Qatar Airways is renowned for their award-winning business class service, which aligns more closely with first class on other airlines. From dedicated check-in and one of the world’s finest business class lounges in Doha, on to a bespoke meals and drinks service, it’s easy to see why Qatar Airways keep winning awards.
Winner of both the best business class and best airline in the 2021 Skytrax World Airline Awards, on all Qatar Airways long-haul flights lie-flat beds are standard, while the premium business class products—Qsuite and Business Class Suite—take things to another level.
With a variety of business class seats in Qatar Airways it pays to know what you’re getting on the aircraft and route you choose. Keep reading for everything you need to know about getting the most out of Qatar Airways business class.
What to know about Qatar Airways business class
Qatar Airways offers a business class product on all its routes and all its aircraft. Across its business class experience the most commonly heard refrain from first time Qatar Airways passengers is, “It’s just as good as First Class on other airlines.” And it really is.
Not an airline to rest on its award-winning laurels, Qatar Airways has upgraded recently with two different business class products. There is a new Business Class Suite, solely available on its upgraded Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, the newest model added to its fleet.
This complements the Qsuite business class, operated on its Airbus A350 or Boeing 777 aircraft, the first of their business class suites to have doors for extra privacy. Aware of the popularity of the Qsuite, the Qatar Airways booking system flags up when the Qsuite is available on the seat map. The configuration used is always 1-2-1.
For short haul flights to other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries Qatar Airways operates what they call a “Business Class Cabin as a First Class product.
Examples of deals we’ve found on Qatar Airways for Elite members of Going
- $2,550 roundtrip to the Maldives in business class
- $2,661 roundtrip to Mykonos in Qsuites
- $2,368 roundtrip to East Africa in business class
- $2,377 roundtrip to Armenia is Qsuites
Best routes for Qatar Airways business class
Passengers receive the same award-winning service on every flight with Qatar Airways with a real attempt to cater to individual passengers. Qatar Airways is sensitive to cultural differences. On my last flight with them, for example, they proved equally adept at serving a British couple intent on trying out every wine on the list, whilst also tending to the different tastes and needs of the local Emirati businessman opposite.
However, if you would like to experience the famed Qsuite, these are only available on certain routes due to the specific aircraft. These are flagged up online during booking.
The Qatar Airways business class experience at the airport
The single hub of Doha helps streamline Qatar Airways’ consistent business class experience, whether you’re starting at or transferring through Doha Hamad International Airport. Repeat Qatar Airways business class passengers often plan to arrive at the airport early to use a lounge that is more five-star hotel than perfunctory airline lounge, or plan longer transfers to use it, with the option of a refreshing lounge experience on arrival in Doha. You will want to linger in this lounge: I usually make time to, it’s that good. The same goes for the airport itself as it boasts myriad shopping experiences, and an airside hotel—the Oryx Airport Hotel—with workout facilities and a swimming pool.
Lounge access with Qatar Airways business class
Qatar Airways has branded lounges in a few cities dotted around the world, including Paris, London, Singapore and Beirut, with access to Oneworld partner lounges or third-party lounges elsewhere. In Doha, guests have access to the Al Mourjan Business Lounge. This split-level is all space, light and gurgling water: an Arabian oasis in a modern award-winning airport. It’s massive too—at over 100,000 square feet, it’s around 10 times the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
You can shower here, snooze in a ‘quiet room,’ smoke a cigar, or dine. You should dine, with a smorgasbord of fresh Middle Eastern, Indian subcontinental and European dishes available in the brasseries, patisserie, and deli, including dishes to order. The bar offers luxury brands with premium single malt whiskies and top notch champagne, such as Krug Grande Cuvée—a rarity in a lounge. This is a serious champagne from an airline that is serious about business passengers; an airline who know their market. And the kids? There is a dedicated family area, with private family rooms. Kids also love the games room, with its Formula 1 simulator. Parents can sneak in a few emails at the private workstations.
Note while most business class passengers benefit from complimentary lounge access—including Qatar Airways First Class and Business Class (Elite, Comfort and Classic) and Oneworld First Class and Business Class flyers—those flying Business Class (Lite) can pre-purchase lounge access online, with an agent or Qatar Airways’ sales office. Don’t risk leaving it to check-in as on-the-day access is not guaranteed.
Qatar Airways business class check-in
Forget check-in stress in Doha flying business class with the airport’s signature carrier. There is a separate check-in and there are separate security lines too. You’ll find business class check-in staff tend to be the more experienced members, so the experience is slick and painless. Standard business class baggage allowance is a generous 40kg, lessening delays with passengers having to organize their excess luggage. They keep things efficiently run at security too.
The Qatar Airways business class experience in the air
It's hard to fault Qatar Airways service in the air. We’re talking lie-flat beds, luxurious amenity kits and even comfy pajamas. The food and drinks experience is industry-leading too, with a bespoke service served whenever passengers want it. And the choice of food, drink and entertainment is extensive.
Qatar Airways business class seats
Qatar Airways operates one of the youngest aircraft fleets. They have plans to continue new aircraft acquisition and spread the Qsuite across the fleet alongside the Business Class Suite on the 787-9 Dreamliners. There are seat maps for all aircraft on the Qatar Airways website.
- Airbus A350 and Boeing 777: The Qsuite brought the world’s first ever airline double bed. We’re talking space, and plenty of it, with a total pitch of 103 inches. The seat itself is 79 inches long and 21 inches wide. Beds recline 180 degrees. And there is a first for Qatar Airways in business class: door panels that allow all passengers privacy, while passengers in adjoining seats can create their own private room, another first. Families can put Qsuites together to create their very own private Quad. Ambient mood lighting, soothing burgundy and grey colors and stylish rose gold detailing create a calmly luxurious feel. Fully lie-flat beds, a decent-size table and generous storage come with this sizeable space. There are forward-facing and aft-facing seats—the latter for the first time aboard Qatar Airways. The media panel has an all-access power port, with USB, HDMI and NFC capabilities.
- Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners: The Business Class Suite layout may be slightly smaller than the Qsuite, though Qatar Airways have still achieved their aim of making it “personal, spacious, and functional.” It feels similarly private with sliding privacy doors. The lie-flat 79-inch beds seats are comfortable. Suites are set out in a herringbone pattern in a 1-2-1 configuration, with each suite offering direct aisle access. Couples should book adjoining center suites, as they can create their own private cocoon by sliding down their panels.
- Airbus A380: On some airlines, A380 business class can feel a bit faceless and comparatively crammed given the increased numbers of seats. Qatar Airways mitigated this by not having any middle seats in their 48-passenger upper deck Business Class. The 1-2-1 configuration ensures that every seat in this A380 Business Class is an aisle seat. Beds extend to 80 inches, and lie fully flat. In this standard seat there is decent storage space too. Qatar Airways flies A380s between London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle to Doha, and—from June, 2022—Doha to Sydney. You can join first class passengers in the premium onboard lounge, sipping on a cocktail, or enjoying a poached prawn, or lamb loin, canape.
- Airbus A320, A321, A330: These aircraft are used on regional routes and the A320 and A330 feature a regional business class seat that still transforms into a flat bed. On intra-Gulf flights, Qatar Airways brands its premium cabin as First Class, even if the seats are the same as business class. Even on short, intra-Gulf flights, a meal is always offered along with the full range of drinks from the bar, and small amenity kits, blanket and pillow. The A320 uses a 2-2 configuration with 79-inch beds. The A321 uses a 2-2 configuration with no flat beds in business class. The A330 uses a 2-2-2 configuration with 79-inch beds.
Benefits of Qatar Airways business class
Qatar Airways have partnered for their amenity kits and onboard facilities with two Italian luxury brands: Bric’s and Castello Monte Vibiano. There are dedicated male and female kits. Both feature Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio skin care products. Short haul business class passengers get a more limited amenity kit.
In March 2022 Qatar Airways announced a new partnership with iconic French perfumer Diptyque. These bespoke products are initially available for first and business class passengers on routes to and from the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as A380 flights to London and Paris to and from Doha. They may then be rolled out across the fleet. The Diptyque branded bags, as well as gift boxes with Diptyque’s signature oval branding, are customized for male and female passengers. Each amenity kit and gift box features a nourishing lip balm, body lotion scented with orange blossom, a face cream with prickly pear extract and, of course, a bespoke Diptyque fragrance.
Qatar Airways’ bespoke turn down service brings pillows, a quilted mattress and a soft duvet, alongside The White Company sleepwear and slippers on night flights. The personal ‘Do Not Disturb’ indicators help ensure a good night’s sleep.
Qatar Airways business class baggage
Standard business class luggage is a generous 88lbs. Note this drops to 70lbs on flights to and from Africa and the Americas with a two bag limit. In addition you are allowed two pieces of hand luggage weighing a total of 33lbs across all business class flights.
Qatar Airways business class meals
Dining aboard Qatar Airways is a sheer joy. Not just the diversity of their onboard cuisines, but also the ability to order that you want, when you want it. Note most passengers opt to eat early, so if you’ve been looking forward to something you’ve browsed online do reserve it early, even if you don’t want to eat until later, or risk missing out. The staff will save your favorite snacks as well as meals.
The main choice is whether to go ‘local’ with delicious Arabic fare, or steer more to North American and European cuisines. A welcome new addition is a Gourmet Vegan Menu, which lifts healthy options a notch above most airlines. Also handy is the pre-ordering service online.
Forget rumbling service trolleys; a truly superb selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks awaits, served with proper personal service. Enjoy proper champagne—or non-alcoholic fizz—before take-off with a choice of a hot or cold towel to freshen up. On the wine list we’re talking the both best of Burgundy and the New World with the savory dishes, with the fantastic Hungarian dessert wine Tokaji a stand-out dessert accompaniment. Wine is poured, as it should be, at your seat.
Qatar Airways business class vs first class
With standards so high across their business class offering there is much less need or room to maneuver with first class on Qatar Airways flights. You will find first class only aboard the Airbus A380 superjumbo. Differences include central aisle dividers to enhance privacy still further, as well as extendable tables so a colleague, friend or family member can join you for a meal or drink.
Seat pitch is significantly greater at 90-inch versus 52-inch, but both are perfectly spacious and comfortable. Given its limited availability across the fleet, and both the great value and superb offer of Qatar Airways business class, most passengers, bar those looking for an even greater sense of space and privacy, need not consider first class. Al Safwa First Class Lounge at Doha is even plusher than the main business class lounge, but note that Privilege Club Platinum members flying business class with Qatar Airways can access the lounge with up to two guest passes.
>> Read more about Qatar Airways first class
How to book Qatar Airways business class
How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Qatar Airways?
The price of Qatar Airways business class tickets varies depending on the routing, the demand for that routing on your dates of travel and proximity to date of travel. To get the best deals on Qatar Airways business class, become a Going Elite member and get deal alerts when the price of Qatar Airways business class drops to the best possible rate.
How to upgrade to business class of Qatar Airways for free?
Sadly these days it’s unlikely you’ll be able to swan up and flash your best winning smile to snare an elusive free upgrade. Free upgrades with Qatar Airways in general are practically unheard of even if you’re an airline loyalty club member or Qatar Airways frequent business class flyer.
How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Qatar Airways?
It is possible to upgrade to business class from economy with Qatar Airways. The cost of this depends on the fare type you have purchased and also on the flight loading. Either check online in advance, or enquire in person at the airport at check-in.
How many miles to upgrade to Qatar Airways business class?
This depends again on the individual flight. The best advice is to check in the weeks and days before travel. Given the rarity of free upgrades, there is a reasonable chance of using miles to upgrade with Qatar Airways. Note that Qatar Airways’ frequent flyer program, Privilege Club, recently adopted Avios as the reward currency for all members worldwide.
It’s rare to describe an airline’s business class as hard to fault; rare to describe a business class as just as good as other airlines’ first class. Qatar Airways impressively manages to be both. Hence the numerous deserved awards for service, food and drink and their flagship Doha lounge.
In the Qsuite and the Business Class Suite, Qatar Airways has two industry-leading business class products – with noticeably enhanced space and privacy - and you’ll want to ensure you fly with one of these, with the Qsuite shading it on a comparison between the two. If you’ve never actively looked forward to a flight before, you’ve probably never flown Qatar Airways business class.