Qatar Airways Adds First Class But Cuts Qsuites On Its Frankfurt Route

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Qatar Airways offers two daily flights between Doha and Frankfurt and this route was one of the first on which the airline offered its fantastic Qsuite Business Class cabin on all flights. Sadly, starting with the summer 2019 season, this will no longer be the case.

From 31 March 2019 Qatar Airways is replacing one of the Qsuite equipped 777-300ER aircraft that operates the Doha and Frankfurt route with the larger Airbus A380 and, all things considered, this is bad news for premium cabin flyers.

Here’s what the new schedule will look like:

QR69 DOH 01:35 – 07:10 FRA (Daily 777 Service)
QR67 DOH 08:05 – 13:40 FRA (Daily A380 Service)

QR70 FRA 10:55 – 17:55 DOH (Daily 777 Service)
QR68 FRA 17:35 – 00:35+ 1 day DOH (Daily A380 Service)

Qatar Airways is trumpeting this change as the introduction of First Class on its Doha – Frankfurt route (the A380 offers 8 First Class seats while the Qsuite equipped 777 offers none) and is spinning the move as a positive one…..but I think this just masks the reality of the situation.

The fact is that Qatar Airways First Class is not actually all that impressive (which is strange for an airline that offers the world’s best Business Class product) and I was quite underwhelmed when I tried it out on a flight between Doha and Paris.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class
Qatar Airways A380 First Class

The Business Class cabin on the Qatar Airways A380 is very good…..

a row of seats in a plane
Qatar Airways A380 Business Class

….but it’s no match for the cabin it’s replacing on the Doha – Frankfurt route.

The Qsuite Business Class cabin (which is offered by the 777 the A380 is replacing) is widely acknowledged to be the best Business Class offering in the world….

a woman sitting in a chair in a plane
Qatar Airways Qsuite

….and the introduction of a mediocre 8-seat First Class cabin in no way makes up for the loss of the Qsuite Business Class cabin.

Sure, there are some positives to the Qatar Airways A380:

The A380 offers a very nice onboard bar which both First Class and Business Class passengers can use….

a bar with a counter and bottles of alcohol
Qatar Airways A380 Bar

…and the A380 offers 6 more seats in its Business Class cabin than the Qsuite equipped 777 (48 seats to 42) so, technically, Business Class awards should be slightly easier to find.

Also, if you’re flying from Doha in First Class you’re granted access to the much discussed (although thoroughly over-hyped by some) Al Safwa First Class lounge.

a room with chairs and a tv
Al Safwa First Class Lounge – Doha

If you’re a regular on the Doha – Frankfurt route you may not have had the chance to try this lounge out (it’s worth at least one visit) while now you’re just a flight booking away.

I should also add that there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon for Qsuite fans as the A380 is only scheduled to fly this route through 26 October 2019. From 27 October onwards the schedules show the Qsuite equipped 777 returning to take over from the A380….but this may only be because Qatar Airways hasn’t updated its winter schedule yet (there is no way to know for sure).

Bottom Line

It’s a little amusing to see Qatar Airways spinning this aircraft change as offering “passengers the option to choose from First Class on board the A380 or its patented, award-winning Qsuite Business Class experience offered on the Boeing 777 aircraft” when the reality is that the airline has just reduced the availability of the world’s best Business Class seats by 50% on this route and no one in their right mind would see that as a good thing.

Qatar Airways First Class may offer more personal space than Qsuite Business Class but, unless you’re flying a very long-haul flight where the extra room may make a difference, I cannot see why anyone would pay (a lot more) to sit in Qatar Airways First Class over the Qsuite cabin.

If you’re already booked to fly in Business Class between Frankfurt and Doha after 31 March 2019 make sure you check which aircraft you’re now set to fly – if your fare is flexible it may be worth swapping over to the other flight if you’re now booked on the A380.

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