In this piece, we will ask the following question: Is there a difference between Qatar Airways’ QSuite on the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 777?
At the end of my trip to Southeast Asia, I spontaneously got the chance to fly Qatar Airways’ award-winning Business Class product from Bangkok to Frankfurt via Doha.
With routes that are quite similar time-wise, I had to use the chance to compare both QSuites. Is there a difference?
And if so, is it groundbreaking or minor?
Come join me in this comprehensive review as I experience one of the world’s best Business Classes in the world on my way back home to Germany.
- Airline: Qatar Airways
- Route: BKK-DOH-FRA
- Class: Business Class
- Registration: A7-BAT / A7-ANS
- Seat number: 4B & 9K
- Flight numbers: QR831 & QR69
- Date: 25.03.2023/26.03.2023
Ground Experience in Bangkok
Bangkok is one of Qatar Airways’ most flown routes, with 28 weekly flights from Doha, which are usually operated by Boeing 777-300’s, Boeing 787, and Airbus A380s, offering over 10.000 weekly seats on this route.
I booked this flight approximately 16 hours before departure via the Qatar Airways Website while being at the airport.
I checked in the following morning at around 5 am for my 8.05 am departure to Doha.
The Check-In Agent was very friendly and helpful, checking my bag through onto my connecting flight, which was on a separate Booking.
She explained to me where I’ll find the fast track and Lounge and that my gate will be just a short walk from the Lounge.
Fast Track security was a little slow, as there were many other flights departing at this time of the day, immigration was a little slow as well, but I’ve planned loads of time either way, so this wasn’t a problem.
Qatar Airways Bangkok Lounge
Arriving at the Lounge, I was welcomed by multiple lounge attendants, asking whether this was my first visit to the Lounge or if I’m a regular guest.
Once replying this was my first time at the lounge, one of the Lounge attendants gave me a tour of the Lounge, asking whether I want to have some breakfast at the restaurant area first or if I want to proceed directly to the seating area to get some rest before my flight.
Upon sitting down, I was handed an A la carte menu with a choice of 8 main courses. I opted for the sweet blueberry pancakes, which were fluffy and delicious.
Those were accompanied by a banana pineapple smoothie, black tea, and some lime juice.
On the suggestion of a waiter, I then proceeded to order the scrambled eggs as a second main course.
Those came with baked beans, tomatoes, and toast.
Both meals were delicious, and they were quite filling, but I still decided to opt for a local dessert, which was plated and very thoughtful.
It was some type of fried coconut dessert, which tasted surprisingly good.
As soon as my table was cleared, I received a notification that my flight started boarding, which eventually made me leave the lounge as I wanted to be the first to board to get some good pictures of the cabin.
As I arrived at the gate, I made my way to the separate Business Class waiting area, which was right at the counter of the boarding gate.
I settled into my seat and watched the crew passing by as the gate was getting set up for boarding. Shortly after the crew boarded the aircraft, boarding was kicked off with Priority Boarding for Business Class Passengers as well as passengers with special needs.
At the door, I was greeted by a flight attendant, who led me to my seat and introduced herself.
She immediately took my order for a welcome drink and asked if I needed anything for the flight.
What a nice welcome!
The QSuite on the Boeing 777-300ER
After boarding, I soon settled into my QSuite for my flight to Doha. After my welcome drink, a rose champagne was served, I closed the door to my suite and started exploring the seat.
This particular 777-300 featured 24 seats in Business Class in a 1-2-1 configuration, offering direct aisle access to every passenger.
The seat itself has a width of 53cm (21 inches) and a length of 203cm (80 inches).
The seat was convertible into a fully flat bed. On this flight, I was seated on the left side of the aircraft in a window seat (4B).
The odd-numbered seats are closer to the window and backward, while the even-numbered seats are closer to the aisle and flying frontwards.
The seat features a 21.5-inch touchscreen monitor with Qatar Airways’ renowned Oryx One Entertainment system, which grants access to a total of over 4,000 options.
On the left side of my seat, I found a storage box, which also acted as a raisable armrest. To open it, you can simply lift up the lid, and in there, you’ll find a water bottle and noise-canceling headphones.
It also offers enough space to store a small bag, as well as a Tablet or the amenity kit. Next to the storage box, there was a small table-like area where an amenity kit, a pillow, and a blanket were awaiting me.
This area was often used to place drinks and light snacks, such as nuts. Below the table, there was another small storage area where you can store small personal items, such as your mobile phone or a tablet.
I often stored my phone in there while it was charging.
Below the storage area, you can find seat controls. The seat is easily adjustable, you can move it forward and backward to get you closer to the tray table when eating.
You can also adjust the recline and back support. There are also preset options, such as a takeoff, taxi, and landing position, a dining position, as well as a bed mode.
The Seat controls also feature a Do Not Disturb (DND) button and light controls.
Below the Seat controls, you’ll find two USB Plugs, an HDMI Plug, the headphone Jack for the noise-canceling headphones, and a universal power plug.
Next to those, you’ll find the IFE control, which is very accessible and intuitive. The IFE control controls the overhead lighting as well as the crew call button.
The seat also featured a door, which can be closed on the ground and in the air, but not during takeoff, taxi, and landing.
The tray table is located right under the IFE screen and over the footrest. This is one of the things I desperately hated about QSuite. This seat is perfectly planned in detail – but the tray table.
This is complaining at a high level, but I felt constantly seeing the tray table and sometimes hitting it when leaving my seat was very annoying.
I’d rather leave the storage space at the side and have a “hidden” fold-out tray table than this one.
It was just a small detail that I really didn’t like. I also didn’t like that you had to move the seat towards the tray table and couldn’t move the tray table towards the seat – whose idea was that?
I found this to be super inefficient and, with a look at the rest of the seat, rather inconsistent.
When planning out the seat in any detail, this could’ve been done here as well.
The Lufthansa 787 experiences similar problems, though, at Lufthansa, I didn’t find it annoying, as it was never at all in the way when leaving the seat.
It also fitted perfectly due to its color and was easily accessible as a storage area for drinks.
Service Bangkok – Doha
After boarding, the crew immediately sprang into action, welcoming me aboard, introducing themself, explaining the seat features to me, and getting the menus distributed – all while addressing me by name.
At the start, I was really impressed by the service, but from then on, it just went into an awful spiral downwards.
My welcome drink was served about 10 minutes after I ordered it, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve watched other passengers who ordered their welcome drink after me get the same drink as I ordered before me, I was a little bit disappointed.
I thought this was just an unlucky coincidence, but this wasn’t the last thing.
The crew sprang into action, collecting meal choices occurred as the runway was already in sight. They didn’t get far collecting meal choices, only till about half of row three.
Around 20 minutes after departure crew came by to collect the remaining meal choices.
I choose the seasonal fresh fruits as a starter, followed by the three-egg omelet with grilled chicken sausage as a main course.
No dessert was offered. In complete disbelief, I choose to accept this and just went with it.
Meal service in the first rows was kicked off about 30 minutes after departure and was finished approximately 60 minutes into the flight.
At this time, I received my appetizer. As I was keen on getting some sleep, I was hoping for the meal service to be quicker.
Short information from the crew that it might be taking longer would’ve been a nice thing to have.
The meal was nicely presented but served without any emotion or word from the crew.
The fruits were fresh and sweet but almost frozen. I finished them nonetheless. My fruit plate was sitting empty on my tray table for around 10 minutes before the tray was cleared.
10 minutes later, my main course was served. 25 minutes between serving an appetizer and the main course is nothing reward-winning, as the crew likes to advertise their service at any chance.
The main course, the omelet with grilled chicken sausage, was alright. Nothing worth a mention, really. The wedges that were served with it were the highlight of the meal.
The meal was overall very bland and tasteless. Especially the egg was only edible with loads of salt and pepper.
During ordering my meal, I ordered a black tea and asked for it to be delivered with the main course.
After the wordless cold service, I was asked whether I still want my black tea, which I declined. I asked if the crew offers a turndown service on this flight, which after some hesitation, was done.
I tried to sleep for some time during the flight but couldn’t really get comfortable in the seat.
After around an hour and a half, I realized that I won’t be sleeping at all on this flight and settled back into my seat to watch a movie on the IFE. I used the headphones provided, which were sufficient.
Around 4 hours into the flight, I started watching Top Gun Maverick.
I eventually ordered a Mocktail and some other nonalcoholic beverages, as well as the Burger Sliders as a small snack in between.
They were served about 20 minutes after ordering, which I find to be quite fast. On the crew’s suggestion, I ordered red wine with it, in the end, a decent combination.
The meal was served with curly fries, ketchup, mayo, and Tabasco sauce. Overall, it was again nicely plated. I was served two sliders, one with a beef patty and one with a chicken patty.
They both tasted alright, nothing groundbreaking. Especially the patties left a lot to be desired, while the bread was on point.
It was also missing a sauce, which I guess you’re supposed to put on the burger yourself. The curly fries that were served with it were crispy and tasty. Those were definitely the highlight of the service.
As I was planning to drive straight to the city and skip the lounge, I decided to opt for a light snack before landing, which in this case was the Arabic Breakfast.
The meal was served somewhat 60 minutes prior to landing. The Arabic Breakfast consisted of feta, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, olives, pita bread, and foul medames.
It was overall a quick and light breakfast. Unfortunately, the vegetables were either tasteless or had the taste of chemicals. The foul medames were decent, while the pita was way too dry.
Final Thoughts of QSuite on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777
The flight from Bangkok to Doha was nothing groundbreaking at all.
Even though I barely slept the night before, I wasn’t able to sleep a single minute aboard the plane. I just couldn’t get comfortable in the QSuite.
I found the seat overall to be a bit tight compared to the A350-1000, but more on that in the following. Also, the service onboard left a lot to be desired.
When constantly advertising the award-winning cabin crew and service, I expected a lot more. While the drink selection was good, the food was decent at best.
It was nothing mind-blowing at all – though this may be the fault of Bangkok catering.
Apart from that, the Crew wasn’t very communicative at all and was rarely seen around the cabin, which I found quite sad, especially since this was a day flight.
I also expected the crew to be a little more attentive than what I experienced aboard. This flight really left a lot to be desired, but as always – it stands and falls with the Crew.
Since I was continuing my travels from Doha to Frankfurt, I had a 14-hour layover in Doha.
As I wasn’t planning on returning to Doha anytime soon, which I will definitely do after my visit, I decided to head to the city to do some sightseeing, as well as get some of my favorite foods.
After a quick stop in the city and a short visit to Tim Hortons and Shake Shack, I ordered an Uber back to the airport.
I arrived there at around 4 pm and checked in at the Business Class Check-in Area, from where I could directly pass immigration and security control.
I saw no other passengers during check-in, immigration, and security.
From there on, it was just a short 2-minute walk to the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge. During my stay at the lounge, I had 2 meals at the A La Carte Restaurant.
My first meal consisted of sushi as a starter, followed by Beef Tenderloin as Main Course and Ice Cream as dessert.
After some sleep and a shower, I opted for the Lamb Biryani and some cake. It was soon time for my flight, so shortly before 1 am, I headed to my gate.
Boarding in Doha
Boarding in Doha wasn’t well organized, nor had it any specific order.
Economy Class Passengers started boarding on time, while Business Class and Status Passengers were forced to wait without any explanation.
Shortly after, we all boarded our ride to Frankfurt. Once aboard, I was welcomed by the lovely crew, which immediately led me to my seat.
I was immediately asked if I’d like a welcome drink and was soon served some Rose Champagne and Qatar’s signature drink, the Lemon Mint.
The crew also handed out menus and took meal orders prior to departure.
The crew also proactively offered a turn-down service to passengers who wanted to sleep right after takeoff.
Awaiting me at my seat was a Diptyque Amenity Kit, two Pillows, a Blanket, a water bottle, and headphones. The crew handed out Pajamas before takeoff, which also came with Slippers.
The QSuite aboard the Airbus A350-1000
The Qatar Airways A350-1000 is the only aircraft type that is completely equipped with QSuites.
The Airline currently operates 53 Airbus A350s, of which 19 are the larger A350-1000.
The aircraft offers a total of 327 seats in a 2-class configuration.
Business class is arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, offering a total of 48 seats in 12 rows. Economy Class is arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration with a total of 281 seats.
On this short redeye flight, I was seated in seat 9K, a backward-facing window seat with Aisle access.
The seat feels a lot roomier than the QSuite aboard the 777-300ER. QSuites aboard the A350-1000 have a pitch of 103” and a width of 21”.
The seat is about 90% identical to the 777-300ER, with a few settings being located at different spots and less storage room in the armrest.
The seat reclines into a fully flat bed and can be moved forward as well as backward.
The seat also features Qatar’s Oryx One Entertainment system. One thing I especially like about the A350 is the outside cameras which you can watch from the IFE.
As always, the QSuite also features a sliding door. Unfortunately, mine was broken, though I was able to move to another seat for sleep. The inconvenience was well handled by the crew.
The Cabin features mood lighting.
To make the cabin feel more spacious, the overhead bins above the middle of the cabin were removed. Something that also differentiates the A350 cabin from the Boeing 777 Cabin.
Service Doha – Frankfurt Onboard QSuite
On this short redeye flight, a light dinner, as well as breakfast, were offered.
As usual for QR, there is the typical Dine on Demand Manner, which means you can dine what you want, whenever you want.
While collecting meal choices, the FA asked me if I’d like to be woken up for breakfast and, if so – when.
I told her to please wake me up just in time for breakfast. For dinner, I ordered the Broccoli Miso Soup to start with, the Chicken Katsu Burger as a main, and the Double chocolate tart as a dessert.
As soon as we were airborne, my drinks of choice, a ginger ale and a Pineapple Margarita (mocktail), were served.
The FA also came by with some warm nuts and soon got my tray table ready for dinner.
Within 15 minutes after takeoff, I was served the Broccoli Miso soup. Nothing more to say than that it was delicious!
I was about to ask for a second serving of the soup when my Burger arrived. It was served with a side of salad.
After the mandatory pictures, I soon took the first bite of my burger.
My mouth is watering while writing this. I’ve never had such a delicious (chicken) burger in my life. It was a perfect combination of juicy, tender chicken with a perfect sauce and a well-toasted bun.
This was heaven in a burger. The burger was gone before I could realize how good it was. Sad to say, it wasn’t possible to pre-order one for breakfast, as they only had a few loaded, and I received the last one.
As soon as the Burger was removed from my tray, I enjoyed my Double chocolate tart, which was served with fresh mango and strawberries.
As the Qatar crew was serving the desert, the crew asked whether they should get a bed ready or if they can get me any snacks to enjoy while watching a movie.
I opted for the bed and soon moved to my neighboring aisle seat and fell asleep immediately. I slept for around 3 ½ hours before I woke up from the service that slowly started around me.
Thanks to the double bed (yes, you read that right. I said Double bed) that the crew prepared for me, I slept like a baby.
Breakfast was served shortly after I got up. I was served a breakfast that consisted of mango yogurt, fresh fruits, marmalade, and a croissant.
I went with freshly pressed orange juice for my drink choice and enjoyed watching the sunrise over the wingtip out of the window.
The breakfast was more than sufficient on such a short flight. As we started descending into Frankfurt crew came by with a hot towel and Champagne.
Soon after, we touched German soil, 68 hours after my journey started in Phuket and concluding my unique experience with Qatar Airways.
777 or A350?
The Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 felt much airier and more modern than its competitor, the Boeing 777.
The seat felt much wider than on the 777.
Overall nothing groundbreaking, but I’d choose the A350 over the 777 anytime.
Final verdict on Qatar Airways’ QSuite
Qatar Airways advertises its Business Class as one of the best in the world. And it truly is one of the best Business Class seats in the world.
Service wise my first flight left a lot to be desired, while the crew on my second flight went above and beyond to fulfill all my needs.
I will gladly choose Qatar Airways on any other occasion, as I still think I was just unlucky with my first crew.
As I said earlier – it stands and falls with the crew.
I’m glad and thankful that I was able to enjoy this experience. Thank you to anyone involved in getting me home safe and sound.