Is the Qatar Airways QSuite better than First Class?

Lately, airlines have been increasingly innovative with their business class seats, and have been shooting themselves in the leg by offering a First Class. I always felt that Singapore Airlines Business Class Seat was as good as its first class one so its nice to see some differentiation going on there. However, I’m now convinced that Qatar Airways QSuites (hard product) is actually superior to most First Class products out there now. I mean first class really has become more about the bling and useless extra space as opposed to functionality. I’ve remained quiet on the topic so I thought I would weigh in on it now as I plan some travel.

I’ll go really far out there and compare the QSuites to the latest First Class seats:

Looking at the new Emirates 777 First Class seat, it just looks like a slightly more spacious Qatar QSuite with some ambient lighting and virtual windows. The smart business tactic that Emirates imposed was that they kept their 777 business class dense enough for people to realize the value of First Class. 2-3-2 configuration in business vlass is almost unheard of nowadays!

While there have been a lot of bloggers going around and raving about just how good the Singapore Airlines First Class Suite is, I’ve been sitting at home scratching my head. The design of the suite hardly feels great given the resemblance to a hospital room. That chair surely reminds all new fathers about those nights spent at the hospital waiting to take their newborn home 🙂 Not to mention a lot of sleepless nights lol

I will say that the Suites Class bed appears to be a step above what an Etihad apartment offers given that narrow bench they offer. That just reminds me of a night sleeping on a bed in a hard surfaced sleeper train in India or somewhere similar when I was a kid. Not to mention it’s way too narrow. I also don’t appreciate the fact that the seat doesn’t recline more than 45 degrees, which is annoying when falling asleep. I don’t know if I want to get up and go sleep on that narrow bed. I prefer to recline my seat, but wait it doesn’t recline far enough!

This brings me to my real point: I think the Qatar Airways QSuite appears to be the best all round product outside the Etihad Residence (which most of us can’t afford). The space is functional, the suite is enclosed, the bed looks comfortable, and you have the added bonus of the QuadSuite when traveling with a family. The tones are especially pleasing to the eye, and the design doesn’t feel sterile, blingy, or useless.

Here is a picture of what a window seat looks like (image by Andy @ Andy’s Travel Blog).

Bottom Line:

Sure both Singapore and Etihad offer more space, but just how much of that is functional? I’m a little disappointed especially in Singapore because they could’ve gone a step further and better usage of space. While Singapore does make a step in the right direction in terms having a real bed in the sky, it still feels a bit narrow from what I can see. And given the space there they could’ve very easily fitted a slightly bigger sized bed. I’m not quite sure what Etihad did, but they certainly have ways to go to before I would say they have the best product. My only complaint with Emirates’ New 777 First Class is the ornate decor is getting to be a bit much, and the design really isn’t that different from a QSuite.


Anyway these are just some of the thoughts going through my head as I plan out which one of these I’m going try out next. Unfortunately my travel plans don’t take me to the Middle East or Asia anytime soon so I will have to see how I can fit this into my travel schedule.


Which one do you guys prefer? The bling bling (Emirates), the hospital room (Singapore), the elegant bench (Etihad), or Qatar’s QSuites?


I find myself leaning more toward Qatar and perhaps even Emirates. I’d love to hear your recommendations given that I’ve only tried one of these 🙂






    1. Teja

      Sort of, I’ve walked through it and my co blogger has flown it (note how the Etihad pictures are the only ones from our site) I call it a bench because it feels relatively narrow and most of all rather hard. The hard surface is what is killer imo

    2. Sasidhar

      I’m the other co-blogger on this vlog. That particular picture was taken by me. I flew Etihad first twice and I would rate it the highest among all the products so my ranking differs quite a bit from my brother’s.

      But then, I’d say we each have a different utility curve and list of requirements so it’s expect some disagreement between any two people

  1. fabinhoBP

    You must be out of your mind.
    As good as Qatar’s QSuites are, they are still a very good, pehaps the best business class at this moment, however it cannot be compared to several First Class Suites/Seats such as Emirates, Singapore, Etihad, Air France, Cathay Pacific, Asiana, JAL, Qantas and a few others.

    1. Teja

      I would argue that it is on par in terms of hard product. The functionality and fully enclosed nature of the product make it better than JAL and some others in some ways. I like that Singapore First Class has more space which gives it a slight edge but they have so much wasted space… Soft product wise, first class will hopefully remain better and ahead in most cases.

  2. mogando

    disclosure : I’ve flown F in NH JL QF LH CX SQ CA TG OZ EY but not EK KE CZ MU QR BA AF LX etc

    that said, posts like these completely misses the mark about F vs J. If the argument is “a bed is a bed is a bed”, then that discussion was over in 2003 when BA launched the first true flat bed in the world (not the slanted crap)

    F is about privacy (cabin privacy not seat privacy), about soft product (the FA-to-pax ratio is multi-fold lower), about ground experience, and about being able to anticipate your needs BEFORE u ring the call button.

    If the requirement is just a flat bed, fast WiFi, and big IFE screen for movies, then J is the best value proposition.

    F’s notorious sky high cash prices are more about the halo psychology effect. Their mileage costs are much more reflective of their relative premium over J.

    1. Teja

      Well said, I agree with you along the points of soft product making a huge difference. But the hard product in First class leaves a little to be desired given the premium people pay for it. As a seat I would take Qatar any day over Etihad Apartment as far as I can see because of the seat. Looking forward to testing Qatar soon….

  3. Alex

    Just flew the QSuites yesterday with my family and it is a fantastic experience. However, in terms of seat comfort, if still rank AA 777 ahead of it. Of the premium cabins Ives flown it would go Etihad Apartment-SQ old Suites-Garuda F, Lufthansa F, Thai 747 New F, AA 777, QSuites. Also I don’t know why Qatar’s A350 reverse herringbone received such rave reviews, I hated the seat. There was no privacy and I couldn’t find a comfortable position to sleep in

    1. Teja

      Thanks for the feedback! I may need to reassess my thinking after I try it out (if I get the chance). My problem with Etihad was how hard the seat was more so than anything else. Rolling the seat over for the bed was the issue I had with SQ’s old suite.

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