt particularly open and airy.
Doha Airport C Gates
The gate agent scanned my boarding pass, and thanked me for choosing Qatar Airways. Doha Airport has “holding pens” where boarding passes are scanned before you enter a dedicated waiting area for your flight, so I waited. Eventually boarding was delayed for 10 minutes (until 7:15 AM), though at 7:15 AM boarding was called by zone, starting with business class passengers and Qatar Airways Privilege Club frequent flyers.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a clear view of my 777, due to the layout of Doha Airport’s gates. We were transferring onto A7-BEJ, which was a three-year-old Qatar Airways plane that had just been retrofitted with QSuites a couple of weeks before our flight (it’s important that they were retrofitted and not delivered like that – airframes from A7-BEK onwards were delivered with QSuite outright). So the seats were brand spanking new, though they certainly didn’t feel that way…
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Doha Airport
Qatar Airways Flight QR273
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Origin: Doha (DOH) Gate: C5 Dep: 07:50 (07:55)
Destination: Amsterdam (AMS) Gate: F6 Arr: 13:45 (13:35)
Duration: 6 h 55 min (6 h 40 min)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER Reg: A7-BEJ
Seat: 8K (Business Class)
I made my way into the Qatar Airways QSuites cabin, passing the beautiful entryway on my way there.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Entryway
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Cabin and Seat
I was seated in the forward cabin on my outbound flight, so decided I might as well try the rear cabin for a change. The forward cabin features 24 seats (I’ve reviewed the hard product very extensively in the review of my flight from Hong Kong to Doha, so I won’t do so again).
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Forward Cabin
The rear cabin is smaller, and features 18 seats (certain airframes – namely A7-BAX, A7-BAZ and A7-BEB – have QSuite but don’t feature this rear cabin, and you can check whether your flight has it based on the seatmap of your flight).
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Rear Cabin
I had selected seat 8K, which was a bulkhead rear-facing seat closer to the window. Even though this was a bulkhead seat, since it faced rearward, there was no legroom advantage at this seat.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Seat 8K
As I’ve mentioned in my previous review (which I really recommend checking out if you’re new to the QSuite), the B and J window seats are closer to the aisle, and face forward. They aren’t quite as spacious as the close proximity to the seat wall makes the seat more “hemmed in”, though if you prefer sleeping in an alcove or a cozy area you might actually prefer this seat.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Seat 9J
Shortly after I arrived the crew came around and closed all the window shades, presumably to create a more “ambient” feel in the cabin. They didn’t turn on mood lighting or anything, so I would’ve preferred having natural light – though it’s nice to see their attention to detail nonetheless.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Windows Closed
In front of me was the tray table, which could be released and pushed back in at the press of a button – in theory. In reality, the tray table was hard to deploy and wouldn’t put itself back in place, to the point where the crew had to call in an engineer to help me. The engineer taught me how to reach into the footwell and stow the tray table using a little lever, which took a bit of getting used to (and certainly wasn’t how the tray table was meant to be used in the first place). I’m studying for an engineering degree, so the least I can do is survive with a faulty tray table that I couldn’t even teach myself how to operate; despite that, the crew looked genuinely concerned, and offered to move me to a different seat. I’m not sure how it would’ve played out had I obliged, since the business class cabin was completely occupied.
It’s worth noting that in Qatar Airways’ “true” window seats and honeymoon seats, you can leave your seat even with your tray table deployed, due to how the suite is laid out – that’s probably why they didn’t see any safety issues with me staying in this seat on the flight. You can’t leave your seat as easily if you’re in an aisle-side seat. Regardless, though, I wasn’t expecting to see a malfunctioning tray table on a plane retrofitted two weeks ago.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Seat
Under the tray table was the ottoman, which was of a good size.
To the right was the control panel, where the seat controls and other seat features were located.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Side Console
On the top of the console was a large side table, which was more than enough for a laptop. Pre-departure beverages and snacks were placed here.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Side Table
Underneath that was a little open storage area that was perfect for a stray amenity kit or a charging phone.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Storage Compartment
Beneath that were the numerous power options. There was a 110V power port and two USB ports (the USB port above the 110V port charged significantly faster than the one beside), an HDMI port, and wireless payment; above that were the seat controls; and to the left was the entertainment remote.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Side Panel
Closer to the seat was an adjustable armrest that opened up to reveal a side storage compartment. There’s no lack of storage in QSuites!
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Storage Compartment in Armrest
As I noted earlier, the balance between privacy and spaciousness in the QSuite is unbelievable, and this is easily one of the best business class seats out there (if not the best). Check out my review of my flight from Hong Kong to Doha for a more extensive evaluation of the seat.
Qatar Airways 777 Economy Class
Since I was seated in the rear cabin, I had a chance to check out economy class a bit more. The 3-4-3 configuration seemed very tight, though the legroom seemed alright – Qatar Airways certainly isn’t the best when it comes to their economy class product, at least on the 777. Qatar Airways uses standard Recaro CL3710 seats without much customisation, so this isn’t any more comfortable than your “average” economy class seat, with the added fact that it’s tighter due to the 10-abreast configuration.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Economy Class
I got to check out the cabin mid-flight when the mood lighting was turned on. I definitely didn’t envy anyone seated here, given how tight the seats were!
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Economy Class
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Pre-Departure Service
Once I arrived my seat I was asked if I’d like anything to drink. I asked for a lime and mint juice as well as a cold towel, which was refreshing.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Towel and Lime Mint Juice
An amenity kit was provided by my seat. Qatar Airways does his-hers amenity kit, and I received a male amenity kit; it was quite classy, and differed from the one I received on my previous flight.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Amenity Kit
It was a nice morning in Qatar, and I enjoyed the view of the Qatar Airways A350 parked next to us.
Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Doha Airport
Takeoff from Doha Airport
Shortly the door closed, and the inflight service manager came and introduced herself as Sarah. She also informed me of our flight time of 6 hours and 15 minutes, as well as asking whether I’d been in the QSuite before (to which I said yes). She also handed me the menus for our flight.
The crew then turned on some mood lighting for our departure, which illuminated the cabin quite nicely. While I learned on Japan Airlines that it isn’t mandatory for airlines to keep window shades open during takeoff, Qatar Airways does require all window shades to be open, despite closing them during boarding.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Cabin
Now that Qatar’s neighbouring countries are basically all blocked from entering Qatari airspace, Doha Airport is basically dominated by Qatar Airways aircraft. We had a clear view of all sorts of Qatar Airways aircraft, ranging from A320s to A380s.
Traffic Doha Airport
We soon lined up on runway 34L, behind a Qatar Airways A350 bound for Zurich.
Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Taking Off Doha Airport
We then had a nice and lengthy takeoff roll out of Doha Airport, and I enjoyed views of pretty Doha in the distance.
Qatar Airways Planes Doha Airport
Views of Doha upon Takeoff Doha Airport
My dad was seated on the other side of the cabin, and also managed to get stunning photos of Doha’s morning skyline.
Views of Doha upon Takeoff Doha Airport
Soon we flew past the cityscapes of Doha and into Iranian territory, where we were greeted with stunning mountain scenery.
Views of Iran upon Takeoff
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Door
The crew unlocked the doors as we were still ascending, and I quickly noticed another flaw with these seats – the doors wouldn’t stay open when the plane was ascending. The doors are magnetically held in place when they are fully open or fully closed, and the magnets weren’t working as well on these retrofitted aircraft as they were on aircraft delivered with QSuites.
Another issue is that opening my suite door would sometimes close the suite door of the person behind me. Now, I’m pretty sure my specific door was misaligned (as opposed to this being an issue with the entire cabin), though it was interesting to see that quality control wasn’t as rigorous on this aircraft as it was on the plane that operated my last flight. Fortunately, this was a non-issue on my flight, as the gentleman behind me kept his suite door closed most of the time.
Still, though, having a door on a plane in business class is pretty cool.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Door
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Dine-On-Demand
While I forgot to take a picture of the menu (which featured breakfast as well as “light bites” – sorry!), we were also handed a menu featuring snack platter options. The flight attendant serving me cautioned me that these items were all one-biters, and I should get a few of them as a meal.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Menu
It’s worth noting that I also pre-ordered a meal online. You can pre-order your meal from 14 days before departure on Qatar Airways when flying out of Doha, though it’s somewhat useless since all the options provided online are also provided onboard (in other words, this is no Singapore Airlines Book The Cook). In addition, there are items on the onboard menu that the online menu doesn’t provide, which defeats the point of ordering your meal online. In addition to that, the flight attendant also took my order before coming back and saying “I noticed you ordered a meal online?” Given the crew’s attention to detail otherwise, I figured that online meal pre-ordering really wasn’t a highly valued part of Qatar Airways’ business class experience, and wouldn’t actively recommend you to pre-order your meal online.
I wasn’t very hungry, so I said I’d hold off my pre-ordered meal for now. Instead, around 30 minutes in I ordered a couple of items off the snack platter. The flight attendant was very particular in letting me know how she’d serve my meal – I eyed a refreshing-looking granola cup from the seat across me, so I asked for one of those. The flight attendant said “okay, so I’ll serve you your salmon and lamb, then I’ll follow it up with the granola cup, then the afternoon tea (which I ordered earlier)”.
The salmon and lamb indeed came first around half an hour after I ordered. The lamb was delicious, and the salmon was really good as well, though I thought they could’ve toned down with whatever vegetable they finished the dish with (phwoar!).
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Snack Platter Bites
This was followed by the granola, which was as light and refreshing as it looked. The yoghurt was high-quality, the granola was still crunchy, and the compote gave the granola cup a nice hint of tartness.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Granola Cup
I followed that up with an afternoon tea (yes, weird breakfast choice, I know). All of the components were really good, though I wish the scones were served hot – they were room temperature. The cream and jam were great additions, though!
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Afternoon Tea
I asked for an Old Fashioned with my afternoon tea (as one does), which was loaded with whiskey and provided an intense kick.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Old Fashioned
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Service
The crew were attentive and very polished, even if they didn’t quite have the charm or proactivity of the crew from my last flight. It’s impressive how Qatar Airways manages to serve a 42-seat business class cabin to a quasi-first class standard, to the point where I wonder if they’re trained humanely. That being said, I did notice that they’d push hard to go through the motions of which they were trained with – for example, they’d wake my mother up just to ask if she wanted to eat (in fairness, she didn’t have the “do not disturb” button on), etc.. We weren’t landing anytime soon and Qatar Airways does dine-on-demand, so it would’ve been more sensible for them to wait until my mother woke up. These are tiny mistakes, however, and objectively we still had a very good crew.
After my meal was finished, I asked the flight attendant if she could help make my bed, to which she obliged. Qatar Airways provides mattress pads on their Europe flights on QSuite flights (as for the non-QSuite flights, I’ll get to that later).
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Bed
The process of making my bed consisted purely of placing a mattress pad on top of my seat, which was very sturdy (and wouldn’t easily move, since it was attached to the seatback). I’m not opposed to that, as some passengers like to get comfortable before going to sleep. That being said, I wanted to take a bit of a nap, so I made my own bed.
This certainly wasn’t as lavish as Qatar Airways’ double bed, though it still provides a copious amount of space. On top of that, the QSuites are also very well padded, and the mattress pad really made a difference as well.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Bed
I managed to nap for a couple of hours, though it wasn’t very deep sleep, since it was light outside and I’d just slept on the flight prior. The flight attendant was attentive, and dropped by and asked if I wanted anything. She also asked where we were from – I told her that we flew the QSuite over from Hong Kong as well, and she thanked me for flying Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Dine-On-Demand Pre-Arrival
I asked for my pre-ordered steel-cut oats, and the flight attendant proactively asked if I’d like fruit on top of that. The flight attendant once was particular about the order of how my courses were served, saying she’d serve me the fruit plate, followed by my oats, followed by the Americano I ordered.
The fruit on the plate was fresh (though not ice cold), and was presented nicely.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Fruit Platter
The steel cut oats were rich, though I’m not quite sure what berries were on top.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Steel Cut Oats
Halfway through my meal I remembered that I’d read about Qatar Airways serving good date smoothies somewhere, so I wanted to see if they had that on this flight. They didn’t, though the flight attendant said they had a blueberry smoothie, so I went for that.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Smoothie
My Americano came alongside the oats, and I quite enjoyed it – nice and strong.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777 QSuites Business Class Americano
In addition to that, I’d also heard good things about Qatar Airways’ saffron karak chai, so ordered a cup of that. It was quite nice, though made me realise that I don’t quite like saffron in my drinks as much as I thought I would.
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite WiFi
I worked for a while using Qatar Airways’ awesome Super WiFi – everyone receives a complimentary hour, and you can purchase Super WiFi across the entire flight for 10 USD, which is very reasonably priced. I didn’t measure speeds on this flight, though it measured 8 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up on my last flight. It’s worth noting that the coverage was spottier on this flight than it was on the last, though, especially by the first and last hour of the flight. My biggest complaint is that you can’t purchase a 24-hour package that’s usable across two flights, which would’ve been helpful considering how big Qatar Airways’ transit market is.
Landing into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Shortly before landing the flight attendant serving my aisle came around to thank me for flying Qatar Airways, and also locked my door in the “open” position. After the pre-landing check, we were treated to great views over the Netherlands countryside, though it eventually got cloudier as we descended into Amsterdam.
Descent into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
We touched down at around 1:30 PM, and once again the WiFi continued working right until the moment we touched the ground. I’d never been to Amsterdam Airport before, so I had a good time seeing all the KLM heavies, as well as a Norwegian 787.
Norwegian Boeing 787 Amsterdam Airport
Unfortunately we parked a bit too close to a KLM 777 for me to grab a picture of the entire plane, though we made it to gate F6 by 1:35 PM.
KLM Boeing 777 Amsterdam Airport
We bid farewell to the crew, and I said hello to the Netherlands’ soil for the first time. While we didn’t have a great view of our 777 upon arrival, I did see a KLM 747 in the distance.
KLM Boeing 747 Amsterdam Airport
It was a long walk to the immigration area, though we did have some great views along the way, so I wasn’t complaining.
KLM Heavies Amsterdam Airport
Eventually we got closer to the KLM 747, though unfortunately Amsterdam Airport has annoying dots on their windows, which prevented me from grabbing a great picture.
Spotted Windows at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
I was able to grab a good picture of a 777 in KLM Asia livery, though.
KLM Asia Boeing 777 Amsterdam Airport
After passing immigration it was another somewhat lengthy walk to baggage reclamation carousel 18, though (Amsterdam Airport is huge!). It took us a whole 45 minutes to get our bags, though we eventually made it out in one piece – though our car transfer no-showed, so we waited in the terminal until a replacement car showed up a couple of hours later.
Bottom Line: Qatar Airways 777 QSuite
This was another great flight in Qatar Airways’ QSuite. Since the business class cabin was full and I didn’t get my own double bed, it wasn’t quite as fun as the last; though there’s no denying that Qatar Airways’ QSuite is one of the most impressive and practically designed business class seats out there. In addition, their dine-on-demand service sets them apart from other airlines, and it’s especially helpful since everyone is transiting and on different agendas; it’s also executed perfectly.
The food on this flight was well-executed, more so than the other three flights I took on Qatar Airways during this trip; I disagree that they have the best business class catering in the world, though there’s clearly a lot of thought into how the meal is presented. The crew was also attentive and helpful, even if they didn’t have the charm of the last.
Overall, Qatar Airways has a winner in their business class product if you can score their QSuite. The biggest complaint I have overall continues to be their constant equipment swaps to their older 777s, which are a far cry from this seat – stay tuned for my review of my flight from Brussels to Doha, which was scheduled on one of Qatar Airways’ older 777s.
Read more from this trip:
Have you flown Qatar Airways’ QSuite before? How did you find it?