I traveled on my first Qatar Airways flight last week. What a way to make my debut, as it was, in the airline’s famous Qsuite business class! My journey was from London Heathrow to Doha, to attend The Trinity Forum in Qatar’s capital.
I was initially planning to do a separate review on the return journey. However, the outgoing flight QR2 is usually operated by an Airbus A350 but it was swapped with a Boeing 777 on this occasion. Therefore, with the return journey also being on a 777, it felt right to combine the highlights of both flights.
The premium experience first started when I checked in my bag at the counter at Heathrow Terminal 4. I was allowed four bags of 40kg, but since the trip was only for four days, I opted to bring only a single bag that weighed less than 15kg! The check-in was swift and I was asked to pass through the fast track security check. Skipping the queue, the whole check-in and security process took around five minutes and I was free to find the Qatar Airways London Heathrow Premium Lounge.
We’ll save the in-depth analysis of this lounge for another article. Although, I can say that my expectations were exceeded. After taking in the lounge for an hour, a staff member informed me that my flight was ready to board. So, I swiftly downed my freshly-squeezed orange juice and strutted excitedly to experience my first time on a Qatar Airways flight. The boarding took only a few minutes and before I knew it, I was entering the 777-300ER.
On the way to Doha, my seat was 9E, which was a non-aisle suite, facing backward. This was also the first time that I had sat faced this way on an airplane and I wondered if this would have any sort of impact on the comfort.
A flight attendant soon offered me a drink and I chose a Ceylon tea. The attendants also explained that I could choose when I wanted dinner. I liked the fact that I could choose but I opted not to eat on the outgoing flight as the trip was an overnight service, departing at 8:30pm.
I was tired after a long day at work and wanted to sleep the whole way. In response, I was offered a pair of pajamas and slippers, which I took to save for home use.
Subsequently, I downed the slightly spicy Ceylon tea, put the seat flat, slid the door shut, and put on an episode of Modern Family.
The backward positioning had no negative impact as I was out cold after watching the introduction of the show. The noise-canceling headphones helped as I couldn’t hear any engine noise for the duration.
Quicker than expected
The aircraft arrived at Doha slightly before its 6:10 am arrival time and I was ready to enjoy the experience all over again on the return journey. However, I was also eager to explore Qatar for the first time. As I stepped off the place, a staff member at Hamad International Airport greeted me and my Doha exploration began.
After four days of exploring the Arabic city in the desert sun, it was time to return home. My return flight was QR15, departing Doha at 3.50 pm. At check-in, I was asked which seat I would like to go for and, for variety, I chose a forward-facing window suite. I was then escorted to the Al Mourjan business class lounge, which was an adventure in itself. However, more about that in a future review.
After 45 minutes in the lounge, it was time for boarding. I was escorted to the gate of the flight and was ready to enjoy my time on seat 4B. I was greeted by flight attendants Vijay, Sanjay and Nikita. They informed me of the dining options. As this was an afternoon flight, I made a point to stay awake and enjoy the gourmet food.
I was in the mood for some more tea and I chose the oolong offering, which was one of the richest teas that I’ve tasted. Nikita explained the history of the tea to me and soon I was prepared for the cuisine, which came in four stages.
I must mention that I went for the gluten-free option, meaning those around me had slightly different offerings.
First was an autumn-themed pumpkin soup, which helped me relax into the journey. I used the handy side lamp, which can be adjusted and set to four different brightness settings.
This was followed by a chicken salad, with flavorsome cherry tomatoes. My favorite part of the lineup was the Arabic mezze, consisting of hummus, tabouleh and baba ganoush. This was a simple but diverse combination, that was extremely moreish.
The main event
The main meal was a chicken and rice dish, which at first I assumed would be a little plain. However, with a little Tabasco sauce and chili oil, it was a tasty yet healthy meal.
The dinner was wrapped up with a choice of ice cream, cheesecake, or fruit. Being on a healthy run, I chose the fruit, which was strawberries and grapes, accompanied with rose syrup. This was a new combination for me but definitely, one that I’ll try again.
I browsed on my phone using the Oryx WiFi for a bit before I watched the movie Stockholm on the screen. Nikita made sure I was comfortable by offering some cookies and more tea as I sat back and relaxed. While watching the movie, I took the opportunity to check out the amenities offered.
Time flew while in the sky for once. As the aircraft landed at Heathrow, I said goodbye to each attendant in the cabin and walked off back into rainy London. At that point, I knew that this was by far the most comfortable experience that I’ve had on an airplane.
The famous Arabic hospitality was on display throughout and I could tell the welcoming stance of the airline prevailed in each staff member. I wonder if I have been spoiled after this trip as I may have become used to life traveling in a premium cabin such as Qatar Airways Qsuite. It was a privilege to fly to Doha as a guest of Qatar Airways.
Have you had the chance to experience flying in a Qatar Airways Qsuite cabin? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.