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Business class flight test: Qatar Airways Flight QR989 – MEL to DOH

With exceptional service, maximum privacy and levels of comfort that discerning business class passengers would expect, the Qatar Airways’ Qsuite offers one of the best business class experiences in the sky.

With exceptional service, maximum privacy and levels of comfort that discerning business class passengers would expect, the Qatar Airways’ Qsuite offers one of the best business class experiences in the sky.

With increasing numbers of Australians travelling through Doha’s Hamad International Airport as a connecting hub (many making use of the Qatar Stopover Program), Qatar Airways provides a seamless business class option for long-haul travellers. We road test the airlines’ award-winning Qsuite, regularly touted as arguably the best in the world.

On the ground

Guests can check in via the Qatar Airways app. At Melbourne Airport, I make my way to the Business Class counter. My bag was weighed, checked and tagged within minutes. I was issued a boarding pass and provided instructions on the two lounge options (passengers can use either the Qantas International Business Class lounge as an Oneworld alliance partner or the Marhaba Lounge). The lady at the desk gives me the tip that the Qantas lounge is the better option, so I head there before my flight.

On board comfort

Qsuite, seat 11B. Credit: Katrina Holden_Qatar Airways
Qsuite, seat 11B. Credit: Katrina Holden.

The Business Class cabin on this B777-300 ER aircraft features Qatar Airways’ popular Qsuites, positioned in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are 42 Qsuites on board this aircraft, spanning two cabins. The forward cabin has six rows and 24 seats, while the second cabin has five rows and 18 seats.

I’m travelling in Qsuite 11B, a forward-facing window suite in the second cabin. It’s incredibly spacious and features slate-coloured upholstery and accents in Qatar’s signature burgundy. The best part is being able to slide your little leather door closed for optimal privacy throughout the flight.

Qsuite seating. Credit: Katrina Holden._Qatar Airways
Qsuite seating. Credit: Katrina Holden.

The console features USB charging ports and power sockets. My noise-cancelling headphones and a water bottle are concealed in a handy storage tub compartment alongside my seat, accessed by pulling up a leather lid. I can also store personal items here, such as a scarf, reading glasses, a book, etc. There’s a convenient ledge on which to position my laptop. The fully lie-flat bed was incredibly comfortable and had easy-to-understand navigation buttons. 

My Qsuite’s pyjama set, blanket, and amenity kit are all waiting for me upon boarding. My lovely attendant, Bevan, introduces himself and offers me a drink (I choose a glass of Philipponnat Royale Reserve Brut); and a heavenly-scented Diptyque (from Paris) refresher towel. He explains that he can make up my lie-flat bed later during the flight, with underbedding, whenever I’m ready. 

He also points out the call button to use for attendance during the flight. I’m given my menus and asked to make my selections and I can nominate when I’d like my meal served.

Entertainment

Entertainment screen and door shut within the Qsuite. Credit: Katrina Holden._Qatar Airways
Entertainment screen and door shut within the Qsuite. Credit: Katrina Holden.

In-flight entertainment is streamed on a 21-inch (53cm) screen. The Oryx One system includes entertainment (movies, TV, audio, games and apps); kids entertainment; flight info; the Holy Qur’an; info about Qatar Airways (the Privilege Club, Hamad International Airport, Exploring Qatar, Qatar Executive); and connection options (Wi-Fi and HDMI). 

The inflight Super-Wi-Fi can be pre-purchased at a discounted rate of USD$8 when passengers check-in online; or purchased during the flight for USD$10.

Food and drink

Qatar Airways_seared Western Australian barramundi with Thai yellow curry sauce_Katrina Holden
Seared Western Australian barramundi with Thai yellow curry sauce. Credit: Katrina Holden

Bevan had provided me with the food and beverage menus when I first boarded. Meals are served at the time of my choosing. Bevan sets my table with white cloths and pours me a glass of Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut, followed by Markus Molitor Haus Klosterberg Riesling 2021. 

From the a la carte menu, I dined on artisan bread, choosing from four types of Monte Vibiano olive oils – I can’t resist the the spicy lemon infused oil. 

Lanson Champagne being poured in the Qsuite. Credit: Katrina Holden_Qatar Airways
Lanson Champagne being poured in the Qsuite. Credit: Katrina Holden

My appetiser was a spiced ginger and carrot soup, while for main I opted for a seared Western Australian barramundi with Thai yellow curry sauce. A cheese plate, with a cheddar, blue and triple cream brie follows – along with hokey pokey chocolate sundae with hot chocolate fudge and later, Moroccan mint tea. 

Light snacks are served throughout the flight and include crisps, popcorn, chocolate and biscuits. 

All dishes are prepared according to Islamic principles.

Amenity kit and pyjamas

A cotton/polyester blend of long sleeved pyjama pants and top await passengers on boarding, sealed in a bag, along with black slippers. The amenity kit products are from luxury French brand, Diptyque – and includes body lotion, face cream, lip balm, eau de toilette natural spray – as well as airline socks, ear plugs and an eye mask.

Loyalty program

Qatar Airways_QSuite

Qatar Airways runs a Privilege Club where members acquire ‘Avios’. Passengers earn Avios when flying with Qatar Airways or a partner airline, staying at a hotel, renting a car, shopping with select partners and more. 

Qpoints help members fast-track or retain their Privilege Club tier, earned each time they fly with Qatar Airways or other oneworld member airlines.

On arrival in Doha

Al Maha Services Lounge 3_Qatar Airways_Katrina Holden
Al Maha Services Lounge at Hamad International Airport. Credit: Katrina Holden

One of the best features for Platinum and Gold Privilege Club members is the ability to be whisked through immigration upon arrival at the Al Maha Services Lounge. Guests are greeted at the aerobridge by an Al Maha Services Hostess holding a name board in the ‘Meet and Assist’ service. 

Non-business class passengers can also book the Al Maha Platinum meet and assist services with Al Maha directly; or via Discover Qatar at a discount. 

Al Maha Services Lounge_Qatar Airways_Katrina Holden
Al Maha Services Lounge. Credit: Katrina Holden

If awaiting onward flights, guests can stay for a maximum of six hours in the lounge. Children are welcome. The Qatar Stopover Program for travellers includes 92 Hotels – starting from AUD$12 for 4-star, up to $221 for 5-star. Stopovers are valid for up to four nights, in either direction, and includes 24hr check-in and check-out. Agents can book for their clients via the Discover Qatar Trade portal.

The details

Date of travel: Thursday, 8 February, 2024
Aircraft: B777-300ER
Seat: 11B
Flight time: 13 hours, 50 minutes

Luggage allowance: 40kg checked; 2 x pieces (15kg each) of carry-on luggage.  Silver, Gold and Platinum Privilege Club members, and oneworld Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby members may enjoy extra baggage allowance depending on their membership tier and route.

For more information, visit qatarairways.com

Karryon travelled on Qatar Airways as a guest of the airline.