Qatar Airways Business Class – QSuite, London Heathrow – Doha Hamad International, Boeing 777: Is it possible to do better?

Let’s go for this first experience on Qatar Airways.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiaryLet’s go, let’s go for the adventure… Banga…lore
2LoungeBritish Airways Galleries First, London Heathrow Terminal 5 (not reported)
3FlightQatar Airways Business – Qsuite, London Heathrow – Doha Hamad, Boeing 777
4HotelJW Marriott Doha City Center
5LoungeQatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha Hamad International
6FlightQatar Airways Business Class, Doha Hamad International – Bangalore, Boeing 787
7HotelThe Ritz-Carlton Bangalore
8LoungeZero Eight Zero Lounge, Bangalore
9FlightQatar Airways Business – Qsuite, Bangalore – Doha Hamad International, Boeing 777
10LoungeQatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class, Doha Hamad International
11FlightQatar Airways Business – Qsuite, Doha Hamad International – London Heathrow, Boeing 777
Today’s itinerary

Check-in and lounge

I arrive at the airport exactly 3 hours before the departure of the flight to Doha.

At the time of my trip, Qatar Airways was still checking in and departing from terminal 5, and checking in at Zone A on the far left of the terminal.

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I take the line reserved for business and loyalty passengers, but am redirected to a deserted economy class counter.

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The check-in will go smoothly, albeit a bit slowly, but in any case in a good mood, that’s a pleasure!

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My boarding passes are given to me for Doha and Bangalore after checking all my documents.

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Instead of taking the classic Fast Track, I will use The First Wing, the Fast Track dedicated to First and Oneworld Emerald passengers which lands directly in Galleries First, BA’s premium lounge.

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I wont report this lounge that you already know, having reported it several times here. This lounge is still very solid and I will enjoy the excellent Lanson Rosé Extra Age for a few glasses before boarding.

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Boarding

Today, my flight to Doha boards at the B gates, and I have to use the automated shuttles to get there.

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Unfortunately, the escalators are out of order and require the use of elevators. Since it’s very busy, I’ll skip the automatic shuttle and use the pedestrian tunnel, which is much quieter since I’ll be the only one using it, and the trip won’t take more than 7 minutes.

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Arrived at the gate, the pre-boarding of zone 1 has already started and after a few minutes, we are allowed to enter the jetway.

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Cabin and welcome

A single feeder serves the aircraft from the jetway.

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I am warmly greeted by the flight attendant at the gate, then the flight attendant in charge of my row accompanies me to my seat, the 01K, Qsuite located in the first row.

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And what a slap in the face: this cabin is just beautiful, offers all the privacy one could wish for, and the seat remains wide, spacious. Honestly, I have flown 1300 times before and often at the front, this configuration leaves me speechless.

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Let’s talk about the seat. I chose the seat offering the most discretion and the best view, i.e. stuck to the window(seats A and K). The only constraint is that these seats are facing the tail of the aircraft: I was worried about it but no problem in the end.

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The design of this Qsuite is just excellent, the seat controls very clear and located in a place that avoids any unwanted manipulation. The materials are of high quality and even if one feels that the cabin is not new, everything is in a perfect state of maintenance.

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The suite door is manually operated but very stable, and is left to the passenger’s control until the pushback.

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The boarding music, by Dana Al Fardan, is haunting and puts you in a great mood right away.

The flight attendant who will be serving me, Frida, introduces herself and will call me by name at every interaction during this flight.

She will take the time to introduce me to the Qsuite, as well as the on-demand service protocol in effect on all Qatar Airways flights.

She will then ask me what I would like to drink as a welcome drink and if I would like a cold or hot oshibori.

I will start with a glass of rosé champagne, which will be the excellent Taittinger Prestige Rosé. The oshibori is scented with rose and jasmine and is obviously brought on a ruler.

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The set-up of the flight is impressive. The toiletry kit is from the Dyptique brand, which I particularly like, but no bag.

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Pajamas are given (and will be very comfortable).

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Finally, the command is taken before takeoff, with the desired tempo. The order taking is done crouched to be at the level of the customer, like in Singapore Airlines.

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Here is the menu of the day:

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And the wine list is excellent:

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I am impressed, definitely, and almost moved by so much attention. How could I have ignored Qatar Airways in nearly 15 years of intense travel?

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Service and catering

At my request, the service begins shortly after our departure from London Heathrow.

An aperitif ( still champagne rosé) is served with its hot nuts.

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Then a few minutes later, the setting up is done, First class way: a tablecloth is placed on the huge shelf, then the elements are positioned. Note the very elegant salt and pepper shaker, as well as the basket of bread, excellent. I will drink the excellent Bordeaux proposed by the Oryx airline.

Before the actual service, an amuse-bouche based on roast beef with chimichurri sauce is served and will prove to be very good.

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Then comes the soup, which is served with sautéed mushrooms and an incredible finesse.

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I will choose as a starter the mezze served with Arabic bread, a bit heavy but the bread will be excellent.

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For the main course, I chose the chicken machboos, speciality of the Gulf countries, very well presented and excellent in taste.

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I then opted for the cheese platter, served with excellent crackers and a perfectly matched port wine.

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Finally, and not to overdo it, I will choose the fruit salad which will be absolutely extraordinary, with ripe and very qualitative fruits.

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I will spend the rest of the flight in rest mode, watching some series on my iPad and dozing intermittently.

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Arrival and disembarkation

We arrive on time at the gate in Doha. The disembarkation will be done in priority for the Qsuite passengers (curtains closed) and I will go to the arrivals.

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Note that since London is considered a “safe” destination, no security check is required for connecting passengers, who can therefore disembark directly in the boarding hall.

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I am one of the only passengers to Doha, and I go to the arrivals lounge of the Qatari airline, where it is obviously possible to eat and take a shower, but also to have a private immigration check, which will be done in a few minutes only before leaving the terminal and joining my transfer.

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Bottom line

A great flight, certainly much better than many of my flights in First. A real slap in the face even for a frequent traveler like me.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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