I had dinner in the S$5,000 Qatar Airways business class seat that looks like a luxury suite – here’s what it was like

Not an actual photo of me having dinner.
Qatar

Here’s Qatar’s proposition: pay the price of a business class ticket, but enjoy all the luxury of a first class suite.

In a bid to woo higher-paying customers, the airline upgraded its business class service in March last year to give flyers a suite-like experience. Named Qsuite, it promises services previously unavailable to business class travellers, such as doors for the seat, flexible mealtimes, and a double bed.

Qsuite was unveiled on two of the airline’s three daily flights between Singapore and Doha on the Airbus 350-1000. The remaining flight will be upgraded to Qsuite before April next year, Qatar said.

A quick check of flight prices showed that one-way business class tickets on these flights start at around S$4,700, and can go up to S$5,600.

Qatar did not say when Qsuite would be available on Malaysian routes.

The airline offered Business Insider the chance to have dinner in the aircraft and experience the difference between regular business class and Qsuite.

Here’s what it was like:


On entering the plane, the seat configuration looked visibly different from a regular business class setup. Some seats faced the cockpit, while others faced backwards.

It’s an arrangement Qatar calls a “quad configuration”. I found out what this was used for later.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Instead of open seats, each Qsuite seat was enclosed in its own little cubicle.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

There was the usual choice between a window seat or a middle seat. Window seats had more privacy – and of course, great views.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

People in the middle seats, on the other hand, got to have the quad configuration experience. I was assigned a middle, backward-facing seat. Here’s what it looked like.

Sitting facing backwards wasn’t as weird as I expected.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

There was a side table and an additional chair, which opened up to reveal extra storage space.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Leg space was hidden under the table.

Remember, you’re paying S$5,000 for this.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

The seat was quite low, so the walls felt very high when I sat down. 

This photo was taken at nearly eye level.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Most of the seat was upholstered in leather, and there was a small reading light.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

I tried out the much-anticipated doors. They slid shut easily, effectively turning the seat into a small room. 

Ah, privacy.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Next, the fight attendant handed me a menu. Passengers in Qsuite are able to dictate mealtimes, meaning you can choose when you want to eat your meal.

Hooray to not having to eat breakfast at 5am.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Sitting in the quad configuration means the partitions between seats can be removed, turning pairs of seats or even groups of four seats into a communal area.

This way, you can chat with friends in your own little dining room – if you keep the sliding doors shut.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

The person beside me didn’t want to make friends.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

But the people opposite didn’t seem to mind.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

There’s a sharing platter on the menu, so you don’t have to eat every meal by yourself. 

You have your main meal on the tray table, and use the communal space for shared dishes.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

This platter serves four. Could be great for families or small eaters.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Or, if you’re a workaholic, you can turn sets of two or four seats into meeting rooms in the sky.

Now you can actually do business while in Business Class.
Qatar

On to the actual dinner. The first course was bread with butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

The salt was Himalayan pink salt.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

While the walls added privacy, it did make it a tiny bit cramped (for business class, anyway).

The space was large, but dining space was limited by the width of the table and seat. I tried to tuck my elbows in.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

The amuse-bouche was foie gras with kumquat chutney.

Vegetarian options are, of course, available.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

The appetiser was a single chicken dumpling in chicken consomme, with two large shavings of black truffle.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

The main course was lobster with Chinese noodles in Singapore-style curry sauce.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Dessert was baked coconut pudding with chilli chocolate.

It wasn’t spicy.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

We didn’t get to sleep on the plane, but at bedtime, Qsuite window seats are converted into single beds.

Here’s where those doors might come in handy, especially for snorers, droolers, and anyone who can’t sleep knowing people can see you as you nap.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Meanwhile, pairs of middle seats can be made into a double bed.

It’s two single beds placed side-by-side.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

An amentity kit and a set of PJs round off your snooze in the air.

Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

Standard business class stuff.
Rachel Genevieve Chia/Business Insider

All in all: does the Qsuite feel like a real suite? I’ve never been in a suite, but I have been on business class. Compared to the latter, the Qsuite’s doors do increase the privacy by a lot, particularly on night flights, but not everyone will be a fan of the cubicle-like sensation, which feels claustrophobic at times.

Wealthier travelers who like to travel in groups or with family may find the quad configuration useful, as will busy business execs who need to make their time in the air more productive.

Read also: This Chinese airline has answered your prayers for an entire row to yourself in economy – and it’s not the only one doing it