Qatar Airways To Introduce Super Business Class Bedrooms In 2016?

Etihad kind of revolutionized first class with the introduction of their A380, which features The Residence and First Apartments.

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Etihad A380 First Apartment & The Residence cabin

Emirates quickly caught on, and announced that they’d introduce a first class bedroom concept as well, obviously not wanting to be too badly outdone by their UAE-rival. Not surprisingly, we haven’t actually seen what Emirates’ bedroom concept will look like in practice.

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Etihad The Residence bedroom

Meanwhile a couple of hundred miles west, Qatar Airways’ CEO proclaimed that first class was obsolete, and that Qatar Airways would introduce a super business class instead. Not surprisingly, he was big on talk but short on details.

While we still don’t have full details on the concept, Australian Business Traveller has some more information:

The all-new design will include “a double bed at a business class fare” Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker told Australian Business Traveller at the launch of its Airbus A350 in Doha.

The airline’s current business class seat “by 2016 will be obsolete,” Al Baker predicted.

“We are developing a new seat to which we will have proprietary rights, and one which will be unrivalled… and when you introduce that product into the airplane there is really not need for first class.”

Boasting that Qatar Airways always “raises the bar”, Al Baker said that “Now that everybody is introducing bedrooms into their airplanes, we will do it but provide it at a cheaper cost.”

So Qatar Airways will be introducing a proprietary double bed business class seat? This sounds… interesting.

It’s ironic that His Excellency says that by 2016 their current business class seat will be obsolete. That sounds nice in theory, except for the fact that Qatar Airways has three generations of business class products, two of which are outrageously obsolete for an airline that refers to themselves as “the world’s five star airline.” Angled seats on the A330 and fully flat forward facing seats on the 777 are a far cry from the business class product they have on their A380s and 787s, which is actually excellent (though hardly revolutionary).

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Qatar Airways A330 business class

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Qatar Airways 787 business class

Beyond that, if they do introduce a double bed style business class product, won’t it actually be better than their A380 first class product?

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Qatar Airways A380 first class

Anyway, I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Presumably if they’re introducing a business class product with double beds there will be doors, which would be a first for a business class product. But I just can’t conceptualize it.

So… anyone have any predictions? Or anyone else think His Excellency may be a most excellent bluffer?

Comments

  1. I would wonder what other first class like etihad and emirates would be like if bedrooms are introduced in business class… super bedrooms?

  2. Maybe like the new WY super suite?
    If was only sold as a full fare product , would fit the description of a biz fare double bed. Maybe 2/3 per plane with all else being more conventional seating

  3. IMHO the Qatar 777-200 LR Business Class Seat is by far the best in the world today. It has a 78inch pitch and is 22 inches wide. I flew MIA-DOH-BOM-DOH-MIA in December 2014. For long haul flights they give pajamas, the flight attendants hang up your clothes and even make up your bed by placing a mattress on the bed.

  4. How long before one of the three carves off a third of the second level for a private airplane-like experience, with a giant bedroom, a giant living room, and a conference table to work at?

    I mean, these are all nibbling around the edges after the Etihad example.

    If money’s no object, and revenue doesn’t matter, make something for a family of four to travel in luxury without having to deal with all the burden of owning a jet, or a share.

  5. “It’s ironic that His Excellency says that by 2016 their current business class seat will be obsolete. That sounds nice in theory, except for the fact that Qatar Airways has three generations of business class products, two of which are outrageously obsolete for an airline that refers to themselves as ‘the world’s five star airline.'”

    Didn’t you hear that maintaining a consistent product across the fleet is already obsolete? Get with the times Lucky. His Hilariousness has decreed it.

  6. Maybe the double beds will be oriented sideways, like Etihad’s Apartment beds. No seats, just beds, you have to fly lying down. And the beds will be only 40″ long so that they can fit four of them across the cabin. His Excellency, call me!

  7. Lucky, yes I do. My wife and I booked the two center aisles and we loved it. We like aisle access and the center seats gave us that. The seat, its pitch, its length, the comfort of the mattress etc.etc. make this for us a far superior product in business than any other. We have flown Etihad,Lufthansa,Swiss etc.and in business class, Qatar is our favorite.

  8. @Neil S., Etihad pretty much gives a sense of a private airplane with its Residence and First Class apartments. Given barely nobody was at the lounge and how the lounge can seat 6 people around the table, that can serve as a conference table.

    If anything, I think Qatar would be a true game changer if it invests more on faster wifi.

  9. I see where @mas is coming from – the 787 seat is great for lounging/getting work done, but terrible for sleeping. simply not wide enough nor cushy enough, even with the ‘mattress’. the 777 seat is a lot more comfortable. even for those in the window, stepping over the lady or gentleman in the aisle isn’t a big deal because the seat reclines so low to the floor. its also a lot more private than the 787 seat.

  10. “Qatar Airways has three generations of business class products, two of which are outrageously obsolete for an airline that refers to themselves as “the world’s five star airline.”

    Yeah boy, truer words were never spoken. I had the misfortune to fly ‘Business’ on Qatar’s A330 once. ‘Premium Economy’ is what it is.

  11. Well, I don’t know about QR’s A330 C, but I have experienced the previous and current C on the 777 as well as the 787. IMHO, the 777 C was way superior to the 787. Now I’m not a tall guy, but comparing those two hard products, I almost felt cramped in the 787! The 777 C gave such a spacious feel, you have a nice flatbed, decent IFE monitor size, 4 windows per row – what more can you wish for? Aisle access? Not really a problem as stated above.
    I was also lucky to experience 3 different F products of EK, and apart from the suites, both other products deserve to be called outdated – the oldest one being on par with LH’s old F or SQ’s F from the early 90s… but I digress.
    My personal, very subjective conclusion is: I would always prefer the “old and obsolete” C product on QR’s 777 (which I wouldn’t consider being outdated, and it gets you the most awesome bang for your buck!) over the new product found in 787, A350 and A380.

  12. His excellency is not even an excellent bluffer. He has promised to open his airport in Doha every year since 2009 and only managed to partly open it in 2014 (up to now without Qatar’s Civil Defence even approving the fire safety!). By the way: QR food sucks! – Economy food has not only been unchanged since 2008, the “quality” of the food even got worse (also in Business Class – before they at least had decent wines in Business Class…)

  13. I’ve flown pretty much every business class product there is and many of the first class products over the past couple of decades, and I have to say that the QR 777 is one of my absolute favorites. I like it, as many have pointed out, much more than the 787, which although has snazzy seats, simply does not have the gorgeous sense of space that the 777 has. Trust me that pictures do not do justice to the experience of the QR 777. At nearly 80″ of space, it reminds me of the old first class seats – 4 windows to a seat, and at only 6 abreast on the 777 there is nothing comparable to it! Only the new Lufthansa F matches it. Pajamas, a mattress for a fully flat bed, a la carte service on demand, silverware to perfectly match each course, a great IFE. It is a pretty perfect product.

  14. Ben,
    I am afraid i have to completely disagree with you regarding the 777 cabin. Having now flown the new cabins (787 & A380) my wife and I think the 777 is the best cabin by a country mile. Very spacious, better IFE (matched only be the A380). Better bathroom space, better service, better sleep.

    I know these reviews are very individualistic and based on solo travellers but I wish there was a balanced review for pairs as I doubt there are many pairs who would disagree that the 777 is a superior product in every way.

  15. Well said John. I wish people would stop banging on about how marvellous the 787 is when the 777 is the jewel in their crown.

    I found the service on the 787 eratic, food poorer, ife sketchy and fewer options, felt like a small plane which it is.

  16. Interesting – horses for courses I guess.
    I flew on the latest product on an A380 from LHR to DOH & then swapped to the prior product on the 77W for the flight home to MEL.
    I was a single traveller & had a window seat on the A380, so direct aisle access although I would always prefer a window seat whenever I fly – regardless of layout.
    The 777 saw me in the middle 2 seats in row 1 and I didn’t like it versus what I’d just flown on.
    Sure the A380 is much quieter than the 77W but I liked my isolation on the side on the first flight & missed it on the much longer 77W flight. I also don’t care much for row 1 or any airline with fold out screens or tables from the armrests so perhaps things were stacked against me loving the 777 product on this flight. Didn’t find the bed especially comfortable either compared to that of the first flight, though I didn’t need to sleep on the first flight, just wanted to see what it would be like.
    Found the service & food good on both flights, just a little bit nicer on the flight out of LHR.
    The next trip though will be flying out of ADL on the 359 & it’s 1-2-1 seating rather than using the 77W again from MEL.

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