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In June of 2017, we declared Qatar Airways’ 777-300ER Qsuite to be the world’s best business class. Well, now there’s something better… Qsuite on the Airbus 350-1000!
TPG and I had an opportunity to join the delivery flight for Airbus’ very first A350-1000 — which also happened to be the first Qatar Airways Airbus plane to feature the carrier’s fantastic Qsuite business class, with sliding doors at every seat.
I like the A350 version even better than what you’ll find on the 777. Here’s why:
1. A more spacious cabin.
While the A350 is actually a few inches narrower, there are no overhead bins in the center section, which gives the cabin a roomier feel. For comparison, here’s business class on the 777:
And here’s the cabin on the A350:
Which do you prefer?
2. The A350 is far quieter than the 777.
Noise measurements will vary depending on where you’re sitting, but in general the A350 is referenced as being roughly 9 decibels quieter than the 777. It’s also more fuel efficient, with some 25% savings over the 777, which reduces each traveler’s carbon footprint while trimming airline fuel costs significantly.
3. There’s a fantastic mini-cabin.
It’s located just behind the center galley, and I’m in love. There are just eight Qsuites, including a single “quad,” making this section perfect for groups traveling together.
4. Higher humidity and lower-altitude pressurization.
Due to the A350’s composite construction, Airbus is able to offer higher humidity levels onboard, since the fuselage is far less likely to rust. The manufacturer has also opted to pressurize the cabin to 6,000 feet, compared with 8,000 feet on the 777. Combined, these improvements can really go a long way to minimizing the impact of air travel, letting you arrive a bit more refreshed.
Where you’ll find the A350-1000
As of this writing, Qatar has taken delivery of just one A350-1000, registered A7-ANA, which is currently operating flights QR15 and QR16 between the airline’s Doha (DOH) hub and London (LHR). At a press event at Airbus HQ in Toulouse, Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker hinted at future routes, saying that the -1000 would fly to the East Coast of the United States soon. As of now, it’s confirmed only on the DOH-LHR route, though.
Award availability is a bit tough to come by, but there are some dates with space, as you can see below.
A one-way business-class flight on Qatar 15 or 16 will run you 42,500 American AAdvantage miles or 60,000 British Airways Avios, plus about $100 in taxes in fees. Since Qatar is a member of the Oneworld alliance, there are several other redemption options as well — for more on booking a Qsuite award, see JT Genter’s How to Search and Book Qatar Airways’ Qsuite With Miles.
Know before you go.
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