WHAT’S BETTER THAN FLYING IN QATAR AIRWAYS’ QSUITES ONCE? FLYING IN QSUITES 4 X!
Flying in QSuites is like drinking fine wine. I never get bored of it and it gets better and better!
Let me begin:
Egypt wasn’t originally on my radar or short list of places I wanted to visit, but a few friends were going and they had already done all of the homework. I usually have to do all of the planning, so following along on someone else’s plans was enticing. Plus, I’d get to fly in QSuites on Qatar Airlines, arguably the best business class product out there. (A few years ago, I first experienced a QSuite as part of a media event, when Qatar Airways first brought the retrofitted 777 planes to New York’s JFK airport – see, My Almost Private Flight on Qatar Airways’ QSuites!).
The round trip airfare was $2,400. $2,400 is considered a bargain by many, but still, it is a bit more than I’d normally spend. Nevertheless, the stars seemed aligned in favor of saying yes, knowing also that the icing on the cake was that the trip would be sufficient to extend my American Airlines Executive Platinum status for another year.
Lastly, flying Business or First Class made particular sense during a pandemic as we would be largely in our own bubble and not on top of other passengers (as we would be if seated in coach).
To our delight, all four of our flights were in QSuites (New York JFK to Doha, Qatar; Doha to Cairo, Egypt; Cairo back to Doha, and Doha back to New York JFK).
In two of the flights we were seated in 5E and 5F, and one in 3E and 3F. Those seats are perfect for couples, as you can take down the divider between you and essentially have your own private room. These couples’ E and F seats do face backwards – which only felt odd to me during take-off and landing. In one of the shorter flights, we had individual seats along the window.
We began the journey at the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at JFK Airport. In fact it was the first day the lounge had reopened and it was nice to be back! (see, My Visit to the Reopened AA Flagship Lounge at JFK).
We boarded the plane and took our seats. We did not check our luggage – the overhead space above our seats had plenty of room. Of course, we said yes to champagne. Many times.
We received amenity kits by Bric’s filled with Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio skin care products, pajamas by the White Company and a small sanitary kit, containing a mask, gel and gloves.
The screens of the entertainment system reminded the passengers to wear masks, etc.
There was a set of noise canceling headsets, plenty of outlets and somewhat self-explanatory buttons for seat positioning. The storage space was ample and the wifi was not expensive – $10 if purchased on the flight or $8 if purchased in advance. The flight attendants were as pleasant and helpful as can be.
The menu had many meal choices, the food was abundant and very good and the presentation of the meals was just beautiful. If I had one complaint, some of the dishes were delicious but a little too rich in flavor, such as the Short Ribs pictured below.
Our seats were converted into beds, which were really comfortable! We actually were able to sleep for a few hours.
An eleven-hour flight never went this quickly before!
Though it was already afternoon in Doha, an hour or two before landing, it was time for breakfast.
More food. . . . Breakfast. This was the tomato and cheese omelette.
And sweets at the end of the flight.
At Doha Airport, we went to the nicest lounge I have ever been to – the Qatar Airways Al Safwah First Class Lounge. (Review coming soon).
Was traveling in the age of Covid-19 weird? You bet it was. For example – see below.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the next flight – to Cairo – was also a QSuite plane. Originally, our seats were along the window, but there were two seats together in the middle (actually the same fifth row seats again) so the flight attendant moved us there for this comparatively short flight. I was wondering if we would get another amenity kit on this second flight, but we instead got a little bag with only a few items (eye masks, toothbrush, etc).
More food! I had just had a full meal at the airport lounge, but the flight attendant insisted on serving the meal! Not to insult, I tasted everything.
Fast forward to a week or so later, and here I was flying back from Cairo to Doha:
The Codfish was quite delicious, but I was not able to eat much. Without going into detail, I’d been suffering from food poisoning since that day in Giza visiting the Pyramids.
We arrived at Doha Airport early the next morning – I’m still rather flabbergasted at the fancy buses they used to transport us from the plane to the airport.
We went to a different Qatar Airways lounge for our short visit. The Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge was perhaps the second nicest lounge I’ve ever been to (review coming soon). I was tired and still feeling sick from the food poisoning, so I only had coffee. Such a shame!
Onto the next flight.
We got comfortable once again in our rear-facing suite. We received more amenity kits and pajamas. And of course another set of menus.
For the main meal, I chose the seared Atlantic Cod Fillet served with Asparagus, cauliflower and risotto. It didn’t disappoint.
Later, for the light options, I had the Lobster Claw and Avocado Open Sandwich.
And then, a few more hours later, it was time for breakfast. I tried the Shakshouka. It didn’t seem like any Shakshouka I’ve ever had before, but it was good. The presentation, once again was impeccable.
It was a daytime flight, so we purposely didn’t sleep much. I found this map curious – it showed the locations of various ships and ocean liners that had sunk nearby. Really? I wonder if the Titanic or the Unsinkable Molly Brown were available on the entertainment system?
I only know one couple who weren’t impressed by the Qatar Airways QSuite experience. However, I loved it. If I had another opportunity to fly in QSuites, I would do so in a heartbeat.
As I said, it’s like drinking fine wine. Speaking of which, my favorite was the Bordeaux.