Qatar Airways is known for bold, outlandish and downright lavish seat launches. To be fair, when you launch the worlds first double bed in business class, you deserve to party. Todays big news is about those stuck behind the curtain, and the news is pretty big. Qatar has refined the art of the economy seat to a level where flying economy is less of a grind than ever. With the airline eyeing increasingly long flights, that’s great news. Here’s 5 ways in which the new seat is actually revolutionary…

The Biggest 4K Entertainment Screens

Entertainment screens on planes are known for being small, sluggish and pixelated. Not here. Qatar is matching Emirates with 13.3” entertainment screens with the addition of 4K clarity. You’ll probably be able to see the wrinkles on Tom Cruises’s ageless face. The systems are wicked fast, and allow you to swipe left or right with real time speed, just like using a better version of an iPad.

No More Recline Etiquette Problems

Other than seeing the people sleeping in their business class beds in front of you, there’s nothing quite as frustrating while flying economy as having your food or electronics fly into the sky as the seat in front of you reclines. In fact, there’s a whole debate over etiquette on that front. This new seat has the tray table designed so that it doesn’t move, no matter what the person in front does. Huuuuge! P.S. on the etiquette front, it’s been deemed that the middle seat owns rights to both arm rests.

Two Tray Tables For All Your Stuff

You’ve got stuff, and they bring you more of it. Qatar announced plans to add more menu choices and better food in economy, which means more people will want to give it a whirl. The new Qatar Airways economy seat offers one mini tray table fit for an iPad and a Coke can (with a holder) and another fit for a laptop and some airplane food. You can have one out but not the other, which makes it easy to fall asleep with a nice G&T, without having a huge tray right where your knees are.

Pre Reclined With Lots Of Extra Recline

These new Qatar Airways economy seats come somewhat pre reclined at 6”, so when you sit, you’re kind of already in “chill mode”. Since the tray table isn’t linked to the back of the seat, this allows for more recline to 19” without really disturbing the passenger behind, thanks to the mostly fixed shell. If you recline, it’ll be more about the seat moving forward than the back moving back. Because there are fewer gadgets and nonsense under the seat, there’s more space to tuck your legs, and all your gear.

High Speed USB Charging And Wifi

Qatar has spent crazy money on wifi recently, offering one of the fastest connections in the sky. In addition, these new seats feature USB-C charging with extra juice going to each connection. This means you can charge a phone, tablet or other device up in extremely good time, so that you can stay social for the entire flight. Who knows, maybe even treat the world to a live blog of how it feels to sit down for 15 hours – that’s up to you.

Is any of this stuff totally new? Not really. Is it awesome? yes. No airline has put as many of these advanced passenger favourites into one economy cabin, and these seats instantly leapfrog an already good airline for flying economy into easily one of the best. The seats will debut on the Airbus A321neo at the end of 2019 before making their way to the entire Qatar Airways fleet.

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Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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4 Comments

  1. Are the seats not going to be the excruciating slimline ones? Given the distances often flown, slimline seats could get painful quickly with lots of hours still to go. What will be the seat pitch?
    As to armrest disputes being solved, Deathstar running a poll of 1500 people does not make this a fact on their airline, let alone on other airlines, unless they want to police the policy they enact.

  2. Perhaps they could share some of the innovations / consideration of customers comfort to their larger one world partners?

  3. A positive improvement would be a 20 percent increase on intercontinental ticket prices, followed by an increased 20 percent increase in space. Right now, the customers with QR are left a little between the chairs, mostly seated in economy stashed like logs with way too little space, or occasionally in the front, in overwhelming luxury and oceans of space at steep prices.

    1. Alex, just try Senor Cruz’s version of the airbus neos to understand how the QR cabin is actually pretty generous on space compared to the literally bone crushing lowest pitch in Europe BA now deliver…
      PS. BA don’t offer; recline, entertainment, wifi, blutooth, usb c charging or catering on the majority of their mid & shorthaul flights either

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