Qatar Airways is heaven-sent, and your head never comes out of the clouds.
I have found heavenly joy and it is burgundy and grey toned and full of kind, smiling faces, the finest food and drinks, a walk-up bar and complimentary Diptyche toiletries.
And the beds are great.
There are times when you have to envy football fans.
The World Cup looms and lots of Lions and Dragons fans will be winging their way eastwards to Doha. With the host’s national airline.
Entry to airborne Heaven is one way. By Qatar Airways Business Class. Preferably transported via their new Qsuite.
Earthly bliss is feeling a priority passenger ticket peeping out of your linen shirt breast pocket. There is no feeling that represents the luxury High Life more. As well as turning left when you board a plane.
The older you get and harder you work, the greater the priority for fast tracks, lounges, limitless fine Champagne and a good night’s sleep. Especially on long haul.
The one thing you don’t want to do is arrive in Paradise or a business meeting with jet lag, looking like Charles Manson or, at least, like one of the plane doors had been left open on the way.
The only way to arrive is full of Arabic hummus, tabouleh, baba ghanoush and muhammara mezze, braised Irish beef cheek, San Sebastian Basque cheesecake, karaki cardamom chai, Louis Latour Chablis Vancoupin, Grand Cuvee Classe Pauillac 2014 and Dow’s 20 year Tawny Port, your body scented with Diptyque Eau Rose.
The beach, the sea and the Vitamin K can wait.
“Unspoilt” is an overworked word when it comes to travelling. “Spoilt” is under-used. But there is a place to be spoilt. Before you even get anywhere. And that’s travelling Business Class. You have to be royalty or an actor to travel First. And be used to nothing else.
Business Class is a present from the firm but a present to yourself on vacation.
Qatar Airways Business Class is full of people either pretending to be used to the luxury or uninhibitedly revelling in it. Everyone revels in the Qsuite. Every flight makes you feel and behave like you are a Business Class virgin.
Qatar Airways has been the World’s Best Airline for six years, winning top honours by providing the world’s best Business Class seat, best Business Class on-board catering and world’s best Business Class airline lounge as well as best in-flight wine cellar.
Whether you are heading towards the World Cup, South Africa, Tokyo, Sri Lanka or the Seychelles, as I did recently, you will be spoiled all the way by the justifiably award-wining Qatar Airways. From fast-track at check-in to the business lounges and the napery with all in-flight meals. Including the warmed nuts.
The warmed nuts are rarely lauded on TripAdvisor.
Some people think that paying “a lot more” for some high latitude nuts, a quilted blanket, a chair that gives you a lower back massage and turns into a flat bed, gourmet food with your own private cruet, take-off and landing refreshment towels served by tongs, complimentary socks, single use toothbrushes and extra leg as well as whole body room isn’t worth it. These people have never given Business a chance. Especially Qatar.
There is no better experience in the air.
Life is too short not to go Qatar Airways Business Class once. Even if you have to cash in a few shares and re-mortgage your second home.
In the matchless Qsuite, there are four rows of cubicles. Two in the middle and one with each window. The middle can be converted into a paired or even quad seating – if you are travelling with friends, family, lovers, people who know you well enough not to be disturbed by your groans from the inflight massage and those who won’t mind your fidgeting and playing with all the chair settings interrupting their movie-watching. You would need a lifetime or for Qatar to start a route to Mercury to watch all the films on-board.
The Al Mourjan business lounge at Doha International Airport is one of the most lavish in the world. Taking up over 10,000 square metres, you can shower before enjoying a buffet, à la carte meals, sushi platters and even more high quality Champagne. Spoiling their passengers with ultra-comfort is Qatar Airway’s forte.
The only way to arrive home is full of olive brioches, artisan bread, seared tuna tataki, decadent raised almond pastries and gourmet ice cream and cheese, fresh-faced from a totally horizontal sleep, lait frais pour le corps, creme essentiale pour le visage and smiling after watching a complete season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
And there’s also your new, can’t-see ear plugs to get you serenely through your next boring business meeting.
The great thing about Business Class and flying Qatar Airways in particular is that you never dread the flight home. You look forward to it, never want it to stop or ever come down from the clouds.
You pray to be held in a holding pattern to make it all last longer. Heaven is hard to quit. Flying another airline make you quite heaven sick.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photographs courtesy of Qatar Airways