Style and service at the heart of Qatar Airways action

Some in the travel industry see “business class” becoming “holiday class.”

And, of course, in business class on this Qatar Airways flight to Doha there are business travellers, but it is also clear that a considerable number are retirees who are treating themselves to more space and refinements than can be managed in economy, even on this well-designed and presented Qatar Airways A380-800, with a lively crew.

The cabin is laid out 1-2-1. Solos, like me, are on the outside, feet facing out, toward the side of the plane. Couples in the two middle seats are reclined toward the center, feet closer.

There is a seating area with a bar and sofas to the side. While on our overnight flight this doesn’t become a social space (most of the passengers are fast asleep), it is a spacious and pleasant space to stand, stretch, move around… and yes, some still manage to lean on the bar.

Back at my seat, Clement introduces himself and explains the wide, comfortable, flat seat with its position adjustments. He refers to the menu and offers loungewear in three sizes from The White Company, London.

The welcome products are presented in a cardboard box closed with an elegant ribbon and signed Diptyque of Paris. It contains eau de toilette, body lotion, face cream, lip balm, earplugs, an eye mask and socks. Founded in 1961 in the Saint-Germain district of Paris, Diptyque has since been manufacturing perfumes, skincare products and “desirable decorative objects”. As the company’s mantra says: “As many creations for oneself and for the home as stories where the imagination is freed.”

The Diptyque box set on Qatar Airways.
Camera iconThe Diptyque box set on Qatar Airways. Credit: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian

The company also said in a statement that it blends “daydreaming and reality.” I don’t know if that’s the case, but the scents are divine: complex, refreshing, and engaging.

There are no set meal times in Business Class. The a la carte menu offers three choices of starters (soup, Arabic mezzo and tiger prawns and scallops), four main courses (Angus beef fillet, spicy barramundi, chicken cordon bleu, vegetarian risotto), cheeses and a chocolate brownie dessert.

On this flight, which leaves Perth at 10:45 p.m. and arrives in Doha at around 5:35 a.m., after 11 hours and 20 minutes of flight, there is also a breakfast menu.

“Treat yourself to the finest cuisine from our personalized gourmet selection at any time during your trip,” the menu reads.

There are all kinds of drinks, hot and cold.

After a comfortable two-hour connection in Doha, the wine list on the six-and-a-half-hour flight to Paris is equally encouraging.

There is a wide choice of Taittinger or Gosset champagne, St Clair chardonnay from New Zealand and Robert Oatley sauvignon blanc from Margaret River. The Oatley family heritage dates back to the earliest days of European settlement. The first vines were planted in the 1960s and the late Bob Oatley founded the estate in 2006. It is now run by his eldest son, Sandy.

There is a French Mirabeau Rosé from the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence appellation and other strong choices.

We arrive at Hamad International Airport in Doha and I take a flight to Paris using Al Maha Services.

For this second business class flight, I am in a QSuite on board a Boeing B777-300ER.

While the A380 features herringbone capsule seats, the QSuites are very private cabins, with high dividers and a door panel that slides to completely enclose the traveler.

This is a private yacht cabin style room.

There’s a comfortable seat that fully reclines, a large TV screen with Oryx entertainment, plenty of places to store your belongings, another set of loungewear and more from Diptyque.

But the most important thing is the privacy. For most of the flight, I simply feel like I’m the only one on board.

Business Class from Perth to Doha.
Camera iconBusiness Class from Perth to Doha. Credit: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian

Al Maha Services

The night flight from Perth to Doha lands after 11 hours and 20 minutes of flying, and I stretch and drag myself along the jetway with my waking companions.

Doha, this early morning, is silent; the sun is lost in the dust, giving the world a beige hue.

And there, at the end of the footbridge, is a smartly uniformed receptionist with my name on a sign, correctly spelled: Mr Stephen Scourfield.

“Mr Stephen,” the Al Maha Services hostess (official title) tells me, explaining that she will take me to a lounge near the next gate for my connecting flight to Paris. She will drop me off there and come back to pick me up to take me to the gate.

Al Maha Services is the complimentary assistance that Qatar Airways offers to its Gold and Platinum Privilege Club members. I am taken to the Al Mourjan Garden Lounge in the north wing of the airport, next to the orchard, with its tall trees and glitzy shops. The lounge is quiet and comfortable, with a pleasant food and beverage offering and spotless toilets with showers.

And then I’m picked up again and off to Paris, feeling rather spoiled and very well looked after.


There are numerous lounges for business travelers throughout Hamad International Airport.

As part of the expansion that saw the opening of Orchard, several new lounges have been opened. These include the Al Mourjan Business Lounge – the Garden, which also houses the Louis Vuitton Lounge, the North Plaza lounges – Al Maha Lounge, Oryx Lounge and Gold and Platinum Lounge.

+ Stephen Scourfield was a guest of Qatar Airways. They had no influence or view of this story prior to publication.

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