Whilst other airlines remove routes, Qatar Airways increases them as well as providing world class service and maintaining the highest levels of COVID-19 airline safety. Qatar Airways kept flying throughout COVID- 19, taking over 3.1 million people home since the start of the pandemic. But how do they do this? We hopped aboard a flight to try out their luxury Qsuite.
The Qsuite Experience
The multi award winning business class Qsuite seat is much talked about by travel professionals across the world including one of the most brutally honest in the business – James Asquith. James doesn’t mince his words and whenever he is aboard Qatar Airways, he is very complimentary. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York.
The Qsuite offers pure privacy thanks to a fully closing sliding door with fully lie-flat beds, generous storage space, on demand dining, charming service and endless entertainment options. The cabin is also very flexible as partitions can be opened up to create private spaces so if you are travelling as a couple or family, you can have your own area to eat, sleep and hang out. This is what we loved the most about our Qsuite experience:
- We arrived completely refreshed and relaxed thanks to the seat which becomes a 2 metre long bed with hand-stitched Italian leather and satin rose gold finishing. Pop to the loo to refresh and ask the crew to prepare your bed and you will come back to White Company pyjamas, padded extra mattress and soft lighting. The curvature of the side unit gives you more space if you roll over and sleep on your side. There is also a handy Do Not Disturb button so you will no longer be seen in mid dribble by your fellow passengers or friendly crew.
- There is always something to do in the Qsuite. The bar area (on larger aircrafts) is somewhere to hang out and feels like a cocktail den on a private plane complete with a fully kitted out backlit bar. Have a cocktail made just the way you like it and perch on custom shaped sofas. In your Qsuite you also have a 22-inch HD in-flight entertainment screen with noise cancelling headphones and the latest films, TV shows, games and more with nearly 4,000 options.
- The little touches really make this one of the best business seats in the sky. Luxury amenity kit, plugs and storage space aplenty, non-slip coating on the table, dining on demand, fast WIFI (one hour free then just $10 for the whole flight) and crew personalising everything to you make a big difference.
- Not only can you order whatever you like from the menu whenever you like, food is well presented and delicious. We tried a fillet steak, smoked salmon gravadlax and a full afternoon tea with Godiva chocolates before landing. Don’t forget to ask for some warm nuts with your drinks. The wine list is full of rare and high end wines with two champagnes always available too.
How about a FULL REFUND no questions asked if you want to change your plans? You can enjoy unlimited date changes and fee-free full refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021, for travel completed by 31 December 2021. This policy is really up front, fair and transparent. All airlines should be offering this type of stress free booking policy. The permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value is also available if you book via qatarairways.com
COVID- 19 Airline Safety
Qatar Airways became the first global airline in the world to achieve a 5-star covid-19 airline safety rating by Skytrax. The audit took place in December 2020 and assessed how effectively and consistently the airline’s COVID-19 hygiene and safety standards and procedures are adhered to, from flight check-in to on-board the aircraft. This included a full review of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation of hygiene and safety levels at all stages of the journey, and on-board Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) sampling tests to measure the potential level of contamination of contact surfaces.
How did Qatar Airways win? On-board safety measures include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit for us passengers. Qatar Airways also uses the most advanced HEPA air filtration systems on board all aircraft, and recently became the first global carrier to introduce Honeywell’s state-of-the-art Ultraviolet Cabin System.
We have all had that sinking feeling when you pay for Business Class and find out the plane is old and tired. Qatar Airways welcomed its 53rd airbus A350 on the last day of 2020 reaffirming its position as the largest operator of the environmentally conscious A350 aircraft. The airline now operates 34 A350-900 and 19 A350-1000 with an average age of 2.7 years (as at January 2021).
The state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 has the widest cabin body of any class with larger windows creating an extra spacious feel as well as wider seats. The air system also renews air every two to three minutes for more comfort and hopefully less fatigue. What we love the most is that this is the quietest cabin of any twin-aisle aircraft.
Currently, the airline flies to over 120 destinations with plans to increase to over 130 (including Africa) by the end of March 2021.
To discover more about the Qsuite, visit: qatarairways.com
All imagery courtesy of Qatar Airways.