File this post under “wannabe blogger geeks out about small detail in ultra-premium cabin flying”.
Along with Qatar Airways’ revolutionary new QSuite which they introduced in 2017, the airline introduced new bedding, including a new blanket, pillows, and a mattress pad. Soon some of this bedding started getting rolled out onto other aircraft within the fleet as well…but not all of it.
Qatar Airways’ QSuite Business Class Bedding
Specifically, you can expect the same pillows and blanket on every Qatar Airways flight in business class, even for flights under an hour long from Dubai/Abu Dhabi to Doha. However, Qatar Airways only offers mattress pads and a pillowcase for certain flights, and the selection of these flights puzzles me.
Specifically, I can’t tell which flights offer the mattress pad and pillow topper. While I could care less about the pillow topper (though it is a nice touch), the mattress pad does make a difference in bed comfort, despite being quite thin, and all other major airlines within the Middle East (Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Oman Air) offer mattress pads to passengers on medium-to-longhaul flights. I generally use the presence (and quality) of a mattress pad as one of the differentiators between “okay” and “good” business class bedding – Qatar Airways’ mattress pad is generally quite good, if it’s provided.
The elusive mattress pad and pillow topper
So why am I confused?
All QSuite flights have mattress pads
All QSuite flights I’ve taken have featured mattress pads without exception, including a Doha-Amsterdam morning flight where a mattress pad definitely wasn’t necessary. I haven’t seen many reviews of QSuite flights on short 45-minute routes (QSuite-equipped aircraft sometimes fly ultra-short flights), though I’d be willing to bet those flights are equipped with mattress pads as well.
An unnecessary, but appreciated fully made bed on a daytime six-hour flight from Doha to Amsterdam
Ultra-longhaul non-QSuite flights have mattress pads
While I haven’t flown a Qatar Airways flight that has been over nine hours long, it’s my understanding that all ultra-longhaul flights with Qatar Airways feature mattress pads. I’m sure passengers on ultra-longhaul flights definitely appreciate the soft product consistency, especially if there’s a last-minute swap out of a QSuite-equipped aircraft.
Daytime non-QSuite Flights do not have mattress pads
I’ve flown a fair few short daytime flights between Doha and Europe outside of the QSuite (to/from Munich, Brussels, and London), and none of them feature mattress pads. Now, on one hand mattress pads would be appreciated on these flights – people operate on different body clocks on Qatar Airways flights, and one man’s 5 PM is another man’s 2 AM. That being said, I don’t think not having a mattress pad on a six-hour daytime flight makes a product necessarily uncompetitive, even though many of the airline’s peers would otherwise offer a mattress pad on a flight of this length.
This lumpy old 777 business class seat could definitely use a mattress pad, though on a six-hour daytime flight, whatever
What about mid-haul overnight non-QSuite flights?
This is where Qatar Airways loses me:
- My flight on a 787-9 a couple of weeks ago from Doha to Hanoi (7h 25m) left at 2:20 AM and arrived at 1:45 PM, and didn’t feature mattress pads – at least they were not handed out (I don’t know if they were available on request)
A cosy bed, but I would’ve appreciated a mattress pad
- My friend Matthew from Live and Let’s Fly flew from Doha to Copenhagen departing 1:35 AM and arriving at 6:20 AM (a 6h 45m flight), which did feature mattress pads
- Aaron from the Mile Lion flew from Doha to Singapore departing 8 PM and arriving 9:05 AM (an 8h 5m flight), which didn’t feature mattress pads
- World Traveller 73’s flight from Doha to Male left at 1:30 AM and arrived at 8:25 AM (a 4h 55m flight – admittedly much shorter), which didn’t feature mattress pads either
- All Kinds of Travel’s flight from Bangkok to Doha didn’t feature a mattress pad either – it left at 9:05 PM and arrived at 11:55 PM (6h 40m)
I’m so confused…
It’s one thing if Qatar Airways commits to offering mattress pads on all overnight flights, but why some and not others? Was Matthew’s flight a fluke? Or are they just available on request?
I wish I’d asked for a mattress pad on my flight from Doha to Hanoi, and gotten a proper explanation from the crew in terms of which flights had mattress pads and which didn’t (in fairness, I was so tired I would’ve slept upright). Now I’m just really confused as to the seeming lack of a pattern for which flights offer mattress pads and which don’t.
Etihad may have introduced mattress pads very recently, but at least they seem to be able to offer it on all mid-haul flights
Also, why is Qatar Airways so focused on heralding the QSuite as a superior product, while charging the same for all business class seats? Wouldn’t it make sense to provide mattress pads on all overnight flights, regardless of whether the aircraft was QSuite operated, and no daytime flights? Especially when passengers get swapped out of a QSuite flight last-minute, you’d at least expect they’d try and keep a consistent soft product with the same bedding? I’m so confused…
Qatar Airways offers mattress pads on all QSuite flights, as well as all ultra longhaul flights, though the provision of mattress pads on shorter overnight flights is fairly erratic. If any readers have any insights to Qatar Airways’ mattress pad patterns, I’d love to know.
While not a hugely significant factor, inferior bedding is enough to put Qatar Airways behind other options when flying one-stop itineraries from Europe to Asia, at least when you’re not seated in the QSuite.
Does anybody have a clue…or are you as confused as I am?