My Qatar Airways Qsuites curse continues!

My latest attempt to review Qatar Airway's flagship Qsuites has fallen at the final hurdle...because of course it has.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t think I’m fated to ever review Qatar Airways Qsuites.

Qsuites for thee, not for me

The first time I was supposed to fly Qatar’s flagship product was in August 2019, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Doha. A few days before departure, the aircraft got swapped to an older A350-900 without QSuites.

A second attempt was scheduled for October 2020, after I managed to find award space from Singapore to Doha. I don’t need to tell you what happened during that period…

But I earnestly, sincerely believed that third time’s the charm. My first trip report for 2023 had me flying to Geneva on Emirates’ A380 and new B777-300ER, before returning from Milan on Qatar Airways’ B787-9 and A350-900, the latter of which had Qsuites.

Or so I thought.

Qatar has a lot of different Business Class seats…

Long-time Qatar Airways passengers will know the airline’s reputation for “pulling a QR”. In layman’s terms, this means swapping the rostered aircraft at the last minute, thereby replacing one cabin product with another.

The problem is that Qatar Airways has so many different Business Class products, which vary significantly in terms of comfort and privacy:

💺 Qatar Airways Business Class Seats
SeatAircraftLayout
Qsuites
  • A350-900
  • A350-1000
  • B777-200LR
  • B777-300ER
1-2-1
Ascent
  • B787-9
1-2-1
Super Diamond
  • A350-900
  • A380-800
  • B777-300ER
  • B787-8
1-2-1
Cirrus II*
  • B777-300ER
1-2-1
Diamond
  • A320
  • A330-300
2-2-2
MiniPod
  • B777-200LR
  • B777-300ER
2-2-2
Recliner
  • A320
2-2-2
*These are ex-Cathay Pacific jets, and have likely undergone some cosmetic refurbishment to convert them into Qatar colours. The photo depicts the seats during the Cathay days.

Note in particular how some aircraft like the A350-900 and B777-300ER are fitted with a variety of seats. This means Qatar could keep the aircraft type the same, while still offering a radically different passenger experience- effectively a game of Russian Roulette.

QR-ed at the very last minute!

After arriving in Geneva on an excellent Emirates First Class flight, I caught a train to Milan where I spent a lovely 24 hours eating myself silly. 

Why yes, I like my carbs. Why do you ask?

The following morning I did my online check-in before heading to the airport, and all was right with the world. My flight from Milan to Doha was still showing as a B787-9, which would let me review the Adient Ascent seat. More importantly, the Doha to Singapore seatmap was still reflecting Qsuites, with its alternate forward-backward window seats and four-seat centre cluster. 

I landed in Doha ahead of schedule, spent some time checking out the new Al Mourjan North Lounge…

Al Mourjan North Lounge
Al Mourjan North Lounge
Al Mourjan North Lounge

…as well as Changi Jewel The Orchard.

Doha Airport The Orchard
Doha Airport The Orchard

As I walked towards the gate, however, my sixth sense started acting up. I sensed a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I figured I was just gassy.

Boarding gate to SIN

But when I walked up to the counter, my boarding pass triggered a disconcerting beep. The airline agent told me, in a matter-of-fact manner, that there’d be an aircraft swap and my seat had changed.

What.

The.

WHAT. 

I actually laughed. It was the only thing I could do, really, because you couldn’t make this sort of thing up. 

“It’s a different aircraft?”

“No sir, it is still an Airbus A350-900. But the seating arrangement is different.”

I knew at once what he meant. The only other A350-900 out there had the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat, which I’d already reviewed numerous times. 

Noting my struggle to process the news, he mentioned his supervisor would be around shortly to provide more details. In the meantime, other Business Class passengers kept arriving. Most took the news with a shrug (remember: the vast majority of travellers can’t tell one seat apart from another), but there were two others who were visibly unhappy about the change.

These people know what’s up, I thought. These are my people. So the three of us sat in a little corner of the boarding area and commiserated together, with one of them snapping “this always happens with Qatar. Always. I book one thing, they give me another”. I nodded sagely. 

Finally, the supervisor came over to speak with us. He explained that a last-minute aircraft swap was necessary because of “technical reasons”. There’s no arguing with that, I suppose, but still. 

One of the other passengers asked about compensation, to which he said we could write to Qatar Airways customer service “if we had concerns”. I wanted to tell her not to bother, since airlines promise you a cabin, not a particular seat. Qatar Airways could have given us a recliner-equipped A320 to Singapore and not owed us a single dime. 

What’s interesting is that Qatar Airways used to offer a “Qsuite guarantee”. If a Qsuites aircraft was substituted for another, passengers could make a one-time free change of date, origin or destination, or refund with no penalties. 

I have no idea if this policy is still in place; in fact, you won’t find it anywhere on the Qatar Airways website.

I didn’t fancy waiting another six hours anyway, but just for the heck of it, I asked the supervisor if QR946, departing at 2.20 a.m the following morning, had Qsuites. He checked and said it did, but the flight was completely full in Business Class.

And so, I gathered my things and trudged down the aerobridge, where I already knew what to expect. 

Qatar Airways A350-900 Super Diamond Business Class seat
Qatar Airways A350-900 Super Diamond Business Class seat
Qatar Airways A350-900 Super Diamond Business Class seat

And look: as far as Business Class seats come, this is decent enough. All-aisle access, a full-flat bed, and Qatar Airway’s excellent blankets (shame about the nausea-inducing quote pillows which looked like they were created by someone’s tacky aunt) are a good way to start a red-eye flight. 

However, it’s quite obvious this product is in a different league from the Qsuites when it comes to privacy. This is a very exposed cabin, and despite some token dividers between the centre seats, everyone can see what everyone else is doing. 

Qatar Airways A350-900 Super Diamond Business Class seat

So yes, this is still a heck of a lot more comfortable than anything at the back of the bus, but when it’s your job to review different types of airplane seats, you’d be forgiven for feeling just a little bit disappointed. 

I’m still planning to write a review, of course. I mean, I already paid for the flight, and the last review I wrote came in 2019– it’s time to do one with better photos!

Conclusion

My latest attempt to review the Qatar Airways Qsuite has once again fallen at the final hurdle, as a last-minute aircraft swap put me with the old B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats instead.

In a way, Qatar Airways is a victim of its own success. Because its Qsuites product is so incredible, most of its other Business Class seats pale in comparison. And if a passenger makes a booking with the Qsuite in mind, any changes are bound to lead to disappointment.

Then again, I suppose it’s a good reminder of the vagaries of the miles game: specific seat types are never guaranteed. Sometimes the avgeek gods smile on you, sometimes they don’t. 

For what it’s worth, we should see an increase in Qsuites supply over the next few months, as Qatar Airways has settled its dispute with Airbus over paint defects on the A350s. Dozens of parked A350s with Qsuites will be returning to the skies, and Qatar will reinstate its order for 23 more A350s with Qsuites pre-installed. 

Qsuites: Call it quits, or keep trying?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

32 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

32 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wan

Keep trying, you never know!

I was lucky to fly Q-Suites last month due to last min change.

Was supposed to be on the B777 (Super Diamond config) and only realised it was a plane swap when I saw the QR Suites skin decal as I approached the plane door. I almost fainted in excitement!

It’s definitely worthwhile pursuing, imo, the Best Business Class seat * by far

CBKia

It is just a Q suites. Nothing fanciful. The food… EWW!

JW19

Keep trying, trying the popular routes like LHR or North America where there is better guarantee of it. I have so far not failed to score a flight marketer as Q Suites for a North American route

CBKia

The food…. EWW!

Quite Sad (QS)

Do we have to pay to select a seat on a qsuite plane? SIN-DOH-MXP requires >100 x2 to select one but the return trip has free selection. Paid over 6K and cant even choose a seat. I think I will return to flying SQ.

CFO

I think you should just give Qatar’s office/ PR team a call of your intentions to write about Qsuites and go on to purchase thoss tickets instead of trying to redeem them.

Probably more guaranteed approach plus well justified given this is your full time job, i.e. running content for this website.

anon

He doesn’t get paid enough to pay for business class

CBKia

Maybe you should go back to your hole and show us your status of your paid business class.

Elina

Hi! I still think you should try again because the Qsuite is definitely a must try product! Bucket list in fact! We were so lucky to have all q suites from sin to London and back in December (all 4 sectors!) and we enjoyed it immensely as a family of 5 (2 adults, 2 kids and 1 infant). In fact I don’t know how we can ever go back to any other business class again. We didn’t manage to experience the Qatar lounge Singapore though as we were departing on the morning flight. However I have noticed that almost all… Read more »

James

May I know if yours was redemption ticket? I have been wondering if redeeming FOUR Qsuites for our family is something of a fairy tale/myth or a plausible reality.

Elina

Nope, ours were not redemption. Good luck finding your redemption tickets!😊 I tried looking for 2 in December 2023 but no availability for the dates we wanted.

Hshs

Wah you strike toto ah? No redemption for 4 qsuite already above S$10k leh! Huat huat to start the year ah? Lucky dude…

KJC

Ugh, that sucks. You’ve also got me nervous now. Booked my first ever Qsuites trip yesterday for later in the year, DOH-BKK. Spent ages trying to find a seat on the one flight per day that is a 777 and has Qsuite. Eventually found one by compromising on date but in the back of my mind I was worried about an aircraft swap. Then the very next morning I wake up to this article 😂 fingers crossed

WQL

Don’t take the qsuites from outbound DOH, take it from the inbound DOH (e.g. SIN-DOH) so that you will know in advance which plane is coming to pick you up to go to Doha and can make plans accordingly?

The Force you must trust

Always trust the Force, young padawan. You should hv tried the mind trick on the supervisor & make them arrange another swap of a Q Suites plane at another gate.

The Force you must trust

Dark side, resist you must

Joon

Shiat middle-eastern airlines. Why bother with them.

CBKia

Agree. They are the Shittest Airlines. Got oil to pump up the charts.

emercycrite

Racist.

Alian

Same thing happened to me 2 weeks back both my inbound and outbound 947/946 got QRed. Like you said their a victim of their success

But I have had Qsuites about 5 times previously. I actually find it claustrophobic so I’m ok without it. But I agree with the rest it’s a must try. So please try again

The best is the ability to use their lounge in SG which is great and the Al Safwa first lounge. Just eat till you full and go to bed.

Layslow

I feel strongly that the travel industry should not be indulging Qatar Airways with any type of review or support. This is the airline that bated Marc Bennett, an employee, to his death. This is the airline the CEO said women shouldn’t be in management position because they are too emotional. This is country where at the airport where a women miscarried in the bathroom – meant female passengers on board one of their flights were ‘inspected’ to see if it was them… Terrible airline, horrible CEO (just ask Airbus), and a regime behind it all with no accountability.

Melv

Book the Super Diamond seats. Then they will swap it out to QSuites!

habibi

Tough luck. Never give up!

Hshs

Keep trying to get qsuite until miles n money all use finish

Gerad

I am the exact opposite. Booked and travelled out on SIN-DOH and got Q-suites, personally found too purplish imho (or maybe its a red eye departure and outside was dark). Chairs had a massage funtion but found it non existent.

All this said, found it a little underwhelming really, so you didnt miss much. Nevertheless, don’t give up!

Carlos

The first 3 times I booked Qsuites, I had to cancel the tickets for random reasons.
So I understand that some people are Qjinxed.
But my 4th ticket was finally successfull and, better yet, it was a flight with my family, so the quad-seats were really useful.

LuxuryTraveller

I hope it was worth the 6500 deaths Qatar is responsible for migrant labour losses. Your family must be so proud of your airline choices.

Albert

paid?
heh….

hotlaps

Im afraid you’ve reached what I call Inception territory. I’ve been told over the decade that Inception is a great film and has to be watched for this reason or that, but now, I know that movie cannot possibly live up to the ideal I’ve been told to expect and so I’ve made the solemn decision to never watch it. Qsuites might become your Inception. The sooner you accept it the better, remember, denial is a river in Egypt.

TFSM

Oops!

have upcoming flights in June with 3/4 legs on Qsuite flights . Let’s see what happens.

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

7,110FansLike
10,408FollowersFollow

TAGS