Once upon a time, WestJet and American Airlines were partners, which mean that you could earn 100% of miles flown and credit them to AAdvantage. Since we weren’t going to fly enough to earn Air Canada status on the fares we were booking and we weren’t going to earn enough WestJet Rewards $ to make it worth our while, the WestJet and American Airlines partnership was a great opportunity to earn miles for future use. Good things don’t last forever, and the WestJet/American Airlines partnership that began in 2010 ended in the summer of 2018 as a condition for a newly established WestJet/Delta partnership. Nonetheless, it was good while it lasted and we made the most of it. After flying all those WestJet flights crammed in their less than roomy economy seats on their 737s, we earned enough AAdvantage points to book two tickets on Qatar Airways business class from MLE – Velana International Airport to DOH – Doha Hamad International Airport and onward to DPS – I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. In this post, we share some information and photos about Qatar Airways Business Class products on the A350-1000 and 777.
MLE to DOH on the A350-1000:
Choosing our Seats:
Usually, the aircraft scheduled for QR 673 is one of the older A350’s but a few weeks before our departures, we noticed the seat map had changed and it was the 1-2-1 configuration of their signature business class product, the QSuites. At this point, we were so excited but tried not to get our hopes up because they could change the aircraft anytime, especially since Qatar Airways only has 2 A350-1000’s.
In addition to all the additional privacy offered by the QSuites, what makes them so appealing is that people traveling together can have adjoining suites for up to 4 people.
So while it would have been nice for us to get two middle suites, we both oped for window suites so that we could both enjoy the view during the 5.5 hour flight; Jason was 3A and I was in 5A. The only catch was that we both had seats that faced backwards but Jason read somewhere that you got the best views this way so we went along with this choice.
At MLE Airport:
MLE is a fairly small airport for the number of visitors it processes and it is not a very modern airport. Due to how they load balance the queue for initial screening to access the check-in desks, we waited about 20 minutes in line.
Qatar Airways has two check-in desks, one for business class and one for economy. We received our boarding and lounge passes and made our way through regular airport screening and onward to the lounge. The lounge was nothing special but it did have water, coffee, other non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, 2 clean’ish women’s washrooms, and comfortable seating that was better than the main holding area.
There are no jetways and so all passengers are bussed to the gate and board the aircraft through 2 doors based on their cabin class.
Having flown Emirates First Class on the 777 and A380, we noticed similarities between the QSuites and the Emirates First Class Seat (on the old 777). Each seat had a door that you could close for privacy when the aircraft reached cruising altitude. We didn’t measure the screen but it was fairly large and the quality of the images on it was spectacular; some of in-flight cameras provided better views than looking out the window!
Prior to take-off, we were offered a drink and we both chose the sparkling rosé (Champagne Atair Etoile Rosé) and placed our meal orders. Jason and I both ordered the Arabic mezzes but I snagged the last one as the starter before a main course. Next, we had Champagne Lallier Grand Reserve to go with the nuts they served and our meals.
I had a great view of the engine during take-off and didn’t really notice feeling different during the take-off even if I was facing backwards. During the flight, I was really impressed with their Arabic film selection and watched “Voices From the Urbanscape”, a documentary that showcased how much Doha has changed and interviewed people who live there.
Our flight path was altered to avoid UAE airspace during the dispute between the two countries, which meant we’d get to enjoy the QSuites for longer but we cannot imagine how much this is costing Qatar Airways in extra fuel each flight. As we were landing, we got to see great views of Doha.
Arrival to DOH:
DOH is a nice airport, it feels new and has that new airport smell, pardon the pun. We made our way to customs and were a little shocked at how long the line-ups were. We hadn’t waited in line more than 5 minutes when someone came over to us and told us that business class passengers have an arrival lounge and their own customs desks. Within 30 seconds, we were out of that long line, drinking chilled non-alcoholic beverages, and going through customs within 5 minutes.
DOH to DPS on the 777:
At DOH Airport:
After spending 24 hours exploring Qatar, it was already time to make our way to the airport to catch our flight to Bali. Having been underwhelmed by the First Class check-in and security for Emirates First Class passengers, we were in awe of how much nicer those services are for Qatar Airways business class passengers.
Going through airport security was a breeze and it was also the nicest screening point we’ve ever been to, it was so clean, no line-ups, and the agents were professional and helpful. Maybe it was the time of the day, but there were only a handful of other people there with 4 lines operating.
We did allocate some time to enjoy the lounge because we had heard so many great things about it. There are many lounges at DOH for Qatar Airways business class passengers, for your information. We went to the first one we saw and the lounge agent looked at our boarding pass and directed us to the better lounge as the lounge we tried to enter was for business class passengers who were on upgraded tickets only.
When we entered the Al Mourjan Lounge, we quickly came to the conclusion it was the nicest lounge we’d ever been in. It took us a good 15 minutes to explore and choose somewhere to sit. There were 3 different restaurants with a-la-carte and buffet offerings, games, seating areas with tablets to access airport information and entertainment, as well as a large fountain that we joked should be a pool. We settled in the upper section of the lounge by the buffet and the bar. After a heavy Persian lunch, we weren’t too hungry but stuffed ourselves with more Arabic mezzes, curries, and desserts anyways.
We once again chose window seats to enjoy views as we flew, even if it was a 10 hour overnight flight. We settled in our seats which were pretty comfortable but lacked the privacy of the QSuites and Emirates A380 and 777 First Class. While some flights offer pajamas, we were not offered pajamas or bedding to cover the seat, which we found slightly disappointing (yes, we are spoiled).
Don’t judge, but we may have had Arabic mezzes again, with more champagne. Since we were pretty stuffed after a day of eating, our main course was just a cheese plate. Dinner was served with a little tea light, which was a nice touch. For my nightcap, I had a glass of red wine, a Zuccardi Zeta 2012 Malbec. As a fan of Zuccardi wines, this was a nice treat before sleeping for about 5.5 hours.
This aircraft has a lounge in the back with snacks an more drinks, but we didn’t get to use it. The lavatory was also roomy and the Flight Attendants did try to clean it after each use, which is unheard of in North America where we don’t clean airplanes until they go in for maintenance!
It was another great flight that went by way too fast again. That being said, it felt nice to land in Bali.
This post may not follow the standard format most people use for flight reviews but we hope you enjoyed reading it. For me, flying Qatar Airways business class was a dream come true as I recall seeing a commercial on TV for Qatar Airways when I was younger and it stuck with me. After flying the new Emirates First Class and Qatar Airways QSuites it is hard to pick a favourite and to say which one is the best product as they all have their pros and cons. It is highly unlikely we will get to fly Qatar Airways business class again but if we ever get the chance to. we would. We feel so lucky to have gotten to fly on the A350-1000 in a QSuite, one of the highest rates business class products on the market right now, which is a big deal for us and made flying all those economy flights on WestJet worthwhile.
Would you have chosen a window suite or two middle suites? What has been your favorite business class flight? What are you saving up your points for?
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- Plan: The Maldives on a $500 budget per day
- Review: Our Maldivian Vacation at the Anantara Dhigu
- Stay: Review of Al Maha Resort in Dubai
- Stay: Review of The Purist Villas in Ubud Bali
- Stay: Review of Nihi Sumba
- Plan: Air Canada Status Challenge
- Airline Review: Why you should fly EVA Air
- Emirates First Class: A Really Fun Thing We’ll Never Get To Do Again
- Indulge – Indonesian Food in Ubud Bali
- Overtourism: Did “Eat Pray Love” Ruin Bali?