Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Booking
We were in the midst of the 2022 World Cup and the last minute direct flights from Riyadh to Doha cost over $400 in economy class and $1,200 in business class. Having obtained a World Cup match ticket…the day before the match, my choices were rather limited! Good thing I had Avios points in the bank!
To book this flight in business class from Riyadh (RUH) to Doha (DOH), so I used 21,000 Avios points and $143 (from taxes paid with my HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® to avoid foreign currency conversion fees and get 6 points per dollar on this travel purchase).
The flight was also available in economy class for 7,000 Avios points.
All I had to do was transfer 21,000 Membership Rewards points from my American Express Cobalt® Card to British Airways Executive Club to book this flight (see full explanation at the end of the article).
Like all Qatar Airways flights in the Middle East, this one is classified as First, although it is in Business Class (Qsuite).
With a connection, this would allow access to the Qatar Airways First Al Safwa lounge. Since my destination was Doha, it allowed me to benefit from the Al Safwa Arrivals lounge.
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Check-in
During the World Cup, flights between Riyadh and Doha were all operated from Terminal 3.
After checking that I had the Hayya card (the key to enter Qatar during the World Cup), I got my boarding ticket for Qatar Airways Qsuite.
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Hayyak lounge
In Terminal 3, the Business Lounge located at Gate 302 was closed. The only choice is the Hayyak Salon located at Gate 305. This lounge occupies a reserved area at the level of the boarding gates.
It is a comfortable space with leather chairs (each with access to electrical and USB outlets).
Food is served in individual packages instead of a buffet. Probably leftovers from the COVID-19.
Check out the gallery below for all the photos from this Hayyak show:
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Boarding
After a short hour in the Hayyak Lounge, I headed to gate 331. Boarding will be done on time by bus.
Unlike other airlines that have separate buses for economy and business class passengers (like Swiss), here everyone is on the same bus.
After a few minutes on the tarmac, we are at the foot of the Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 for boarding via the second gate.
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Cabin
Having disembarked first from the bus, I took advantage of the opportunity to take a tour of this sumptuous QSuite cabin, a first for me.
The colors and materials chosen by Qatar Airways for this Qsuite cabin are splendid, down to the smallest details such as the LED lights running throughout the cabin.
Check out the gallery below for all the photos of the Qatar Airways Qsuite cabin:
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Seat
My Qatar Airways Qsuite seat will be the 5K for this flight.
Qatar Airways has thought of the smallest details for this seat with an individual directional light, and a clothes hook (you can also ask to place your jacket in the dressing room).
A velvet cushion completes the seat.
This seat can be transformed into a bed offering a rather comfortable space for the legs. Note that the armrest near the windows also lowers to allow more space and freedom of movement.
All controls are conveniently arranged in an arc and easily accessible whether you are sitting or lying down.
I also like the fact that you only have to touch a button once for the action to take place (rather than holding it down like most airlines do). This allows you to store your belongings while putting the chair in bed position for example.
If you are traveling as a couple, prefer the seats in the opposite direction of travel, in the center of the cabin, which are next to each other.
And if you’re traveling with your family, book a set of 4 seats that face each other:
- Two seats will be glued together
- The other two seats will be far apart
It is possible to raise/lower the central partition in the 2 seats, as it is also possible to push the screens to the left/right to converse with 4 people!
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Screen
The screen available at each Qatar Airways Qsuite seat is a very large 21.5 inches.
You can connect your mobile devices to it and also use the HDMI socket to connect your computer to it. If I didn’t have time to take advantage of it for this flight of a little more than an hour, it is a real comfort to be able to work with a second screen during a longer flight!
To give you an idea of the size of this screen, here is the famous Milesopedia coaster test:
The operation of the remote control is pleasant and intuitive.
Qatar Airways offers all Qsuite passengers headphones with ambient noise reduction.
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Tablet
The Qatar Airways QSuite seat shelf is cleverly designed to fold in half:
Or unfolded completely, leaving a very large installation surface. For reference, this is a 16-inch Macbook Pro:
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Door
Qatar Airways has chosen to install doors on board the Qsuite business class. This type of layout was once reserved for certain First Class cabins.
Other airlines are currently following this trend (such as Air France on board some B777-300 ERs as of January 2023).
This door brings a real feeling of intimacy, increasing the feeling of being in a real cocoon.
It is possible to close this door during boarding and at cruising altitude. Cabin crew will come and open them for takeoff and landing.
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Toilets
The toilets available to Qsuite passengers are similar in size to those found on board the Airbus A350: small!
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Meals
For this short flight between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, no alcohol is served. So you have to fall back on other types of drinks like tea or the non-alcoholic cocktail “So Jennie”.
For the meal, it is the “Match-time platter” under the theme of the Football World Cup with Middle Eastern dishes.
All this was quite enough for this mid-afternoon short flight.
Imagine this type of service with white nape between Montreal and New-York or Paris and Nice 😉
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - In flight
This flight on Qatar Airways Qsuite between Riyadh and Doha in the middle of the afternoon will go smoothly.
Thanks to my seat reversed from the direction of travel, I have a very nice view on the Winglet of the A350-1000 and on this Saudia aircraft rolling behind us.
The luminosity of this end of day is splendid as well at the departure of Riyadh as at the arrival on Doha.
We will pass in front of the famous Lusail Stadium in which I was going to attend the same evening the match of the eighth final between Portugal and Switzerland (won 6 to 1 by the Portuguese) and where the Final of the World Cup was going to take place a few weeks later (unfortunately lost by France against Argentina).
Qatar Airways Qsuite A350 - Arrivals lounge
When I arrived in Doha, my “First” ticket gave me access to the Al Safwa First lounge for arrivals and especially to expedited immigration.
In fact, I was the only passenger to get here. A buffet of cold dishes and drinks was available, with a World Cup theme throughout the space.
I didn’t really linger here, having to get to my hotel and then to the stadium for the Match!
Check out the gallery below for all the photos on Al Safwa First for arrivals:
How to earn AVIOS points
The top 5 credit cards offering Avios points are
- American Express Cobalt® Card : 5 Avios points per dollar for groceries and restaurants
- RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card Visa Infinite Avion Card: an easily accessible welcome bonus
- HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® No conversion fee on foreign currency transactions.
- RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card: earn Avios points directly on all your purchases
- Business Platinum Card® from American Express : 1.25 Avios per dollar for entrepreneurs with significant business expenses.
To book a flight with Avios on Qatar Airways, simply transfer points from partner programs to British Airways Executive Club.
You can then either use British Airways Executive Club to book your flight, or combine your Avios points between British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
This is the option I chose in order to facilitate my reservations with Qatar Airways.
For this flight, I only needed to use 21,000 Avios points, which is :
- 21,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
- or 21,000 RBC Avion Rewards points
- or 52,500 HSBC Rewards points
- or 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (you will get 25,000 Avios points)
See the articles below for more information:
This first Qatar Airways Qsuite experience was a foretaste for me: 3 days later, I was going to experience a real full flight from Doha to Montreal for 13 hours!
I must say that Qatar Airways maintains its reputation as one of the best airlines in the world for its business class, even on short flights like this one!
Both the service and the comfort on board are of excellent quality. I highly recommend this experience. Especially since points are now easily accessible by combining British Airways Executive Club Avios points with Qatar Airways Privilege Club!