Airlines Reviews

Review: Qatar Airways Business Class on the 787-9 from Manchester to Doha featuring their newest business class seat

a man taking a selfie in an airplane

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.


Qatar Airways 787-9 Business Class Suites Manchester to Doha

17+ hours of Qatar Airways Business Class for just 55k American Miles? Check. Try out not only Qatar’s latest business class on the 787-9, but also finally review their older A350-900 business featuring super diamond seats as well? Check, check. A little back story.

My wife and I were headed off on a fantastic monthlong journey that was the combination several different pre-pandemic trips that kept getting delayed, and since Hollywood was on strike, we decided to do them all together and leave from England. If you don’t know, my wife is an actor and director and work can sometimes, and often, come last minute and change our plans. We decided to make the most out of the situation and see some of the world we hadn’t experienced together.

We’d start in Manchester, UK head to South Africa + Zimbabwe for a safari, jet to Egypt to see ancient wonders, and then tour India, see the Taj Mahal and circle back to England for some family visits. It would be a trip of a lifetimes and as luck would have it…Qatar Airways released two seats in business class out of Manchester to Cape Town via Doha to start our journey off and we booked them with AA miles.

Trip Details

  • When: June 2023
  • Where: Manchester UK to Doha, Qatar
  • How Much: 55K American Miles + $324 per ticket
  • Seat: 7E/F
  • Cabin: Business Class
  • Flight Time: 8 hours

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zachary Burr Abel (@zacharyburrabel)

Booking

  • 55k AA Miles + $324

One of the best ways to use American Airlines Aadvantage miles isn’t actually within the USA or even departing the USA. It’s flying from Europe to Africa or Asia. See, the partner airlines offer incredible products ( Qatar, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, etc ) and there is often a lot more availability than you’d find flying American itself.

Case in point. We booked 2 incredible business class flights, totaling 15+ hours of flight time, for just 55k miles + $324 per ticket. A little hint to finding space is to search by segment – there is often more space between Doha and Cape Town than Manchester and Doha so narrow down your options by finding the dates where Manchester to Doha ( or whatever European City you’re originating ) and then marry it to the other segment.

If you’d like to see the calendar on AA, make sure do you a 1 way search, and then on the results page make it looks like this: ( select calendar, one stop, and business/first )

a screenshot of a calendar

I ended up selecting flights that would create a layover long enough to go into Doha, get some dinner and sleep at the Park Hyatt Doha, and in doing so, yield a new review, avoid a horrid redeye flight into Cape Town, and show my wife just a glimpse of Doha.

This is how it looks on AA.com

a screenshot of a login

Getting the AA Miles

Other ways of Booking

The easiest alternative is to book with Avios ( either British Airways or Qatar Airways ). Remember you can merge Avios between accounts: BA, Qatar, Iberia, Aer Lingus very easily, so when a bank like Chase or Amex has a 30 or 40% transfer bonus you can utilize them within any airlines via a merge.

Read about how to do that here.

For the sake of making things easy, I’ll just show you what it looks like on Qatar Airways since they show the most space for their own members. It’s 75k Avios and 370 pounds

a screenshot of a phone

Of course you could book with Cathay Asia Miles or Alaska Mileage Plan.

Check In

We spent the night at the Radisson Blu Manchester Airport which, surprisingly, had very good food with an airport view. It was a very early start, which is why we chose to stay at the airport, and we just used the skybridge to walk over – super easy, and while the hotel is a bit dated, I’d stay again in a heartbeat.

Check In was pretty smooth with virtually no line and we were given our lounge passes – the 1903/Escape Lounge.

people standing in a line in an airport

The Lounge – 1903

The 1903/Escape lounge is an interesting one, with the Escape part accessible via Priority Pass, and looked quite nice,  but inside it was the entrance to the 1903 lounge – another step up. It isn’t accessible via Priority Pass, but is with a participating business class ticket, and was a an impressive elevated lounge which you can pay to enter, you can do so for £49.99 here.

a entrance to a building

Boarding

The flight was delayed almost an hour, but once boarding commenced it was swift and we took our seats at the back of the cabin in 7E and 7F.  I typically choose the rear two seats as it’s much easier for filming and pictures.

a group of people standing at a counter in a building

First Impression

The cabin is sexy, sleek, and very fresh in a 1-2-1 configuration featuring all aisle access, closing doors, and features the Ascent seat from Adient. I’m going to be straight up – while it’s aesthetically a beautiful cabin, I think it’s a miss when it comes to the seat… I’m not a fan. Let me get into it.

a row of seats on an airplane

Amenities

Amenities from Diptyque – there was also dental packages in the bathroom

Diptyque Amenity Kit

a group of white containers with black labelsWifi – $10 for the flight

I bought the pass for $10 – It was fast enough to do a bit of surfing, update things on the site, but not fast enough to stream, upload efficiently, etc. And yes, I forgot to do a speed test, but $10 for 8 hours…pretty great.

a screenshot of a wi-fi membership

The Seat – Ascent by Adient

Qatar Airways is known to have one of the best business class seats, if not the best, in the QSUITE. I’ve flown it on both the 777-300ER and the A350-1000. It’s fantastic, featuring loads of storage, privacy, and was a homerun and still is when it comes to business class.

The pinnacle of Business Class – the Qsuite

a teddy bear on a bed

This seat, with very similar in appearance, is much tighter from nearly any aspect than the QSuite. It’s odd because the measurements aren’t that different, but sitting in it feels much tighter, and while I do think doors add privacy, this one was more of a nuisance than an attribute.

a seat and a window in a plane

Storage

Two things you need to get right – the comfort of the bed so you can actually rest, and storage for my valuables. I think things like Wifi, power, etc are great, but I need to know I can sleep so my arrival can be productive, and rest easy knowing I have quick and easy access to my stuff.

There is a single cabin for storing your things, which features a door ( great ! ) but oddly this is the only place to store things.

a plastic bottles in a small locker

Remember this is a brand new seat – compare it to the older version of the Zodiac found on  Cathay Pacific Business Class on the A350-1000 that I flew in 2018. This seat has a water bottle storage, larger cabinet, and down by your legs a latch that opens to reveal even more storage.

IFE + Power

I’m not sure the size of the screen, but it’s healthy, and you can control It via touchscreen, or pull out the handheld. As you can see, welcome drinks of lime + mint were served next to champagne, and just to the left, you’ll find the universal power plugs.

Best Seats for Singles and Couples

Pretty straight forward here and while the middle sections doesn’t completely collapse like the QSuites, it collapses very far creating a wide open space for couples to share.

Personally I choose either 8A but I believe all window seats have 2 or partially 2 windows

a row of seats on an airplane

You can really see how low the middle drops; however, you’re both facing to the aisle, so it doesn’t really emulate a bed since your head is in a seat cocoon at the top.

a seat on a planeAnd here you can see it with the partition up.

a seat with a pillow and a screen on it

The Bed

180 degree lie flat. Door Closed. Let’s be honest, there isn’t much margin to complain. With that said, we are talking about Qatar’s latest business class seat, and the day after this flight I flew their old A350-900 with Super Diamonds, and this seat is inferior. Not only is the cushioning harder ( which could be a good thing, I prefer softer bedding ), but around the head and feet it just feels much tighter.

You can see how elements of the seats are near eachother, but you can’t have a conversation unless you sit up. The bedding itself is great, and you get two pillows ( amazing ), but the design makes you feel squeezed vs the other Qatar products.

a person sitting in a chair with headphones on a bed

If I had the option between flying the older A359 and this product, I’d choose the older one. That was shocking.

Dining and Service

Qatar is known for great service and dine on demand. When judging food on an airline, it’s worth noting that Qatar is amongst the best bar none. They are head shoulders above anything America or Europe offers, and I’d say are in the same playing field as Emirates, Etihad, ANA, Cathay, Singapore, Japan Airlines, etc. I thought they continued to shine on this flight; however, the service isn’t quite on the same level as the Asian carriers or even my most recent experiences on Emirates. The difference being, while the service was very good, they didn’t make me feel as if they enjoyed it ( that sounds weird to say ), but the most of the Asian carriers have perfected the art of making you truly feel like the crew derives joy from making your experience great.

The Menu

  • Billecart-Salmon + Laurent-Perrier

What a way to start a flight – very good bubbles. Everything you see is available and any time and in any order.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I chose to have the traditional Arabic Breakfast which was delicious.

a plate of food on a table

With some fruit

a plate of fruit and a croissant on a table

And then prior to landing I had afternoon tea

a plate of pastries and desserts

I would say that Qatar offers arguably the best food options of any middle east carrier in business class.

Overall

This is a tremendous way to fly, and any nitpicking is principally to understand the choice Qatar made to implement a seat that I don’t think is a step in the right direction, and offer up an honest opinion to aid you when you redeem your miles or pay cash. Having now flown 4 different Qatar Airways business class products I’d rank them as such

  • QSuites – 777/A350
  • Business Class – A350-900 and A380
  • New Business Suite

Have you flown their new product? What do you think?

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.