The world’s best airline has an amazing new business class — here’s what it’s like

Qatar

Last March, Doha-based Qatar Airways unveiled its new, industry-leading business class product, “Qsuites,” at the ITB Berlin travel trade show.

As Qatar Airways operates most of its fleet in a two-class configuration — only offering first class on its limited fleet of A380s — the airline has invested heavily in its business class product, which is built by B/E Aerospace (now Rockwell Collins) and designed by PriestmanGoode.

In Qsuites, that investment shows. Each seat rests in an individual pod with a closing door, creating a “suite” with an open top. The suites offer storage and table space, as well as a spacious, comfortable chair which can fold flat into a bed, and a large in-flight entertainment screen — all features on-par with the best international business class products, to the point that Qsuites seemed more like “first class lite.” To that point, the airline brands it as “first in business.”

However, the keynote feature of Qsuites isn’t just the personal space, but what you can do if you’re traveling in a group. Unique among business class products, several of the Qsuites seats offered in the center of the plane have partitions which could be fully lowered to create open “conference room” type settings.

Beyond that, though, the seats in a few rows can be turned into double beds, when the partition is fully lowered and the chairs are folded into bed mode. While only a few airlines offer true or adapted double beds in first class, Qatar is the first airline to bring that feature to business class.

The airline is installing Qsuites on all newly delivered aircraft and is retrofitting its current fleet — except for the A380, which will eventually get a modified version of the seat due to size constraints.

However, the airline won’t have Qsuite uniformly installed for another two years, Qatar Airways vice president for the Americans Gunter Saurwein told Business Insider. For now, only certain routes will see the top-of-the-line new product.

Business Insider recently got a tour of the Qsuites aboard a 777-300ER in New York as it prepared for its next journey to Doha. The flight crew walked us through a preview of the in-flight service, including catering, the in-flight entertainment, and, of course, the double bed.

Read on below to see what Skytrax calls the world’s best business class on the world’s best airline:

The Qatar Airways 777-300ER we’d be touring was towed to the general aviation terminal at JFK — it would operate flight QR702 to Doha later that evening.

Qatar Airways features adjustable mood lighting on its planes. As we walked on board, the cabin crew set the lighting to rotate between the different hues.

Qsuite seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, so that every seat has direct aisle access. The middle of the cabin is so spacious that you almost forget you’re on an airplane.

Read the rest of the story at: businessinsider.com

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