Qatar's Qsuite is a private 'business class bedroom'

Qatar's Qsuite is a private 'business class bedroom'

Qatar Airways has revealed all-new business class suites with sliding 'privacy doors' and middle seats which convert into a double bed.

The airline promises the first-influenced design – dubbed the Qsuite, built by seatmarker B/E Aerospace and in development for three years – will bring "a new level of luxury" to business class.

The staggered 1-2-1 layout allows every second pair of middle seats to become a double bed – providing your seatmate is of a similar mind to you, of course.

The paired middle seats alternate: in one row the seats are directly next to each other, in the next they are more noticeably separated.

Going one step further, however, the 21.5-inch video screens between each middle row can slide back...

... so that all four passengers can enjoy a 'family room' approach.

Each suite is well-appointed, with the seat itself measuring 21.5 inches wide and joined by further personal space around, plus a range of controls to adjust the seat into the perfect position...

... which can also be used to transform the seat into a fully-flat bed of 79 inches:

The high walls are a clear influence drawn from the first class suites of competitors Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines.

These stand at 135cm from base to top, being high enough for privacy but low enough for the crew to peer in and offer assistance without having to open the door.

The doors open and close by hand, and feel quite heavy, as they're of solid construction and aren't in any way transparent:

When you're done dozing or are ready to emerge, just slide the door open again and you're all set:

Speaking of sleep, there's also a hotel-style 'do not disturb' button which changes the colour of the seat light from white to red, indicating your wish to be left alone:

There's an NFC contactless reader too which lets you set up an inflight video and music playlist using the Qatar Airways app on your smartphone ahead of your flight and, when you're onboard, tap the phone to transfer that playlist to your suite's entertainment system.

We expect the reader can be used to make quick card payments for services like inflight phone calls and perhaps even inflight Internet as well.

(Many aircraft already have credit card readers embedded into the remote control to unlock inflight calling and SMS, but a contactless reader such as above would also prove compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and other smartphone and smart watch transactions, meaning you won't have to fish your wallet and credit card out of your bag mid-flight.)

Qatar Airways – especially CEO Akbar Al Baker, whom most employees simply refer to as 'The Chief' – is known for exacting attention to detail, and the Qsuites appear to be no exception.

The finishes are exacting and high-end.

Al Baker boasts that the Qsuite "will change the way people travel in business class", and says the patented design will prevent other airlines from copying the product.

Alongside the new Qsuites, Qatar Airways promises to introduce upgrades to business class "dining, amenities, entertainment and service."

For a closer look inside the new Qsuites, watch this three-minute video:

First Qsuite flights in June

The first Qatar Airways jet to fly the Qsuites will be a factory-fresh Boeing 777-300ER on the Doha-London route from June.

This will be followed by the new Airbus A350-1000 in the second half of the year, for which Qatar is the global launch customer.

Qatar Airways will also "aggressively retrofit" the new suites across its existing its Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 fleets at a rate of one aircraft per month.

The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 will see a similar-but-different skew of the seat – with the same emphasis on privacy – because the initial version of Qsuite won't fit onto the narrower Boeing 787 and isn't compatible with the curved walls of the A380's upper deck, where Qatar has its superjumbo business class.

Speaking with Australian Business Traveller, Al Baker confirmed these Qsuites would be more so a "tweak" when compared with the A350 and Boeing 777 product, rather than another design entirely.

"You will (still) have 100% privacy, so when you are within your space you will be able to be totally independent from other passengers," Al Baker explains.

Qatar Airways will retain first class only on its Airbus A380 superjumbos, with all other aircraft topping out at business class, but is considering updating the first class design to create fully-private suites.

Australian Business Traveller is attending ITB Berlin as a guest of Qatar Airways. 

 

48 Comments

  • Newbie7

    Newbie7

    9 Mar, 2017 04:32 am

    Wow, this is stunning. Definitely a First Class product by definition of most airlines. The only way to go beyond this would be to have a Suite like EY's apartments - and I'm guessing that's what QR will do with their A380 First retrofits. Seems like they have a very cohesive branding moving forward.

    One question I had though Chris is for those middle pairs that turn into a double bed, is there a partition that can* go up if you happen to purchase that seat as a solo traveler? It looks a little too tight for a partition to be in place. That could be a little awkward, though I guess you'd be sitting that close to a stranger in Y regardless. Luck of the draw I guess, and try not to book seats last minute!
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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    9 Mar, 2017 04:39 am

    Looking forward to try it. Hopefully the price remains competitive!
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  • spacecadet

    spacecadet

    9 Mar, 2017 05:45 am

    This is really innovative. I am very impressed. Not only is it a well configured design but will actually change the way people use the cabin. (The sliding tv screens creating the 4-way dining room - amazing!) 

    The pressure is well and truly on for other airlines to keep pace!
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  • russell

    russell

    9 Mar, 2017 06:49 am

    Wow....and a new best in class has been realised. Looks like an amazing product. However I can't help thinking poor Qantas. Their product on the A380 now looks even more positively ancient. 
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  • Victor Teng

    victort

    9 Mar, 2017 08:00 am

    Beats hands down even Qantas First class product. Hurry up and upgrade the whole fleet already QF!!
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  • Tavis Callaghan

    Theresnormissin

    9 Mar, 2017 11:45 am

    It's an impressive package, I'm not doubting that, but it is a big call regarding a blanket favourable comparison to Qantas - and other airlines' First class (Emirates Suite not withstanding). 

    True the suites are feature packed, but what I want from my seat in First is width and a general feeling of space around me which these do not appear to offer. As noted by others the seats seem very narrow, and i'm interested in seeing some hard data if/when it is realeased, I await the AusBT seat review!
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  • Charles Lo

    chas

    9 Mar, 2017 07:43 am

    Looks great. I don't think I would pay to sit in this end. I worry about the safety of it when it comes to evacuation. Imagine the chaos with locked doors. Those on the back end would get out first!
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    9 Mar, 2017 08:10 am

    As is standard of all airlines with sliding doors in the cabin, the doors are locked in the open position by the cabin crew for take-off and landing. You can only close them during the flight, and they never lock in the closed position for safety reasons.
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  • Mal

    Mal

    9 Mar, 2017 08:17 am

    Absolutely amazing. If Qatar had said this was their new A350 first class everybody would have believed them, but this is the now the new standard for business class!
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  • Steve Doyle

    Steve Doyle

    9 Mar, 2017 08:19 am

    Incredible! My only concern right now is how much noise you could get from a family of four sitting together, we already know how noisy one or two kids can be with a parent, but put the whole family together in this 'open living room' design and I reckon there will be a LOT of noise.
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  • Serg

    Serg

    9 Mar, 2017 01:13 pm

    If you THAT concern get your private jet and travel in peace!
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  • Tony OBERON

    obi

    19 Mar, 2017 06:19 pm

    Well, isn't that what noise cancelling headphone are for?  My Bose headphones knock out crying babies.  So put 'em on and enjoy the peace!
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    9 Mar, 2017 08:29 am

    The foot cubby area looks really tight similar to SQ where you bang your feet on the sides if you move
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  • wozcor1

    wozcor1

    9 Mar, 2017 08:56 am

    Interesting concept re: the double bed concept. I would be interested to understand the policy if a gay couple want to book this double bed concept - knowing that UAE has an unfriendly policy... Imprisonment on arrival?
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    9 Mar, 2017 10:07 am

    Perhaps you missed the 3rd photo from the top, showing two females  in the centre pair? I'm not sure whether the couple are gay or indeed a Mother and teenage daughter, but the PR pic appears as a subtle positive, in my opinion. One designed not to encourage 'pre-judgement' on any level.
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  • Ross

    Ross

    9 Mar, 2017 03:01 pm

    Qatar is not part of the UAE.
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  • Tour_contact

    Tour_contact

    9 Mar, 2017 08:09 pm

    But having lived there I can confirm it does have the same, if not more, draconian laws
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  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    9 Mar, 2017 08:58 am

    It's impressive and innovative, no question. Sneaky suspicion the quadrant setup might be better in theory - not sure it'll actually be used that way very often but that's not a downside. It looks roomier than EK F and if pricing stays the same I'll be very keen to try it. Hope it's a comfy seat too :)
    Well done QR. 
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  • Roger Benson

    sharrkey

    9 Mar, 2017 10:08 am

    Apart from the sliding doors and the ability to convert the middle 2 seats into a double bed, this looks identical to the Etihad business studio, unfortunately with the same curving footwell when in the bed mode, which restricts foot space when sleeping. I prefer the current Business seat on the Qatar A 380 or in Cathay business class which does not restrict Foot space. Still waiting for that perfect business class seat!
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  • hwle

    hwle

    9 Mar, 2017 11:04 am

    Is it just me or do the seats not have arm rests? Also curious to know how much total space the entire seat areas each occupy. 
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    9 Mar, 2017 03:31 pm

    If you look very closely at the centre row (close) pairs, there are definitely 2 dark brown, hard-to-see, armrests. This is visible in the top, 3rd and very last (video) pics. Yes, the guy is sitting somewhat awkwardly but I think you'll see that the bend of his elbow is right back and the woman's arm is positioned forward of his. Just a slightly odd shot.

    On the centre pairs with the surround shell permeating in-between (the centre row wide pairs), there is no visible armrest that I can see.

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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    9 Mar, 2017 11:15 am

    Looks impressive though the lack of an armrest is kind of weird.  The bloke in the first photo looks like he doesn't quite know what to do with his right arm.
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  • devilish

    devilish

    9 Mar, 2017 11:16 am

    It looks fantastic for a business class product and will be industry leader, but calling it first? Please, it's not even close to as spacious as most first class products on most airlines flying with F.
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  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    9 Mar, 2017 11:32 am

    It can't be as spacious as F - economically that would never work. Calling it business-first is not that far off the mark. Is it closer to J than F? Yes but of course it is, it is still business class.
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  • devilish

    devilish

    9 Mar, 2017 02:01 pm

    I agree with everything you said, my comment was not aimed at the airline but at other readers' comments.
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  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    9 Mar, 2017 02:55 pm

    Ohh, now i'm with you. Yeah, other than beating EK F plus a couple of older products like LH it's definitely not an F class beater :)
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  • newbieADL

    newbieADL

    9 Mar, 2017 11:28 am

    This looks great and I can't wait to try it. I have avoided Qatar on routes where they offer the 2-2-2 config in business.

    By calling their suites "Q Suites" do we think there is a potential conflict ahead with their One World partner at Qantas, who heavily brand their items with a Q prefix?
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  • Tavis Callaghan

    Theresnormissin

    9 Mar, 2017 11:49 am

    I noted a similar issue in the community forums, I do wonder if Qatar is aggressively looking to own the 'Q' Branding with these suites. This could get interesting...
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    9 Mar, 2017 12:44 pm

    Q is just a letter, like any other. It's like Cadbury trying to claim the colour purple. As much as you may want to, you can't claim it for yourself.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    9 Mar, 2017 12:09 pm

    So... basically Etihad's business studio with a different set of finishes/furnishings, an added door and flexible privacy screens.

    Pretty cool and the flexibility is impressive. Is this 'revolutionary' though? Perhaps not, but its still some good work. 
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  • LP

    LP

    9 Mar, 2017 05:39 pm

    Exactly my thoughts. Same dovetail design and similar space.
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  • Chris

    flychrisfly

    9 Mar, 2017 12:21 pm

    The quad seat looks good in theory but in the pics the boy is not sitting properly in his seat and has had to shuffle inwards and/or forwards to see and be seen by those on the other side...
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  • Joe

    Joe

    9 Mar, 2017 12:49 pm

    Nice and sophisticated and a true premium product worth paying for...Qantas take note. Makes even your your new J suite look outdated - a teeny bit.
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  • Tony OBERON

    obi

    19 Mar, 2017 06:24 pm

    Well perhaps a teeny lot!  In passenger comfort, QF is always a follower - a long way behind...but never a leader. On the other hand, QF leads the world in airline safety - so I guess we can't have everything.
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  • Serg

    Serg

    9 Mar, 2017 01:11 pm

    It is indeed far more revolutionary than QF PE seats! Kudos to Qatar for catering for pairs and even families!
    I have a curiosity - what HDMI socket doing here? Does it mean that I can use their massive screen as my laptop external display?
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  • Fergo747

    Fergo747

    9 Mar, 2017 01:20 pm

    For the seat which has the console between it and the window, can anyone guess what that small space which in the photo contains a red pillow is for (8th picture)? Also, whilst a great looking product, I can't imagine wanting to be seated right next to a complete stranger for 14 hours+ in one of the middle seats. What if you both put your seat into bed mode at the same time? Does that mean you're effectively sharing a double bed with stranger? 
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  • bl812

    bl812

    9 Mar, 2017 01:30 pm

    looks as good as EK first class and half price-certainly a challenge for all those high end airlines to up their games.
    probably no beluga and dom perignon-but who cares?
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  • bl812

    bl812

    9 Mar, 2017 01:34 pm

    yes it's still far from Sq's business class seats for width and comfort
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  • Angus  Coventry

    Covo95

    9 Mar, 2017 01:47 pm

    It's almost like a de-facto first class suite 
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    David

  • Angus  Coventry

    Covo95

    9 Mar, 2017 01:56 pm

    If they redesign their first class seats, i think we can anticipate that they will be very spacious and luxurious
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  • Kogglogs

    Kogglogs

    9 Mar, 2017 04:32 pm

    "...allows every second pair of middle seats to become a double bed -- providing your seatmate is of a similar mind to you, of course."

    I've not flown with QR before, so not sure how conservative they are... but I can't help but wonder how open they would be to the idea of converting the seats to a double bed for a same sex couple? 
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  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    9 Mar, 2017 06:02 pm

    I must be a naysayer because I see this as a logical development to a BA seating arrangement, only the "4 pod" is really new, not the double bed, that is evolution.
     I know it is the current trend but I don't like the 21.5" width, there seems to be a lot of waste to the side, even if it means a tighter footwell... I will take JAL's mini suite - although it was a bit short for me the extra width suits my (side) sleeping style

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  • Alex Moris

    Alex Moris

    9 Mar, 2017 06:36 pm

    And Qantas are shouting out that they are being revoluntary by offering inflight wifi and plan to update their prehistoric A380 with business suites which have been used on their A330 for years. I know where I'd rather spend my $... well done Qatar for actually offering revolutionary products and services. 
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  • Mark McCullough

    pointyendmark

    9 Mar, 2017 08:25 pm

    For personal reasons I echo wozcor1's comments about same sex couples and the 'double bed'. My partner and I are both Qatar Silver card holders, but we've never been treated as a couple when flying with them.
    Sharia law would not allow unmarried hetero couples to share a bed either, so clarification is required.
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    Notso Swift

  • langdonfm

    langdonfm

    9 Mar, 2017 09:08 pm

    I find this reaction really odd. The finishes are fantastic, the technology looks great, but is anyone else seeing how narrow these seats are? This looks like a very well dressed average ME3 business class seat - not revolutionary and certainly not a first-class killer.
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  • chewkc65

    chewkc65

    10 Mar, 2017 12:49 am

    Looks like a superd offering from Qatar.  But I wonder at what cost.  While it their biz class may be more luxurious, if the fare becomes too expensive many employers may ban business class travel for their staff.
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  • Brad  C

    Brad C

    10 Mar, 2017 03:30 pm

    In our eyes, they remain the best in their class. We fly Qatar for both private / family and on business, so lets hope they keep their prices competitive.

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  • Mc

    Mc

    24 Mar, 2017 12:00 am

    It looks all very nice but I personally dislike the alternate front/rear facing seating layout to the extent that I now try to avoid it where possible and as the forward facing ones tend to get booked out quickly I tend to use other carriers to avoid a rear facing seat. BA for example is no longer on my option list.
    I am a great fan of QR and where possible travel with them on my Aus/UK/Aus flights but this layout will probably now cause me to seek an alternative carrier (CX or even QF perhaps) on the Aus/UK/Aus routes.
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24 May, 2017 08:00 pm

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