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).
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 🙂