This trip could be called, "You fell for a sale trip". One morning in September I received an email from Krisflyer stating their new A350 long range flights were on sale. What was normally 88,000 points to the west coast was promoted at 65,000 points. The Newark flight was a little more. I looked at some availability and LA's flight got in too late to fly on to Chicago and Newarks' flight wasn't available for the time I wanted to travel. Then I stumbled upon the inaugural A350 ULR flight to SFO. More digging found Q-Suites to Doha and Q-Suites on the new Qatar A350-1K to Singapore. So with no intention of taking a round the world trip when I awoke that morning, within a couple hours I was booked.
ORD-DOH Qatar Airways B777-300 QSuites Business Class - This report
DOH-SIN Qatar Airways A350-1K QSuites Business Class - Al Mourjan Business Class lounge - to come SIN-HKG Singapore Airlines A380 New Business Class - to come HKG-SIN Singapore Airlines A380 New First Class - to come SIN-SFO Singapore Airlines A350-9 ULR Business Class - to come SOF-ORD Alaska Airlines A320 First Class - to come
This time there was no disappointment.
Followers of Rewardflying trip reports remember just a few months ago my long awaited chance to experience Qatar’s new QSuite business class cabin vanished after an aircraft change just a month before departure, and almost 10 months from the booking. A long time anticipation became a short term disappointment. And the flight was worse, undoubtedly tarnished by my prejudice.
Arriving at O’Hare International for this flight began with a surprise. After a smooth check in I headed to the Qatar lounge. The surprise was it’s the same lowly Skyteam lounge I’d just visited flying KLM to catch that Qatar flight withOUT QSuite a few months ago. This is the lounge that doesn’t even have it’s own washroom. Qatar owns part of British Airways who has 2 lounges at O’Hare Terminal 5. Qatar can’t use one of them? The only redeeming factor of this lounge is it has a nice tarmac view.
Boarding was a disaster. But who cares, I’m sitting in 1A which is a blocked seat. I was given it at checking. (Spoiler, don’t take it if you are offered.)
Entering the 777 cabin via door 2.
Well documented is the fact Qatar cabin pictures, especially at night don’t take well because of the mood lighting. This flight is no exception, apologies. Some will be better on the next report, a daytime A350-1K journey.
My first impression was positive. The suite walls are very high for maximum privacy. Much higher that Delta’s Suite One walls.
Privacy is at a maximum. This panoramic view is sitting upright in my seat taking the photos at eyeleve.
Seat 1A is rear facing. All true window seats in QSuite land are rear facing and are odd row numbers. Totally recommended for solo travelers.
Honestly I expected the size to be a little larger. This is not a complaint, just an observation.
Entry into the suite is a little narrow.
Row one has 3 windows.
However Row 6 only has a single window.
The position of the monitor and tray table reminded me of ANA staggered business class and United new Polaris seat. This monitor was fantastic.
The seat is 21 1/2 inches wide, however the arm rest can be lowered and with a separate seat cushion next to you. in reality it seems much wider.
This adjustable armrest is also a storage area underneath, similar to Zodiac Cirrus reverse herringbone seats. Qatar preloaded a bottle of Evian water.
The other huge feature of this seat is the footwell. The specs claim 79 inches of lay down head to toe space. That is pretty good for business class. I had no problems being very comfortable sleeping at 6’ tall.
Forward facing seats have a little larger (it appeared) side cushion. But I can’t be sure, maybe it’s because of the sliding door.
This is row 1 center seats which are rear facing as well.
. This view across the row gives another perspective on how private these suites are, even with the door open.
The storage and controls corner of the Qsuite pod is extremely well thought out. Not only is there a table on top, there’s a second table underneath like a shelf with all the controls below.
Upon a arrival to your seat you will find a bevy of blankets and pillows which are stacked on the top table. All of this stuff will hit the floor on takeoff, unless you are in a rear facing seat. In that case maybe only a pillow or a blanket. The joys of rear facing!
The shelf table is great for phones, tables, computers, headphones, all kinds of stuff.
Some of the controls underneath including a NFC reader (better photos next report, promise).
Reading light and coat hook are above the adjustable armrest.
A look at the lavatory before enjoying some of Qatar’s excellent cuisine. This one behind the cockpit window side was the largest one I used. There was another behind the cockpit in the center that seemed small. All were nicely appointed with mouth and dental products along with lotions and facial sprays. Lavatories were kept clean during flight.
Time to go. The airshow had a detail of ORD. Can’t say I’ve seen this before in such detail.
The rain began on pushback and through the drops a second photo of a Lufthansa plane with their new color scheme, this one presented on their A350s arriving from Munich.
The champagne on the flight was Pommery. I went right to red wine.
The head flight attendant, Edward, apparently was a little shy. It’s also difficult with these suites to pour as their working space is narrow. The wine however was excellent. Proof of that is there wasn’t much left of this bottle upon arrival.
Let the fun begin!
The rest of the beverage offerings on this flight.
The table was set, candle and all.
A delicious canapé was offered while I perused the menu, as well a a refill on the Médoc red.
I wish I could tell you what it was, but like I said, I believe the bottle was emptied.
Now a it’s decision time. The food menu, while not extensive had some decent selections.
The other crew member attending to 1A was a younger woman who was inexperienced and whose English wasn’t the best. So I think part of the issue that took place was a language interpretation. She asked what I’d like to have for dinner. I replied the Beef Tenderloin. She questioned “That’s all?” And I said well I’ll have the Arabic mezze for an appetizer, given that there were no choices for soup and I figured they would ask later about dessert.
Not so. first came the mezze.
It was amazing.
As you can see the cutlery is misplaced. The young FA mentioned that she uses a person’s watch to tell here how to place the silverware. That might be a good plan, except when the seat is rear facing and the passenger is left handed.
Then she asked if i was ready for the main dish. They forgot the soup or interpreted that I didn’t want the soup. Didn’t matter to me that it came after the appetizer.
Another delicious dish.
At this point I was convinced that the steak would be maximum well done as I assumed it was finished cooking when they asked if I was ready for it but then requested soup, and probably more wine. So another round of heating would have nailed the well done temp.
It was perfect (at least given airline considerations). Very tender, probably medium temperature.
Plus it was an attractive dish, and those asparagus were actual tender crisp. Seconds of the potatoes please.
After the meal Edward came around and passed out chocolates. I asked, “No dessert tonight?” Yes this crew missed a few beats but were otherwise extremely nice.
When the real dessert came it was worth the wait.
The IFE system was really nice with a crisp display and huge selection of content, including a good airshow. We took a direct easterly path to Doha. I was hoping for the northerly route and possibly sighting some northern lights. Not tonight.
Amenities were above average for a business class fare. Qatar provides pajamas on their overnight flights (although not the same quality as what you receive in first class, the shirt is more like a long sleeve t-shirt), their typical BRIC amenity kit and Qatar headphones.
Free Wifi for business class customers. When I tested the speed it was fair. But free is better than fair.
The female flight attendant offered to make the bed and I changed to the PJ’s. The mattress pad was fairly thick, the blankets were plush and the pillows plentiful.
I slept well except for constant noise from a storage cabinet located behind my seat and the bulkhead wall that the FA’s must have opened 500 times. Click when the latch engaged. Yes 1A is great except for this issue.So if sleep is on the agenda, just pick some other seat.
A good 7 hours wiped out the Médoc effect and it was time for breakfast. I ordered Cold Cuts and Oatmeal.
I’m still left handed.
This was a nice selection of meats, smoked salmon and cheeses. However notice the hard boiled egg. Does it look a little transparent to you?
Frozen solid. Slid on this plate like a hockey puck.
Then I’m not sure if I ordered brown sugar or oatmeal. So breakfast wasn’t one of their best efforts.
Nope, that’s not the sunrise even though breakfast was just served. That’s the sunset as we bank into Doha for a 4:30PM landing.
We parked at a remote stand. How fun to get some up close photos of the Qatar 777-300.
Qatar Airways tries to strive business class towards first class. QSuites are private, comfortable and good for sleeping. The meals were not served on a single tray but spread out into courses like you would expect in first class. Portions were good as well. The wine menu was extensive and fairly prominent in selections. PJ's in business is always a plus for me. The only downside were the FA's mis-steps on ordering but that may have been a language barrier.
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