We recently flew Qatar Airways from Adelaide to Auckland in the much hyped QSuite. To read about our return flight from Auckland to Adelaide, click here.
Read about our review of Adelaide Airport.
Once I arrived at Adelaide airport, Qatar Airways staff were available to greet me at the check-in area and direct me to the correct lane. Business Class passengers have access to priority check-in. Check-in staff were more than helpful to help with any questions. Adelaide Airport now offers premium screening as part of their recent update so Business passengers can skip the security line.
Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia have recently announced a partnership that now allows Qatar Business Class passengers access to the Virgin Lounge in Adelaide from September 2022. Opened in 2021, the new lounge is located next to the Penfolds Bar and the escalators to international departures and offers multiple lounge areas, coffee & wine bars, hosted food bar and cellar door hub.
At the time of this trip, there was no access as yet to the Virgin Australia lounge as the partnership hadn't yet come into effect. In lieu of lounge access, Qatar offered a $40 voucher per person to use at the Penfolds Bar and is provided by the helpful staff at check-in. The Penfolds Bar is located next to the escalators to international departures, so you can enjoy a drink and food before heading through immigration. The menu offers a small range of share plates, small serves and main plates with options including salmon, wagyu beef, angus beef burger, roast chicken and more. I was able to order a charcuterie board and a prosecco for only $36.
Qatar Business Class passengers are welcome to take up to 40kg checked baggage along with 2 carry-on pieces totalling 15kg. When it’s time to board the flight, Business Class passengers are given priority boarding.
QR914 is operated by the Boeing 777-300ER and offers the airline's premium product, QSuite. The QSuite is offered on select Boeing 777’s, A350-900 and all A350-1000’s. Some aircraft and routes operate the airline's older business class seats. The flight is part of the Doha to Auckland route with a stop in Adelaide. The Adelaide to Auckland portion is only 4 hours in length and operates 3 times a week. The flight departs Adelaide at 10:20pm and arrives into Auckland at 5am the following morning.
Qatar have branded their QSuite ‘First in Business’ and promise you will experience a new standard of Business Class. The seats were the first Business Class product to offer suites with a closing door, a feature not even offered in Qatar First Class aboard the A380. The seat layout is 1-2-1 with alternating forward and rear facing seats, all with direct aisle access and only 42 suites across 2 cabins.
The middle seats can be configured into a double suite. The rear facing middle seats have the storage compartment and shelf next to the aisle and the seats next to each other. The partition between the seats completely drops to allow face-to-face conversation. When it’s time to sleep, the seats can lie fully flat to create a double bed.
The forward facing middle seats have the seat next to the aisle with a storage compartment and shelf in the middle. When the partition is dropped, you can still chat with the passenger next to you but you will need to lean forward slightly. When converted into a fully flat bed, the beds are separated and don’t create a double bed.
A unique perk of the QSuite is the ability to create an open group of 4, consisting of 2 rear facing and 2 forward facing middle seats. The partitions of the middle seats can be lowered between passengers side-by-side, then the TV’s of rear facing seats slide open to allow 4 passengers to share a meal. The partitions can be open or closed in any configuration to suit the passengers needs.
The seats are a generous 21” wide and convert into a fully lie flat 80” bed. Each seat has universal power ports, USB ports, HDMI and contactless NFC so you can stream from the Qatar Airways app. You can also access 1 hour of free Wi-Fi if you’re a Privilege Club member (you can sign up on the flight) or purchase full flight access for USD$10.
Additionally there is a panel of buttons to control seat functions with a range of recline and massage options. Above the power points is a shelf to store items when charging with a table on top. The tray table sits under the TV and can slide out to a half table and then folds out further for your meal service. The spacious footwell is under the TV and tray table and although I’m not tall at 160cm, there was plenty of room to stretch out for taller passengers.
There is a storage compartment to the left or right of the seat (depending on which seat you have). It’s a slightly awkward shape and can fit a small bag or a few personal items. It also stores a personal water bottle and noise-cancelling headphones. Larger items can be stored in the overhead compartment or attendants will offer to store your jackets in a separate wardrobe.
I was seated in 7E, a rear facing middle seat. It could be a fully private suite, open with a travelling partner, or a group of 4.
The staff were helpful in introducing themselves, escorting me to my assigned seat and promptly offered a welcome drink with a choice of Rose or Brut Champagne, juice or water. They also asked if I would like an introduction to the suite and proceeded to show me how to use all features and the location of all storage, lights, entertainment, door and seat functions.
Awaiting at the seat upon arrival is a crushed velvet blanket, 2 pillows and protective amenity kit. The amenity kit included a mask, gloves and sanitiser. As the flight was only 4 hours in length, the amenity kit was much less comprehensive than those provided on long-haul flights, however you could also access a dental & shaving kit in the bathroom.
Soon the attendant returned with my welcome Champagne along with a refresher towel and allowed me to take the time to settle in while the remainder of the flight boarded.
Qatar Airways offer a dine on demand service allowing you to select meals from the menu at any time during the flight. As this was a short night time flight it made sense to order straight away to allow time to rest after. The attendants were more than happy to accept orders before the flight departed, or to order at a later time that suited you.
The menu consisted of artisan bread with a selection of infused olive oils, a soup course, a selection of 3 appetizers, 3 mains and 2 desserts. The beverage menu included non-alcoholic sparkling wine, fruity mocktails, cold beverages, iced tea & coffee, herbal teas, Brut or Rose Champagne, a selection of wines (attendants were happy to offer suggestions to suit your meal choice), range of spirits, beers, liqueurs and cocktails.
While awaiting the meal, another drink was offered with a serving of warm nuts.
When dinner service began, the attendants provided a linen napkin and tablecloth, ambient table lamp and a choice of still or sparkling water. Artisan bread was served first with 3 warm bread rolls, butter and olive oil.
The first course selected was Butter Poached Queensland Prawns with Marie Rose, lettuce and heritage tomatoes.
The staff were extremely attentive in clearing finished plates and asking if I was ready for the next meal. The main course selected was Gippsland beef tenderloin with dauphinoise potato, sugar snap peas, radish and thyme jus.
The dessert course was warm toffee banana pudding with creme anglaise. After dessert, I was offered a digestive and a serve of coffee or tea.
The entertainment system is a large 21” screen operated by Oryx One with over 4000 on-demand video, audio and gaming options to choose from. The system can be operated by the touchscreen remote that can be removed from the wall unit for easy use. The noise-cancelling headphones come in handy to block out outside noise.
After dinner service it was time to convert the seat into a fully lie flat bed with the touch of a button. For extra privacy, close the door to your suite and relax while you catch up on sleep. You can also turn on your Do Not Disturb button to ensure the attendants don’t interrupt your rest.
When it comes time to begin descent, attendants will make an announcement and assist you to convert your bed back into the seat landing position. I was also offered a pre-packaged serve of Laderach chocolates.
The Qatar Airways teams were extremely helpful throughout the entire process, from check-in to in-flight service. After landing they assisted in getting bags from overhead lockers, returning jackets from the stored wardrobe and wishing you well as you continue on your journey.