Great food, wine, product, and service proved the magic combination that delivered Qatar Airways the dual awards of best business class and catering in the AirlineRatings.com 2019 Airline Excellence Awards.
Qatar was also fourth in the top 10 airlines for 2019.
Qatar’s business class “Q Suite” is a spacious, private, well-designed business class showcase that is packed with features designed to make travel more productive and comfortable,
It is a whole suite featuring a sliding privacy door and enough room to sprawl out comfortably, feet on the ottoman, without having to worry about swapping things around to make space.
Combine it with Qatar’s top-notch service, food, and in-flight entertainment and the Doha-based airline had a winner.
The suite is dominated by a giant, 21.5-inch high definition touch screen that is both crisp and responsive.
It is complemented by a pair of decent noise-canceling headphones, and the latest version of Qatar’s Oryx system has some 3000 options, including a good selection of movies.
A generous secure storage compartment underneath the big padded armrest next to the seat holds the headphones and water and features a small bridge to keep smaller items such as glasses.
A full countertop is big enough to cope with magazines, menu, spare pillows, and other bits and pieces. Underneath is a lit shelf for parking laptops and tablets.
Variable seat controls allow you to recline or move the seat forward and backward and adjust lumbar support. There are four presets: lie flat, fully upright, take-off and recline.
Options for charging devices include an illuminated USB port and a power point. A second USB port and an HDMI connection are around the corner.
The airline has an on-demand system for ordering, but Qatar’s attentive and personable cabin crew regularly ask if anything is needed.
“Qsuite is a first-class experience in business class,’’ AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said. “It leaves little to chance, and our judges rated it as one of the best overall business-class products they had seen.
“It sets a standard to which some airlines can only aspire.’’
While not all Qatar aircraft feature Qsuites in business class, they do boast the top-end food, presentation, and service that helped Qatar clinch the best catering award.
Getting fed is merely a question of selecting what you want from the a la carte menu and ordering it when you want.
That can include dishes such as dill marinated prawns with smoked salmon; Arabic spiced chicken with cinnamon spiced sauce, rice with minced lamb and golden roasted onions or emmental cheese omelet with chicken patty Lyonnaise potatoes, roasted tomato, and chestnut mushrooms.
It can be washed down with the likes of a Laroche 2015 Chablis Premier Cru and followed by 15-year-old Glenfiddich.
There are also snacks such as a prawn cocktail crostini, duck spring rolls and a blue cheese croquette with pear chutney.
“The catering in Qatar premium classes is restaurant standard, and this helps set a higher bar for the service and food in economy,’’ Mr. Thomas said. “Judges were impressed with the taste, freshness, and presentation of the food.’’
The AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards, judged by seven editors with over 200 years of industry experience, combines important safety and government audits, with 12 key criteria that include: fleet age, passenger reviews profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations.
Only airlines with a seven-star safety rating qualify for the award.