Note: Opinions expressed herein are my own and have not been influenced by Qatar or any of its partners. I did not receive compensation in any form for this post.
Between January 2nd and January 20th 2015, I was fortunate enough to spend 56 hours in Qatar’s Business Class traveling from Chicago, USA to Melbourne, Australia, then back again.
Normally the phrase “56 hours flying” and “fortunate” do not reside in the same sentence, but Qatar’s best-in-class service makes even the longest of journeys a pleasure to take. What about the experience had me so over the moon while I was among the clouds? Read on for the full review.
Business class on the 777 has 3 rows of seats divided into 3 pairings of 2 seats each. For those traveling alone or wanting additional isolation, there is a privacy screen between the two seats, and on the entertainment unit’s screen. Overhead storage space is also ample for your carry-on luggage, and storage space for your shoes in front of you.
The first and business class seats are better described as mini-suites to accurately explain just how much space is available to passengers. To put it into terms anyone can relate to regardless of how much you travel, the business class seat was roughly the space allocated to three Economy rows (by my guess). Massive. There’s plenty of use for the space too. The seat fully reclines to a completely horizontal bed at the push of a button, but it also has a recline setting and a “feet up” position that’s perfect for taking in one of the many entertainment options on flight. The functionality of the seat is also unmatched. There are one-touch settings that allow you to go from full bed to seat-up to prepare for landing, and the footrest moves seamlessly in conjunction with the seat to ensure optimal comfort.
Qatar Business also provides passengers with noise-cancelling headphones, a beautiful amenities kit with Giorgio Armani cologne, and various hand/face creams. Pajamas in your size are provided shortly after take off, as well as slippers and bedding to ensure you’re in comfort from take-off to landing.
Over the course of our 4 flights, my travel companion and I were fortunate enough to sample over 20 different dishes and 10 beverages. I know, gluttony. But when the decadent offerings presented to you in the Qatar a la carte menu are consistently flavourful, light and prepared to perfection, you eat now and shelf remorse for your return to solid ground.
What’s perhaps more refreshing than the food itself is the selection: each leg of our journey featured a slightly different menu with cultural twists on the dishes. On our way to Doha, we were treated to Arabic mezze served with hummus, tabouleh and mujadarah served with Arabic breads. En route to Melbourne, the fish selection was out of this world; some highlights include the smoked salmon kelp roll and the yellow tail tuna with teriyaki and truffle sauce. To reiterate, this is not the airplane food you’re familiar with. Dining in Qatar’s business class is like an all-you-can-eat at a 5 star restaurant.
To touch on the beverages because let’s face it, they were a highlight of the experience for me, the selection was out of this world. Upon boarding, you’re greeted by your air hostess and offered a beverage. I highly recommend sampling one of the champagnes. The 1999 Lanson Brut was a popular option, but the Taittinger Prestige Rose was a sweet and light alternative. All in all, Qatar Business boasts everything from classics like the dry martini and bloody Mary, to beer, aperitifs, whisky, soft drinks, juices, and after dinner liquors.
On top of this was an extensive wine list, each presented with descriptions and perhaps most useful of all, suggested food and wine pairings.
There is no way to put it other than above (no pun intended) and beyond when it comes to the service you receive in Qatar Business class. They introduce themselves, address you by name and stop by regularly to see if they can be of any assistance.
What I appreciated even more, was when we made a slightly uncommon request for a lozenge or ibuprofen, they were most accommodating. All in all, true comfort is not only derived from the space allotted and the quality of the seat you’re in, but the people who are there to serve you and make you feel welcome. Qatar’s fabulous staff does just that. They embody every bit of their branding when they say “5 star”.
Each seat back is fitted with an entertainment system called Oryx Entertainment. Through the system, you have access to hundreds of movies, television shows, games, radio playlists, flight tracking, messaging options (texting different seats!) and more. The selection itself was well-curated, representing both a classic and modern library that will cater to a wide variety of passengers.
Though WiFi was not offered on board, the capabilities of the entertainment system more than made up for it, providing ample entertainment throughout our journey.
There are 2 lavatories for Business Class passengers to use. They were cleaned regularly which is by far the most important detail to me on long flights. The crew also filled them with toiletry kits featuring toothbrushes and toothpaste, which were much appreciated.
My experience in Qatar Business Class has set the standard by which all luxury travel shall be measured hereafter. From extremely modern technology and feature-rich equipment, to knowledgeable and friendly staff, Qatar offers passengers an opulent journey that made me relish the travel almost as much as my destination.
Have you flown Qatar Business class? Who was your best flying experience with? Tweet me @adamrodricks and #lovetravel