There’s something in the air…
Despite massive improvements in air quality via the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the 787 is the only plane which actually brings in fresh outside air, via a special filtration system. What that does for your body is massive, especially on long haul flights.
Any Dreamliner experience leaves you feeling more refreshed than those on old school aircraft, but when you throw in the genuine comforts of Qatar Airways business class seat, bed, amenities and dine on demand, the experience takes off to new levels. Here’s what it’s like to fly business class on the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner…
The only lounge you’re guaranteed to experience on a Qatar Airways round trip is the Al Mourjan Lounge in Doha, Qatar. The lounge is business class only, restricting even Oneworld elite members from entry unless they possess a business class ticket. With two levels and an immense buffet up top, it’s quite an experience.
When you ascend the escalators you’ll find yourself on the first floor of the bi-level lounge. To the far left you’ll find quiet rooms and an a la cart eating area, with a serviced bar. It’s a great spot for a cool drink, and also quite near the showers, which are heavenly by the way. On a layover in Doha, a shower and a mojito are just what the doctor ordered.
If you make a right upon entering the gargantuan lounge, you’ll happen upon the main water feature, which is a signature staple. You can then walk up the circular, chandelier lit staircase or hop in an elevator just to the right. Upstairs it’s all food, food, drinks and more food. The biryani is always a great choice and any of the pistachio based desserts are usually fantastic.
Know this in advance: you won’t get Qsuites on the Qatar Boeing 787, at least not yet. Qatar’s Qsuites offer the newest and most sought after business class seating configuration on the airline and can be found on both the 777 and A350, but if you’re flying the 787 Dreamliner, you’d easily be excused if you find these business class seats more than enough.
Oh, and the mood lighting is fantastic.
The seats are a slightly modified version of those found on select Qatar A350 aircraft which have not yet been modified to Qsuites and feature four across in a 1-2-1 setup. These seats may not have doors, but they are excellent for work or pleasure. These planes generally board through the second door, so if you want to be near the exit, shoot for rows 4 or 5. On this journey, I chose 1K.
Each seat offers eye level storage and a larger low level compartment, where you’ll find a personal water bottle. Qatar offers one of the best business class blankets, which you’ll find at your seat upon arrival in plastic packaging and the pillows are more than sufficient for most journeys. You’ll also receive a Brics amenity kit, with Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio skin products.
The additional table space is really handy at various points in flight, leaving you with enough room to eat comfortably on your tray and have laptops or other electronics active on the side. The tray is so large on the Qatar 787 that you could probably fit both, if you wanted to.
Slouch mode is definitely one of the best features of this seat. If you tap the button for bed mode on that well placed panel you can stop at any point, which creates a seriously comfortable lazy set up.
Afterwards, bed mode is excellent. I chose row 1 because of the larger foot wells which make it easier to roll around in your sleep without feeling cramped. I achieved over 6 hours of sleep on this segment, which is always a big win in the skies. If you’re under 6 feet, don’t stress too much. If you’re over, row 1 is great.
The screens in Qatar Airways Boeing 787 business class are a bit smaller than the similar seating setup on select A350’s, but it’s a nice sized screen nonetheless. Compared to most airline in flight entertainment systems this one is rather fast loading, but not quite as “iPad” scroll speed as what you’ll find on the A350, or on any Qsuites equipped planes.
In typical Qatar fashion, the entertainment selection is very, very good. There’s HBO boxsets, new release films, classics and just about everything in between. On this particular trip I spent more than 35 hours in the air round trip, and really never ran out of content, which is a triumph these days!
Qsuites aside, Qatar may not have an undisputed claim to the best business class seat in the skies, but it’s fair to say they can make that claim from a service standpoint. It may be a bit scripted, but the personal greeting, welcome and assurance of help upon boarding goes a long way. It’s only just the start.
The choice of hot or cold towel is a stroke of genius and the signature fragrance does not disappoint. Couple that with a beautiful, long stemmed champagne glass and the scene is perfect.
During the greeting the crew member working your seating area will explain the dine on demand concept, and the fact that they’re happy to bring you any dish, any time. Unlike many airlines which tinker with this, the Qatar Airways crews tend to actually mean it. I received fabulous service on each 787 segment and love the little details, like the fake candle to accompany your meal.
Food in Qatar Airways business class is generally of a very high standard, using local treats to quite literally spice up meals from each outpost. Leaving Asia I tend to find the curries are excellent and leaving Doha a biryani style dish is heavenly in the air with powerful fragrance and punch.
If you want a snack at any point, don’t forget that there’s a little “mini bar” set up in the area where you entered the plane. There’s usually Godiva chocolates, champagne and other goodies to rustle up if you need a quick stretch.
Many airlines buy decent priced wine that sounds like it could be good, but when you actually look into the reviews, it’s poorly regarded by fans and critics alike. One of the best ways to assess an airline wine menu is via the app Vivino, which offers free crowd sourced ratings. Many of the wines on these flights received over a 4.0 out of a possible 5, which is fantastic. There was even a bordeaux being poured with a retail price of $75, which is extremely high for a business class selection. It did the trick.
Any way you slice it, this is just a wonderful way to travel. The pyjamas are nice, the blankets are huge, the crews work hard and the food is actually worth eating. Add in fantastic in flight film and tele selections and the general wellbeing felt on a modern aircraft with improved cabin environment and you’ll be just about as happy in the air as you are on the ground.