This award-winning airline is scrapping first class from long-haul flights

Qatar Airways says that first class isn’t profitable enough and that business class covers many of the same benefits

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Plane in the sky
Photograph: Shutterstock

First class seating on planes isn’t something most of us really think about. After all, it’s usually exorbitantly expensive, often costing upwards of quadruple the amount of money you’d pay for an economy or even business class service. Still, it’s good to know first class is around, just in case, y’know, anyone wins the lottery or anything. 

But now one airline has decided to scrap first class entirely. Qatar Airways, national carrier of Qatar and frequently ranked as one of the best airlines in the world, has said it will remove first class options from future long-haul flights. Airline CEO Akbar Al Baker says it’s because the seats aren’t profitable enough, considering the amount of space they take up on planes.

Before you get worried about other airlines following suit, however (after all, what else are you going to do with those lottery winnings), it’s worth mentioning that this situation is rather specific to Qatar Airways. The Qatari carrier boasts exceptionally luxurious business class options that already offer many first class services.

Specifically, Qatar Airways is referring to its ‘Q Suite’ seats, which are business class but offer lie-flat beds on long-haul flights. Here’s a pic of what those seats look like.

Q Suite seats, Qatar Airways
Image: Qatar Airways

Pretty swish, eh? In other words, it looks like Qatar Airways is getting rid of first class options pretty much in name only. Now read about other high-flying carriers with the recently-released ranking of the best airlines in the world.

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