The Qatar Airways Flight from Doha – Canberra has been my longest flight so far, yet my most comfortable one. How was this possible? Thanks to the fantastic Qatar Airways Qsuite Business Class the flight time of more than 16 hours felt exhaustion-wise like a short 4-hour flight, at most. One the Inaugural Flight from Doha to Canberra, the Capital of Australia, Qatar Airways served the Flight QR906 with their award-winning Qsuite Business Class, as a preview on how this Route will be served up from June 2018. Until then, the Route Doha – Sydney – Canberra and vice-versa will be served in the regular Boeing 777-300ER Business Class, which is still a really pleasant experience. A Review of the “old” Business Class layout will follow in the upcoming week and will be linked here as soon as it’s online.
Qatar Airways QR906 Doha – Canberra – at the Airport (& Airport Longe)
Due to a Layover with a Hotel stay in Doha, I arrived at Hamad International Airport in Doha by Car and gained another utterly pleasant experience compared to regular Transit passengers. You might know from other, big and international Airports, that there are several sections outside for several Airlines in the drop-off / departure areas. A is for Airlines X and Y, B for Airlines C and D and so on. At Doha’s International Airport there is each an area for Business Class travellers, Economy Class travellers and passengers of all the other Airlines.
Once my uberGo stopped in front the Business Class area at Hamad International Airport in Doha a fancy dressed Man showed up, asked if I’m flying business and immediately took care of my luggage and furthermore escorting me to the Check-In and baggage drop-off. Without any hesitation, or searching for where to go next (if I would have been alone), I was taken to a vacant drop-off point. No 60 seconds have passed from closing the car’s doors and wishing my driver a nice day, to handing over my passport for check-in. Wow, such efficiency, I was highly impressed! I have to add, I arrived at the airport by 6 am, everything wasn’t that busy.
The check-in process took, again, just a slight matter of time, and immediately a friendly Lady of the Al Maha Service showed up (a Service I’ll write about in-depth in another article), and I was ready to proceed through passport and security controls. With only one another passenger I enjoyed another easy and efficient process and was escorted to the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge. Navigating through all the other transit passengers, with the famous Teddy Bear in sight, it only took 14 minutes from arriving in front of the Terminal and entering the Lounge (thanks to the help of my Al Maha Service Lady). By the time she left me alone we set up a pick-up (meeting point and time) and eventually she guided me to my boarding gate, went through the final security screening with me, even took my passport and boarding pass for boarding, waited the final minutes until boarding till we said goodbye at the airplane’s door. Such a helpful and caring service that made my experience at the Hamad International Airport so enjoyable as I have never had to worry about where to go or when I have to be where.
Qatar Airways QR906 Doha – Canberra – at the Seat (Comfort, Storage, Bathroom)
The most important role on my Flight from Doha to Canberra has been the seat, of course. Not just one seat, a whole enclosed suite! Qsuite Business Class brings “First into Business”, which means many amenities you’ll only find in First Class are available in Business Class. So far, the Qsuite Business Class is only available in Boeing’s 777-300ER aircraft, but similar versions of the suites will follow in the 787-9 and A380 (the Qsuite in the 787-9 will not offer the quad arrangement, but still full privacy in a 1-2-1 seat configuration). Currently, all the existing 777’s are refitted with the new Qsuite Business Class, a process which will take a few more months, therefore it might still happen to catch a flight with the old 2-2-2 seat configuration, and not the new 1-2-1 in the Qsuite Business Class.
For best usage of the space on board, the seat formation offers seats both in the direction of travel and opposite to the direction. There is each one single-suite by the windows and each two next to each other in the middle, with the possibility to lower all 4 internal panels to create one Quad cubicle. Only the rear- and forward facing seats in the middle can be connected, the ones by the windows, also rear- and forward facing, can’t be connected. If you’re travelling alone a window seat might be recommended, however, you can still enjoy full privacy in 1/4 of the Quad in the Qsuite Business Class. Personally, I’ve only desired sitting by the window for the sake of looking out, nonetheless even throughout turbulences I still felt well and save in my aisle-Qsuite.
In total, there are 4 bathrooms for 39 Qsuite Business Class Guests. Compared to regular Economy Class bathrooms, the Business Class bathrooms in the Boeing 777-300ER are more spacious and offer you enough room to comfortably change your clothes. Each bathroom is equipped with cosmetic tissues, both a mist (exactly it’s “the Ritual of Dao bed & body mist”) and lotion by Rituals as well as plenty of toothbrushes with -pastes and shavers including shaving cream. For enhanced comfort to change into the provided Pyjamas, you can fold down a table right next to the toilet. Of course, there are also plenty of mirrors and you can even adjust the water temperature from warm to cold, or something in between.
Qatar Airways QR906 Doha – Canberra – In-Flight Entertainment
Liberty of The Wanderlust Bug loved her flight with the Qsuite as well, read here more about her experience in a window suite.
Qatar Airways QR906 Doha – Canberra – Food & Drinks
Food Service in Qatar Airways Business Class is based on a “Dine when you want, what you want” Basis, which means you can eat at any time you’d prefer, and each so much (or less) you’d like. You have one menu for Food and Drink options, as well as another menu solely for the alcoholic beverages such as Wine and Champagne. Additionally, to the regular menu, there is a special snack menu available, but only in the Qsuite Business Class.
Here I will only showcase what I ate and how it looks, in another article I will share more of my experience as a vegetarian on board Qatar Airways, their non-meat options by standard and how to book a special meal such as Vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium and more. But already, everything I ate and drank had perfect Restaurant standard and even my Cappuccino had a better foam than what you sometimes get on the ground.
My Experience with Qatar Airways on a Qsuite Business Class Flight from Doha to Canberra in the award-winning Qsuite (in duo configuration)
Overall, my Qsuite Business Class Flight from Doha to Canberra has been incredible. Particularly exceptional was the always kind and friendly hospitality on board, from welcoming me on board to always offering some extra drinks or snacks, giving recommendations, explaining the seat and the suite’s functions and even the little chats here and there felt always genuine and so kind.
Regarding the personal service I have had absolutely no minus points, however, the seat and the Qsuite, that’s where I had my most contrary experiences.
On the website it says “generous storage space” and if you’re counting the overhead bins into this space, then yes, there is plenty of space for more than two pieces of hand luggage. Nevertheless, I always found myself looking for “smart storage possibilities” throughout the whole flight. Before takeoff, I still had my pillow on the table and both my amenity kit and camera in the open compartment underneath. As soon as the plane accelerated everything was falling towards me as the top surface was smooth and the storage underneath had no significant borders around the edges, what made everything fall out (and what terrified me throughout the whole flight to store anything heavier than my boarding pass and tissues there).
Therefore, where am I supposed to place my camera, charging cables, smartphone and all the other small things during the flight? Yes, there is a big armrest with quite some storage inside, but, you will always have to move everything you placed on top (big deco pillow, water bottle, phone and everything else) to the smooth-ish table, take something out or place something inside, and close it again and move everything back on top of it to avoid objects falling straight in your face if you’re sleeping, during possible turbulence. All of this only, as, if you have the feet-part of your seat in a sleeping or folded position, there is no storage at the bottom for bags or alike. You basically need to have everything you (might) need during the flight on or inside the big armrest, otherwise, you will always have to get outside your Qsuite to access the overhead bins. And who wants to leave an enclosed suite, if you have one?
Another reason I’d wish there would be better storage is that if you don’t have your bed in the full-flat position, with the top part increased, you have a full view of the seat’s mechanics underneath, and as it happened to a passenger next to me, phones and smaller items can fall inside so so easily. It’s usually not possible to get those objects out during the flight, a technician will have to look into it once the plane landed. If this happens at the beginning of a long-haul flight I can imagine no one will be amused by this. Just a simple black net around the edges could prevent objects falling through, and be one reason less to have a proper storage for gadgets to prevent them from slipping around your Qsuite.
If you are interested, you can track the flight Route of QR0906 live on flightradar24 (as of right now, all the flights in the past have arrived ahead of time).
A Video of our landing at Canberra Airport, followed by a water cannon salute (only on Inaugural flights, not daily!)