Flight QR905, Melbourne to Doha
THE LOYALTY PROGRAM
Privilege Club. Qatar Airways is part of the oneworld alliance, which means you can get early access to Qantas Frequent Flyer points and status credits with the airline.
Business, seat 11F
13 hours, 40 minutes
CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION
3.9 tonnes of carbon are produced by this flight (supplemented by the business class flight). Qatar Airways is committed to zero emissions by 2050 and offers an offset program.
At the time of the flight, the mask is compulsory on board when not eating and drinking. A “protection kit” is provided with a mask, hand sanitizer and gloves. As of this writing, Qatar itself requires Australian visitors to be fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, and complete the Ehteraz pre-registration form online or via the app. of the same name (the latter is also the passport vaccine for entry to sites in Qatar).
It’s a nearly full flight – a rarity these days – and upon arrival at Melbourne Airport, the economy class check-in queue is over the line. Business class however does not have a queue and once the ground crew member checks my aforementioned documents, I am on my way.
Qatar Airways’ Qsuite is marketed as closer to first class than business and it’s easy to see why. The seat has a sliding door, which gives the feeling of being in a private cabin. And it certainly feels spacious. It has 79 inches (200 cm) of legroom and 21.5 inches (55 cm) wide. The layout is 1-2-1 but the design means that every other row of the middle seats, including mine, faces the back of the plane. If you are traveling with someone else, the partition between the two middle seats can be removed. Two pillows, a soft blanket and pajamas are provided.
The crew converts the seat to flat bed mode, adding a thin mattress and laying out the blanket. I finally slept well after a few turbulence bumps that kept me awake for the first hour. The base of the seat creates a bit of a bump in the bed around my calves which I find a bit annoying.
A huge selection of recent movies, popular hits and true classics from Hollywood’s Golden Age. There is a wide range of TV shows, but mostly 3-4 episodes rather than entire seasons. The QSuite screen is huge at 21.5 inches (55 cm). There is power in the seat and onboard Wi-Fi, which is free for one hour for Privilege Club members, or US$10 for the entire flight (only US$8 if booked on the flight). ‘advance). Noise canceling headphones are provided.
As it was a night flight, after the meal service, the cabin crew let us rest. The flight attendants are friendly and efficient, although there are a few minor mistakes like initially bringing me the wrong main meal, which are quickly rectified.
It’s a late night flight but I can’t help but stay up to sample the dinner menu. To start, I have a coconut sweet potato and ginger soup, followed by Western Australian crayfish in a creamy cheese sauce as the main course. Other options include beef tenderloin, chicken curry and potato gnocchi. There are also several lighter options, including a beef burger or a chicken stir-fry. For breakfast, I opt for a cheese omelette with chicken sausage and potato rosti.
There’s a wine list of French, Italian, and Spanish options, including the obligatory French Champagne. I don’t drink alcohol on flights so I’m glad to see there’s a range of mocktails on the menu too.
Sitting in the last row of business class has a few drawbacks – we are the last to order and be served, therefore some menu options are no longer available.
ONE MORE THING
The airline hosted the upcoming World Cup with a football-themed safety video, sorry, featuring British actors Jason Thrope and Ross Hatt, as well as soccer stars Neymar and Robert Lewandowski, and legend Brazilian Cafu. Although it was over six minutes long, it’s fun enough to give those Air New Zealand videos a hard time.
Qatar Airways has been named the World’s Best Airline by Skytrax for six consecutive years and this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to see what it’s all about. Food and service are good, but the QSuite is easily one of the best business class seats in the sky. It should be noted that several other airlines are now catching up and introducing their own private suites, with sliding doors, in business class – previously a feature only found in first class.
OUR SCORE OUT OF FIVE
The writer traveled as a guest of Qatar Airways.
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