Booking this flight
This flight was a pandemic purchase before travel really truly started up again, so we paid what I think was a reasonable business class fare. The flight schedule was also ideal timing for arriving in the Maldives early in the morning (seaplane transfers only operate during daylight hours) as well as giving us a generous layover in Doha to check out the lounge.
Checking into our flight at the counter at SFO was relatively quick, because the Maldives had recently eliminated pre-departure testing for vaccinated visitors. The only oddity we experienced was when we showed the agent our proof of lodging for our visit, the agent pushed back that our hotel reservation said it was for one room and one person. We don’t really adjust the number of guests when making a hotel reservation, but I guess in this case it mattered. The agent had to call over his manager for their approval, which she begrudgingly gave us.
Currently, Qatar uses the Air France lounge, which is arguably the worst airport lounge at SFO. I’ll post a review of it soon.
After a disorganized boarding process, I finally made it onto the plane and to my seat, 7k. My first impression was that it was an elegantly designed seat that felt really spacious. I loved that the doors closed completely, which made it a fully enclosed suite and gave me maximum privacy during the flight. It was also a rear-facing seat, which I intentionally selected so my seat was oriented toward the window rather than the aisle.
The seat itself was comfortable for sitting, and the in-flight entertainment was easy to use. And while the seat felt spacious, I also found there to be a lack of storage options for my belongings.
Shortly after I arrived, I was offered a pre-departure glass of Laurent Perrier champagne (one of my favorites!) as well as their signature lemon mint cocktail.
There was a small pillow, blanket and diptyque amenity kit at my seat when I boarded. The partnership with Diptyque was announced just a few weeks before our flight, so I was excited to find one at my seat.
Here is what was inside:
- Eau de toilette spray
- Body lotion
- Face cream
- Lip balm
The dinner and drink menu were in a storage area, and my dinner order was taken before we took off.
Shortly after takeoff, dinner service began. I really wanted to like the food because the menu options sounded incredible. Unfortunately, nothing was very tasty. Nothing was terrible either but overall the food was mediocre. I ordered the lobster thermidor, which wasn’t very good.
Over dinner, I checked out the in-flight entertainment options which were easy to use and updated. However, I couldn’t find much of a selection I was interested in watching. I settled on French Exit, which was odd.
When I was ready to sleep, the attendant helped make my “bed,” which was really just a flimsy pad and pillow. The blanket was heavy and soft, which helped, but it wasn’t a great sleeping experience overall.
Unfortunately, service really fell flat on our flight. The attendant responsible for our section was slow and forgetful. I had ordered wine with my entrée but it never came, and I had to constantly ask for more water.
He apologized at the end of the flight for the gaps in service and said it was because it was a completely full flight. I get that travel is still ramping back up, but I think airlines should be able to operate at full capacity at this point.
I was so excited to check out Qsuites for the first time because so many expert flyers rave about it, but my flight didn’t live up to the hype. It fell short in too many major categories like food and service. I haven’t flown the other Middle Eastern carries in business class to compare, but I have flown Singapore Airlines business class on their A350, which I think is a much better experience.