Full disclosure, I've always had this recurring fantasy of being treated like a king without having to really working for it (who doesn't really?). So you can imagine the sheer joy and excitement that was felt at the prospect of flying from Sydney to Adana in Business Class, with Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways had, in fact, just been named the best airline of 2017. On a personal level, Qatar Airways was always my preferred airline of choice based on past experiences. And it only went on to cement itself as my airline MVP over the course of the eighteen hour flight.
With wining, dining, and full-seat reclining, this was a surefire recipe for next level indulgence.
On The Ground
While Sydney's international airport does not have a dedicated Qatar Business Lounge, you're more than welcome to relax in Qantas'. The situation in Doha, however, is entirely different.
The worst thing about flying has got to be the waiting. Hands down. No discussion. With Qatar Business, that issue is almost completely non-existent. The options laid before you are practically endless.
The lounge in Doha caters for almost every conceivable need, beyond that of mere survival. With an elegantly spacious floor, you have the choice of partaking in a full-service buffet, taking a load off at the bar, or simply hooking up to the complimentary Wi-Fi that could teach Australian internet a thing or two. Feeling a little weathered? Not a worry, hit their showers. A little drowsy? There's infinite caffeine to be consumed. And if you so happen to prefer a nap over a beverage, unofficially, the booths are pretty optimal for hibernation-- if you can pull it off tastefully enough in public.
Another thing you'll notice consistently with all Qatar Airways staff (both ground and air) is how they will go out of their way to ensure your comfort is being tended to. At any given moment, when I seemed a little run down, or my naturally bitchy resting face really showed, someone was never more than thirty seconds away from asking if everything was OK, or asked if I needed anything. Now that's service.
In The Air
From the moment you board, you are given more space than anyone needs while 40,000 feat in the air. This is owed largely to the A320's upper deck 1-2-1 seating configuration. Once you've settled in, you are handed two essential pre-flight items: pyjamas and a drink. Leave your public PJ hang-ups at the door. Do not hesitate. Slip those bad boys on, feel the loose cotton hug, and sip the damn champagne.
Let me preface the next statement by saying this is by no means hyperbole. But I have never been more comfortable in my skin than in Qatar Business. From the moment you board, you are given more space than anyone needs while 40,000 feat in the air. This is owed largely to the A320's upper deck 1-2-1 seating configuration. Once you've settled in, you are handed two essential pre-flight items: pyjamas and a drink. Leave your public PJ hang-ups at the door. Do not hesitate. Slip those bad boys on, feel the loose cotton hug, and sip the damn champagne.
The compartments each person is seated at is fully equipped with all that you could ever ask for. You have the standard screen and armrest remote for entertainment, reading light, signal button to catch an attendant's attention, and a noise cancelling headset. Additionally, you had access to a USB charging station, Wi-Fi up in the sky, and a wide range of mechanised seating positions that personally never varied far from the bed setting.
To those of you who like to wander a bit, give your legs a bit of a stretch etc., there is an on-board lounge to be explored. Servicing to spirits, cocktails, and even snacks to accompany, you've never really experienced calm and collected until you've enjoyed an old fashioned, while reading a book you hadn't quite had the time to crack open for almost a year, just as the right wing crosses through to reveal a rising sun.
The crown jewel could definitely be the food and drink. With a constantly updating à la carte menu, no two flights were ever completely the same. There were always options to flirt with the idea of. Each as masterfully prepared as the last, the full course meals arranged to your desire could also be paired with an extensive selection of wines. And of course, none of this would go ahead without your explicit say so. As you will find, the recurring theme throughout this review is that Qatar Airways well and truly tailors itself to the needs of their passengers.
My one major gripe, however, was with the entertainment selection. While there was a fairly impressive library on-board, films and TV shows would often be modified for language and content which can greatly detract overall viewing. Furthermore, while I was provided a code from an airline contact for Wi-Fi, passengers are generally only given 20MB before having to pay for more in units of 5/10MB, which could understandably be an inconvenience. But hey, some Wi-Fi on the plane is better than none. And in Qatar Business, it's really something you don't need to enjoy the flight.
Yes. Definitely yes. A thousand times yes. I wish it were feasible to type out 'yes' in the entire human lexicon, but that would be seen as phoning it in with a gimmick, so I suppose I'll have to let my vocabulary branch out.
Qatar Business completely eliminates all those well established nuisances of air travel with stellar service, amenities that go above and beyond, and most importantly, sufficient leg space. When you fly with Qatar, everything, and I do mean everything, runs on your time (the exception being take-off and landing, of course). What do I mean by this? Your comfort and pleasure is basically placed on a pedestal to be worshipped, and as a result, virtually every single aspect of the trip is adjusted to accommodate for your own pace. Right down to the millisecond.
With Qatar Business, you experience levels of luxury you have only dared to dream about. With Qatar Business, a dream becomes reality. Qatar Business: the limit ends at your imagination (... and less than 10ml of carry-on liquids). Words can only do it so much justice. It is something you just have to experience first-hand. And if there are any of you out there who don't believe a word of what I say, I challenge you to try it for yourself and prove me wrong.
A huge thank you to Qatar Airways for their hospitality in the inaugural Adana trip. Experience it for yourself, and book your next international flight here.