Qatar Airways Business Class Flight 84 New York JFK – Doha – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 18 April 2012
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It was late at night when we pulled into the Premium Dropoff area at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 8, home to Qatar Airlines’ New York area operations as well as to American Airlines, which operates the terminal.  I tend to prefer late-night departures because there are typically no lines in the terminal or on the taxiways for departure.

Qatar Airways operates daily flights from JFK as well as from Washington, D.C. and Houston.

Finding the Qatar check-in area was easy.  There were four agents manning two check-in counters on the business-class side and there was no one in line ahead of me when I arrived.   I was welcomed by name and invited to relax in the American Airlines’ Flagship Lounge until it was time to board.


One of the things that always impresses me about Terminal 8 is how short the lines for security are.  Given the late hour, there was no wait at the Priority AAccess line, which is reserved for business- and first-class passengers and high-level members of the airlines’ frequent-flyer programs.  For that matter, neither was there a line of any significance for non-priority passengers.

The American Airlines Flagship Lounge is separate from its Admirals Club lounge. In addition to comfortable seating and bar that you would find in the Admirals Club, the Flagship Lounge serves dinner (giving passengers an opportunity to dine before the flight to allow for greater in-flight sleep time) and a wide variety of wines and liquors.   I started with a sushi appetizer and had the rosemary roasted leg of lamb, which was delicious.

Soon it was time to board.  Qatar uses gate 16 which is just a few minutes’ walk from the lounge.  Business-class boarded first and I was one of the first on the aircraft.


My seat, 1A, was in the first of two business-class cabins on the Boeing 777-300ER.  Qatar has a total of 42 fully lie-flat business-class seats and they are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration.  The main cabin has 293 seats, arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Unlike many business-class seats that extend into a cut-out in the seat in front to form a bed, each seat was an island unto itself.  There is a large console running between each pair of seats that contains an armrest (under which is a controller for in-flight entertainment and in-flight phone), a beverage holder that slides open, and large LCD displays that pop up when called into service.  The open-style design means that passengers sitting alongside the window are not completely locked in when the passenger in the aisle seat fully extends his seat into a bed.

Fresh flowers are everywhere (including in the lavs) and so are smiles.

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