Review of Qatar Airways flight Chicago Doha in Business

Airline Qatar Airways
Flight QR726
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 13:00
Take-off 23 Nov 18, 16:30
Arrival at 24 Nov 18, 14:30
QR   #7 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 462 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 1332
Published on 13th December 2018
photo qr726 cover

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

photo qr726 cover

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.

photo qr726 boarding pass

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.

photo qr726 cabin 1

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.

photo qr726 cabin 3

My first impression was positive. The suite walls are very high for maximum privacy. Much higher that Delta’s Suite One walls.

photo qr726 cabin 5

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.

photo qr726 seat 1a

Honestly I expected the size to be a little larger. This is not a complaint, just an observation.

photo qr726 seat 2photo qr726 seat 4

Entry into the suite is a little narrow.

photo qr726 seat 6

Row one has 3 windows.

photo qr726 seat 7

However Row 6 only has a single window.

photo qr726 row 6 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.

photo qr726 seat 9

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.

photo qr726 seat 13

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.

photo qr726 seat foot 1

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.

photo qr726 seat 10

This is row 1 center seats which are rear facing as well.

photo qr726 cabin r1 center 3
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photo qr726 cabin r1 center 4
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This view across the row gives another perspective on how private these suites are, even with the door open.

photo qr726 cabin r1 center 5

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.

photo qr726 seat acc 4

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!

photo qr726 seat store 6

The shelf table is great for phones, tables, computers, headphones, all kinds of stuff.

photo qr726 seat store 2

Some of the controls underneath including a NFC reader (better photos next report, promise).



Reading light and coat hook are above the adjustable armrest.

photo qr726 seat acc 3photo qr726 seat acc 6

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.

photo qr726 ife  0

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.

photo qr726 scenic 3

The champagne on the flight was Pommery. I went right to red wine.

photo qr726 menu bev 1

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.

photo qr726 menu bev 2
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photo qr726 food wine 2
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photo qr726 food wine 3
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photo qr726 food wine 1

Let the fun begin!

photo qr726 food nuts

The rest of the beverage offerings on this flight.



The table was set, candle and all.

photo qr726 food pres

A delicious canapé was offered while I perused the menu, as well a a refill on the Médoc red.

photo qr726 food canapy 2

I wish I could tell you what it was, but like I said, I believe the bottle was emptied.

photo qr726 food canapy 1

Now a it’s decision time. The food menu, while not extensive had some decent selections.

photo qr726 menu food 1

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.

photo qr726 food apps 1

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.

photo qr726 food apps 3

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.

photo qr726 food soup 1

Another delicious dish.

photo qr726 food soup 2

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.

photo qr726 food main 2

It was perfect (at least given airline considerations). Very tender, probably medium temperature.

photo qr726 food main 4

Plus it was an attractive dish, and those asparagus were actual tender crisp. Seconds of the potatoes please.

photo qr726 food main 5

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.

photo qr726 food choc 2photo qr726 food choc 3

When the real dessert came it was worth the wait.

photo qr726 food des 3
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photo qr726 food des 4

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.

photo qr726 amenity wifi 1photo qr726 amenity wifi 2

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.

photo qr726 seat sleep 1

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.

photo qr726 seat sleep 2

A good 7 hours wiped out the Médoc effect and it was time for breakfast. I ordered Cold Cuts and Oatmeal.

photo qr726 menu food 2

I’m still left handed.

photo qr726 food brk 1

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?

photo qr726 food brk 6

Frozen solid. Slid on this plate like a hockey puck.

photo qr726 food brk 9

Then I’m not sure if I ordered brown sugar or oatmeal. So breakfast wasn’t one of their best efforts.

photo qr726 food brk 8

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.

photo qr726 scenic 10

We parked at a remote stand. How fun to get some up close photos of the Qatar 777-300.



This was Qatar’s newest 777-300, reg# A7-BEX.

photo qr726 aircraft age

For redemption amounts and rewardflying ratings click this link.

photo qr726 flight path
See more

Verdict

Qatar Airways

7.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew5.5
Entertainment9.0
Meal/catering7.5

Air France Lounge

3.4/10
Comfort3.0
Meal/catering3.0
Entertainment7.0
Services0.5

Chicago - ORD

5.5/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness6.0

Doha - DOH

8.8/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

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.

Related

7 Comments

  • Comment 480079 by
    socalnow GOLD 767 Comments

    Greetings Mark and thank you for sharing this long anticipated QSuites trip.
    “Qatar owns part of British Airways who has 2 lounges at O’Hare Terminal 5. Qatar can’t use one of them?”
    -Did you try and get turned away? A Oneworld J boarding pass should get you in. I used the BA lounge in SIN recently on an MH ticket printed on QR stock. MH sends their J passengers in SIN to the DNATA lounge too.
    “Much higher that Delta’s Suite One walls.”
    -Must be an optical illusion. Look at where the headrest is in your pictures. Go look at the same pics you took on Delta.
    “Entry into the suite is a little narrow.”
    -What are all the dots in the picture below this test? Styrofoam explosion? Its’ in a lot of the picutres.
    “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.”
    -You saw this too, good I thought it was my eyes playing tricks.
    “Upon a arrival to your seat you will find a bevy of blankets and pillows which are stacked on the top table.”
    -Did you keep the pillow?
    The menu and wine list are fantastic.
    No problems with the lack of leg rest on QR? It has been notes in the past.
    “The table was set, candle and all.”
    -Beautiful setting. Borrowing the salt and pepper from LH F too!
    The food looks divine. The mezze is lovely (they ran out before I could enjoy one when I flew QR recently). The fillet looks perfect too.
    “Yes this crew missed a few beats but were otherwise extremely nice.”
    -A good attitude and effort earns some slack on the details. Did the meal service take a long time? Your map pic after dessert shows 22:07 at ORD and departure was scheduled at 16:30.
    “The mattress pad was fairly thick, the blankets were plush and the pillows plentiful.
    -Wow, great bedding and turn down service.
    “I’m still left handed.”
    -LOL! Why don’t you sit facing forward then 😉 Breakfast doesn’t look as impressive as the dinner service.
    “We parked at a remote stand. How fun to get some up close photos of the Qatar 777-300.”
    -Only us AV Geeks celebrate remote parking. I love it too.
    Thank you again for sharing this experience. QR has earned the best business class in the world title in my estimation. From the beautiful and excellent seat design to the luxurious wine and meal options I don’t know who does J better.

    Thanks again for sharing and happy flying.

  • Comment 480097 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 409 Comments

    Hello Christian,

    Thanks for the detailed response. and the tip on Oneworld lounge hopping. Honestly it didn't even occur to me to try. But next time I'll try for sure.

    >Must be an optical illusion. Look at where the headrest is in your pictures. Go look at the same pics you took on Delta.
    -Might have to take this debate offline.

    >What are all the dots in the picture below this test? Styrofoam explosion? Its’ in a lot of the pictures.
    -I was wondering about that too, My other camera (point and shoot) didn't pick those specs up, only the iPhone camera which had a hard time with the lightning. I think I'm going back to the point and shoot from the iPhone 10 at least when there isn't natural light. So I blame it on the camera, it wasn't on the seat.

    >You saw this too, good I thought it was my eyes playing tricks.
    -Well we both can't be seeing things can we???

    >Did you keep the pillow?
    -No, did you?

    >The food looks divine. The mezze is lovely (they ran out before I could enjoy one when I flew QR recently). The fillet looks perfect too.
    -Yes, it really was a good meal. Better than F on the DOH-SYD flight a few months ago.

    >A good attitude and effort earns some slack on the details. Did the meal service take a long time? Your map pic after dessert shows 22:07 at ORD and departure was scheduled at 16:30.
    -No, the service was prompt. I waited a bit to start and watched some movies, so that IFE photo probably was after the 2nd movie, 1st bottle, and just before sleep. My guess is dinner was over just after leaving the states.

    “I’m still left handed.”
    >LOL! Why don’t you sit facing forward then 😉 Breakfast doesn’t look as impressive as the dinner service.
    -I love rear facing! And you are right about breakfast unless you like hockey pucks.

    Thanks for reading Christian, look forward to your comparison.

    • Comment 480222 by
      socalnow GOLD 767 Comments

      Hi Mark -

      "Might have to take this debate offline."
      -They're higher but it's a matter of an inch or two I suspect.

      "No, did you?"
      -I did! Both my boys have one in their bed.

      "I love rear facing!"
      -Me too! I really like the wing and engine view.

      "No, the service was prompt."
      -That's good. I feel like the dine on demand concept makes all the service take longer.

      Happy flying Mark.

  • Comment 480514 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4545 Comments

    Hey Rewardflying, glad they didn't change your equipment this time and you got the QSuites!

    How weird that QR doesn't use a oneworld lounge. I know they use the BA lounge in PHL and some other cities they both serve in the US so it's odd that they use the KL lounge in ORD, not to mention disappointing. Not that BA lounges are so great, but slightly better, and you expect a more premium experience from Qatar.

    "Well documented is the fact Qatar cabin pictures, especially at night don’t take well because of the mood lighting."
    - Mood lighting is great, but it's true it makes it hard to take pics. Nevertheless, you were able to get some good shots of the cabin!

    "All true window seats in QSuite land are rear facing and are odd row numbers. Totally recommended for solo travelers"
    - Good to know, thanks for the tip! I like rear-facing seats--used to them from flying BA J so much.

    The catering looks delicious! It seems your FA was a little green, or maybe not used to serving in J. It seems the ME3 can be hit or miss with the cabin crew. You would expect very polished service on QR--you don't have to be an experienced premium cabin FA to know that the knife goes on the right, lol.

    The QSuite really is groundbreaking, it's much closer to a First class seat than business, though a densified version. Along with the soft product, which is very First class-like with PJs, properly coursed meals, etc, the whole experience is much more premium than average for Business class.

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the rest of the routing, which looks promising!

  • Comment 480551 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 409 Comments

    Hi Kévin,

    Thanks for your comments.

    You're a oneworld guy and with DC in your name QR flies the Q out of IAD everyday. Doha is a really cool place to visit (as long as its not in the summer months) Could be in your future??

    Posting the A350-1K flight in a couple weeks. It was my best business class flight of all. Thanks again

    • Comment 480729 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4545 Comments

      I wish QSuites were in my future, but at the moment it's not looking like anytime soon. But yes, it is great that QR flies them from IAD so it's right there for me when I finally get that chance. Looking forward to the A350-1K flight!

  • Comment 482108 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 125 Comments

    Now Skyteam's lounges are probably the worst of the alliances, I am surprised Qatar is even using them as an one world member... Thanks for sharing!

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