Recently, I flew Business Class on Qatar Airways to the Maldives. This was my first time flying with Qatar airways and I was curious what the experience would be like, both because I had never flown with them before and because I had heard so many things about how well they have handled Covid protocols.
Traveling anywhere internationally during this pandemic is not for the faint of heart. Testing requirements, vaccine requirements, mask mandates etc are adding a few more loopholes to the travel process. However, if you are desperate to use your passport once again and pack plenty of patience, you can travel safely during a very different time in the travel world.
My travel time from the US to the Maldives was going to be a commitment. 30+ hours of travel is no joke, but I knew that the payoff in the end was going to be a bucket list experience in one of the coolest island destinations in the world. If you can afford to purchase the business class seats, do it. It set me up to help with jet lag and arrive in the Maldives feeling refreshed and excited instead of exhausted.
When boarding my Qatar airways flight from Dulles International Airport to Doha Airport for the first leg of my trip, you are met with by a very welcoming staff who escort you to your Qsuite. The suites feature a huge tv screen, lie flat bed, plush pajamas and an amenity kit complete with socks, eye mask and facial products.
I was asked if I wanted any Champagne (the answer is always yes) and settled in for my 13 hour flight to Qatar. The seating arrangements are a staggered 1-2-1, meaning you have 1 seat on each side that faces forwards or backwards and two suites in the middle (these suites are ideal for couples as the middle partition can come down making the suite larger and turning the lay flat seats into a double bed).
If you are traveling alone, I suggest the odd number rows that face backwards as the seat is closer to the window then the aisle giving you more room and more distance between any noise or disturbances coming down the aisle from flight attendants or other passengers.
After take off, the flight attendant came by to see if I wanted to order food or wait. I preordered breakfast and we talked about a time they could wake me up if they needed to. When I said I wanted to sleep first they offered to make the bed for me, while I changed into my Pjs. I came back to find my seat in the lie flat position, a mattress pad and new pillow placed on top and the blanket rolled out and ready for me to snuggle into.
Now I am not a good plane sleeper, I am usually too amped up and excited or need total darkness and there is always too much going on for me to focus. However, as soon as the cabin lights were turned down, the door closed and my airpods in, I was able to actually fall asleep. I did wake up a few times, but did manage to get a good 4-5 hours which never happens for me.
When I woke up, I ordered breakfast and coffee and watched a couple movies while connected to the wifi so I could scroll social media or listen to a podcast. The breakfast menu was a set menu of fruit, pastries, yogurt, eggs, potatoes and spinach. The food was better than most airplane food I have had and the added touch of a table cloth and real silverware made it feel even more luxurious. As we prepared for arrival into Doha, I changed out of my pjs and was able to reapply makeup, brush my teeth and freshen up in the largest airplane bathroom, I have ever been in. It was clean and fresh and I felt like I had room to move around, change and get myself ready to deplane.
All in all, I see why Qatar airways business class was voted the best business class in the world. The service was exceptional, the Qsuites spacious and perfect for a really long flight. If you are going on a trip that has some pretty long flying times and can afford it, do it. You won’t regret it at all!