EXCLUSIVE | With Qatar Airways' new Qsuite business class suites taking wing from June 24, how can travellers go about booking one of the 'business class double beds' or even a four-suite quad?
With the aid of the airline's internal Qsuite Seating Policy document obtained by Australian Business Traveller, here's what you need to know.
Where and when to fly the Qsuite
The Qsuite will debut on Qatar Airways' Boeing 777-300ER QR7/QR8 service between Doha and London Heathrow, with Paris and New York next on the list before the advanced A350-900s are upgraded.
These suites are arranged as follows:
To recap, the Boeing 777-300ER's business class cabin has the following layout
- 20 forward-facing suites at 2BDGJ, 4BDGJ, 6BDGJ, 8DG, 9BJ,10DG and 11BJ
- 22 rear-facing suites at 1AEFK, 3AEFK, 5AEFK, 7EF, 8AK, 9EF, 10AK and 11EF
- six paired middle seats which convert into double beds at 1EF, 3EF, 5EF, 7EF, 9EF and 11EF
- the first five sets of those (1EF+2DG, 3EF+4DG, 5EF+6DG, 7EF+8DG, 9EF+10DG) are bookable as 'quads'
Who sits where
Solo travellers "should be allocated the seats surrounding the Quads", according to Qatar Airways' policy.
Those are all the window seats except for 1A and 2B.
Why the exception? "Seats 1A and 2B have been been marked as Last Offered," the document explains. "These seats will be excluded from the pre-seat selection process to support airport check-in staff to handle any last minute requests."
All middle seats – which convert into double suites with a shared bed, or 'quads' for groups of four - will be first offered to couples or groups of three or four.
"Couples travelling together should be allocated Rear Facing seats which convert into double bed," the airline specifies: those paired seats being 1EF, 3EF, 5EF, 7EF, 9EF and 11EF.
However, for customers travelling together who aren't together as such – think friends or colleagues – but want "to socialise and interact inflight, it will be better to assign them to central seats (with) both seats facing the same direction."
"Groups / families of 3-4 customers should be allocated the Quad seats" of 1EF+2DG, 3EF+4DG, 5EF+6DG, 7EF+8DG, and 9EF+10DG.
In the likely event that the number of solo travellers out-strips groups of four, "single passengers should be assigned forward facing free seats within the Quad first," the airline instructs.
"Once the Quads are split or broken for individual passengers, then fill up the broken Quad with other individual passengers. Then, move on to assign seats within a NEW Quad."
Qatar Airways makes the following two observations for its booking centres:
1. When a seat within the Quad must be allocated to a customer who is not a part of family or group, "all attempts should be made to allocate forward facing seats within the Quad to (the) customer travelling alone."
2. When assigning seats to VIPs, CIPs (Commercially Importantly Passengers and Platinum members of Qatar Airways' Privilege Club frequent flyer program, the airline specifies that "customers must be advised when they are allocated rear facing seats... especially when they are allocated seats on the front row as all front row seats are rear facing."
Oh, And if you're wondering about the bassinet seats, those are 11B and 11J.