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Qatar Airways introduced their new Qsuite business class product last year, and it quickly became apparent that this is the best business class seat in the world. When TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig reviewed it onboard a Boeing 777-300ER, he was blown away by the high tech suite and incredible attention to detail. Qatar eventually hopes to retrofit most of its long-haul fleet with these next generation suites, but for now the only planes that feature them are Airbus A350-1000s and select Boeing 777 aircraft.
When a carrier advertises a new seat that isn’t available on all of their planes (*cough cough* looking at you, United Polaris) it can create massive disappointment among customers eager to try the new product. While Qsuites are a stellar product, you’ll really want to avoid the older 777s which still feature an outdated 2-2-2 configuration.
In order to truly get the best experience, you’ll want to make sure you’re flying on a plane with Qsuites. As mentioned above, all A350-1000s have Qsuites, although they don’t fly to the US just yet. But there are currently three US destinations being served by Qsuites equipped 777s: New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD) and Washington, DC (IAD). Also, the first 777-200LR to get Qsuites just rolled out of the shop and will begin service to Houston (IAH) on June 2.
Given that there’s only one 777-200LR with the new Qsuites, this plane will operate the route every other day. On alternating days, Houston will be served by a 777-300ER featuring the old business class. This means you’ll want to confirm that the flight you’re booking actually has the seat you want. Normally we recommend SeatGuru for checking seat configurations, but it’s currently showing all Qatar flights in the old 2-2-2 configuration, even the ones we know feature Qsuites. So how can you tell for sure?
Step 1: Find Your Flight Number
This is by far the easiest step and can be accomplished with a quick search on Google Flights. Simply input your date, origin and destination, and select “nonstop” flights to filter out the irrelevant options.
Clicking the drop-down arrow to the right of the flight price will display all the flight information, and you can see the flight number (QR807 in this example) in the bottom left. For destinations that have multiple Qatar flights a day such as JFK, make sure you’re selecting flights served by a 777 if you want to fly Qsuites.
Step 2: ExpertFlyer Is Your Friend
Once you’ve found the fight number, it’s time to log into ExpertFlyer.com. You can opt for either a free subscription or a premium one — while there are some really valuable benefits to the paid service, the free one will work just fine here. When you log in, click “Create Seat Alert” to start your search.
If you have a premium subscription, you’ll follow the exact same process, except you start by clicking on the “Seat Map” option on the left.
Input the specifics of your flight into the search form — here’s what it looks like using the above example of Qatar flight 807 from Tokyo (NRT) to Doha (DOH).
The business class cabin on this flight features seven rows spread out in a 2-2-2 configuration, which tells us that this is the old configuration and not Qsuites.
Now let’s look at QR726 from Chicago (ORD) to Doha, which we know is operated by a Qsuites-equipped plane. When we search on ExpertFlyer, we see 11 rows spread out in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, which tells us this plane is rocking the Qsuites.
After working hard to earn tens of thousands of miles, you want to make sure you’re actually booking the premium experience you want. A quick 5-minute search on ExpertFlyer can save you from a major disappointment: boarding a long-haul flight only to find a stranger seated next to you.
Featured image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
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