In 2017, Qatar Airways blew peoples minds with the Qsuite. Though airlines had tinkered with the idea of doors at seats, Qatar Airways was the first to put a privacy door on every seat, and not just that, but a big one, and a huge TV and comfy bed to go with it. All of the sudden, flying business class felt like first class, which was the exact marketing pitch Qatar Airways ran with – “first in business”.

Years later, the Qsuite is still an arguable benchmar in luxury travel despite new competition, and continues to be a fan favorite. There’s just one issue: it doesn’t fit on all the planes Qatar Airways flies.

After back and forth, Qatar Airways took delivery of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in March, but due to spacing issues, they won’t feature the Qsuite after all. Instead, a mystery seat will (hopefully) soon reveal itself. Here’s what we know so far.

Qatar Airways 787-9 Delivery

In October 2019, Akbar Al Baker proclaimed Qatar’s jets were ready for delivery, but issues with seat installations were holding up the transaction. Words were exchanged and eventually Qatar brought the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets to Doha, where they’ve remained dormant until yesterday.

The airline will use the planes to complete a variety of cargo flights and test their specs in the weeks to come, before a presumable entry into passenger service. OMAAT notes a later than expected entry date of March, 2021, though that’s subject to change.

With most airlines, pictures of the cabin interior would’ve leaked months ago, but somehow, no one has a picture of the new Qatar Airways business class found inside.

Qatar Airways Mysterious Business Class Seat

Qatar Airways new Boeing 787-9 business class seat isn’t tipped to be a revolution, but rather an iteration of a solid seat. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has remarked that passengers can expect a more private and technologically advanced evolution of the business class seat installed on other 787-8 models, which is still excellent.

One fundamental change: double beds are expected on select middle aisle seats, which keeps some of the fun of Qsuites alive, though the four person family nooks are not expected onboard.

Similar seats to the one used by Qatar Airways (review) on the Boeing 787-8 are also used by a variety of Oneworld airlines including British Airways and American Airlines, and new adaptations of the seats with privacy doors should be similar to the British Airways Club Suite.

There won’t likely be anything as wowing as the Qsuite on Qatar’s Boeing 787-9’s, and that’s too bad, but again, it’s down to space. The cabin is a few inches narrower than those of the Boeing 777 or Airbus A350’s featuring the stunning Qsuite.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class

How Will Qatar Airways 787-9 Seat Compare?

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 fleet may not be quite up to scratch with Qsuite equipped aircraft, but with a full on privacy door and new tech, any seat they unveil will still be near the top of the table in business class.

Technology on planes is one of the most difficult challenges an airline faces in the ordering process, since long lead times mean a technology will often be outdated by the time it arrives. But with fresh deliveries, and seats only installed under a year ago, there could be some nifty bells and whistles which few other airlines have. We’ll have to wait and see. And frankly, it’s amazing nothing has leaked yet!

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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9 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to see what they come up with and for what routes.
    I actually like their 787-8 business class seat. Going to Asia I usually have a 6h flights in 787-8 and then a 11+ hour in either 777 or 350 in QSuite. This is a perfect combination. The seat in the 787-8 is in fact ideal for a 6h flight. Less privacy but also less time for a need for private room.

  2. While the “almost/not exactly” a Q-Suite may be exciting, and certainly worthwhile for the fortunate few who know they’re always guaranteed an oh so sweet Q-Suite when they fly (on Qatar’s Boeing 787-8s that just 22, or 91% of the -8’s 232 pax, so let’s assume about the same percentages on the larger capacity -9, Qatar Airways’ 787s are best AVOIDED.

    No wonder all of the attention gushing over Qatar’s 787s is focused on the pointy end, with nary a peep about the horrific Main Cabin that has seats as narrow as Norwegian Air’s 787s, and incredibly, LESS ROW PITCH than Norwegian’s 31 – 32” 787s (per seatguru).

    Wow.

    Who would’ve thunk that?!?!

    Needless to say, if one is NOT confirmed in Biz Class, with seats as narrow as Norwegian Air & same/even less pitch (depending on the row), Qatar Airways is an airline best AVOIDED – especially for long-/ultra-long haul flights!

  3. NOTE: For some reason, the original version of my reader comments (seen above), truncated the 1st paragraph while uploading such that important data about seat widths & row pitch for Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787-8 was omitted.

    The corrected copy (hopefully 😉 ) for the 1st paragraph appears below, with the remaining paragraphs unchanged:

    While the “almost/not exactly” a Q-Suite may be exciting, and certainly worthwhile for the fortunate few who know they’re always guaranteed an oh so sweet Q-Suite when they fly (on Qatar’s Boeing 787-8s that just 22, or 91% of the -8’s 232 pax (so let’s assume about the same percentages on the larger capacity -9), Qatar Airways’ 787s are best AVOIDED.

    [Remaining portion of comment continues above in original post]

  4. OK, so let’s just indicate the data that keeps being omitted:

    1) The 3-3-3 nine abreast configuration of Qatar Airways’ 787-8 that obviously will be the same on its 787-9;

    2) The 16.89-17.28 inch seat widths (btw, that’s the same as Norwegian Air’s 787s);

    3) 30-31 inch row pitch (which for the 30 inch pitch rows is ONE inch LESS than Norwegian Air’s 31-32 inches 787 row pitch – or of course, TWO fewer inches vs Norwegian’s 787 32 inch pitch rows).

    Not sure why these key metrics are repeatedly omitted between uploading & when seen posted, but maybe it’s the use of ampersands plus other symbols and abbreviations that the program doesn’t recognize as acceptable for publication.

    Hopefully, the 3rd time is the charm! 😉

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