So nice it deserves its own post.
After the past weekend speaking at MAASU 2019 Spring Conference in Boulder, Colorado, and hot on the heels of an upcoming destination wedding in Islamabad 5 years in the making (and one I wouldn’t miss for the world), I discovered I could save both money and time by flying directly from Colorado to Pakistan via Qatar Airways’ new QSuite Business Class.
I figured I could kill a lot of time by skipping a return home to NYC after the conference (I’d forego repacking by using the same suit for both the conference and the wedding), and instead flying a quick AA Business Class flight to Dallas, TX, catch the opening weekend screening of Captain Marvel at the famous Alamo Drafthouse (both of which were awesome!), freshening up at the AMEX Centurion Lounge at DFW, and then taking the 14 hour Qatar Airways QSuite flight #730 directly to Doha before catching another Qatar Airways Business Class flight to Islamabad.
I’d also save money by finally redeeming the 70,000 American Airlines miles I had been saving up for this very occasion. The whole itinerary would cost me $14.00 USD total in additional taxes and fees. Yes you read that right: FOURTEEN DOLLARS TOTAL. And how did I get 70,000 miles in the first place? By taking a mere 5 minutes to sign up for a credit card a few weeks ago (don’t be alarmed by a signup — my credit score has since climbed to 820+).
Of course you didn’t come here to hear about my itineraries, did you? You came here to hear about the QSuites. And how did they fare? Overall it’s a high-class fresh design and deserves its reputation as the best business class cabin in the industry. However, the only gripe was that I got a more full night’s rest and deeper sleep on EVA Air’s Royal Lauren cabin last year on my way to Sydney. But that’s a small, petty comparison.
The seat itself is gorgeous. You have ample table space that doubles as the electronic shelf, as well as a stowaway compartment under the larger armrest that holds a bottle of water and noise-canceling headphones.
Once seated, you’re greeted with your choice of pre-flight beverage (including pink champagne, which is what I got) and either a warm or cold wet towel.
The highlight of the QSuites would be the sliding door, rendering your business class seat to feel even more private than it already was before. The doors can be closed only after takeoff and before landing.
In addition to your Dasani bottle of water and noise-cancelling headphones in your stowaway compartment under your armrest, you also are provided a plush, velvet blanket as an in-flight duvet. You unfortunately cannot take these home with you (as my attendant would warn me).
The leather amenities pouch carries a delightful Castello Monte Vibiano set of refreshing facial spray, lip balm and facial moisturizing cream, as well as the standard eye mask, socks, slippers, and ear plugs.
Finally you’re gifted a pajama set by The White Company of London. These you can keep.
Sadly, the bathroom is pretty standard. Not as large as Emirates’ but they offer plenty of dental and shaving kits as toiletries.
Surprisingly unlike other business class cabins, Qatar Airways’ Business Class doesn’t really offer a set menu with choices but rather an a la carte selection style where you can choose multiple, if not all the offerings at your pleasure.
We began with a set of nuts and a starter beverage, of which I chose the Pineapple Margarita.
Next came an artisanal bread selection served with olive oil, a choice of vinaigrette (I chose the pomegranate), butter, and a piece of ceviche shrimp.
For appetizers I ordered the Santa Barbara hot smoked salmon with potato dill salad, micro greens, and extra virgin olive oil
For the main dish I chose the herb crusted tenderloin with haricot vert, parsilied potato, sweet peppers, and beef jus.
For dessert I said yes to nearly everything including the Fresh berries with rose water syrup:
…and the Gourmet ice cream selection with their signature So Jennie pale pink sparkling grape alcohol-free “luxury” bubbly.
Finally they finished my meal service with a choice of cardamom or saffron tea (or coffee) with a box of Godiva chocolates:
After the meal service it was time to head to bed.
Here the QSuite Cabin takes things a step further with two more arrangements for group travelers. One is the double bed option for couples by sliding down the middle divider to turn two beds into a larger one. The other is the unique “quad” cabin when the entertainment displays can be slid down to the side to allow for paired rear and forward-facing center seats to become one large room of 4 seats/beds — a setup designed for families or work colleagues traveling together.
After the meal service the attendants will make your bed for you by furnishing a mattress covering:
And of course, you can set your seat to lie completely flat at 180º:
Finally, there is a “DND” aka Do-Not-Disturb button on your seat that turns on a red light on your cabin decal so attendants can leave you alone except for take off and landing.
I was able to get in a good 3 solid hours of sleep until I couldn’t sleep anymore, partly because my back started to hurt a little bit. Thus I spent the next 3-4 hours watching movies and doing some work on their super fast onboard WiFi (The first hour is complimentary and then you have to pay $10 USD via credit card to be connected for the rest of the flight), until they began their breakfast service around 2 hours before landing.
I started with Greek yogurt, added in with some mixed berry compote, toasted granola, and nuts:
Next I asked for the steel-cut oats served with berries and cream:
Finally, I finished off with a hearty steamed eggs and chicken sausage with toasted brioche, sautéed spinach, and hollandaise sauce:
And with less than an hour until landing, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and another moist warm towel before changing out of my pajamas to prepare for the inevitable end to my 14 hour hotel in the sky.
You have to show your boarding pass and get scanned to board the escalator upstairs for lounge access.
And just like the QSuites’ design, Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Lounge is also out of this world bonkers nice. By surface area it boasts to be one of the largest in the world. Although it may not enjoy as many food stations, activities, entertainment options and frills as the equally large (but chaotic) Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul, it makes up for it with its grander use of space, attention to detail, and higher quality furnishings.
There’s even an infinity pool and grand staircase to an elevated dining room:
Here I just met up with Evan (who also just flew QSuites from Chicago O’Hare International Airport), with whom I had just traveled with last month in Prague and Budapest, and now will be part of my monsoon wedding party heading to Islamabad for the upcoming festivities!
– At time of posting in Doha, Qatar, it was 69.8 °F – Humidity: 41% | Wind Speed: 11km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear with periodic clouds