On a recent trip to Thailand with Qatar Airways to create our Luxury Thailand guide, we had the opportunity to experience Qatar’s Business Class cabin from Edinburgh to Doha and then from Doha to Bangkok. The Edinburgh to Doha route uses a Boeing 787-8 so the seats are the Super Diamond seating formation while the Doha to Bangkok flight was a larger Boeing 777-300ER that offered the famous Qsuite cabin, both of which offered an unbelievable luxury experience in the sky.
Qatar Airways offers two flights per day from Edinburgh one at 08:10hrs and a second flight at 14:45hrs. We were flying on the afternoon flight so arrived around 2.5 hours early at Edinburgh Airport which was plenty of time to get through the airport.
The departure check-in desks are located immediately in front of the main entrances of the airport and there is a separate Qatar Airways check-in desk for Business, priority, and First class passengers making the check-in process fast. The queue moved very quickly and our bags were weighed and away within about 15 minutes.
Business Class and First Class customers can then use the fast-track security lane which speeds up the process further. We travel through Edinburgh Airport frequently and the security process is relatively quick (apart from the school holidays) on average taking 15 minutes (after luggage drop) to be airside. The introduction of CT scanners is imminent, meaning you won’t need to remove anything from your hand luggage, which will speed up the process even further.
Qatar Airways operates its own branded lounges in select cities worldwide, such as London, Paris and Singapore. In other locations including Edinburgh, the airline offers Business and First Class customers access to Oneworld partner lounges, and in the case of Edinburgh we were given access to the British Airways Lounge. The BA Lounge offers a selection of cold buffet items, soft drinks, tea and coffee, and snacks as well as a range of alcoholic drinks. It is located next to Gate 4 so it’s very centrally within the airport.
Our flight was on time and Business and First Class passengers boarded promptly after families, on this aircraft size all cabin types enter via the same door (there isn’t a separate entrance for business and first) with Business immediately on the left-hand side and economy to the right once you enter the plane.
The Business Class experience offered by Qatar Airways closely mirrors the luxury of First Class on alternative airlines. Attendants warmly greet you by your name and escort you to your seat, meals and beverages are individually served to your seat (no trolley being pushed through the cabin). In fact, we were greeted multiple times by various cabin staff members throughout the whole experience and the cabin purser greeted us (as well as every other customer) at the beginning as well as at the end which really adds a personal touch to the service.
Cabin and Seat
The Business Class cabin on the A350 is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, with rows one to five forming a forward section, and row six forming a mini-cabin behind it, separated by the lavatories. Seats are the Super Diamond seating arrangement all offering aisle access in a herringbone formation. One thing to note is the cabin feels very spacious due to having no cabin bag bulkheads in the middle and the small walk-up bar that houses a range of snacks and drinks during the flights adds to the spaciousness.
If you are travelling as a couple you will probably prefer the middle seats as they are joined together with an adjustable privacy partition (the Qsuite has a slightly different layout, offering couples even closer proximity) which can be put up and down and for solo travellers the window seats are likely to be the best option.
The seat controls were conveniently located on the side table and were very user-friendly. They allow for independent control of each aspect of the seat, with preset options for achieving a fully reclined position, an upright posture, dining mode, and comfortable lounging.
If you want to get some sleep, the seat seamlessly transforms into an expansive 80-inch (2.03-meter) flatbed, Being tall I wasn’t convinced if I could lie flat out and yes I could lie completely flat out! In addition, the seat is padded making it comfortable to sleep and a thick cosy blanket is provided for extra comfort.
To the side of your seat, there is a small side console where you can stow loose items such as mobile phones, reading materials, and laptops, although it must be kept clear during taxi, take-off, and landing. Additionally, there’s a designated water bottle holder with a 500ml bottle securely placed in it and a small reading light which is controlled via the remote control. Further storage can also be found down by your legs in a side bin, the seat also includes both a plug socket and USB sockets for charging appliances.
A large 17-inch entertainment screen graces every seat which has touch-screen functionality in addition to being able to be controlled by remote control. Qatars Oryx One entertainment system offers a huge global selection of music, radio, Hollywood and Bollywood movies, sitcoms, and short programming, which includes documentaries, comedy – the list goes on and on so you won’t run out of things to watch.
The remote control becomes really useful once you have reclined your seat to a lower angle for relaxing after eating dinner as you become too far away to use the touch screen functionality.
A discreet compartment to the side of your seats stores the noise-reducing headphones which offer cinema-quality sound as well as a high level of background noise reduction.
Referred to as “Super Wi-Fi,” the Airbus A350 aircraft (along with the A350, B787, A319 and select B777, A330, and A320 aircraft) offers inflight connectivity. Qatar Airways aims to extend this high-speed option to all its planes in due course, and it is available for purchase starting at £10 for a session, however, Qatar Privilege Club members enjoy one hour of free Super Wi-Fi just by logging in with your membership details.
Amenities & Facilities
The airline has a partnership with the renowned French fragrance brand Diptyque for skincare products and every business class seat comes with an amenity kit that includes an eye mask for sleeping, socks, earplugs, hand cream, body lotion and lip balm, and an exclusive 10ml Diptyque fragrance.
Passengers are offered a towel also by Diptyque to rejuvenate their face and hands before and after each meal service and toothbrushes and razors are available from a drawer in the toilets. And worth noting that staff checked and cleaned the toilet areas each time before you used it and toilets include Diptyque products as well.
Prior to departure, you are offered a welcome drink, which includes Brut and Rosé Champagne, along with their signature non-alcoholic drink, but who can say no to a glass of bubbles!
The wine list is extensive and includes full-page descriptions along with photos of each bottle. Choices encompass three white wines, three red wines, a sweet white wine, and a port.
Flight attendants are well-trained and capable of providing expert recommendations for wine pairings with various dishes. They also typically pour the wine at your seat, adding a touch of restaurant-style finesse to the experience and all business class cabins on Qatar Airways are absent of service carts – again underscoring the brand’s commitment to precision and attention to detail.
The selection of cocktails and mocktails is extensive, featuring classics like an Old Fashioned and Dry Martini. An array of spirits is available, ranging from Grey Goose, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, and Hendricks Gin. Beer options often include Stella Artois and Leffe.
For tea enthusiasts, TWG Teas are served on Qatar Airways flights. Speciality coffees, such as Americano, espresso, latte, and macchiato, are also on offer.
Menus and wine lists were provided prior to take-off, and orders were collected in advance. Qatar Airways offers a dine-when-you-want service, so you can literally eat when you want and as much as you want. However, it is worth ordering, or at least picking what you want at take off as they can run out of popular items.
On this afternoon flight, there were four mains and four lighter options available, along with a range of lighter snacks.
The table is stored under the TV and comes forward with ease and is adorned with a tablecloth, mini metal salt, and pepper mills, a bread basket, and a cut battery-operated candle.
I had my eye on the Traditional Arabic Breakfast with Pita Bread which didn’t disappoint and much later on in the flight around two hours before landing in Doha I ordered the Afternoon Tea which came with fresh finger sandwiches, warm scones, and clotted cream and pastries.
Following dinner, before you sleep or nap a chocolate box is left on your table along with a towel.
Upon arrival at Hamad International Airport, we had the Meet and Greet service, which is complimentary to Platinum and Gold Privilege Club members. Staff greet you off the plane and take you through bag check and into the terminal and then onto your next flight. Hamad International Airport is going through a significant building process at the moment (huge as it is already) many flights arrive and then need a bus to take them to the main terminal, the new building will mean that arrival flights will arrive at an air bridge instead. The bus from the airport has a separate Business and First bus which then took around 15 minutes to get to the arrivals hall. Upon arriving at the arrivals hall there was a separate Business and First bag check and it took around five minutes to do a bag check before we were into the main terminal.
In the realm of travel excellence, Qatar Airways takes centre stage, with its singular hub, the Doha Hamad International Airport. This airport, a reflection of the airline’s commitment to luxury and comfort, offers an array of exceptional amenities, from luxury shopping experiences to a lavish airside hotel while a delightful display of modern artwork graces the airport, with two standout pieces: the renowned Lamp Bear, a majestic giant teddy bear valued at a staggering 7 million USD, and Kaws’ captivating creation, “Small Lie.”
Business Class passengers enjoy the privilege of accessing the renowned Al Mourjan Business Lounge and the new Al Mourjan Business Lounge in the Garden. These oases come complete with rejuvenating shower facilities, nap accommodations, and a gym.
Culinary delights abound in Al Mourjan, with a diverse selection of global cuisines on offer, spanning Middle Eastern, European, and Indian flavours. The primary dining areas present both buffet and à la carte dining options. Those seeking libations will find a plethora of bar choices, including one within the restaurant, where Champagne flows generously, featuring brands like Charles Heidsieck Champagne – Rosé and Philipponnat Champagne Royale Reserve Brut.
If you want to take the luxuries even further the new airport extension, The Orchard is home to Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge – The Garden, which opened in May 2023 at Hamad International Airport, is a 7,390 sqm haven exclusively designed for Premium passengers that combines natural light, lush greenery, and stylish decor, mirroring the tropical garden and water features of the new new impressive space. Within the new lounge, you will find the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno which you can read about here as we visited it during our time in the airport.
If you are looking for what is an incredible Business Class experience, then Qatar Airways is the only way to fly and we truly enjoyed our time flying from Edinburgh to Doha. Find out more about Qatar’s Business Class products here.