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Qatar Airways has boasted some of the world’s best business-class seats and service for the last decade or so. However, the airline raised the bar with the unveiling of its revolutionary QSuite in March 2017. These were the first suite-style business-class seats, complete with closing doors and layouts that could be configured into four-person family or work areas and even double beds.
What was even more astonishing was the speed with which the airline rolled out the suites aboard its fleet. The first flight with them went into service in June 2017, just three months after the unveiling. It certainly puts other airlines’ much slower new-product rollouts into perspective (ahem, United!).
Since then, Qatar Airways has put the new QSuite into service on some of its flagship routes, such as those between its hub in Doha (DOH) and New York (JFK), London Heathrow (LHR) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), among other destinations. Here’s why you’ll want to experience the QSuite and how you can book it using miles.
Qatar QSuite appears on versions of four different aircraft types: the Boeing 777-200LR (just a single one so far) and some 777-300ERs, some of the airline’s Airbus A350-900s and the A350-1000, of which Qatar Airways has two so far.
What might be confusing for flyers, though, is that Qatar Airways also flies 777s and A350-900s with older seat types. Luckily, we have a guide that explains how to tell if your flight has the new suites on them, and we’ll get into the specific routes and flight numbers they’re currently on below.
Both the 777-200LR (which flies between Doha and Houston every other day) and 777-300ER have 42 QSuites spread across two cabins. The forward cabin has six rows for a total of 24 seats, and the back cabin has five rows with a total of 18 seats.
The A350-1000 has 46 QSuites in two cabins: the forward one has the bulk of them, with 38 in 10 rows, while the small aft cabin has just eight seats in two rows. The A350-900s with QSuite have 36 of them in a single cabin of nine rows.
Let’s get down to what makes these suites so special. Like many of the other best business-class seats out there, they are arranged in a staggered 1 – 2 – 1 pattern.
The odd-numbered rows have rear-facing seats, while even-numbered rows have forward facing ones. The rear-facing seats on the sides are closer to the window for more privacy, while those facing forward are closer to the aisle. In addition, those in the center sections are closer together when they’re rear-facing, and farther apart in the front-facing rows.
This is what the old 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs look like.
This is what the A350-900s with the old reverse-herringbone seats look like.
And finally, this is what the seating configuration will look like if QSuite is aboard your flight.
Each QSuite seat is 21.5 inches wide and reclines to a fully lie-flat bed 79 inches long.
Certain blocs of QSuite in the center section can be combined into a few configurations. The seats that are set close together can become a double bed for couples or families traveling together.
Meanwhile, there are also quad blocs in the center section where four seats can be opened up to create a co-working or leisure space for groups traveling together.
In addition, QSuite has technological bells and whistles like light-up “Do Not Disturb” signs, and 21.5-inch entertainment monitors with touchscreen controls and over 4,000 menu options.
The media panels have universal power ports, USB ports, HDMI and contactless NFC capabilities so you can stream your own preselected playlists from the Qatar Airways app on your smartphone over the system.
In terms of soft amenities, Qatar Airways flights attendants hand out BRIC’s amenity kits stocked with Castello Monte Vibiano skincare products and will provide The White Company sleepwear to passengers on long-haul and overnight flights.
Now for the brass tacks. Which routes can you currently fly in QSuite? While this will change from time to time as Qatar Airways takes delivery of further aircraft and adds new routes, at time of writing, you can find the suites on the following flights to/from Doha (DOH).
- Bangkok (BKK): QR Flights 830 and 831 (until October 27)
- Bengaluru (BLR): QR Flights 572 and 573
- Chicago (ORD): QR Flights 725 and 726
- Colombo (CMB): QR Flights 668 and 669
- Frankfurt (FRA): QR Flights 67, 68, 69 and 70
- Hong Kong (HKG): QR Flights 815, 816, 817 and 818 (starting in October, and varying by date)
- Houston (IAH): QR Flights 713 and 714 (alternate days)
- London Heathrow (LHR): QR Flights 5, 6, 7, 8, 15 and 16
- Mumbai (BOM): QR Flights 556 and 557
- Munich (MUC): QR Flights 57, 58, 59 and 60 (starting in September)
- New York (JFK): QR Flights 701 and 702
- Paris (CDG): QR Flights 41 and 42
- Shanghai (PVG): QR Flights 870 and 871
- Sydney (SYD) and Canberra (CBR): QR Flights 906 and 907
- Washington Dulles (IAD): QR Flights 707 and 708
A caveat for all of these: The airline swaps out aircraft from time to time. So when booking, be sure to verify the seat map for your flight carefully. Then keep checking on it before your actual travel dates to make sure your plane hasn’t been swapped out for a model with different seats.
Because of its membership in Oneworld, you have a few choices for using airline miles to book awards on Qatar Airways. Here are the four top ones with sample mileage requirements between Doha and various destinations.
American Airlines AAdvantage
Have you been stocking up on AAdvantage miles all these years? Now could be your chance to put them to use.
- Doha to Europe: 42,500 miles one-way, 85,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to the US: 70,000 miles one-way, 140,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to Asia 2 (China, Hong Kong, Thailand): 40,000 miles one-way, 80,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to Australia: 80,000 miles one-way, 160,000 round-trip
Transfer partners: Marriott Rewards
British Airways Avios
Though BA has tons of transfer partners, because its award chart is distance-based, it might not be the best choice for award redemptions.
- Doha to London or Paris: 60,000 Avios one-way, 120,000 round-trip
- Doha to New York-JFK and Washington Dulles: 105,000 miles one-way, 210,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to Chicago: 150,000 miles one-way, 300,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to Hong Kong: 60,000 miles one-way, 120,000 miles round-trip
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
This program also unfortunately devalued in June 2018, but might still be worth looking into for QSuite awards. There does not seem to be a new published chart for partner awards, but you can check mileage here.
- Doha to Europe: 50,000 miles one-way, 100,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to Chicago, New York JFK, Washington Dulles: 75,000 miles one-way, 150,000 miles round-trip
- Doha to Hong Kong: 50,000 miles one-way, 100,000 miles round-trip
Transfer partners: American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Marriott Rewards
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
Mileage requirements are changing in November, but for now…
- Doha to London or Paris: 42,000 miles one-way/63,000 miles round-trip before November 20, 42,000 miles/80,000 miles after November 20
- Doha to New York JFK and Washington Dulles: 63,000 miles one-way/85,000 miles round-trip before November 20, 80,000 miles/110,000 miles after November 20
- Doha to Chicago: 63,000 miles one-way/100,000 miles round-trip before November 20, 80,000 miles/130,000 miles after November 20
- Doha to Hong Kong: 42,000 miles one-way/63,000 miles round-trip before November 20, 42,000 miles/80,000 miles after November 20
Transfer partners: Marriott Rewards
Taking into consideration taxes and fees as well as transfer partners, your best bets are likely to be American Airlines AAdvantage miles or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. Your taxes and fees will vary by route, but expect them to be under $100 round-trip to the US using AAdvantage miles, or about $200-$300 using Asia Miles.
Searching For and Booking Awards
We have several posts on this specific topic, including How to Search and Book Qatar Airways’ QSuite With Miles. However, for a refresher, the best way to search for Oneworld award availability is through the British Airways or Qantas websites. Once you find the award you want, call American’s AAdvantage desk to book it. If you plan to use Asia Miles, you can search availability through Asia Miles’ own award search engine instead.
Before you go on a mad dash searching for awards on all these routes, keep a few things in mind. From my own personal experience, Qatar Airways awards tend to show up either far in advance, or close in, but generally not in the few months out that most of us like to plan our trips.
The airline also tends to release more award space on newly announced routes, or when it swaps out aircraft on a route, so keep up on the news here on TPG in case it can help you snag a seat on the route that you want.
Finally, be persistent. If you have dates and redemptions in mind, just search every few days and see what might come up. You might be surprised to find award seats released on some of the flights you’re looking for.
So as not to end on a down note, though award space can be scarce, it is still available, even on premier routes like between Doha and New York-JFK and Doha and London Heathrow. Here are a few sample awards I found to whet your appetite.
Here’s an October flight from Doha to London that I found really quickly…
And one in the opposite direction.
There seems to be plenty of availability from Hong Kong to Doha.
Finding a flight from New York to Doha was a bit tougher. There were plenty of awards on QR Flight 704 on an A350-900 with the old business class, but I could not find any for the currently available schedule with the new A350-1000 or aboard a 777-300ER with QSuite for the time being. But that can always change.
And in the opposite direction, there is availability closer in at the moment (remember to double check those flight numbers).
Qatar Airways’ QSuite offers some of the best (if not the best) business-class seats in the world. Closing doors, fluid configurations and top-notch service all combine to make a flight in them nothing short of memorable. Luckily, it’s also possible to book them with a number of different types of partner airline miles. With a little tenacity and savvy, you can book your own award and enjoy this truly unique experience for yourself.
Know before you go.
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