I enjoyed several very good experiences on business class flights in 2019. Among them are Korean Air’s excellent Apex Suite on an A330-300 and a 747-8, Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia Airlines A330s, AeroMexico 787-9 and even good flights on Delta Air Lines and American the airlines I fly most often.
Selecting last year’s best business class flight, however, was no contest. A Qatar Airways new A350-1000 flight from New York, NY (JFK) to Doha, Qatar (DOH) easily tops them all. Everything about that flight from the seat, service, food and beverages was superb.
Food and Beverages
Meals were the best part. Here are the photos.
First Meal Service
Tomato and roasted red pepper soup was served in a covered bowl.
The meal concluded with ice cream, rose water syrup, fresh berries and porto.
Passengers choose the timing of the mid-flight snack. Six hours from DOH I requested chicken biryani from the a la carte menu as a snack. It was served with warm bread and red pepper tomato soup. I passed on cheesecake.
Instead of a western or Arabic breakfast, I opted for lobster mac & cheese.
To review the extensive menus listing the range of food and beverages available on this flight see the full review here.
Bloggers and ratings services rave about the Qsuite. It is a fantastic business class seat because of the door and stylish good looks, but it is not the greatest thing since sliced bread in my humble opinion.
No question this is a great seat but it suffers from the same drawback as nearly every other business class seat in the sky.
When reclined, feet and lower legs must fit into a small space under the console of the seat in front.
The Apex Suite is a business class seat that feels more like first class because it doesn’t require putting your feet in a small space. In 2019, I experienced the Apex Suite on a Korean Air 747-8 and A330 and on a Japan Airlines 787-9 and Korean Air 777-300 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Korean Air is one of the few airlines still flying 747s. It uses the new 747-8 model.
A highly touted feature of business class on all Qatar aircraft with Qsuites is the arrangement where four seats in the center are configured to face each other. I call it the “Quad Pod.”
This arrangement seems designed to encourage talking. If you are travelling with a companion you want to be close to, the seats pushed together are great. As one who travels solo most often and values peace and quiet onboard, the Quad pod could be a negative. Fortunately in several Qsuite flights over the last two years I’ve never seen a Quad Pod used for business meetings or family gatherings.
In sum, Qatar goes out of its way to make its business class the world’s best. Would you like to try it? Political disputes between Qatar and some of its Gulf neighbors have seriously hurt business for Qatar Airways. To compensate, the airline periodically offers prices that are about half of what some mediocre airlines charge.
The best option, though, is booking with Japan Airlines miles. For example, you can book a roundtrip Qsuite flight from the U.S. east coast to Doha, Qatar for 100,000 Japan Airlines miles. The easiest way to get those miles is by transferring points from a Marriott account. And transferring 95,000 Marriott points yields 100,000 miles in JAL’s program!